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Strange return experience at Costco
Old 07-05-2018, 09:40 PM   #1
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Strange return experience at Costco

I buy a lot of stuff from Costco, and I rarely return things even if they are defective or unsatisfactory. It's just not worth the time and hassle to me. I see a lot of people abusing the policy and I don't want to be like that.

But this week I had two pairs of sunglasses break on me, both purchased from Costco. In one case the frame cracked, and the other case the rubber coating on both stems just peeled off. The pairs were 12 and 18 months old. I still have sunglasses that I bought 20 years ago that are perfectly usable, so it seemed very odd to me that these would fail so soon.

So I brought them back to the Costco. I stood in the returns line only to find out that sunglasses have to be returned to the optical department. So then I brought them over to optical and asked to return them.

The woman looked at the first pair and said to me that I could easily glue these back together and they will be fine. So I asked her "do sunglasses have a different return policy than other Costco items"? She gave me a bit of a dirty look and told me that I should only expect to get 12-18 months of use out of sunglasses.

One of the pairs was almost $60, and I told her that I thought for $60 they really should last longer. She gave me another look and told me that $60 is nothing for sunglasses. I was really beginning to feel like I was being put in my place for a) paying so little for the sunglasses, and b) expecting them to last more than 12-18 months.

I stood firm and she eventually told me she would make a "one time" exception and took them back. But I left the store feeling really weird about Costco.

I went to the Big 5 Sporting Goods store where I've bought sunglasses for the past 30 years and bought two nice pairs of Serengetti's there. I guess I won't be buying sunglasses at Costco any more.

Has anyone else had a weird experience trying to return an item to Costco lately?
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Old 07-05-2018, 09:44 PM   #2
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I suspect this was more of a problem with that person than with Costco. I've never had a single issue returning items to Costco.


Of course, I would never pay $60 for a pair of sunglasses. More like $20. Assuming I could buy non-prescription ones. I've got one pair of sunglasses, prescription, and I've had them for 15 years. So I disagree with her assessment.
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Old 07-05-2018, 09:53 PM   #3
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Good sunglasses are expensive. Honestly I agree with the sales person. 12-18 months of use for a $60 pair of sunglasses seems very reasonable. It would not occur to me to return such an old reasonably priced item after such long period of use. I think return policies can sometimes be too loose and of course we all end up paying more for the price of goods.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:33 PM   #4
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They say 100% satisfaction guaranteed, and you can return anything anytime except for things like electronics, so why not.

I only returned like three things to Costco in my lifetime, but the first return was an organic, colorless (transparent) liquid detergent that was more than half used. The detergent worked fine in the summertime, but then, winter came, and the cold water temperature dropped and the detergent wouldn't dissolve correctly and I ended up with dried-up snot-like things stuck on shirts, pants, etc. I brought the half-empty detergent bottle back to Costco and explained, and this guy opened the top to look into it and then tried to smell it (to see if it was actually detergent in it or what; I don't know, but this is an organic/hypoallergenic fragrance-free liquid detergent, so it looked like plain water in the bottle. He then went to his supervisor. I don't know what they talked about, but he came back and gave me the refund. I don't know what compelled me to return this, but I remember I was kind of bummed that I had to redo the laundry.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:44 PM   #5
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My underwear are getting a bit ragged, I wonder if I can return them to Costco? They are only a year old and for what I paid I sure expected to get better longevity.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:59 PM   #6
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Not so much a Costco thing but I used to be loyal to Revos till they got rid of their lifetime frame warranty and replaced them with a 2 year warranty. The frame typically last 4-6 years before they break on me (typically at the hinge) So I jumped to Maui Jim’s.. then they did the same thing, reduced the lifetime warranty to a 2 year warranty. I don’t mind paying for things if I know they will last or if I know they will stand behind their product. If I’m going to pay $150+, I like to know they will stand behind their product for more than 2 years. The last pair I got was $20ish pair on amazon that had good reviews. The one I currently have seems as well built as the $150+ Maui Jim’s.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:59 PM   #7
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My underwear are getting a bit ragged, I wonder if I can return them to Costco? They are only a year old and for what I paid I sure expected to get better longevity.
I returned underwear to Costco. The first time I washed them, every pair shrunk so much I couldn't use them. I did suggest that they could re-label them "small" and resell them.
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Old 07-06-2018, 12:24 AM   #8
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I returned underwear to Costco. The first time I washed them, every pair shrunk so much I couldn't use them. I did suggest that they could re-label them "small" and resell them.
Were they Hanes? I think we bought t shirts there that shrunk like crazy too. Pretty sure they were Hanes.

I don’t think it’s at all crazy for you to expect sunglasses to last more than 18mo. My current pair I purchased easily 10yrs ago. I think they were from banana republic and ~$60-80. That’s a lot for a pair of glasses when you compare frame costs to a warby parker. Honestly, for something I’m lucky to not lose in 6mo, I’m not shelling out big $.

ETA, I wonder if the optical center is run by a subcontractor? Can’t see why they would have given you a bad time otherwise.
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Old 07-06-2018, 12:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Letj View Post
Good sunglasses are expensive. Honestly I agree with the sales person. 12-18 months of use for a $60 pair of sunglasses seems very reasonable. It would not occur to me to return such an old reasonably priced item after such long period of use. I think return policies can sometimes be too loose and of course we all end up paying more for the price of goods.
+1
High end sunglasses are in the hundreds of dollars.

I also would not return something I used for that long for that kind of price.
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Old 07-06-2018, 02:53 AM   #10
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Throw them in the trash and move on. I buy a few pairs of seeing eye glasses a year and all break or get scratched (trash). I am sure they are made in China. Who else would take them back after 18 months? Amazon? Sears? Walmart? no way.
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Old 07-06-2018, 03:32 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Letj View Post
Good sunglasses are expensive. Honestly I agree with the sales person. 12-18 months of use for a $60 pair of sunglasses seems very reasonable. It would not occur to me to return such an old reasonably priced item after such long period of use. I think return policies can sometimes be too loose and of course we all end up paying more for the price of goods.
+2. $60 is more than cheapo drugstore sunglasses, but it’s also far from the cost of good sunglasses - closer to $150-250 IME. You probably got your money’s worth, and there’s no way the store can know how they were cared for, e.g. the frame didn’t just spontaneously crack.
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Old 07-06-2018, 06:19 AM   #12
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To the OP. We’ve never had an issue returning anything to Costco, so it is weird.

Regarding cheap sunglasses. My eye doc told me to always avoid them. The UV protections are not as good, if they exist at all and the dark lens open your pupil more and let in even more of the bad stuff.

Sunglasses are one of the things I spend more on to get all the UV protection coatings.
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Old 07-06-2018, 06:43 AM   #13
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Costco sets their return policy, not individual employees of Costco. If an item is covered by their lifetime satisfaction policy you can return it if it fails. If the person behind the desk takes issue, ask for a manager. Costco used to offer that crazy policy on electronics. I returned two 42 inch flat screen TVs that developed lines in the picture years after purchase. They had originally been bought for $2000+ each. I got the full $2000 back on each and was able to buy a bigger, better new TV and pocket $1000. They wisely ended coverage on electronics.

I would not return an item that I wore out through normal use, or that I accidentally broke. But, if the item falls apart when it shouldn't like OPs sunglasses I would take it right back.
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Old 07-06-2018, 06:48 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by COcheesehead View Post
To the OP. We’ve never had an issue returning anything to Costco, so it is weird.

Regarding cheap sunglasses. My eye doc told me to always avoid them. The UV protections are not as good, if they exist at all and the dark lens open your pupil more and let in even more of the bad stuff.

Sunglasses are one of the things I spend more on to get all the UV protection coatings.


Totally agree. Proper UV protection is a must to protect from long term problems. Since you mentioned UV protection, here is an article worth reading about UV A/B protection in cars and how to reduce chances of cancer and skin damage.


https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.aut...ainst-uv-rays/
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Old 07-06-2018, 07:14 AM   #15
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Seems like a lot of users here know very little about sunglasses...and that they're almost all produced by the same company...luxottica

Ray bans used to be cheap drug store sunglasses. Luxottica bought them up...pulled them from the shelves then re released them. Not a single thing changed other than the price...which skyrocketed. But since it costs more it must mean its better quality, lol.

Im not telling people to go out about buy glasses you get from a $0.25 machine...but if you think you have to drop $150+ for "good" glasses...I have a bridge to sell you.
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Old 07-06-2018, 07:18 AM   #16
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Costco sets their return policy, not individual employees of Costco. If an item is covered by their lifetime satisfaction policy you can return it if it fails. If the person behind the desk takes issue, ask for a manager. Costco used to offer that crazy policy on electronics. I returned two 42 inch flat screen TVs that developed lines in the picture years after purchase. They had originally been bought for $2000+ each. I got the full $2000 back on each and was able to buy a bigger, better new TV and pocket $1000. They wisely ended coverage on electronics.

I would not return an item that I wore out through normal use, or that I accidentally broke. But, if the item falls apart when it shouldn't like OPs sunglasses I would take it right back.
True but their TVs still have a 2-year warranty, doubled to 4 if you buy with the Costco VISA.

And you can add a 3-year Square Trade extended warranty for another $100 or so, so 7 years under warranty coverage still isn't bad.

As for sunglasses, I've given up and just buy Global Vision wrap-arounds (various style) for under $20 each off eBay or Amazon.
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Old 07-06-2018, 07:25 AM   #17
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Seems like a lot of users here know very little about sunglasses...and that they're almost all produced by the same company...luxottica

Ray bans used to be cheap drug store sunglasses. Luxottica bought them up...pulled them from the shelves then re released them. Not a single thing changed other than the price...which skyrocketed. But since it costs more it must mean its better quality, lol.

Im not telling people to go out about buy glasses you get from a $0.25 machine...but if you think you have to drop $150+ for "good" glasses...I have a bridge to sell you.
Always check the tag to see what the coatings are. That’s the bottom line.
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Old 07-06-2018, 07:59 AM   #18
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Funny somebody mentioned Serengetti's. I bought a pair from Costco over 5 years ago and they're still going strong. They weren't cheap, though. Honestly, I'm more likely to lose sunglasses than to ever break a pair, but that's me....
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:15 AM   #19
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... 12-18 months of use for a $60 pair of sunglasses seems very reasonable.....


I wear my regular prescription glasses everyday, and they last for years, and if it was easier, I'd get new lenses put in the old frames because often they are in good shape, I just need a new prescription. The frames themselves aren't all that much more than $60, the costs is in the lens, etc.

My custom fit clip-on sunglasses out-lasted my frames, and they were ~ $40.

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Old 07-06-2018, 09:24 AM   #20
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+1
High end sunglasses are in the hundreds of dollars. ...
So?

High end cars are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Does that mean I shouldn't expect a mid priced car to last 12 months?

$60 sunglasses - we aren't talking some cheap junk from a kiosk for $5.99. Or a Yugo to keep the car analogy alive.


What happened to the frugal LBYM'ers here? I blame RobbieB and his "Blow That Dough!" thread!

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