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Trader Joe’s has ditched its typically lenient return policy and has, instead, taken an approach similar to Costco – telling customers that they would not accept returns of “overbought products,” such as the items purchased in bulk amid the new coronavirus fears, according to a TMZ report.
"Due to the current circumstances, we are unable to accept returns on overbought products. Thank you,” read a sign posted at a Southern California store, according to the outlet.
The popular “neighborhood grocery store” chain is known to have a lenient return policy.
Club Trader Joes, a group of unaffiliated “loyal customers,” describes the previous return policy for its leniency, so long as you have either the item you are hoping to return or the receipt.
The original Trader Joe’s grocery store in Pasadena, Calif. Joe Coulombe, on Feb. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
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“If you are unsatisfied with anything you buy there for whatever reason, they will give you a refund at the cash register no question asked. Period,” the website states. “You need your product or a receipt to get money or exchange, but even half eaten food will be fully refunded. In all my years shopping there, I’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff.”
The grocer’s return policy does not appear to be listed on its own website.
Trader Joe’s has taken a proactive response to the COVID-19 outbreak, making changes to its free sample policy and, at least in some stores, limiting the number of people who enter the location at one time.
The return policy changes are similar to those enacted at Costco, which is no longer allowing its customers to return some of the products they might have bought in bulk, including toilet paper, paper towels, sanitizing wipes and water.
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A Trader Joe’s spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.