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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

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Interview with a TJMAXX Style expert

I shared last week that I am currently working with TJ Maxx and Marshalls for the back to school season as a spokesperson.  This has already been a lot of fun but also very educational.  I recently got to sit down with TJ Maxx style expert, Sonya C., and talk about all the trends for this season and ask a few questions about how in the world they are able to get designer products for such a low price!  I personally have no style, unless being barefoot in jeans and t-shirt counts as a trend.  So, it was awesome to learn and see some of the looks.

I took two different lines of questions, first for the style and then for the bottom line (that’s really where my heart is, who cares if you’re fashionable Mama is going to save money…).


Q: If we could only afford three items for this back to school season what would should they be?

  • A middle weight hoodie or light jacket – the layered look is in so get something that will work now into late fall.  Mix with print T-shirts you already have for a “new” look.
  • A new pair of jeans, best would be dark wash with detail around the pockets with stitching or grommets etc.
  • One new graphic printed t-shirt.
  • Jeggings – this is a new one for me, but they are leggings that look like jeans.
  • Dress or long tunic that can be worn now and in the winter with leggings under it.
  • Light to Medium Weight Jacket – Miltary or Bomber Style

Q: Are there “in” colors this year?

Like last year, plaids are still huge.  Fuchsia, coral and other bright colors are also in.


Q: What is “off price”?

Off Price means that you are getting the exact same merchandise as department and designer stores (same quality, look, designer names etc.) the only difference is the price is “off”.  You are paying 20-60% less for the exact same item!

Q:  Okay, exactly how are TJ Maxx and Marshalls (TJX) able to get a lower price?  Why wouldn’t the department stores also want/get this price?

Many times it is because we are “oppourtunistic buyers”.  Large department stores do all their buying in large groups about 4 times a year.  TJX buyers are traveling 40 weeks a year working with over 12,000 vendors and designers in 60 different countries.  This helps in two ways.
    1. We are with or sometimes even ahead of the trends buying constantly rather than in large bulk orders.
    2. We are also able to buy smaller quantities.  Maybe a big designer fulfills an 200,000 piece order for a department store but has enough fabric left to make 20,000 more shirts.  We come in and offer to buy the remaining shirts, they are able to have no remnant fabric left and we are able to get a steal!

With 1600 stores across the US we are also able to handle large orders if they become available, so we are able to jump on any deal that pops up.

Q:  If you are only buying a small number of items how do they get split amongst stores.

There are a lot of calculations that go into what products go to what locations.  Sometimes it means a store might only get 3-4 of something.
Q:  You pride yourself on being with the trends and never “last year”.  What are some ways that you are able to do that and still have deals?

With our buyers always on the road, we always have merchandise coming in.  We have our own distribution system and can actually take a product and have it on store shelves within 2 weeks of buying it!

Each store gets around 10,000 new pieces every week, so basically your store can have an entirely different look and feel every time you go in.

Q:  If you always have a better price for the same item, how do the department stores not get upset??

One requirement we do have to abide by, is that we never share the exact brands or prices of items in the stores.  So you might see commercials or great deals but we try to never name exact names.  This way the department store doesn’t get too miffed that we are sharing with the world that we have a better deal!

If I were able to chat with someone else from TJ Maxx or Marshalls are there any questions you would want to ask?

    • Tfrost99

      What's the best strategy for shopping at a TJMaxx? I sometimes feel overwhelmed with the amount of items there are to look through.

      • Phillips

        I used to feel overwhelmed at first, but now I'm a pro. I go in every week, so it depends on my mood for what I hit first. I usually start in clothes (everything's sorted by size – no worries there), move through shoes quickly, swing by soaps and lotions and then head over to Housewares to spend most of my time. I find that the stores I visit are very organized and well kept. Just give yourself about 2 or 3 hours and take your time so you don't feel overwhelmed :)

      • Tune in next week for a video on shopping strategies and deals!

    • Mom of 2 girls

      Why don't the buyers purchase children's shoes? I'd love to get the “opportunistic” prices on little girls shoes!

      • Phillips

        We have a Marshalls near us that has a Mega Shoe Shop in it. Almost half the store is shoes and they have shoes for everyone including little boys and girls. Maybe they have this at another store near you?

        • nblanco

          I wish I was near one of those, too! I believe the nearest one to Auburn, AL would be in Atlanta (2hrs away). My husband is always jealous of my shoe buys. I'm still wearing a pair of copper Liz Claiborne slingbacks that I bought 5 years ago at TJ Max for $19.99. They've been around the world and keep getting compliments.

      • Robinson_29

        Some of them do. I've bought my toddler a pair at TJMAxx in Concord, NC. It's a huge store though.They typically are in the children section, not shoe section.

    • Phillips

      I have always wondered where the actual names T.J. Maxx and Marshalls came from? Are they just the founders/owners?

      • Robinson_29

        Maxx and MOrris were the original founders name in the 1920's. They started a lady's hosiery discount store. They acquired Marshall's in the mid 90's. So it was already named Marshalls, but now under the TJXX company. Not sure where it got its name. My husband works in the distribution center of TJ MAxx so he shares the history:)

    • Tambry

      Jenny, I have a question about the contest. Is it based on percentage of savings or is there a cap on how much you can spend?

      • No cap just send in the deal and other readers will pick amongst all of them!

    • mhowardsaratoga

      New Nike brown & blue sneakers for $29.99!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jenni

      I had no idea how these stores work, and figured them for just another department store. I am educated now, and will definitely consider shopping there in the future!

      And what a neat life to get these opportunities, Jenny! The cool thing is, you do this site for free, helping SO many of us, and I bet you never knew it would lead to so many great things for yourself! You are reaping what you've sown, I'd say! If you are faithful with much, more shall be added to you! I'm just so blessed by your site. Thanks for keeping it free. I recommend it to everyone I talk to about saving money.

    • Amy

      I must have missed it; what exactly do we need to submit? A great deal from TJ Maxx or a great deal from anywhere? Thanks for the info!

    • JLP

      I LOVE Marshalls. And I liked the interview. I did not know how they obtained their clothing so this was informative.

      I have to tell you about a deal I found at Marshalls. They opened a new store near where I live about 2 years ago. Everyone in our area was so excited about a Marshalls near us. I went on opening day and went directly to the clearance rack (I AM a Southern Savers reader you know!). Anyway, I found a Juicy Couture dress for FIVE dollars (you read it right….$5.00). It was BRAND NEW with the Juicy tags still on….a beautiful gold linen dress with cute frills on the front and gold buttons. I bought it and the cashier was like….”I can't believe that you got a Juicy dress for FIVE dollars. The Juicy tag said $295.00!!!” I immediately went to Target and bought a cute pair of gold flip flops to go with the dress and I had a killer outfit for about $15,00!!! The funny thing was that the Target flip-flops cost double what the Juicy dress cost.

      After I bought the dress I thought to myself I could have sold the thing on ebay for a lot of money. But, I wanted to wear it myself.

      The moral of this story is ALWAYS check the clearance rack at Marshalls. I head there first thing. You will get lucky if you go to the store a lot.

    • Kim

      Jenny , I have a question , are there going to be any new TJ Maxx or Marshalls opening anywhere in SC ? Thanks !!!

      • Good question! What area are you in?

    • richie

      I really want to know how to sell to TJ Maxx or Marshalls. I have a recently closed business and would love to get a quote on inventory. I hope they would consider buying from the little guy, their main customer base.

    • Jenn

      I had never been to TJ Maxx until today. Wow, was I ever shocked! I found a $20 dress that I really like, and actually FIT me. (I'm a “plus-sized” woman, so it's very difficult to not look like I'm wearing a burlap sack!) When I got home, I showed it to my husband. It was at that point I noticed the original price: almost $80!
      I have to admit, though, it was all a little overwhelming. I need to learn the store better. That will certainly be a fun adventure!

    • Collinsbrad

      My daughter recently landed her first job since graduating college. She's going to work at a bank. Needless to say her wardrobe needed some work. She went this last weekend to TJ Maxx and came home with a dressy/work sweater that is blue, fitted about the waist, puffy sleeves with blue buttons down the arms…PRETTY for about $10. She wore it today with white pants and was a knock-out. We are proud of her getting a job and wearing sensibly priced clothin.

    • Guest

      It a hit or miss with TJ as they don't always have a good section. I found that best that during the recession they have not been getting a truck every week like they used to at my local store. I have found better deals at Eddie Bauer summer sale polo for 7.99 and shorts for 3.99 Yes you read that correct. Sometime you can save more money at the regular store. remember to compare shop as TJ already had low price so they can't go much lower like other stores have been able to go lower during the recession.

    • Robinson_29

      FYI—TJ Maxx is not allowed to keep anything at it's TJ Maxx original price if it's been on the “shelf” for 5 weeks. Therefore, anything that was acquired 5 weeks ago is required to go on clearance. If you see on the tag it has been over 5 weeks, then let customer service know and they will mark it down for you.

    • Tara

      I would like to know if they ever get jeans from Buckle? Big Star Maddie's are my favorite but I have yet to allow myself to pay the $106 they want for them at Buckle.

    • Crissy

      I have always enjoyed shopping TJ Max. They recently reworked their store here in Jacksonville and it is very nice.

    • Portercassandra

      My question would be, With so much buying going on, what do they do with whatever style doesn't sell well or trend doesn't “take off”. They would be left with clothes that no one likes/wants. Do they just do a deeper discount or do they in turn sell it to another discount store?
      I LOVE TJ Maxx and Marshalls (sadly we don't have a Marshalls). My favorite store was one in Pensacola, FL that had a Home Goods attached to it, talk about great deals! I found a gorgeous serving dish for a Bunco prize and a (large) Yankee candle for myself all for under $20!

      Thanks fo sharing your interview
      Cassandra P

      • I can definitely ask them for the details but I do know that most of the unsold items are donated. Some do go on clearance but most are donated… can't remember where so I'll ask!

      • jennifer_b3

        The merchandise keeps getting additional markdowns until it sells. The lowest price anything will go to is $.30 but not much stays in the stores long enough to go down that far.

        Twice a year (spring and fall) the stores will clear out the previous seasons merchandise in order to make room/give a cleaner look to the store, for the new seasons merchandise. These times the markdowns are done more frequently and the last week of the 'final markdowns' markdowns are done daily until the last day of that week. Whatever is left over at that time gets sent to a salvage company. Not sure what happens to it from there though.
        (This is all info from Marshalls. I worked there for several years. A lot of the procedures are the same within the two companies and I would think it would be a safe bet as to assume the same practice is used at TJ Maxx)

    • Disentangling

      Good morning! I wanted share my own TJ Maxx shopping strategy. I love to shop there for clothing, and you can find AWESOME deals on designer purses and shoes as well. However,my real TJMaxx trick is to find things for my home that no one else will have . They carry beautiful pieces of furniture, glassware, bathroom decor, candles etc…I love to go in and find a beautiful piece and use it as a focal point to decorate or redecorate a room. Most of my house done around a few georgeous pieces I found at TJMaxx or Marshalls! Decorating a room is much easier if you have something to work around with color and texture and theme! Better yet, they carry seasonal and holiday items that you will not find anywhere else or at a better price anywhere! Who else carries Halloween themed martin iglasses for $3 a piece? Fabulous fun to be had at TJMaxx!!!

      • Disentangling

        sorry, those were martini glasses!

    • Hannah

      I enjoyed shopping at TJ Maxx where I found various styled glass vases for only a few $$ a piece that I used in my wedding! Unique look was a big hit! After the wedding I used the vases for gifts for various family/friends, etc.

    • Nicole

      TJ Maxx is my favorite store for Christmas shopping for my children. About six years ago I bought a set of natural wood blocks for the kids for $20.00. They are the best thing I have ever purchased for our kids, someone still plays with them almost daily. Having six kids ages 2-13, I've bought lots of things for them. I saw the same blocks in a specialty toy catalog for three times the price! I never would have been able to have these wonderful blocks for my children without TJ Maxx. I also bought my favorite pair of shoes from Marshalls about 10 years ago. They are Ann Klein black leather flats and I still wear them and they still look great! I paid about $16.00 for them! When I was in college, oh, 20 yrs ago I bought a set of sheets and a duvet for very cheap, can't remember the price now but I know I had no money then-some things never change! I still use both of these items and they are still in great shape. The duvet is like new and I use it through the winter on a down comforter. 20 years of use! I guess my point is, TJ Maxx carries very High quality merchandise. I am always thrilled to buy things there because I know they are worth much more then I am paying and they will last for many years to come!

    • Winnieh80

      i love tjx. my last great find was a trendy ruffle tee for $7.

    • Teresa

      My question is,Is there a particular day they a shipment might come in to your stores to get the best selection..

      • jennifer_b3

        Stores are on different schedules depending on the location of the distribution center and the stores on the route. As far as when to go to get the best selection that will depend on not only what day they receive the truck, but also what time. Some stores get the shipment as early as 6am, while the other stores on the route are scheduled in increments of 2 hrs after the previous store. Some receive their shipments as late as 4pm. Just depends on where the store is on the trucks run.
        The goal/standard (unless it changed from when I worked at Marshalls) was to have all the merchandise out within 8 hrs of receiving the truck. I always told customers the day after the truck was received was usually the best day to see all the new merchandise.

        It is best to ask your local store when they get their shipments. It might also change going into the holiday season. Because of the larger shipments some routes have to increase the number of days they receive trucks.

    • Gentry

      I have a funny story! Sometimes when you think your saving money, your not! I bought my daughter a pair of Polo shoes at Plato Closet ( its a teen resale shop) They were a tight fit but she had to have them and I thought $24.99 wasn't that bad for Polo. So we were shopping the other day at TJMaxx and find the brand new Polo shoes in the right size for $18.00!!!! So we purchased the correct size and sold the others to a friend. Live and learn! Check the price at TJMaxx before you buy used!

    • Guest

      Just remember TJ max is like outlet stores sometime they have certain shirts made for them with the extra button or a cheaper material that doesn't last as long the saying goes you get what you pay for.

      • Renep22


    • Sean

      I am a second grade plus size teacher and I do not have a large budget for clothes. I want to know why there is such a great selection of clothes in the Atlanta area, but when I go to T.J. Maxx in Auburn/Opelika Alabama–Tiger Town (my new home)there is a limited selection of sizes for size 18w? Yes, Auburn is a college town but, there are alot of plus size girls in the area and I am sure we would buy the store out.

    • Amanda

      I love the woven traditions baking dish. Would love to win something!

    • Chris

      I was able to go today to TJMaxx without kids. It was wonderful to shop on my own. I found some cute bags, candles and lotion that I am going to put together for my kids teachers for the start of the school. The total came to $30.00. I had looked at other stores for the same type of items and the price would have been almost double. I am so happy to have saved so much money and I enjoyed my kid free shopping.

    • Mdjames1067

      We recently moved into a new home and after paying all of the costs associated with buying a new house and moving there was very little left in my decorating budget. Shopping at TJ Maxx and making smart buys of pillows, wall art, candles, and other accessories I was able to redecorate for a steal. Thanks TJ Maxx for making our dream home look like a dream!

    • Atinel

      I always do my birthday and holiday shopping for my friends at TJ Maxx and Marshalls. They always have the best prices on the absolutely cutest clothes. My girlfriends and I love to shop there in a group when we can all manage to leave our husbands home with the kids! LOL It makes for a SUPER FUN and AFFORDABLE girls night out!

    • rebecatcash

      I recently had a girlfriend having a 21st birthday. I had looked at birthday glasses at other stores and they ran around $25. I went to TJMaxx and found a glass that read Birthday Girl and were the exact colors of her cake!! The best part…it was onlly $5.99!!! I love TJMaxx and the deals I always get!

    • i love tjm. less than two years ago me and my hubby were going to tahiti and planned a traditional wedding. i was looking for a dress to wear on the beach and after searching one in all the 'big stores' i found the perfect dress at tjm. one of the best part was the price – 20$!!! and i got A LOT of compliments. the same design i saw on the market a few months after i bought my dress. amazing, isn't it?

    • ENV13

      I found a Le Creuset Dutch oven for $110 at TJ Maxx. The normal price is close to $400 and almost around $250 at the Le Creuset Outlet store in Yemasee, SC. I shop at TJ Maxx and Marshalls before shopping ANYWHERE! You just can't beat the prices! I learned about these stores from my mom who checks out the stores weekle to find great deals. People can't believe the amount of gifts everyone gets at Christmas….the living room is pile high. Little do they know she has spent very little as she bargains shops at TJ Maxx and Marshalls and gets name brands for a steal! My next big shopping deal… a wedding dress! I'm know for fact I'll find something I love at one of the many stores between SC, GA and AL!


    • Katrina

      I found some beautiful HUGE apothecary jars at TJ Maxx. They are tall and slender and have darling curvy lids and sit up on feet. I paid 14.99 for the tall one that is nearly 3 feet tall and 9.99 for the 30″ one. The $25 dollars I spent was FAR less than you would pay for one jar that is MUCH smaller at Pottery Barn. I put them on my carved mahogany mantle and fill them with items associated with the season or holiday. At Christmas they are filled with ornaments and faux snow, and at Halloween, candy corn and baby pumpkins. For everyday, I like to fill them with fun nostalgic candies like the extra long Pixy sticks (they fit no problem!) and huge bubblegum. I have tons of compliments and everybody always thinks I spent a fortune at the mall. No need when TJMaxx and Marshalls are both nearby!!

    • Lucy

      A couple of weeks ago we got a tabletop puppet theater (with all the pieces) for $3. It sells for at least $30 everywhere else I've seen it. Last year I got a teak tea cart for $49. It has outdoor tires and the two main trays lift out, hold wine bottles… I think it was several hundred regularly. I did have to replace a bolt in one of the axles that was missing and adjust the tension so the trays lift out easily but not bad for 5 minutes and a spare piece of hardware.

    • Jsshavers

      I got a BMAKOWSKY purse…retail $228 TJMAXX 129.99…Final markdown 29.00

      & ELAINE TURNER purse retail 300.00 TJMAXX 149.99 Final markdown 39.99.