6 Things Costco Employees don't want to tell you but did it anyways about Their Discounts & Returns


If you're a regular Costco buyer or decide to become a member, there are just a few things you might not know about discounted, returnable products that can change the way you play.

Narcity spoke with two employees, Beth * and Hannah *, to find out how customers can improve their savings and how customers can get the most out of retail policy returns.

Here are six things about discounts and returns at Costco that you'll probably wish you knew sooner

You can return almost anything

At Costco, you can pretty much return everything.
"One customer returned a pillow seven years old because it didn't feel right," Hannah revealed. "There was also someone who returned a fake plant because they were watering it and they didn't know it was fake."

When it comes to electronics, customers have 90 days to return unwanted items. However, for most products, there is no deadline to bring them back.

"There are people that return their old groceries. They'll freeze their meat if they don't like it and they'll return it," Hannah said.

One Canadian shopper even returned shorts that they bought two years earlier!

But they track you if returns get excessive

According to Hannah, Costco understands that shoppers do need to make returns sometimes. However, stores do keep track of what's being brought back.

So, they get it if you don't like the avocados you bought this time and maybe the next time but after that, they're going to have a conversation with you about it.

It apparently works on a case-by-case basis and it only becomes an issue if a customer is excessively returning items or when it's a huge amount that's being taken back

Markdowns happen every four weeks

If you're on the lookout for markdowns, you can usually expect them to happen every four weeks or so.

According to Beth and Hannah, the process revolves around moving products that are going out of season. So, for example, snowsuits have recently been marked down in price in some stores.

"Markdown Mondays happen indefinitely regardless of anything, just to like make sure everything is kind of cohesive with the season" they explained.

Items on Costco sell out fast

Staff found that most of the items available on Costco's Instagram account sold out quickly.
“A lot of people were in a rush to get what was advertised there,” Hannah said. “He left the property immediately.

Beth also pointed out that people are coming to buy whatever is posted on the account, not just for themselves, but for their friends and family.

If you want the products you see in your Costco account, it's best to lower your expectations.
“Sometimes the stuff you put on doesn't exist anywhere else,” Hannah said. "We didn't get everything exactly at the same time."

Prices vary depending on a store's location

If you are wondering why other Costco stores may have different prices for certain products, there is a very simple explanation.

According to Beth and Hannah, Costco executives often visit nearby stores to check prices at other local stores. This process is called a "store comparison" or "shopping comparison" and helps keep the price competitive for the location.

“The comparison to the retailers is when they go out and look at the different prices of the juices or something like that on the products,” they acknowledged.

"Then they usually take samples of [Costco products] the same way, compare the sizes of our products, and experiment with the taste and everything."

Costco tried to compete, but failed to match the price "because of the different sizes." So often they don't even carry coupons.

The newsletter has big perks

If you haven't already, Beth and Hannah recommend signing up for Costcos flyers, which typically run weekly.

Subscribe to our newsletter and you will be the first to know about new products, sales and discounts. You will also learn more about Costco product returns.