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6 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-World Market Employees

The next time you're buying fun furniture or funky candy, heed these warnings.

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World Market sells relatively inexpensive furniture, home decor, gifts, snacks, and even wine in some states. Before 2021, the retailer was called Cost Plus World Market because its initial concept was selling items at cost plus 10 percent. But even with the name change, the chain still attracts devoted shoppers who love everything from the colorful throw pillows to the selection of British chocolates. However, even if you love wandering the aisles, there are some insider tips you'll want to be aware of. Read on to learn the most important warnings from ex-World Market employees.

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Know that "damaged" merchandise is getting thrown out.

View of tables and chairs for sale at a Cost Plus World Market store.
Joni Hanebutt / Shutterstock

Maybe you want to test out a particularly comfortable-looking couch or hold up an elegant pitcher—but be careful. Once an item has a flaw, it can no longer be sold. And unfortunately, World Market does not donate these.

Prior employee @ermmilay tweeted, "i literally had to break chairs that had a flaw in them when i worked at world market."

Twitter user @Liciaa_Renee divulged that when her mother worked at World Market, items easily ended up in the garbage. "Things that didn't get sold or had minor scratches & stains, they got thrown in the trash!"

You can buy the floor models.

Happy couple buying a couch at a home improvement store and talking to a saleswoman - business concepts

Normally, buying a couch means you'll have to wait to have the item shipped to you. But if you know the right questions to ask at Cost Plus World Market, you can walk out of the store that day with your new piece of furniture.

"I used to work at world market and they nearly always have the couches in stock in the back…If they're not in the back complain to a manager and they'll sell you the floor model. did it all the time when i worked there," revealed Redditor jortsinstock. Just be sure to double-check for any imperfections.

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

Don't expect to return your furniture.

inside the furniture at a world market
Helen89 / Shutterstock

But once you buy that furniture, don't expect to make a return (especially if you purchased a floor model).

"When I worked at World Market, we had a reasonable return policy on most items. Except furniture. People would ALWAYS come and get an entire $8,000 furniture set to entertain for holidays and then try to return it. It clearly stated in our policy, that furniture was only returned if it was defective on arrival. So if you opened up the box and a shelf was broken we'd take it back. If you assembled it at home and used it for a week then returned it, we'd say no," explained ex-employee evanjw90 on Reddit.

Don't be surprised if a store is understaffed.

Front of a Cost Plus World Market Store
JJava Designs / Shutterstock

In 2021, World Market owner Bed Bath & Beyond sold the store to private equity firm Kingswood Capital Management. On the job review site Glassdoor, an employee complained about the new owners' lack of care for employees.

"Full-time employment is rare. In a store with a few dozen employees and only 3 or 4 get more than 30 hours a week," the anonymous employee wrote. "Departments and management have been shaved down. There used to be department leaders in sections, such as the food "Gourmet" section. Now, there's no really oversight in that—it's just a free for all for employees to try to look after the departments, but then employees get pulled onto other things because the stores are forced to be understaffed."

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Not all items scan easily.

furniture inside cost plus world market
Joni Hanebutt / Shutterstock

If you want to return something, it has to be scanned. But much like Hobby Lobby, sometimes items at World Market don't scan correctly.

A former employee with the username @dad_m3m3s wrote on Twitter, "When I worked at world market if something didn't scan I'd just put it in the bag bc no one was watching me and there were no cameras."

On the anonymous job feedback board Indeed, other ex-employees complained about how many items don't scan. "You try to ring people up at register and sooo many items do not scan," wrote one.

And on the job review site Simply Hired, a cashier said, "…if you get a job here be prepared to deal with the extremely outdated technology they use and refuse to update. The registers are giant calculators and are so fussy."

Make sure to bring your ID shopping.

woman buying alcohol at the store
NDAB Creativity / Shutterstock

Some World Markets sell fun wine and interesting alcohol from all over the world. If you're picking some up for your bar cart, have your ID handy. It doesn't matter how old you are or how old you look, employees will always ask you to show your ID.

"When I worked at world market we had to ID everyone regardless of age and I had soooo many old people who LOVED when I asked for their ID and said they were gonna tell their friends they got IDd😂💕," wrote ex-employee @maddieiswoke on Twitter.

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