How to Shop TJ Maxx

For some, “off price” stores like TJ Maxx are a mecca of bargains, with hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered. For others, the store, with it’s seemingly endless racks and eclectic mix of goods is too daunting to even tackle.

We’d hate for anyone to miss out on great bargains (remember, TJ Maxx sells name brand and designer goods at discount prices) so we’ve got some tips to help you shop the store to your best advantage:

How to Shop TJ Maxx

1. Don’t worry about irregular items. Over 95% of TJ Maxx’s merchandise is first quality, meaning less than 5% is “irregular” — and those aren’t what you think. They’re not defective items, but rather items with irregularities unnoticeable to the customer (like a manufacturer cranked out an order of pumps in patent instead of regular leather . . . )

2. Go in with an open mind. Since TJ Maxx purchasers practice opportunistic buying (meaning they get the best deals from vendors whenever they come up) you can’t count on the store having that Little Black Dress at any given time. Instead, have an of what general types of items you might need to fortify your wardrobe (or home, or whatever department you’re shopping) and look in those sections for the bargains that suit you. Also remember that even though you won’t see designer names on ads, that doesn’t mean you won’t find them there — off price stores like TJ Maxx can’t use designers names in their advertising, but we can assure you that a recent visit turned up items by Theory, Ralph Lauren, and Vera Wang.

3. Expect to find new items right up to the holidays — and any other time of the year. If you already shopping TJ Maxx earlier in the season and didn’t find what you were looking for, don’t assume they won’t have it now. TJ Maxx buys year-round rather than seasonally, and are still buying for stores for Christmas, for example, into early December (meaning they may have more up-to-date goods than the department stores).

4. Look for markdowns on Wednesdays. TJ Maxx generally performs markdowns on Wednesdays (though this can vary from store to store). Trucks arrive 3-5 days a week, meaning the selection changes regularly.

5. Be self sufficient. While we’re sure the employees of TJ Maxx are courteous and friendly, don’t expect a lot of assistance on the floor — the store is primarily a self-navigating experience. That’s not to say no one will help you — just don’t expect a personal shopper at your elbow.

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Catherine Brock

Catherine Brock is a writer, editor and marketer who's been sharing wisdom online since 2002. She's been featured on, and ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis and KCAL9 Los Angeles. Connect with Catherine on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter. Learn more about Catherine.
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