Located at the Chimney Rock Plaza in Bridgewater, NJ is a chain store called Cost Plus World Market.

We recently checked it out – and will share the scoop with you all.

Cost Plus World Market {shrugs}

Without knowing anything about Cost Plus World Market – you’d get some initial impressions upon walking in. You might be reminiscent of places like Pottery Barn or even Pier One Imports.

The Cost Plus World Market bills themselves as some kind of “importer of fine goods” from bazaars around the world. They make it appear as if they buy “one of a kind” items from some sidewalk artisans in the third world.

That may have been true when this “San Fransisco Businessman” started the company in the 1950s. However, we feel that it might be a bit of a misrepresentation in 2019.

What we think it is – is mass-produced items made with cheap labor overseas, for the high markup profit for a corporation. 250 stores nationwide, plus a comprehensive online presence – doesn’t match up with their “story,” does it.

Expensive is what Cost Plus World Market is

Upon quick inspection – it appears that many of the hard items (furniture, decorations) were of satisfactory quality.

However, the price certainly reflects that as well. Almost everything we saw seemed WAY OVER-PRICED for what you were getting. To be fair, some even appeared to be well made! We actually liked some things (like a dining room table), but our jaws hit the ground when we saw the prices.

Same can be said for most of the (shelf-stable) food products they sold. I’m talking double or triple the cost of other stores that sell this stuff. For example:

This Typhoo Tea we like costs a fraction less where we buy it (Ocean State Job Lot.) It was $7 for 80 tea bags at Cost Plus World Market – and you get 120 tea bags for $4 at OSJL. So that’s 50% more, for about half the cost. A 300% difference!

Cost Plus World Market (almost 9 cents a tea bag):

Multiple times more expensive than it ought to be.

Ocean State Job Lot (just over 3 cents a tea bag):

Ocean State Job Lot has the Typhoo Tea for one-third of the cost per bag!

Here’s another example – these GoCo low-carb bites we like – $2.24 on sale here – but only $1 elsewhere.

There are a couple reasons to check out Cost Plus World Market, though

So as we were figuring out whether we’d ever step foot in here again – we were also on the lookout for reasons why to.

We found two.

One, was their clearance rack. Things substantially discounted. Food, and other products. We found a great retro Fisher Price toy – which was 50% off sticker price. From $24 down to $12. Looking it up on Amazon – the best price was $19. So that was a good deal.

Some okay deals if you look hard enough.

Additionally – they had a pretty big selection of low-carb snacks. Jerky and Pork Rinds. Not the best price, but some products we wanted to try at least. To our surprise when we got to the register, they were “Buy 2, Get 1 Free.” So $7.98 for three bags of Pork Skins wasn’t too shabby.

$7.98 for three bags, not bad.

Overall – we’ll never be in a hurry to go to Cost Plus World Market

Let’s just put it this way – we’re most likely never going to make Cost Plus World Market a primary destination.

If we’re in the neighborhood and have some extra time – we might fulfill the natural curiosity to check out their clearance racks. Sometimes even disastrous car-wrecks people look at. But only if we have a specific need close by.

The place is just over-rated and very expensive for what you’re getting. If we ever buy anything again, it’ll have to be on sale (50% or more), plus some kind of coupon to make the value better.

We’re kind of amazed that they have so many stores – and in fact – the store was quite busy in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week! So it’s clear that we’re of the minority when we feel that the store is just not a good value. They must have clever marketing personnel in order to attract good business.

They also seemed to employ low-energy, unenthusiastic employees. Maybe it was the smell of all that imported stuff. Who knows. The “aura” of that place is another reason why it didn’t rub us the right way. “Lacks soul” could be another way to say it. You could just feel that weird energy, you know what I mean? Something was missing.

So that’s that. Navigate your retail terrain very carefully, folks!

About the author


NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.