- Jill Brooks
TJ Maxx-inista HACKS
Christmas and post-holiday is a time for reflection, celebration, and..... shopping. If you know me, you know that I'm a regular TJ Maxx shopper (and self-proclaimed Maxxinista) throughout the year & a frequent flier during the holiday months. After my extensive history shopping these glorious discount racks and jam-packed aisles of savings, I have gathered some of my favorite tricks to making the most of your dollar and shopping experience at TJs! >>> Shop for TJ Maxx giftcards on Gift Card Granny (giftcardgranny.com). You can use these gift cards for all of the sister stores - TJs, Marshalls, and Home Goods. They're sold at an 8.5% discount, so it's like saving almost 10% on anything you buy! Also great for buying cards for gifts... save more, give more! >>> If you were shopping around the holiday season, keep in mind that there is an extended return policy to allow for returns after Christmas Day. Especially if you're like me and HATE trying clothes on at the store, make sure that you review both their standard and holiday return policy. This will save you a lot of heartache (and money!) when returning items. The best way to keep up with the info is to take a photo of the receipt (include the full thing as to not miss any barcodes or numbers they may need to process your return in case you misplace your receipt.) I also set a reminder with an alarm on my phone for the final day to return. Include a small description of the items you purchased as the receipts lack detailed information. Candles, rugs, and wall hanging photos will all show up itemized as "household," while thank you notes, day planners and gift wrapping paper will all be listed as "stationery." This can make it a little tricky to distinguish between different items on different receipts. >>> The best time to shop is Wednesday morning. Markdowns and new inventory is added Tuesday through Friday, and the early morning shoppers get the first pick of markdowns, most of which happen after hours. Talk to the associates and ask about when they're getting trucks and when they recommend shopping. The employees are an invaluable tool when it comes to discount shopping and get the most bang for your buck! >>> When it comes to retail in general, January and July are the big months for major markdowns because of the season and store changes, especially those 3 weeks that follow Christmas. Look for LOTS of new yellow tags -- these signify FINAL markdown on items. >>> Alright, so this part can get a little complicated, bear with me here...
Check out the price tag - there's a small square at the top right-hand corner with a two-digit number. I highlighted it in yellow. This is the MONTH that item arrived in store. (The numbers range from 01-24. 01-12 represents the first year. 13-24 represents year two of their cycle.) If there is a red or yellow clearance sticker on the item, the last two digits of the sale barcode represent the week that the item was marked down and range from 01-52. In the photo above, this purse was marked down on the 42nd week of the year. The reason this info comes in handy is that if you find two items that arrived the same month, they may have missed a markdown, which leads me to...... >>> Before buying a full-priced item, always check the clearance sections for missed markdowns. With the nature of the store, sometimes items get passed over or accidentally moved to another aisle and miss the after-hours markdowns. Check the style numbers/barcode to verify that it's the exact same item & carry both items to the register. The sales associates can price adjust for you right there at the counter. See an associate on the floor with a scanner gun? Ask them (verrrrrrrry nicely) to check for markdowns on your items. They can only check for these missed markdowns using a scanning gun. Because their markdowns are not automatically reflected in the store's system, the registers will only show the price as listed on the tag. Items can often have incorrect or outdated discount stickers that can only be verified by these handheld scanning guns. Keep in mind that items will only receive a markdown after being in the store for at least a month. >>> Many department stores will allow for price adjustments post-purchase. If an item goes on sale shortly after purchase or you find a coupon, you can bring in your receipt, and they'll adjust the price to reflect the new price. UNFORTUNATELY, because of the nature of their business and already deeply discounted pricing, TJ Maxx does NOT allow this service.
>>> Haggle "imperfect" inventory - As long as there is no "as is" on the tag, the associates/management will usually offer a 10-20% discount, but you have to ask! Start by asking for the 20% off... sometimes they'll negotiate with a counter offer of a lower discount, but don't be afraid to negotiate right back. If they offer you 10%, tell them you'll split the difference and take 15% off. I know it's a bit intimidating to ask these kinds of questions, but remember, the answer is ALWAYS "no" if you never ask. Check for the slightly damaged items in the clearance section - often they have deep discounts for minor cosmetic flaws, some of which are very easily repaired or concealed. MYTH BUSTED: Contrary to popular belief, only 5% of TJM inventory is irregular or damaged. >>> TJX Rewards is a loyalty program with 2 ways to earn rewards. The first option is a credit card - the TJM Rewards credit card OR the TJM Rewards Platinum MasterCard. The credit card rewards system is more beneficial for larger purchases and not really worth the hassle if you're less consistent or make smaller purchases. You receive a 5% reward - $10 in TJM cash for every $200 spent. You'll also receive a 10% discount on your first in-store purchase when signing up and getting approved for the card. The second option is the TJM Rewards Access loyalty card (think Kroger Plus Card or Walgreens Balance Rewards.) It's free to sign up and you'll receive free giveaways, exclusive sweepstakes, private parties, advanced arrival alerts, and much more! For every purchase you make, you'll receive an entry into the drawing. They give 25 $100 giftcards every month, and who wouldn't want a $100 shopping spree?! Sign up in-store or online. >>> Did you know TJM is pet friendly? As long as your furry friend stays in the cart or on a leash, man's best friend is welcome in store. Just make sure your pet is well-behaved, because store management and associates can ask you to leave if your pup is disrupting other shoppers while in-store. >>> Head over to TJ Maxx online (www.tjmaxx.com) and sign up for emails. You'll receive FREE SHIPPING on your first online order. Keep your eyes peeled for the confirmation e-mail after sign up to get your discount code, >>> Speaking of TJM Online, this is a GREAT resource for odds + ends, gifts, jewelry, and more. The inventory is different than what is available in stores, though there are some items you'll see both in-store and online. Top designer brands including Dior, Michael Kors, Coach, Valentino, Kate Spade, Vera Wang, etc. are typically not shown online and are only available in store. It doesn't allow you to search by brand, so you may have to do a bit of digging within the inventory categories, but it's TOTALLY worth the extra effort to find those "hidden" deals. >>> When it comes to designer brands, they're easily spotted with a purple tag. This signifies that these items are a part of the Runway Collection and though a bit pricier, discounted high-end brands are rare and now is the time to take advantage. If you leave it at the store to mull it over, you know it probably won't be there when you come back to purchase.... and if you're anything like me, it'll leave you heartbroken and *gasp* designer-less. >>> MYTH BUSTED: All of TJ Maxx's designer items are NOT from last year or a previous season. Here's how the buying process at TJ Maxx works: We'll call our luxury brand, "Designer A." Designer A produces 100 18" gold and teal tassel necklaces. They sell 90 of them to big department stores like Dillards, Macy's, Belk, etc. for their usual wholesale pricing. That leaves 10 of them for TJ Maxx to purchase at a negotiated discount. There is a standard buyback clause that protects department stores from being left with lots of inventory that doesn't sell. The designer agrees to a refund (or "buy back") for the leftover inventory. So how does TJ Maxx get these items so much cheaper than other major retailers? They waive the right to the buyback clause and purchase all items on a final-sale basis. Because of this, the designer offers a deep discount to stores like TJ Maxx, Ross, etc. So you can buy that Designer A 18" gold and teal tassel necklace at Macy’s for $400 or you can buy the EXACT same one at TJ's for $199... and well, I don't know anyone who would rather not save a few (or several) bucks! >>> Two of my very favorite things to buy at TJ are often overlooked by other shoppers. Let's start with the most important.... FOOD! It's often thought that food and other edible items at TJ Maxx are old, expired or getting dangerously close to that date, but once again, there's another MYTH BUSTED! I LOVE finding all kinds of specialty items on the food aisle at TJ, especially well-known brands like Williams Sonoma, Harry & David, etc. that are often listed for 50%+ discount. These are items that I would otherwise not be able to justify purchasing without the discounted pricing. Luxury brands for less? The answer is always yes. The other category where major discounting happens is the pet aisle. Compare pricing to PetSmart, Petland, Petco, etc., and you'll find the majority of these items are offered at a crazy deep discount!! Keep your kitties entertained and your pups in style without breaking the bank. A true win/win to me! >>> So most of this article is about all of the great (albeit hidden) things about TJ Maxx, but there are a few little snafus. Those COMPARE AT prices? They mean nothing. They're wrong 90%+ of the time. They will literally stick a TJ's sticker with a compare at price showing $40 on top of a manufacturer's price tag showing a completely different amount. I would somewhat understand that they'd try to inflate the "original" price to make it seem like you're getting a better deal than you are, but often the "compare at" price will be lower than what it truly is. It makes no sense and is usually nothing more than worthless, incorrect information. FAKE NEWS.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading! I strive to have a blog with NEW and useful information, and I hope you were able to learn a few money and time saving tricks that you can use on your next trip to TJ Maxx! If you picked up some info, will you share this with your friends and family? Just click the share button & post to your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds!
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