Learn the secret behind T.J.Maxx price tags

Although T.J. Maxx sells its products at affordable prices, you can save even more with a few simple tips. Here's how to do it!

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Did you know that T.J. Maxx is not a discount store? Of course, they have lower prices than those found in most stores, but they are a “low-cost retailer”. So you can save even more money, provided you know how to do it, of course! Here are some tips to save money the next time you shop at T.J. Maxx.

1. The best time to buy T.J. Maxx is Wednesday morning

T.J. Maxx receives new product deliveries daily, but sales and new stocks are almost always issued from Tuesday to Friday.

The ideal time to shop is Wednesday morning at the first hour. Most sales are made after or before store hours, so morning customers always have the first access to new deals.

2. Yellow price labels indicate final sales

A yellow price tag represents an item that is at its lowest price. If you see a product that you like and that has a yellow label, buy it! Here is what the other labels mean:

White labels (no sticker): Regular price
Purple label: Items from The Runway collection
Red label: Discount price
Blue Label: Items with matching part
Yellow label: Final liquidation price

3. Check all clothing to make sure you don’t miss a sale

It is not uncommon to find a product with two or even three different prices scattered throughout the store. Quickly browse the discount clothing section. This ensures that you pay the lowest price for the garment you buy.

4. Ask an employee to check the price of your items

If you see an employee marking items for sale with a price gun throughout the store, ask for a price check on your items. If you can’t find an employee with a price gun, ask an associate at the cash register to scan your items.

Employees can check how long an item has been in the store. If the item arrived a day, week or month ago, there will be on sale. Sales occur after the item has been in the store for more than a month. If the item you checked has been there for more than a month, it will be eligible for a discount.

5. There is no price adjustment

If you find an item that you have already purchased at T.J. Maxx at a lower price a week later, do not expect a price adjustment. As stocks come and go very quickly, the store cannot offer adjustments to the products sold.

6. Only 5% of the store’s inventory is “irregular”

T.J. Maxx is good enough to mark any damaged or irregular item. Often, the section of items for sale is filled with large finds that may have minor problems. If it doesn’t matter to you to have a slight imperfection on the garment you buy, the savings you can make can be quite huge!

7. Find the same seasonal products in stock at Macy’s and Nordstrom

When Michael Kors releases 5000 copies of a product and Macy’s only buys 4000, T.J. Maxx bursts in and buys the rest of the inventory at a discount.

How do they do this? T.J. Maxx negotiates the discount by removing the standard buy-back clause held between department stores like Macy’s and the designer who says: “If these products do not sell, we (the seller) can return them to you (the designer) for a refund”. T.J. Maxx then negotiates as follows: “We will buy the remaining 1000 bags at the final sale, but we want to pay half of what you have invoiced to the other buyers.” And it works.

That’s how you can buy the same Michael Kors 2015 Large Hamilton Tote for $358 at Macy’s or $199 at T.J. Maxx.

8. Buy Williams Sonoma food at half price

Don’t think to buy food from T.J. Maxx is weird. On the contrary, it’s very clever! Although many people believe that these items are outdated or about to expire, this is not the case. Take advantage of this opportunity to save a lot of money.

9. Find pet supplies at prices well below those at PetSmart or Petco

T.J. Maxx is one of the best places to buy animal supplies. The price of pet beds is at least 50% lower than that of stores such as Petco or Petsmart.

10. Shop for an additional 10-20% discount on imperfect items

If you find an imperfect or damaged item that has not been labelled “as is”, feel free to ask an employee for a 10% to 20% discount. Depending on the item and condition, employees and supervisors may offer a discount at their discretion.

11. T.J. Maxx inflates prices “compare to” to stimulate sales

T.J. Maxx’s claim prices are 20% to 60% lower than those of other retail stores by displaying a “compare to” price on store labels. However, we have found that “compare to” prices are often overvalued, which makes the deal more beautiful than it is.

12. Use the Amazon application to ensure you get a good offer on items

Before buying an item at a price too good to be true, make a quick price comparison using the Amazon application to scan the barcode and track the current online selling price. This will give you a good idea of the kind of market you are getting.

13. Purple price labels mean that a product is top-of-the-range

Some T.J. Maxx stores in major metropolitan areas have a section called “The Runway” which is filled with high-end design styles.

14. Get free shipping with email registration

When you subscribe to the T.J. Maxx mailing list, you will receive the first alerts and a free shipping code for your first online order.

15. T.J. Maxx has a website, but don’t waste your time on it

If you decide to shop online, be aware that T.J. Maxx’s online inventory is different from what you will find in the store. It is better to shop in store for the best brands like Nike, Under Armour, Coach and The North Face, which are not presented online.

You are also more likely to find limited quantities and items for sale.

16. Shop in January and July for the biggest savings

T.J. Maxx does not generally make promotions, sales or coupons. The closest thing to a real sale takes place in July and January.

This is when attention shifts from the winter and summer seasons and the retailer tries to get rid of the stock of those past seasons.

17. Sign up for the free rewards program for a chance to win $100 gift cards

Every time you buy something from T.J. Maxx or the website (or from partner stores and their websites), you win participation in a monthly draw.

A total of 25 $100 gift cards are drawn each month. In addition to participating in the draw, cardmembers also have access to special opening hours and private parties, which means they are the first to be able to participate in the creators’ discoveries!

18. Discover the secret behind T.J. Maxx price labels

When you look at a T.J. Maxx price tag, the number in the top right square represents the month in which the item arrived (1-24 over a 2-year cycle). The last two digits of the liquidation price sticker represent the week in which the item was noted.

On the picture above, the two items arrived at month 20, but one received a discount at week 32, the other more recently at week 36. In this case, you can bring the week 32 label to use it from customer service and ask if she can scan the item to see if it has not missed a sale.

When they scan the item using their handheld scanner, a new red label should be printed at a lower price.