Business Insider

Costco is an amazing gift to society. It’s exclusive deals and bulk quantities of delicious food make it one of the nation’s favorite places to shop. Of course, that also means some people have found a way to take advantage of the system. In particular, Costco is buckling down on its return policies because some people aren’t respecting the spirit in which they’re intended. Here’s how you can avoid being counted amongst the onslaught of banned customers.

Do Your Research

Look into the exact specifications of Costco’s generous return policy. For example, certain electronics have to be returned within 90 days. Diamonds have the strictest rules. They need to be returned within 48 hours with the original paperwork.

You will also find that tobacco and alcohol products can’t be returned at all. Customized items are also on the no-refunds list. Other than that, Costco’s policy is pretty open to returns, no matter how long ago you purchased the item.

Don’t Wait Around

That doesn’t mean you should just wait around to return an item. One lady waited 8 years to return a printer that was defective when she bought it. Because of that, she had her membership revoked.

You should also check with your particular store about their policies. While some stores in states like Virginia don’t monitor customer returns, others in New York and Texas do. You could be flagged for making just one return a year over a period of twelve years.

Do Be Reasonable

Unfortunately, Costco is changing its return policy. Now, all items will have to be returned within one year of their purchase date. This is because a lot of people have blatantly abused the system.

It’s pretty simple — don’t be that lady that returns dirty toilet brushes she purchased five years ago. If you can do that, you should be able to keep your membership. Although, the ultimate decision is left up to managerial discretion.