Bed Bath & Beyond workers share secrets shoppers need to know

Bed Bath & Beyond is the store to go to for home goods, from the bathroom, to bedroom, to kitchen. Founded in 1971 by Warren Eisenberg and Leonard Feinstein, the store originated as Bed ‘n Bath in a single New Jersey location (via Racked). Fast forward to today and the store is part of a six-store retail group that also includes Harmon’s, Buy Buy Baby, Christmas Tree Shops, Linen Holdings, LLC, and Cost Plus World Market. Employees are encouraged to try different products, so chances are if you ask for a quick review, there’s an employee around who’s personally tried the item you are interested in.

And when it comes to that famous 20 percent off coupon, employees say people forget it “all the time” (via Reddit). Says an employee, “Generally speaking, we were instructed to not give out the coupon because then everyone would just get a discount and it would defeat the purpose. However, if a customer forgot, and went out of their way to be polite throughout the transaction, I would take care of them, but usually only if there wasn’t a line built up and no one could see. If I gave it to one, everyone else would want it, too” (via Mental Floss).

Bed Bath & Beyond employees reveal people can be gross

For the love of all things holy, respect your retail employees. Bed Bath & Beyond has historically had a very liberal return policy which means they’ll accept items that aren’t clean — but that doesn’t mean you need to be a slob. People frequently return dirty kitchenware (Ewww). As one employee on Reddit shares, people will lie about the item’s cleanliness too: “I would still return the item and everything but I didn’t wanna put something on the shelves that was dirty.”

“We had a lot of nasty returns from sheets with possible bed bugs to used dishes with food on them [and] used toilet bowl cleaners,” the employee says. “You name it” (via Mental Floss). These types of incidents may have resulted in an updated policy that’s a little more strict. Don’t worry though, you’ve never been at risk of purchasing dirty returned items as a customer. For example, an employee describes the process for returning sheets on Reddit, “If there’s even a slight sign that they have been used (stain, too wrinkly, rip, smells like detergent, perfume, or even weird smell) we send it back to the vendor and they send us a new one. But if they just didn’t like the color or how it fit we repackage it and throw it back on the shelves.”

There's just bed and bath, no beyond

The “Beyond” part of Bed Bath & Beyond is the extensive selection of online goods that extend the physical store’s inventory. There is no physical beyond you can visit. Describes one employee, “The back room is just overstock.” Another employee describes it as “absolutely nothing” but notes that the store carries a large number of obscure, odd, and fun cultural items you might not expect. Employees would kindly ask you to stop going into back rooms and looking for the beyond, and instead, stay with the home decor and wonderfully fluffy towels. 

And speaking of fluffy towels, what is known as towel heaven to many shoppers is a towel “hell” for many employees. Says one employee, “The worst [part] was probably the towels. People would unfold them, drop them off in the wrong spot when they found a better one, or mess with our display towels, which were a pain to do.” Now in fairness, this probably isn’t all laziness, as most of us can’t fold a towel as gorgeously as a Bed Bath & Beyond employee, so here’s a great video showing you how to get it just right. Hint: It’s a matter of folding in thirds in the right order (via TikTok).

And don’t worry if you get stuck with towels or a crazy return request — Bed Bath & Beyond employees are trained to find solutions. If you need help, just ask.

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