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6 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Bed Bath & Beyond Employees

There's plenty you didn't know about the popular home goods store.

When it comes to home goods, very few stores are quite as beloved as Bed Bath & Beyond. The one-stop shop makes it easy to outfit your kitchen, overhaul your bathroom, fully furnish a dorm room, and upgrade your sheets and bedding. And even though the store's financial standing may have seen better days, customers keep coming back thanks to the wide selection, low prices, and that never-ending supply of coupons. But even if you've spent plenty of time perusing the aisles, there's still a lot about the famous retailer you didn't know. Read on to see ex-Bed Bath & Beyond employees' warnings for shoppers.

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Digital coupons may not work as flawlessly as paper ones.


The iconic oversized Bed Bath & Beyond coupons that always find their way into your mailbox are so entwined with the store's marketing that it's practically impossible to shop there without one. But while employees say you're likely to get your discount with practically any flyer you bring into the store, you might not have as much luck if you're trying to use an old promo from an email or the internet.

In an AMA on Reddit, a Bed Bath & Beyond supervisor with the username Factsip says that "as long as it is a paper coupon," employees will take your 20 percent off. "We are trained to accept them. If it is off your phone, when it's expired, it is expired." However, they add that with some persistence, they might be able to "honor it anyway with manager approval."

In another Reddit thread, Bed Bath & Beyond employee BBBworker says paper is king—even if you forgot one on your last visit. "My store accepts them [coupons] expired, and all stores will apply a coupon to a previous purchase when you give them your receipt. And we're taught from day one that customer service is our number one priority. This is why we're still in business."

They can't control the store's trademark mysterious smell.

inside bed bath & beyond
Retail Photographer / Shutterstock

The somewhat cluttered arrangement of most Bed Bath & Beyond stores may be a lot of stimulation for the eyes, but it has an effect on the nose, too: Every location seems to have a scent that is as indecipherable as it is unmistakable. Still, employees say they have no idea how it comes to be—and they certainly can't do anything about it.

"I honestly can't even tell you. Every store smells like that," a Bed Bath & Beyond retail associate with the user name singingxtree posted in a Reddit AMA. "We don't spray stuff in the morning, there's no plug-ins, there's nothing in our air vents. I'm sure it's a combination of the different scent packets, linen sprays, soaps, lotions, and anything else to that extent. I get a lot of angry husbands yelling at me because their wife had to leave because the 'perfume' we use is too strong."

READ THIS NEXT: 5 Warnings to Shoppers From Former T.J. Maxx Employees.

There's a long-running way to secure a great discount at the store besides coupons.

A man shopping in a bed bath & beyond store
Shutterstock / Nicole Glass Photography

As a home goods store that carries practically everything, Bed Bath & Beyond can be a no-brainer for couples setting up a wedding registry. But if you're just using it to collect gifts, you may be leaving a lot of potential savings on the table.

"Most people don't know about is that we keep the registries on file for two years [after the wedding date]," BBBworker explained in a Reddit post. "Anything you buy in the store, ask to add it to the registry. Not only does it serve as a receipt for two years, but you can also get 10 percent off things on your registry if you happen to forget your coupon.

It can also make taking items back to the store even easier. "If returning items off the registry, ask for cash back. If you tell them, 'I was told I could get cash back,' they'll do it," the employee says.

And this tactic can also make shopping on the store's website easier. "All online bridal sales off a registry are free shipping too, so if you put one thing on your order that's on a bridal registry, it gives you free shipping for everything," Bed Bath & Beyond employee Trollhole12 posted in a Reddit AMA.

You need to be doing your research before making purchases.

bed bath and beyond website shown on closeup of smart phone screen, blue background with white font

No matter what you're looking for in the home goods space, there's a good chance Bed Bath & Beyond will carry it. Unfortunately, that kind of convenience can make it easier to forget that just because there are so many items under one roof doesn't mean it's the best bargain out there. But employees say that one iron-clad store policy can make it easy to secure a much better price.

"If you can find the same thing somewhere else for cheaper, we definitely do price matches," BBBworker posted on Reddit. "And you can use a coupon on the item."

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There's one question they absolutely can't stand.

Bed Bath and Beyond Store {Discount Shopping}

Anyone who has shopped at Bed Bath & Beyond is familiar with the admittedly tired joke that even though bedding and bath-related products are easy to be found, the store's "beyond" section is usually nowhere to be seen. However, employees warn that they're the only ones who've heard it enough times for it to elicit eye rolls.

"The number of times I've been asked this question. Sigh," singingxtree posted in their AMA.

Other employees have offered a more straightforward—and seemingly logical—explanation. "All it is is our online store. No parallel universe, no alternate dimension, just the internet," Trollhole12 explained in a post.

Don't test drive the store's displays.

Inside Open Bed Bath and Beyond (Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA) - 10252019

Shopping for sheets or towels can be a very hands-on process. Shoppers know it's important to find out exactly how soft and luxurious bedding and linens feel before they make their purchases. But if you're ever tempted to jump into one of Bed Bath & Beyond's floor model display beds, employees have one warning for you: don't.

"The beds really aren't very comfy. They're made to look like they are super fluffy but, eh," BBBworker explains. "When people sit or sleep on our beds, my reactions vary. If they're being obnoxious teenagers and messing stuff up, I'll warn them that I'm about to call a manager and that they'd better quit doing that before security gets called."

It's more likely you'll get the help you'll need if you ask for some assistance. "If they're honestly just trying to look for bedding, then I usually try and help them find something. I've found people lying on the floors trying out pillows. It's more common than you may think," BBBworker says.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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