If you’re a regular at T.J.Maxx, you know the rush of finding Calvin Klein suede sandals for $8 when you shop in store.
For all the newbies, here’s how I’ll explain it: If Target and Nordstrom had a baby, it would be T.J.Maxx. That’s because you can get Nordy stuff for Target (and sometimes Walmart) prices.
What’s the catch? No catch. For the most part, you get good quality and sometimes in-season merchandise…at a deep discount.
We’ve thrown everything we’ve got into this T.J.Maxx shopping guide, but before you dive in, download the KCL app and add T.J.Maxx to your favorite stores. That’s your first step to getting the best-ever deals.
1. Shop T.J.Maxx on Monday mornings when the store opens.
T.J.Maxx markdowns happen on Monday mornings, so you’ll find the biggest selection of clearance steals as soon as the store opens that day.
Avoid shopping on the weekends if you can. New T.J.Maxx merchandise only ships to stores during the work week, so by the weekend, everything is pretty picked over.
2. Decode the T.J.Maxx tag colors and plan accordingly.
T.J.Maxx has different colored tags throughout the store, but they don’t exist just to brighten the place up. In fact, knowing the system can help you decide when to buy and when you should wait for a better price.
Here’s what the T.J.Maxx tags mean:
- White Tags (with no sticker on top): Regular Price
- Purple Tags: High-end Items from “The Runway” Section
- Yellow Tags: Final Clearance Price
- Red Tags: Clearance Price
- Blue Tags: Items with a Coordinating Piece/Set
3. Shop the twice-annual T.J.Maxx clearance event in January and July.
Since T.J.Maxx has discounted prices year-round, they don’t really do any extra promos, sales, or coupons. The closest thing you’ll find to an actual T.J.Maxx “sale” happens twice a year, in July and January. That’s when T.J.Maxx shifts their inventory for winter and summer, so they’re actively getting rid of all out-of-season items.
You won’t see any percent-off signs posted on the racks during the T.J.Maxx clearance sale. However, you will find an ocean of red and yellow clearance tags across the whole store.
4. T.J.Maxx coupons don’t exist, but treasure hunting is the next best thing.
Each T.J.Maxx store gets different merchandise depending on what sells best in that region, so stores in less swanky areas tend to have lower prices. Those are the best T.J.Maxx stores for treasure hunting.
Look for rare deals on the clearance shelves at the back of the store, plus the clearance clothing racks and red clearance carts by the beauty section. Basically, scour the store to ride the high from all those hidden treasures!
5. Check out “The Runway” section at T.J.Maxx for 70% off designer clothing.
Many T.J.Maxx stores have sections called “The Runway,” filled with high-end, purple-tagged designer brands, like Rag & Bone, Vince, Theory, True Religion, and more. This merch is not in-season. In fact, it says “Past Season” right on the tag. But, if you really want the high-end stuff for up to 70% off regular prices, this is the only way to go.
For example, I found a Vince wool blend lace crew neck top for $59.99 at T.J.Maxx. At that time, Revolve had the exact same top listed for $158 (and it was on sale, down from $195).
Sure, $60 on a long sleeve top is still a splurge. But, then again, you’re saving 70%. So if luxury brands are your jam, this is a smoking hot deal.
You can find out which stores have The Runway section near you with The Runway store locator — just look for the purple “W” (Women’s Runway) or black “M” (Men’s Runway) in a box near the store name.
TIP: Shop The Runway online and sort by “price (low to high)” to see the best deals first. You can also filter by your size to only see designer items that fit.
6. Ask for a price adjustment if the style numbers on the tags match.
It’s not unusual to find multiples of the same product throughout the store, but sometimes they have two or even three different prices. This happens when T.J.Maxx buys the same item from different vendors (at different prices), or when they miss some of the items during markdowns.
As long as the style numbers on the tags match, T.J.Maxx will adjust the price and let you have it for the lowest price. Before you head to the checkout line, quickly scan the clearance section and the smaller end racks to make sure there isn’t a lower price on whatever you’re buying.
I picked up this red sweater (above) on the clearance rack. I found the sweater on the left first, which was marked down to $20. When I did a final scan around the store, I found the exact same sweater for $12. After matching the style numbers on the tags, I asked for a price adjustment at checkout and saved an extra $8 because of it!
7. If an item you like has a yellow tag on it, don’t wait to buy it!
A yellow price tag indicates a final markdown, meaning it’s the lowest price you’ll see for that item at T.J.Maxx.
If you find an item you love with a yellow clearance tag on it, you’ve struck gold. Snatch it up fast before it’s gone (that’s how I scored these leather booties for less)!
8. The best things to buy at T.J.Maxx are pet items — even Amazon can’t compete.
T.J.Maxx is one of the best places to buy dog toys, treats, beds, and other accessories for pets. I’m talking squeaky toys for $2 and dog beds for under $25.
At T.J.Maxx, I found a Voyager dog harness for $9.99 that was on Amazon for $15.99, plus a dog bed for $29.99 that Amazon had for $54.95. When you shop T.J.Maxx, you’ll often find their pet prices beat Walmart’s (like a Bark Box pumpkin dog toy for $7.99 that Walmart has for a whopping $17.99).
Related: Want to know more ways to save on pet items like dog food? We wrote a whole Ultimate Pet Savings Guide just for you.
9. Sign up for the TJX Rewards Credit Card to save 10% on your purchases.
If you shop at T.J.Maxx and other TJX stores regularly, you REALLY need to sign up for a TJX Rewards credit card. As a cardholder, you’ll get 10% off your first purchase just for opening an account. After that, you’ll earn 5% in rewards every time you shop. Your TJX Rewards credit card is good to use at all TJX stores (this includes T.J.Maxx, HomeGoods, Marshalls, Sierra, and Homesense) . So you’ll save an extra 5% no matter where you shop.
Here’s how to link your TJX Rewards credit card to the app:
- Open and sign in to the T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, or HomeGoods app and tap the diamond “Rewards” icon.
- Tap “Link My Card” and sign in with your TJX Rewards credit card credentials.
- View your rewards and redeem them in-store or online.
10. Shop the online T.J.Maxx clearance under $10 for the absolute lowest prices.
TJMaxx.com has come a long way since we told you not to bother with the website a few years ago. Now, about 50% of what you see on the site is also in stock at most stores. If you like the deals at T.J.Maxx but don’t like sifting through heaps of hangers, check out T.J.Maxx online clearance to score some big savings.
You can even check out clearance under $10 and sort by price to see the absolute lowest prices.
Related: Want all the best clearance deals? No prob. We put together your ultimate guide to clearance sales at top stores.
11. Enter the T.J.Maxx sweepstakes for a free $500 gift card.
Thanks to T.J.Maxx’s ongoing sweepstakes, shoppers have the chance to win a $500 gift card every month. You can literally enter at any time by filling out their online survey. T.J.Maxx draws winners on the 10th of every month and gives five lucky shoppers a $500 gift card.
To enter the sweepstakes, head to the T.J.Maxx Customer Survey (it’s the link on all your receipts). They’ll automatically enter you once you finish the survey.
12. Get free shipping on your first order when you sign up for T.J.Maxx emails.
If you haven’t placed an online order yet, you can get free shipping by signing up for T.J.Maxx emails. After you sign up, T.J.Maxx will email you a one-time use promo code to get free shipping on your next online purchase.
Otherwise, you can get free shipping on orders over $89 when you enter code “SHIP89” at checkout. If your order is under $89 (or you don’t type the promo code in at checkout), you’ll have to pay $9.99 for standard shipping. Express shipping costs $19.99, and expedited is $26.99.
13. Use T.J.Maxx gift cards at any of the TJX stores (Marshalls, HomeGoods, Sierra, & Homesense).
TJX is the company that owns T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Sierra, and Homesense. So when you buy a gift card at one store, you can use it at any of them. This is especially handy when it comes to buying discounted gift cards, but it can also help you scout out the best treasures. If you received a TJX gift card as a gift and you have a T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods in your area, stop by all three to cover more ground and score the best deals.
14. Buy discounted TJX gift cards to save even more on your T.J.Maxx purchases.
Basically, you should never buy gift cards at full price if there’s a discount available out there. Sites like Raise.com and CardBear.com let you buy and sell discounted gift cards to a bunch of top stores and brands. And since you can use TJX gift cards at any of their stores, you can buy whichever store has the biggest gift card discount available. Right now, you can save 6% on T.J.Maxx gift cards from Card Bear, and I’ve seen discounts go higher.
Once you snag a discounted gift card, use it when you shop at any TJX store to maximize your savings. Gift card discounts are constantly changing on both sites, so always be on the lookout for the best deals.
15. Ask for a discount on items that show damage or material flaws.
T.J.Maxx is pretty good about marking down damaged items in stores. A damaged item may have minor cosmetic issues like a scratch or a tear. The clearance section is often filled with great but slightly damaged items.
If the item doesn’t already have an “as-is” tag and you’re okay with slight imperfections, ask a T.J.Maxx associate for 10% off when you checkout. They’ll give you a discount at their supervisor’s discretion.
This TV console at the HomeGoods store near me had a slight crack on one of the interior shelves. I asked about it and got $50 off right then and there. Boo-yah!
16. Use the Amazon app or Google search as you shop to make sure you’ll get a good deal.
There’s a sneaky way to make sure you’re getting the best deals when you shop in-store, and you’ve probably heard of it before. It’s called Amazon!
You can use the barcode scanner in the Amazon mobile app (iOS / Android) to compare prices on items from T.J.Maxx. Before you snatch up a deal that seems too good to be true, scan the barcode to do a quick price check. You’ll see what the item is currently selling for on Amazon.
Another tip: Quickly type the item name into a Google Shopping search to see how much it costs at other stores that carry it.
Related: We pulled together all our secret savings tips and made one big list. Check out these hidden ways to outsmart retailers and save more money when you shop.
17. You won’t find any special deals when you shop T.J.Maxx on Black Friday.
T.J.Maxx Black Friday isn’t as great as you’d expect it to be. During the holidays, T.J.Maxx will promote their normal “new arrivals at can’t-miss prices.” but the deals aren’t any better than they normally are.
Of course, you can still use all these T.J.Maxx shopping hacks to save big during Black Friday, but don’t expect bigger discounts outside the norm.
18. Don’t buy towels or gift bags at T.J.Maxx — buy them at JCPenney instead.
T.J.Maxx has a gift wrap and stationery section that’s always out of sorts. The gift bags are $3 to $6, which, when you compare that to the Dollar Tree, isn’t much of a deal at all.
The T.J.Maxx towels are pretty and fluffy, but paying $12 to $15 per jumbo towel isn’t worth bragging about. JCPenney has way better deals, like $2.99 for jumbo bath towels during their Home Flash Sale.
Related: These JCPenney shopping hacks (like stacking coupons on clearance) are the key to saving up to 80%.
19. Keep in mind: T.J.Maxx sometimes inflates the “compare at” prices.
T.J.Maxx’s whole thing is that prices are 20% – 60% below other retail stores. They show this off on every price tag with a “compare at” value, but sometimes those values are over-inflated. This can make the deal seem better than it really is, but we’ve also seen under-inflated compare at prices, so take this with a grain of salt.
The “compare at” price on this bottle of Chi Shine Infusion Hairspray is $20, while the T.J.Maxx price is $9.99. But Target, Walmart, and Amazon also sell the same bottle for $11.49 – $14.99. So even though the T.J.Maxx price is better than competitors, the discount isn’t as big as it seems (33% compared to 50%).
All of T.J.Maxx’s comparison pricing info is available online, including this snippet I grabbed from their site:
“Many of our price tags include comparison prices, which are references to regular retail prices of the same or similar items at full-price department or specialty retailers. Where identical items are not available, we compare to products of a similar type, quality and style. Prices vary among other sellers and change over time, but our buying staff’s goal is always to provide you with a useful comparison based on prices at which we believe substantial sales of the same or a similar item have been made at full-price department or specialty retailers in the area or online. Our mission is always to bring you and your family exceptional value every day – it is the foundation of our business.”
20. T.J.Maxx doesn’t offer price adjustments after your purchase.
If an item you bought drops in price a week later, you won’t be able to get a price adjustment from T.J.Maxx. You can only request a price adjustment at the register before you checkout (like if the item is damaged or if you find a lower price on the same item).
If you want to avoid paying more for an item that will eventually get marked down, shop all the clearance sections in the store first before you browse the latest arrivals. T.J.Maxx has already given those items a first markdown (red tags) or a final markdown (yellow tags).
21. Take advantage of the extended T.J.Maxx Holiday Return Policy.
No need to rush on all those holiday returns. T.J.Maxx gives you a little extra breathing room with an extended holiday return window. You normally have 30 days to make a return, according to the T.J.Maxx return policy. But this year, you had until Jan. 25, 2023 to return items purchased between Oct. 9 and Dec. 24, 2022. What a relief!
22. You can’t return T.J.Maxx purchases to Marshalls or any other TJX Store.
Unfortunately, items purchased at a T.J.Maxx store can only be returned to a T.J.Maxx store. You can’t return T.J.Maxx purchases to Marshalls, HomeGoods, Sierra, or Homesense.
23. Beware of designer knockoffs: TJX makes their own clothing with labels that look real.
TJX makes their own clothing and also licenses labels from top designer brands. That means some of the designer labels you see in the store may not be the real thing. The purple-tagged items from The Runway section are true designer labels, but you’ll want to check other clothing and shoes throughout the store, just to be safe.
How to spot a TJX knockoff:
Flip the care labels over (the long white stack of tags sewn toward the inside-bottom of the garment). Check to see if the very last tag has “TJX Europe, Watford” printed on the back. If it does, it’s a TJX knockoff and NOT the real thing.
24. Check the list of T.J.Maxx Grand Openings to see if a new store is coming to your area.
T.J.Maxx stores are always popping up in new places. Want to see if there’s a store scheduled to open near you? You can check out a full list of T.J.Maxx grand openings on their website.