What if you could buy a product, use it until it wears down or breaks, and then return it—even years later—for a full refund or exchange? Sounds like wishful thinking, right? Amazingly, that is precisely how returns work at Bed, Bath, & Beyond. In this post, I’ll explain how to make the most of their generous return policy. But first, I want to share four quick stories that illustrate just how absurdly generous the policy is. You won’t believe what they are willing to let you return.
Top 4 Stories of Returns to Bed, Bath, & Beyond
The following four stories illustrate the absurdly generous return policy of Bed, Bath, & Beyond:
#4. My Return of a Patio Umbrella
My wife and I purchased a patio umbrella for about $120 from Bed, Bath, & Beyond in 2014. When it broke a year later, Bed, Bath, & Beyond exchanged it for a new one.
That replacement umbrella then broke just recently, after more than 2 years of frequent use and constant exposure to the elements. We took it back to Bed, Bath, & Beyond, and they exchanged it for an identical, brand new replacement.
Our initial outlay of $120, more than three years ago, has provided us with three patio umbrellas. That’s an average of $40/year for a brand new umbrella. And if and when our third umbrella breaks in the future, you can be sure I will exchange it for a new one.
#3. My Friend’s Return of a Broken Glass
A glass that my friend purchased at Bed, Bath, & Beyond dropped to the floor and shattered in pieces. He put the pieces in a Ziploc bag, brought them in to the store, and asked if they would replace it with a new glass.
The answer? Absolutely, no problem.
#2. My Brother’s Return of a Knife
My brother owned a knife set from Bed, Bath, & Beyond. At some point, part of the handle on one of the smallest knives broke.
He took the knife in and asked if they could replace it. The salesperson told him that Bed, Bath, & Beyond no longer carried the exact set from which that knife came. As a result, the salesperson told my brother to go ahead and pick out an entire new knife set in exchange for the one broken knife.
My brother declined that amazing offer. But the fact that the salesperson was willing to let him do that illustrates the generosity of Bed, Bath, & Beyond’s return policy.
#1. My Friend’s Return of a Trash Can
And now, for the most absurd story.
My friend’s trashcan broke. He took it to Bed, Bath, & Beyond to get a replacement.
The salesperson who helped my friend said that Bed, Bath, & Beyond had never sold that type of trashcan in the past. The manager, who was called over, affirmed the same.
But my friend was confident that he had purchased it there. So the manager allowed my friend to exchange his broken trashcan for a brand new one.
It wasn’t until sometime later that it became known to my friend that he was, in fact, wrong. The broken trashcan had originally come from Walmart, not Bed, Bath, & Beyond!
Think about that: the manager knew the trashcan being returned could not originally have been purchased at Bed, Bath, & Beyond. Nevertheless, he accepted for return what turned out to be Walmart’s broken trashcan and gave my friend a brand new one. That is how absurdly generous Bed, Bath, & Beyond is when it comes to returns.
How to Make the Most of Bed, Bath, & Beyond’s Return Policy
While I don’t, of course, advocate trying to return something to Bed, Bath, & Beyond that wasn’t purchased there, I do advocate making use of their generous return policy. Specifically, you should:
Buy Things that are Likely to Wear or Break
Because of their generous return policy, Bed, Bath, & Beyond is a fine place to shop for most any product they carry.
That said, Bed, Bath, & Beyond is an especially excellent place to buy anything that is likely to wear down or break over time. Examples from above include glassware and patio umbrellas. Other products that strike me as good candidates include towels, shower curtains, rugs, and luggage.
Save Your Receipt
If you have your original receipt, Bed, Bath, & Beyond will exchange or refund your original purchase at any time, even years later. For that reason, I recommend you create a “Bed, Bath, & Beyond” folder and save all your relevant receipts there.
If you don’t have your receipt but purchased the product in the past 365 days, Bed, Bath, & Beyond can often look up your purchase and provide the same exchange or return as if you had your receipt.
If they can’t find record of your purchase, they will provide an exchange or credit for the current selling price of the product, less 20%. You can read their full return policy, including exclusions, here.
Bed, Bath, & Beyond offers an extremely generous return policy. Whether it is unreasonably generous is not for me to decide. I can only speculate that they believe the policy to be worth the customer service that it provides, not to mention the free publicity from folks like myself who rave about their policy.
What I am confident about is that if a store offers a policy, customers should feel no shame in taking advantage of it. I’m all for saving money in honest ways.
In this particular case, for purchases of products that are likely to wear or break, we are smart to buy them from Bed, Bath, & Beyond so that we can return or exchange those products if desired.
Question: Do you have any good stories of product returns to Bed, Bath, & Beyond? Or have you had great experiences returning products to other stores? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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