While Costco is known for having one of the most generous return policies around, Costco Optical works a little differently.
Technically, Costco does not generally offer returns on prescription glasses. Because prescription glasses are custom made, they do not fall under Costco’s standard return policy. However, the answer is more complex than that, so keep reading.
The key part of Costco’s return policy to pay attention to here is this:
“Custom product(s) manufactured to our member’s personal and unique specifications cannot be returned or refunded, except for warranty repair/replacement due to failure to meet specifications.”
In other words, prescription glasses are, as a rule, non-refundable at Costco. However, if the optician who fitted your frames or set your prescription made any errors during this process and you can effectively argue that your glasses were not made to the proper specifications, then you should be protected by the return policy.
That said, Costco Optical centers vary a lot from location to location because the opticians and optometrists who work at these vision centers are not actually Costco employees. They are independent practitioners who contract with Costco Optical.
We have heard accounts of some Costco Optical locations expecting returns to be requested within 30 days of purchase, while other locations have been known to allow up to 90 days for returns on defective glasses.
It’s also important to know that before issuing you a full refund, Costco Optical will likely try troubleshooting the problems you’re having with your glasses.
If the frames can be adjusted or replaced or if the lenses can be replaced with the right prescription, Costco will likely try these methods before offering a full refund. That said, with or without repair or replacement attempts, some customers have successfully received refunds on their Costco glasses.
Non-prescription glasses (such as sunglasses or over-the-counter reading glasses) are not custom made and are therefore protected by Coscto’s 100% satisfaction guarantee return policy. These types of glasses can be returned at any time for any reason.
Return Policy for Prescription Glasses
Prescription glasses are custom-made items. Therefore, they fall under the exclusions noted in Costco’s return policy and do not qualify for the risk-free, 100% satisfaction guarantee policy.
However, if a custom-made item at Costco does not meet intended or stated specifications, then they may qualify for returns or exchanges. In other words, if your glasses weren’t fitted properly or if you were given the wrong prescription, then you will have valid grounds on which to request a return or exchange.
As a rule, Costco Optical will generally attempt to repair or replace prescription glasses before issuing a refund. If repair or replacement is not possible (or if you are insistent enough), then you might be able to receive a full refund.
Return Policy for Non-Prescription Glasses
Non-prescription glasses, such as sunglasses or over-the-counter reading glasses, are not custom made and are therefore protected by Costco’s standard return policy. These types of glasses can be returned at any time for any reason.
Return Policy For Contact Lenses
Despite also being custom made, contact lenses can be returned to Costco Optical at any time and for any reason. Whether or not you have used your lenses, you can simply take them directly to Costco Optical and request a refund.
You can return contact lenses in store at a Costco Optical location or online through Costco.com. Simply click on the “Return/Replace Order” button in the left-hand column.
How To Return Glasses To Costco
If you would like to attempt to return your prescription glasses to Costco, you will need to visit the Costco Optical center where you purchased your glasses.
Speak to someone at the counter and explain why you would like a refund. The Costco Optical employee will likely ask you some questions to find out whether there’s anything they can do to adjust or repair your glasses.
Because returning glasses to Costco Optical is not standard practice, you might have to speak to several people in the process of requesting your return.
Can You Return Glasses To Costco Without A Receipt?
If you’d like to return your glasses to Costco Optical but you no longer have your receipt, don’t worry! Returns at Costco don’t require a receipt. Costco Optical will be able to look up your purchase in their system to verify the purchase record.
Costco Exchange Policy For Glasses
Exchanges and returns work essentially the same way at Costco. If something is eligible for return, then it’s generally also eligible for an exchange.
However, when it comes to prescription glasses, Costco Optical is generally much more likely to offer an exchange than a full refund.
If your glasses do not fit correctly or if your prescription is wrong, Costco Optical will likely offer to repair your glasses by adjusting the frames or replacing the lenses with the correct prescription.
If this is not possible for some reason, then they are likely to offer you an exchange for a replacement pair of glasses that better suit your needs.
If none of these options are possible, then you might qualify for a refund.
This Reddit thread offers some good real-world info regarding exchanging glasses at Costco. Long story short: it’s possible!
Here’s some more info on glasses exchanges at Costco from another Reddit thread we found.
Can you return glasses to Costco if you don’t like them?
Only if they are non-prescription. Non-prescription glasses can be returned to Costco at any time for any reason. However, Costco Optical only accepts returns on prescription glasses if there is an issue with the frame fit or lens prescription.
Does Costco have a warranty on eyeglasses?
Technically, no. However, Costco Optical will attempt to repair or replace your glasses if there was an issue with the way they were made. They do not offer repairs or replacements on glasses that have been scratched, broken, or damaged during use.
What are Costco Optical hours?
Costco Optical hours vary by location. However, most Costco Optical locations open between 9 and 10 am and close between 6 and 9 pm. Look up your local Costco Optical location to find out their hours.
Is Costco membership mandatory to return glasses?
Yes. Purchasing glasses and contact lenses from Costco requires a membership, as do returns. Costco’s return policy does not apply to people without a membership, even if they had an active membership at the time of purchase. Active membership is required for access to Costco’s return policy.
How long can you get to replace or alter incorrectly prescribed glasses?
This varies by Costco Optical location, but you will typically have between 30 and 90 days to request a replacement or alteration for incorrectly fitted or prescribed glasses. When purchasing your glasses, be sure to ask someone at your Costco Optical center how long you will have to request repairs, replacements, or refunds.
Does Costco recycle old glasses?
Yes. You can recycle your old glasses at Costco for redistribution to those in need.
Buying prescription glasses at Costco has its benefits. Lenses and frames are generally affordable, and you can get your glasses at the same place where you get, well, everything else! But when it comes to the return policy, Costco isn’t quite as impressive as we’d hoped. If you’re hoping to buy glasses with a risk-free guarantee, try somewhere like Walmart Vision Center which offers risk-free returns for 60 days.