Some Costco stores are banning returns on items like toilet paper, soap, and rice as people panic-buy amid coronavirus fears
- At least some Costco stores are limiting returns for certain essential items like toilet paper and wipes.
- Stores across the US are running out of these items as panic-shoppers line up to buy them in bulk.
- Three employees at Costco warehouses in the Northeast, Texas, and Illinois told Business Insider that their stores had recently implemented the policy to reject returns on items that are in high demand.
- Costco did not return Business Insider's request for comment.
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As toilet paper and hand sanitizer run out in stores across the country, at least some Costco stores are now placing restrictions on returns for these now-high-ticket items.
Three employees in different Costco warehouses in the Northeast, Texas, and Illinois told Business Insider that their stores had recently implemented the policy to reject returns on items that are in high demand, such as hand sanitizer, water, paper towels, rice, and Lysol. All of these employees, whose identities were confirmed by Business Insider, spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of repercussion from management.
A Costco representative did not return Business Insider's request for comment.
An anonymous Costco Employee
Costco has experienced a major surge in sales in the last month, as shoppers flock to the warehouse stores to stock up amid coronavirus fears.
One employee in an Illinois Costco warehouse said the restriction is for sanitary purposes, as Costco cannot resell these items after they have left the building. This employee added that Costco is trying to prevent people from overbuying these items.
"Just in general, it's an insane time right now," a Costco employee in a Northeastern warehouse said about working in the store while items fly off the shelves daily.
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