• Tue, Jan 28 - 10:00 am ET

Do Not Register At ‘Buy Buy Baby’ Because It’s A Total Nightmare

buybuybaby is awfulThe first time I walked into a Buy Buy Baby pregnant I had a panic attack. If I had been smart, I would have turned around and gone somewhere else to stock up on my baby supplies. Instead I registered there for my baby shower. I wish I hadn’t.

At face value, Buy Buy Baby seems like the perfect place to register for baby items. They have walls stacked to the ceiling with baby products and seem to carry every thing a baby could ever need. Before I got pregnant, I loved going in there to get cute little outfits for friends and relatives’ babies.

But shopping as a parent there has been nightmare fuel. They look at pregnant ladies like wounded prey waiting to be devoured. After I caught my breath that first time in, I walked about five feet before being attacked by an employee who started spewing facts about useless products to me. Each department is guarded by some “expert” who would just love to tell you useless information about every product in their department that you need.

It’s like a video game where you have to defeat a new boss at every level to get through the store. Especially when you’re carrying one of those zappers that connects products to your registry. Within five minutes of talking to me, the BBB bottle expert had removed my zapper from my hand and started zapping products I needed instead of explaining them to me.

I got home with about 40 products on my registry that I knew I’d never use. It was easy to delete them and start fresh, but that was the least of my issues.

Buy Buy Baby is at best a time suck. More often, it is a customer service nightmare and money pit. I had my baby shower in May of last year and it took me until this month to spend the store credit that I accumulated from returned/exchanged gifts. That was 10 months to spend about $300.

Why did it take so long? I’ve spent well more than that on my baby since then. Diapers, toys, clothes, and bath supplies are all items I’ve purchased that Buy Buy Baby sells. But exchanging products has been such a nightmare that I have just done my baby shopping online and avoided the store entirely.

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  • Alexandra

    DAMN I wish I had seen this 2 weeks ago. My hubby and I are SO aggravated with BBB – here are a couple examples:
    1) you cannot buy the furniture off the registry online, you need to call the store, if you get a halfway competent employee, they will fill out a PAPER RECEIPT and mail it to you, with an order form from a furniture store. Making registering for these items pretty f-ing pointless – I could have just told my inlaws where to call for a crib and had them go to the furniture supplier directly.
    2) Almost every piece of cloth in the store comes from China. I’m not against this per se, but they charge double for so called “organic” products from China, but that means nothing since Chinese manufacturing standards are nonexistent. So they’re essentially just fraudulently getting more money from people who think they’re being conscientious by buying organic.
    AAARRRGGGGG.

  • DeliciousIroning

    My city got a Bye Bye Baby sometime between my second and last kid. I visited while pregnant and after about half an hour looking at completely useless, overpriced stuff, walked back out. That was last year. My baby is 8 months and I’ve never felt the desire to go back. The place is only for first timers who don’t have a clue.

  • Angela Brown

    When we registered for our son we asked friends with kids what from the list provided by BBB we actually needed. We were in and out of there in two hours. It’s really not that serious.

  • Bethany Ramos

    What is with their hatred of store credit? I’m not really familiar with BBB, but you’d think they would fix all of the store credit hoops you have to jump through when dealing with agitated, needy parents.

    • keanesian

      I think they just don’t expect you to use it. They’re all: “Returns! Free money for us!”

    • sherryberry

      Actually, from an accounting standpoint, store credit is a liability and cannot be claimed as an asset on your taxes. I can’t recall if there is a statute of limitations, but yeah. Most places I know try to hound you into exchanging rather than returning for store credit because they get to mark the asset column or some such nonsense.

  • Aimee Beff

    Yiiiikes. My family tried to convince to register at BBB since it’s convenient shopping for some older family members, but I said no and I’m glad I did since the nearest one is more than an hour away by car! I would NOT be into driving an hour and a quarter on icy Wisconsin roads with the twins in the backseat to spend $50 on diapers. We went with Babies R Us, which had some weird stocking issues (only buy in store/only online) but we could do our whole registry online, which was great for me with my brief period of “let’s go do stuff!!” between super morning sickness and being the size of a bungalow.

  • aCongaLine

    We went into one when our first baby was about 9 months old, to buy a sippy cup, since we left ours at home. There was a GIANT WALL of every type of sippy cup ever. And a sales person who kept asking our daughter which type of nipple she preferred. Um. She’s a baby. STFU.

    I was so overwhelmed, I had a full blown panic attack, and we had to leave.

    BBB is def not for the faint of heart.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      I don’t think asking ANYONE what type of nipple they prefer is acceptable!!!
      If it’s a kid, not appropriate to ask.
      If it’s my partner- well tough luck if he doesn’t like ‘em, I can hardly grow a new pair!

    • aCongaLine

      She meant well, but, like, seriously. Babies can’t talk. WTF.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      That comment about nipple preference actually made my day lol

    • aCongaLine

      aww. so funny. :)

  • Kat

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who walked into a mega baby store while pregnant (mine was a Babies R Us) and had a full blown panic attack and had to leave. I took one look at the giant wall of bottles and freaked out. How am I supposed to raise a human being if I can’t even figure out which bottles to use?! It was terrifying. But it’s okay. As I type this, he’s happily bouncing in his Jump and Jive and is about to get a tommee tippee bottle. We figured it out. After we registered online.

    • SA

      hahaha!! By the end of our first trip into BRU to register – I had a panic attack and was crying before I left. We went after work and before dinner. A horrible combination.

  • Kate

    How funny – I had such a HEINOUS experience 2 years ago with BRU that I sought out BBB for Baby #2. I’ve been to the NYC store and I loved it! I found the people helpful, not at all pushy. The new SI store, OTH, the employee was pushy. I have been in stores in Delaware and Virginia with no problems. BRU, OTH, was like hell on earth. A punishment for being pregnant. Maybe I’m having a better experience b/c I need much less stuff? I will say, our new local one w/in Bed, Bath & Beyond does leave a little to be desired on selection, but I still just refuse to spend another dime in BRU after my first daughter.

  • Alexis Rhiannon

    ICE COLD.
    (But I love it.)

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  • gothicgaelicgirl

    This is why I am soooo thankful for a bad habit of mine-
    I photocopy EVERY receipt and pin it to my noticeboard.
    Like, EVERYTHING.
    Pretty sure I can go right back to my first smartphone lol

  • Jenna Nieves

    I registered on Amazon and at Target and it was the perfect combination. I really didn’t need to bother with Amazon since Target has all the basics at decent prices and you can buy everything online or in the store. I went inside a BBB once because a friend registered there and it was horrible. Their prices are so much higher than almost every other store for the same damn brands!

  • Sara Berghoff

    I did the Spend Spend Baby registration, but I took 2 friends who had toddlers with me instead of my husband. I rejected all “assistance” and “recommended lists” from the store and it all turned out quite nicely. I think you just have to outsmart the store. Out of all of the stores, they have received best coupon policy (price match, accept competitors coupons including Kohl’s) and they have a seat from a car so you can test the car seats. So if you go in with a plan, it works.

    • JLH1986

      We ever get preggo, I’m taking my two closest mom friends and getting what they “need” not what I think I want. They are moms they’ve done this. I haven’t. Employees are meant to get sales not actual advice.

  • Amy

    I have to disagree. I found the employees at Buy Buy Baby to be knowledgable and kind. I think the store is designed for a convienient shopping experience and I have found returns to be very convienient. I’m not a huge fan of the return receipt in lieu of a gift card, but why would you leave the store without spending it? You always need diapers!

  • Hanna

    I only learned of Buy Buy Baby after my second child was born and could NOT wait to go to one when I visited my sister, since there is not one around me. I knew they had cloth diapers, and since I had only ever bought cloth diapers online, I couldn’t wait to shop for them at an actual store. STUPID! That store was straight up ridiculous. I thought most of their stuff was overpriced or just crap. The diapers were insanely expensive and it was a waste of my damn time to even go in there! I walked out with like one hairbow and a book about a fox since my daughter was obsessed with “What Does the Fox Say” at the time lol. I will never go in there again.

    • Alexandra

      OOH where do you get cloth diapers online that are cheaper?? I would love this information!!! :)

  • Momma425

    I have never been to this store, but thanks for the warning. Won’t go- sounds ridiculously inconvenient and overwhelming.
    I’ll just stick to babies-r-us. :)

  • kay

    This is why I only registered at Target.

    …and then my MIL got us a giant gift certificate to Babies R Us. Our baby is almost 8 months old, we still haven’t spent it all. Everything is cheaper at Target/Amazon/Costco, the store is gross inside, and I can’t impulse buy anything fun for myself at BRU.

    • SusannahJoy

      My mother got me a Target gift card for Christmas. Only she didn’t get an actual physical one, she sent it to my email. It’s taken 6 trips, and now I’m pretty sure that I actually do know how to use. I had to download stuff and enter numbers and create accounts and none of the employees knew what they were doing. Ugh.

    • kay

      Oh that’s what ours is too! We had to print it out and for some reason they wouldn’t just transfer it to a normal gift card. Annoying!

    • AmazingAsh

      Babies R Us will Price Match Target and Amazon (as long as it’s an Amazon-filled item).

      http://m.toysrus.com/shop/index.jsp?categoryId=11949070

    • kay

      oh good to know!

    • JLH1986

      I HATE TRU and BRU. My CC was stolen around Xmas. This person decimated our account. left us $2 for 2 weeks. They shopped at TRU and Walmart. I call Walmart they stop the order and refund my money in less than 24 hours. TRU? Unless the police contact them nothing they can do, they won’t stop the order, they can’t tell me anything about the order to tell the police so the police will call. WHen I asked what if I said it was a gift and I couldn’t remember where I sent it and provided my CC? Well we would have provided that information to you immediately…EFF Toys R Us

    • kay

      oof, having CC info stolen sucks! You can learn who is awesome and not from it though. I had someone use my name on bad checks (not linked to my account thank goodness!) last year. Target and Les Scwab (a NW tire and other auto stuff place) were AMAZING and super easy (the Les Schwab manager even helped me file the police report as they were being super not helpful when I called the cops). Everyone else sucked.

    • JLH1986

      I never in my life thought “Walmart was fantastic” would cross my lips. Alas, they were in fact, fantastic about getting our money back. Good to know Target doesn’t play either! I love Target!

  • Kay_Sue

    Damn. Where was this article four years ago when I was preparing our Babies R Us to compete with a newly opened Buy Buy Baby? I would have loved it. :)

  • AE Vorro

    Thanks for this article! I was already avoiding the store because the name is so tasteless, but I’m glad that there are actual reasons beyond my own righteous indignation!

  • Jallun-Keatres

    I never registered for my baby as nobody followed my wedding registry. My grandparents, the only ones who would even look at it, got me either cash or I told them an item I wanted. I got a gift card at BRU and OMG it was so pricey anyway and the cashier was pushy with all kinds of “discounts if you do this and that.” I was 39 weeks pregnant and wanted so badly to coldly say “JUST….. ring me up.”

    Burlington Coat Factory por le win.

  • Teleute

    I’ve not had anything but great experiences with BuyBuyBaby. The staff at the store nearest me is always friendly and helpful, they’re better stocked than any other baby store, and they accept both competitor’s coupons and coupons from Bed Bath & Beyond — even if they’re expired. And I’ve never had a problem with returns and exchanges, even if I didn’t have a receipt.

    • emily_bemily

      Check with your store before you try expired BBB coupons – my store did not take the expired ones.

    • Pzonks

      My store will only take valid coupons as well. But I love that they take them!

  • Music Mamma

    I actually love Buy Buy Baby (it’s the coupons). I know what I’m shopping for and they have lots of good brands. Babies R Us made me lose my mind. It took points off my IQ every time I walked in that store.

  • SusannahJoy

    Tip for the paper receipts! You can usually buy gift cards with them. So have them give you your store credit with them, and then turn around and immediately buy a gift card for that amount. That’s what we did at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

  • Pzonks

    Non parent here but I LOVE Buy Buy Baby as do most of my friends who are Moms. They take coupons from Bed Bath and Beyond, Christmas Tree Shop, Harrmon Drug, Kohls, newspapers, what’s not to love about saving money? 20% off, $5 off, PLUS manufacture coupons? SCORE.
    Plus, the people who work at the store by me are SO friendly and not in that “we are padding our sales numbers for today” way. I was shopping for a baby shower and picked up the wrong item. The cashier caught it and called back to someone to see if they had the right item. I figured I’d have to go meet the guy back there. Nope, they brought it up to the register for me!
    And the return policy is great, both Buy Buy Baby and Bed Bath & Beyond will take stuff back that’s on your registry without receipts EASILY, try that at Target (no actually don’t, it’s a nightmare). A friend just was able to exchange an item from her wedding registry that she discovered was broken…..nearly 3 years after her wedding!

  • Sam Inoue

    We don’t have this store in Japan, but lord have mercy this is awful. I have had experience with idiotic customer service at baby stores, they act like you know nothing and I know their only goal is to up sell you on crap you don’t need.
    Thanks for this hilariously scathing review, I’ll know if we ever move back to the states where I won’t be going!

  • Ash

    I was really surprised to read this as I live in NYC too and Buy Buy baby in my opinion is the best place to shop. After nightmares trying to return stuff at Babysrus, we try to stick to BBB as their customer service is excellent. Their staff are so helpful, their prices cheaper than other stores like Babysrus etc. I have had nothing but good experiences with BBB over the years.

  • Emily Olivia

    Thank you for sharing valuable information. Nice post. I enjoyed reading this post. The whole blog is very nice found some good stuff and good information here Thanks..Also visit my page baby organic clothing

  • Jordan

    This store is the absolute worst. Registering here was a huge mistake. Amazon’s registry was a wonderful experience. The fact that they don’t allow you to use a store credit online is just about the dumbest thing I have ever heard and I can’t imagine it is legal. I will always recommend that people avoid registering here.

  • DCLady

    Love Buy Buy Baby. Yes, it is completely overwhelming due to the amount of products. BUT if you know what you want and go in with a 20% coupon and ask them to price match with Amazon, you can get some great deals.