5 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Bath & Body Works Employees

Heed this advice before stepping into your favorite mall store.

There's nothing quite like walking into a Bath & Body Works. You're inundated with the smells of Sweet Pea and Cucumber Melon, and everything from lotions to candles is colorfully packaged and affordable. These products make for great gifts, and the sales are the perfect time to stock up on hand sanitizer and body wash. With more than 1,700 North American stores and 300 more internationally, it's a timeless favorite. But some former employees say that no matter how much you love this chain's lotions and potions, there are some things you should know. Read on to discover the most important warnings from ex-employees, from how not to make exchanges to the coupons you should leave at home.

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Beware of confusing exchanges.

woman carrying bath and body works shopping back
Yuliasis / Shutterstock

If you constantly purchase items online and then return them in the store, you might want to think twice. "The way the online return system [works] makes no sense, it makes things confusing and annoying for both the customer and associate," employee Low-Environment-6571 explains on Reddit. "If you want a refund from your online order, we put it through as an online receipt return and you get the money back to your card. If you want to exchange [an item] from an online order, the online return system does not allow us to do exchanges in the system."

They say that you basically have to re-buy the item, and the price you paid will still be honored. But this often confuses customers when the item appears twice on their receipt. What makes it more confusing is that some previous employees note in the comments section that they aren't trained on how to do these types of exchanges. If you're someone who buys and changes their mind a lot, you may just want to shop in-store.

Stores are stocked differently depending on location.

Bath & Body Works storefront
MrWinn / Shutterstock

Because Bath & Body Works is a chain, you might expect that each one will be stocked the exact same way, making it easy to find merchandise quickly. But stores are set up differently based on who's in charge, and the layout can especially change during the holidays with seasonal employees.

"Our store is relatively low volume even on huge sale days, so I'd often go from being a cashier to stocking shelves," explains Reddit user littlestorm208 in a post titled "I'm happy I ended up quitting my seasonal job." However, they say they were never trained for this task. "My manager just told me to put more soaps on the shelf that matched the ones already there, so I did. Come to find out I was doing it wrong."

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There's a solid employee discount.

Bath and Body Works products on shelves
Mohd Syis Zulkipli / Shutterstock

This isn't so much a warning as it is a secret tip. If you know someone who works at Bath & Body Works, you might want to make use of their discount, which is 30 percent according to an ex-employee on Reddit. It can sometimes be as much as 40 or 50 percent depending on the time of year.

Staff is also given free scents and allowed to choose products. "You'll get to test some of the new fragrances for free (ex. a Gingham body care item of your choice once a year or so, a Christmas scent when they come out, etc.) so that you can recommend them to customers and give your honest opinion," the Redditor divulged.

Make sure to double-check your coupons.

bed bath and beyond Retail Store Signage Outdoors

It's easy to get the popular store confused with similarly named chains. One former employee went viral on TikTok when she shared a story about working there for a month as a seasonal employee. "When I worked at Bath & Body Works I always had moms/grandmothers come in with Bed Bath & Beyond coupons," user skifukindaddle explains. "I didn't have the heart to tell them they were wrong so I just took their coupon when they gave it to me & scanned a coupon from the stack behind the register without them knowing."

Of course, not every employee will give you a discount code when you bring in the wrong coupon, so make sure to double-check before you go.

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This is the reason the store can feel overwhelming.

Bath and Body Works store at mall
Mike Mozart / Flickr

Do you love Bath & Body Works products but would rather shop online than have an aggressive salesperson approach you? It's actually not their fault that they can seem so intense while you're trying to shop and sniff.

"As a former Bath & Body Works employee they make it a priority to increase conversion and meet certain goals," TikTok user serenityxrose21 explains. She says employees are "ready to try to sell you something and [give] you a bag without asking if you need one," because that's what the higher-ups request. So, next time you're in the store, don't feel overwhelmed when you're immediately handed a shopping basket; instead, take your time and enjoy the experience.

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