A viral video of a Costco customer returning a couch purchased over two years ago sparked online discussion about the wholesale retailer’s return policy and whether customers are abusing it.
A woman named Jackie shared she bought a couch from Costco over two and a half years ago, in a video posted last week to TikTok that’s attracted nearly 3 million views.
Jackie admits she was nervous to return the large item to the warehouse store and felt intimidated by other shoppers staring at her while waiting in line.
“But who cares. Return it. They have an awesome return policy,” she tells her followers. “Buy your furniture from Costco, girl. You can return it when you don’t like it anymore.”
“Simply bring the product to any Costco warehouse and our Member Services Team will be happy to assist you. It helps if you have the receipt or original product packaging, but it may not be necessary to process your return,” their return policy states.
Their policy does not say that items must be returned in a certain time frame or in a certain condition for most merchandise.
There are exceptions for electronics, jewelry, cigarettes, alcohol, car tires and batteries, airline tickets, gold, and special order items.
The couch return video drew some backlash on TikTok, with some Costco customers berating the woman for taking advantage of the policy.
“That is just f—ing wrong,” one woman reacted. “You used something and you loved it with your kids and your animals and your whole family, and you used it for two-and-a-half years, and just because there’s [a] little loophole in this store’s policy, you think that it is morally right to take that couch back and get a full, full refund for it, for a used item that there was nothing wrong with?”
Her reaction video drew over 15,000 comments and nearly 2 million views. Top commenters seemed to agree this was an abuse of the liberal store return policy.
“You are not wrong. People abuse Costco’s great return policy,” one top comment said.
“I work for Costco. Don’t get me started,” another top comment said.
However, others defended Jackie, saying the company’s top customer satisfaction policy allowed for these sort of returns.
“MY husband works for Costco and says that the Co. receives money from all of the returned items. I am not ashamed to return my items,” one person wrote.
Another TikToker named Brittany argued that the wholesale retailer makes most of its money on its membership fees, so they can have a more liberal return policy than other retailers.
“They are a multi-billion dollar company. The amount of returns they get probably doesn’t touch the amount of profits they have so it’s not that big of a deal. Why are we caring so much about this huge corporation and about the money they make? When we are literally all like dirt poor compared to them. We should get our money’s worth and get our money back if we can,” she said. “I would totally do the same.”
Last year, another Costco return video went viral on TikTok, after customers returned a two-year-old used mattress so they could put the money towards a new mattress.
Costco Wholesale did not immediately return a request for comment.