Amid coronavirus, Costco refuses toilet paper returns

Costco's policy change follows days of long lines of customers stocking up on toilet paper, other items in bulk

Costco is no longer allowing its customers to return some of the products they might have bought in bulk, including toilet paper, which is highly coveted and hard to come by amid the new coronavirus panic.

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The store policy was instituted just days before U.S. Attorney General William Barr addressed the public during a Monday night press conference with President Trump. Barr made a point of calling out those who are hoarding and gouging the prices of certain items, largely "critical medical and health supplies."

Barr said the federal government had established a national task force to address supply chain issues related to price gouging and hoarding, and the Department of Justice will be assigning prosecutors in each U.S. district to pursue the matter.

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"If you are – have a big supply of toilet paper in your house, this is not something you have to worry about, but if you are sitting on an – on a warehouse with masks – surgical masks, you will be hearing a knock on your door."

Customers wait in lines that stretch to the back of the store at a Costco Warehouse in Irwindale, Calif., on March 6, 2020. (Ken Johnson via AP)

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TMZ was first to report the wholesale giant's new policy, which says store employees will not accept the returns of toilet paper, paper towels, water, rice, Lysol and sanitizing wipes.

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT COSTCO

A Costco spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment, but confirmed to Phoenix, Arizona's KMOV4 station the company will not allow returns for items stocked up in bulk.

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COSTCOSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION347.00+2.37+0.69%

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Just days earlier, social media users showed the long lines just to get into the stores, where many people then stocked up on whatever they deemed necessary – as long as they could get their hands on it.

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