Everyone knows that T.J. Maxx is a great place to get all kinds of brand name items at big discounts. When you walk into your local store, you never know what you might find. However, in order to get the most out of your shopping experience, there are lots of things you need to be aware of. No matter how many times you’ve been to T.J. Maxx in the past, we’re willing to better there are lots of secrets about the store you still have yet to learn. That’s where we come in.
We’ve compiled a list of 37 of the best T.J. Maxx shopping hacks from insiders that will help you to not only save money but teach you how to shop like a pro. From the best times to buy to the best items to buy, as well as other random stuff you may not have known, this list has it all.
1. Price tag colors
You may have noticed all the different colors of price tags the store uses. It can be confusing. The white tag is the regular price, the red tag is the clearance price, and the yellow tag is the final clearance price (best deal). A blue tag means the item has another piece that goes with it.
2. Check for missed price markdowns
There are so many items at the store and prices are constantly changing. It is pretty common that an employee will accidentally miss an item when they are doing their regular markdowns. Check around to make sure the item you are purchasing isn’t priced differently elsewhere on the shelf.
3. Damaged and “irregular” items
At any given time, around 5% of T.J. Maxx inventory is typically classified as damaged or irregular. If you are okay with slight imperfections on a product, you can often get it at a massively discounted rate. Most of these items can be found in their clearance section.
4. Holiday return policy
T.J. Maxx has a very generous holiday return policy for all purchases made during the holiday season. Any purchases that you make between October 15th and December 24th fall under this category. You will have until January 23rd of the new year to return your items for a refund.
5. Wednesday mornings
The best time to shop At T.J. Maxx is on Wednesday mornings as it is a common day for price markdowns. First thing in the morning is the best time to stop in as the markdowns are often made after closing the previous night or in the morning right before opening. Technically, markdowns can occur any day between Tuesday and Friday.
6. Bring your pet
Something that many people don’t know is that T.J. Maxx is actually pet-friendly. Instead of leaving your dog at home, feel free to bring them out shopping with you. The only requirement is that your furry friend is leashed or remains in your shopping cart the whole time.
7. Last minute gifts
T.J. Maxx gets new inventory in every day, even during the days right before Christmas. That means they are a good place to shop for your last minute gift needs, even if you already went to the store earlier in the season. You never know what new things they will have on the shelf.
8. Understanding price tag numbers
Those numbers on the top of T.J. Maxx price tags mean something. The number in the square box at the end represents the month they got the item in, (on a 24-month cycle), and the last two digits on the clearance sticker show what week of the cycle it was marked down.
9. Gift card discounts
Did you know there are discount gift card sites where you can get reduced price gift cards? Purchase a T.J Maxx card at a site like Gift Card Granny and you are likely to save an additional 8% or so. T.J. Maxx, Homegoods, and Marshalls are all owned by the same company and a gift card from any of those stores can be used at whichever one you want.
10. TJX Rewards Credit Card
The TJX Rewards credit card is useful for big purchases like furniture. You get $10 of rewards money for every $200 spent. Remember, you can always cancel it afterward.
11. When not to use TJX Rewards Credit Card
On smaller purchases, the TJX Rewards credit card won’t really get you much benefit. The money you get back comes out to 5%, which isn’t amazing. There are other store cards that give you better incentives than T.J. Maxx, so you might as well use one of those instead in most situations.
12. Forget about price adjustments
Sometimes after you buy something, you might notice that the same item you bought is marked down a week or so later. Unfortunately, it is not possible to ask them for a price adjustment. T.J. Maxx is a high volume store with constantly changing inventory, so that is just the risk you take.
13. Sign up for their rewards program
Signing up for the T.J. Maxx rewards program gives you a chance to win $100 gift cards. They raffle off 25 of the gift cards every month, and every time you shop at the store you gain entries into the raffle. The program also sometimes offers special shopping hours for members separate from normal store hours.
14. Best sale months
T.J. Maxx doesn’t really do promotions or announced sales, but the best discounts are typically offered in July and January. These are the months when the store starts switching up inventory because of seasonal changes. They heavily discount past season items to clear them out and make room for the next season’s shipment.
15. Online inventory
T.J. Maxx does have a website where you can get a rough idea about inventory they have in stock and make purchases. However, it is not that reliable and better to go shopping in person. You will find many things in the store that haven’t yet been added online. Also, you will generally find that things are marked down further in-store (plus no shipping charges).
16. Check T.J. Maxx first
T.J. Maxx often has much of the same inventory as other stores like Nordstrom and Macey’s, yet their prices are significantly cheaper. That is because T.J. Maxx purchases their stock without a buyback clause, so they get a reduced rate. Say, for example, Michael Kors has 5000 tote bags to sell. Macy’s buys 4000 of them. T.J. Maxx swoops in and buys whatever is leftover without any return clause, and thus is able to negotiate a discount.
17. Free online shipping
If you do choose to shop online on the T.J. Maxx website, make sure to join their email list. They regularly send people on their email lists codes you can use at checkout for free shipping.
Many people are weirded out at the thought of buying food at T.J. Maxx. There is this misconception that it is probably expired or no good. That couldn’t be further from the truth. You can often get great food products like those from Williams Sonoma for less than half the normal price.
19. Pet supplies
T.J. Maxx is a great place to look for supplies for your pet. They often have similar products as the big pet stores like Petsmart or Petco, however, the prices you pay will be way less. One of the greatest value items at T.J. Maxx is the pet beds.
20. Purple price tags
If you see an item that has a purple price tag, that means it is straight from the runway. In other words, it is a high-end designer style. Larger metropolitan T.J. Maxx stores all have a section called “the runway” where these items can be found.
21. Amazon app
One of the best ways to make sure you are getting the best deal is by using the Amazon price-checking app. Download it on your phone. Then when you are in-store, just scan the barcode of any product with your smartphone camera and it will display the current selling price of the product on Amazon. It is a great shopping hack.
This technique should be used sparingly, but it is sometimes possible to haggle with the T.J. Maxx employees on the price of an item, especially if you notice an item is slightly damaged or cracked but hasn’t yet been marked down. If you bring the damaged item to the attention of staff, they may offer to discount it.
23. Ignore the “compare at” prices
Some T.J. Maxx price tags have a “compare at” price listed on them. This is often an amount that is 20-60% higher than the T.J. Maxx price and is just a gimmick to convince you that you are getting a great deal. The compare at prices are generally overinflated and not a good estimate of what other stores are selling the item for.
24. Visit different locations
If one location doesn’t have an item that you want, you can always visit another T.J. Maxx store. All stores have different things in stock at various times. In fact, other locations may receive different items altogether, so if there is nothing you like at one store, the next one may have something perfect.
25. Not just clothes
Remember, T.J. Maxx has a huge variety of products for sale. It is not just a clothing store. We already discussed their pet supplies and food, however, they also sell electronics, home goods, kitchen supplies, furniture, and other decorative items.
26. Tech Accessories
Tech accessories like phone cases, extra cables, and screen protectors can typically all be found by the checkout lane. They normally carry lots of major brand names. You will save a lot of money buying these items here verse other electronics stores.
27. Home Decor
T.J. Maxx has tons of home decor products. Whether you are looking for rugs, curtains, bedding, pillows, picture frames, or any other home goods products, you will likely be able to find what you are looking for here. They even have fake potted plants.
28. Toys and Board Books
T.J. Maxx is also a great place to pick up something for the kids. In addition to having a solid toy selection, they also have children’s board books. it is likely you will be able to find lots of the same popular items that you would in the big name toy stores.
T.J. Maxx normally has a pretty decent selection of sunglasses. It is possible you can find some solid brand name sunglasses on the racks for as little as $9.99. Oftentimes they are kept near the checkout area.
Many people never think about going to T.J. Maxx for shoes shopping. However, they typically have well-known brands like Adidas available for a fraction of the cost of other stores. They are also a great place for buying heels and other women’s shoes.
31. Don’t wait to purchase something
Although it is possible by waiting you may be able to get the item at a cheaper price due to markdowns, it is also possible that it will be sold in the meantime. If it is something you really want, don’t wait to make the purchase. As T.J. Maxx only sells overstock items, once it is gone it is gone.
32. Return policy
Outside of holiday season, T.J. Maxx gives you 30 days to return an item. You will need the receipt to get the refund in cash. Otherwise, they will only be able to offer you store credit.
33. Ask the employees
Don’t be afraid to ask the employees about the best discounts in the store currently. After all, they are the ones who do the stocking, so they know what’s currently on sale better than anyone. They can also fill you in as to when new shipments and items are going to arrive.
34. Shop the “track”
If you’re short on time, a good shopping strategy is to work your way around the perimeter of the store first. This is what is known as “shopping the track”. This will give you a good idea about what they have available so you don’t waste time wandering through the aisles.
35. Follow their social media pages
Stay up to date on all the latest T.J. Maxx news by following them on Twitter and Facebook. On their social media pages, the company advertises what is going on in the stores, as well as some of the new types of items they are getting in stock as the seasons change.
36. Home delivery
Did you know T.J. Maxx offers home delivery? If you buy a big item like a piece of furniture, they can bring it to your home and drop it off in one of their trucks. Pricing is based on location and distance, so you will need to talk to an employee at your local store for specific details.
37. The “Runway”
We already mentioned how the purple price tags indicate that something is a “runway” item. Follow the signs in the store to find this section. While T.J. Maxx is unable to list online the specific brands they offer, it is likely you will be able to find many European, contemporary, and couture fashion items. Lots of other exclusive designer merchandise is available as well. This includes jewelry.