Some people feel weird about returning a purchased item. But other people have absolutely no shame when it comes to taking things back to the store, even if it means returning a dead Christmas tree that was actually alive when they first bought it. Costco has a few examples of the kind of crazy returns we're talking about.
Costco customers are on par with Walmart customers when it comes to blatant shamelessness. They don't care if their return lacks logic or is against Costco policy. We guess it doesn't help that Costco offers one of the best return policies in the world. People are constantly exploiting their generosity. Here are 15 things employees say customers have tried to return.
15 An old fish
Some Costco returns are crazy, while others are downright horrific. Take this person, for instance, who tried to return a 13-year-old fish that she'd ''forgotten about.'' This fish has remained in her freezer for over a decade and when the woman finally rediscovered it, she thought it would be a wise idea to take it back to Costco. She even threatened to call corporate if Costco refused her return. How ridiculous! What on earth is Costco going to do with a 13-year-old fish? It's not like they can put it back in the freezers and resell it. The only thing they can do it with it is throw it in the trash. What a waste! Seriously, what is wrong with some people? How can you forget about a fish in the freezer for 13 years and then have the cheek to take it back after all this time?!?
14 An empty wine bottle
Some people have zero shame when it comes to returning items to the store. This woman is obviously one of those kinds of people. According to a Costco employee, she tried to return an empty wine bottle, claiming ''it gave her a headache.'' She'd drunk the entire contents of the bottle and yet, she was bringing it back in an attempt to get a refund. We don't know about you, but we have a strong feeling that headache was more likely a hangover. Maybe she isn't familiar with the term, but it tends to occur when you chug an entire bottle of wine in one sitting. However, we think this woman knew exactly what she was doing. She was just testing the waters to see what she could get away with.
13 A dead Christmas tree
Of course, the tree wasn't dead when this customer bought it. She initially purchased it before Christmas when it was very much alive. Then, on January 4, following the end of holiday season, this California woman decided that instead of throwing it out or finding a way to donate it to someone who could repurpose it, she'd just return it to Costco. Reports say she took it back to Santa Clarita Costco and asked for a refund, claiming her tree ''died.'' Clearly, this woman had made use of the tree and now she no longer needed it. So, she did the most cringeworthy thing ever: she returned it to the store. Can you get much lower than that? It's shocking how low people will go all for the sake of a refund. What happened to good old self-respect?
12 Personal photo prints
How many of you have ever even considered returning your photo prints? We're all guilty of picking fault with our photos. Maybe there was a red eye, the picture was out of focus or maybe you just didn't like how you looked. Still, most of us admit that the concept of returning our photo prints has never entered our heads. It's just something most of us wouldn't do because, most of the time, it isn't the store's fault. But according to this Costco employee, people have been known to return photo prints. “Worst I’ve seen is photos,'' they posted on reddit. ''People would return photos that [were] printed that they took and didn’t like them. This is all when they still had the Dropbox for film. Some would return hundreds of black, out of focus, red eye. And best yet, [they returned because it] doesn’t fit their frame cause they choose 5×7 instead of the 4×6.''
11 Trading laptops
When someone applied for an online return for a new laptop on Costco's website, the return was approved. It was, after all, ''a brand-new laptop.'' Or was it? What was actually shipped to Costco's store was an old and very used laptop. Eight years old, to be exact. The customer had cunningly peeled off the serial sticker from his new laptop and stuck it onto his 8-year-old laptop. The guy obviously thought it was going to get away with it and that nobody would find out. Little did he know that Costco employees are anything but stupid. Their policy may be great, but they know when they're being conned. As soon as the laptop arrived in their hands, they knew they were being cheated.
10 An eaten steak
When you buy a food product from a store and then eat it, how can you expect to get a return on it? For some reason, this Costco customer seemed to believe they'd get a return for the $200 vacuum-packed ribeye steak that they'd already eaten. They could only return a container of cooked fat and bones. Gross! And if that isn't shocking enough, the Costco employee said the customer was completely reimbursed for their return. You know what they say, if you don't ask you don't get. This person asked and they got. Still, we think we'll save that motto for other things. No way are we going to be returning an already-eaten steak anytime soon. So Costco can relax: no bones and fat remains for now.
9 A dead plant
Could Costco's Garden Centers have closed because of all the dead plant returns? According to this Costco employee, numerous dead plants have been returned by Costco members over the years. For some reason, some customers seem to think it's Costco's responsibility that they forgot to take care of them. So they take their dead plants back and expect a refund. Crazy! Anyone who buys plants should know that they require care and upkeep. Don't blame Costco just because you were too lazy to water your plants. In the future, steer clear of buying plants if you don't want the responsibility of caring for them. We don't know if Costco reimburses their returns, but we hope for their sake that they don't. People need to learn.
8 Cat litter box (with litter in it)
If you are going to return a little box that you've used (or your cat's used), you should at least have the decency to clean it beforehand. We bet this Costco employee wished this customer had done that before returning their used (and soiled) cat litter box. The employee claims the litter box was used and contained cat litter, adding ''it stank up the baler area for days afterwards.'' Yuck! Where do people find the front to do such a disgusting thing? We don't know why this person returned their used cat litter box, but whatever the reason didn't give them a reason to hand it back with used cat litter inside. We now have a deep amount of respect for Costco employees after hearing everything they have to deal with.
7 A house full of furniture
Another customer tried to return his house full of furniture and appliances because ''he was moving.'' Everybody has to deal with selling or getting rid of furniture when they relocate. They don't just rely on Costco returns to get their money back on furniture. Some people on here seem to think they have a lifelong commitment with Costco and that Costco will happily take back their unwanted things at any time. Even if that means 10 years after you've purchased something from them. We know their return policies are generous but some people are really taking the biscuit. We have no idea if Costco reimbursed his house full of furniture, but if they did, we're losing more and more respect for Costco by the minute.
6 Used underwear packages
Why would you buy underwear, wear it and then return it? That's just gross. Yet, there are people out there that aren't afraid of doing it. They will happily stand in line at the Costco counter and, nonchalantly, request a return on their already-opened (and used) underwear. Just in case you're worried about buying used underwear in the future, one Costco employee eases your concerns: “If they’re still in the package they can go back to the vendors, and if they are used we usually have people that will buy them cheap. Sometimes though they are just discarded because the vendors won’t take them back or the resellers aren’t interested for whatever reason.'' That's good to know! Nobody wants to discover that they're purchasing worn underwear.
5 A feces-covered chicken coop
We thought we already saw the worst on here, but apparently not. It gets worse, much worse and much grosser. This Costco employee says the worst thing they ever saw get returned to the store was a used chicken coop. And when they say used, they mean used in all forms. ''I was on the cart crew for 8 months,'' they posted on reddit. ''The worst I saw was a used chicken coop that had started falling apart. The thing was covered in chicken [feces]. Everyone stared as the guy and his family brought it in. Apparently he had bought it online the year before. Naturally, the front end manager gave him a full refund.” It is beyond us how this guy even got a refund...what was Costco thinking?
4 A historic pressure washer
When you purchase an electrical appliance, you expect it to last for a few years or so. Nothing lasts forever. Why this person thought they should return their 15-year-old pressure washer because it had stopped working is still something we can't quite get our head around. Surely they'd be happy that it had lasted for such a long time. Not many electrical goods last as long these days. Why would it be Costco's fault that it had stopped working after 15 years? So much time has passed since this person originally purchased the item. Frankly, we think they got a lot of years out of their pressure washer. They should be sending a note of appreciation to Costco for providing them with such a high quality appliance, not a return.
3 Seasonal items
Some people really don't care what they take back to Costco. We'd get it if they genuinely had a problem with the item they purchased, but with these clients, they're basically just trying to test their luck to see if they can get a refund. And most of the time, it works. Costco customers have been known to bring back seasonal items with which they no longer have any use. ''Right around September,'' one employee recalls, ''people love bringing back all their summer stuff, BBQs, bathing suits, pool gear, patio sets, etc. I wanna live that life…where I just don’t feel any shame for the scummy stuff I do to save money.'' This person has a point. It's all very well and good trying to get your money back on items you no longer use, but where's your self-respect? You can't put a price on self-respect.
2 ''Uncomfortable'' chairs
It took this woman 18 years to realize that the chairs she bought from Costco weren't comfortable. That's what this Costco employee says. ''I had a member try to return 18 year old chairs because they weren't comfortable,'' they wrote. ''I let her know that if these chairs were people they would be able to vote. Our GM denied the return.'' Good decision! What can you expect from chairs you purchased 18 years ago? We'd have thought this customer would have been thrilled at the longevity of their chairs. Talk about getting your money's worth! But nope. They clearly wanted to see if they could get their money back all these years later (nearly two decades in fact), but fortunately they were denied. The cheek of some people!
1 A 10-year-old boombox
Because Costco's policy allows you to return anything at anytime, people were bound to abuse that policy. A lot of people wouldn't dare return anything older than a couple of months, let alone 10 years. Yet this person couldn't have cared less when they attempted to return their decade-old Sony boombox. Now that is what you call a vintage boombox! According to the Costco employee, this person still had the receipt after all this time. We're not sure if they managed to get a refund, but that is something we would love to know. If they did, then Costco really needs to re-assess their whole returns policy. Their generosity is turning into pure stupidity and foolishness. There's a fine line between being generous with your customers and being totally taken advantage of.