Woman Returns Dead Christmas Tree to Costco

You might be in the middle of returns season, and you are getting back products that you may not be able to resell. But like so many retailers on and offline, you are deciding if it is worth the customer service to just accept them.

Costco, the third largest retailer in the U.S. and operator of membership warehouse clubs, is known for its liberal return policy. And it appears a woman at that Santa Clarita, CA store tested their return policy to a new limit.

According to news reports from a widely circulated Facebook posting (that has been taken down now), last week a Costco shopper brought back her dead Christmas tree and received a full refund.

Her excuse? “Because it is dead.”

Source: Facebook

There is even a Reddit thread about claims of other returns that Costco allegedly took back. Costco appears to see a value to accept about anything in a return.

Considering how much returns are now becoming the new battleground for eCommerce, will small eCommerce operators face more strange and abusive returns through the year?

Sure, Costco, Amazon, and companies at that scale can afford to take back a few odd items here and there. With membership programs such as Prime or Costco’s Club Membership, shoppers are more likely to come back to buy more.

But that does the same apply to smaller eCommerce sellers? And many eBay sellers already complain about having to accept returns.

2018 may turn out to be a challenging year to find the right return policy as small businesses get caught up in the returns war.

How far would you go to accept returns to maintain customer satisfaction? Drop us a line in the comments section below.


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