14 Items You Can’t Return at Costco Even With a Membership

Even though Costco is celebrated for its flexible return policy, a few items can’t make the return journey once they’ve found a new home. Knowing what’s not returnable before you indulge in a shopping spree is essential. Below, discover 14 items that are final sales, no matter how shiny your Costco membership card is.

Custom-made Items

When you order custom-made items like personalized jewelry or specially crafted furniture, they’re tailored just for you. According to Costco’s return policy, customized items are non-returnable because they can’t be resold. It’s a bit like getting a customized pizza; once it’s made, it’s yours to enjoy. So, double-check every detail before confirming your order!


Due to legal restrictions in several states, returning alcohol to Costco can be tricky or downright impossible. Each state’s laws dictate the return policies on alcohol, so it’s best to be sure before you buy that extra-large bottle of wine. Costco clearly states this policy aims to comply with state regulations—no surprises at checkout!


Cigarettes fall under a similar umbrella as alcohol due to state-specific laws that prevent the return of tobacco products. If you’re contemplating quitting, accidentally buying a whole carton could be your unexpected motivator. Remember, once they’re purchased, they’re yours.

Diamonds Over 1 Carat

Costco provides a verification process for returning diamonds over 1 carat, which involves a thorough check to ensure the diamond matches the one sold. This high-value transaction is carefully controlled to prevent fraud, making returns more complex than usual. Before purchasing that eye-catching stone, be sure it’s the gem you want.

Electronics After 90 Days

Costco allows electronics to be returned within a 90-day window. After that, your tech purchases are final. This period gives you ample time to assess your gadgets—consider it a 90-day trial. It might be time to part ways if your new electronic doesn’t spark joy by day 89.

Tires That Have Been Installed

Once tires are installed on your vehicle, they cannot be returned to Costco. This is standard across the industry to ensure safety and product integrity. Make sure to select the correct tires for your car to avoid any post-purchase regrets.


Used batteries are not returnable because their capacity diminishes with use. Just like a cup of coffee, once it’s consumed, it’s gone. Costco’s policy reflects a general retail standard, ensuring customers receive only new, fully charged batteries.

Special Event Tickets

No refunds will be available once you purchase tickets for special events hosted by Costco. These tickets are often for specific dates and times, making them immediately non-returnable upon purchase. Check your schedule twice before committing to an event.

Limited Quantity Items

Items sold as “limited quantity” are considered final sales and are not eligible for return. This exclusivity means you’ve got something special, so make sure it’s exactly what you want before you buy. Costco highlights these items to prevent any buyer’s remorse.

Products with Limited Lifespans

Perishables and seasonal goods are on a no-return list due to their nature. Whether it’s festive decorations or fresh produce, once these items leave the store, they’re meant to be used promptly. It’s a way to ensure quality and safety for all customers.

Opened Software or Video Games

If you open software or video games, you can’t return them to Costco. This policy helps protect against software piracy and ensures that all customers receive brand-new products. Always read reviews and system requirements before tearing off the shrink wrap!

Prescription Drugs

Once prescription drugs have left the pharmacy, they cannot be returned. This policy is in place for health and safety reasons, ensuring that all medications distributed are safe and controlled. Double-check your prescriptions before leaving Costco’s pharmacy.

Optical Items

Custom optical products, like glasses or contacts, are made to your specifications and thus aren’t returnable. It’s crucial to ensure your prescription is accurate before ordering—consider it customizing your view of the world.

Gift Cards

Once purchased, gift cards are considered spent. They are non-returnable and non-refundable, much like cash. This is a common practice in many retail settings, not just Costco. So, think of gift cards as a commitment to spend by you or the lucky recipient.

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