The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

The Truth about TJ Maxx

Does T.J.Maxx sell fakes and damaged goods? Here's the truth about shopping at stores like T.J.Maxx and Marshalls.
As I mentioned earlier, TJ Maxx invited a bunch of fashion bloggers from around the country to their headquarters in Framingham, MA, for a behind-the-scenes look at how their business really operates. It was an awesome experience. My brain is overflowing with facts and information right now, so I'll just dive right in and share some of the key things that I learned.

First, I should preface this report by saying that I've been a long-time fan and loyal customer of both TJ Maxx and Marshalls. I never quite knew how they managed to sell brand names at reduced prices, but my assumption was always that they bought overstock, irregular merchandise, and probably did some other wheeling 'n' dealing that would simply never become transparent to me, the customer. Some stores seemed better than others; some days you got lucky, other days you'd leave frustrated and empty handed. Sometimes you'd find a deal on something you loved or needed; other time you'd find sub-par styles at practically full price (or at least, stuff that just wasn't a good deal. For us budget babes, a $200 blouse that's marked down to $80 still isn't a bargain.)

So yeah, that's kinda where I stood with regards to TJ Maxx and Marshall's prior to the blogger event, and I gotta say, not much has changed. However, I did learn some new and interesting facts so read on (more photos from the event, too!)...

One of the misconceptions I had about TJ Maxx/Marshalls was that they bought leftovers that other stores didn't want or couldn't sell. That's not true: We were told that they buy directly from 10,000 vendors in 60 countries. So they're buying the same top quality stuff that you can see at the same time being sold for more at department stores. They're able to do this for a number of reasons, but one of the top reasons is that TJX agrees not to advertise or announce the specific brand names that they carry. So here's a tip for you shoppers: If you sign up for alerts at the TJX website, they'll send you email updates about great new product roll outs and stuff at stores near you. They won't be able to mention the specific designer names, but you can pretty much safely assume that some great new shipment of merchandise just came in, and it's time to head to your nearest location.

Another misconception I had about the TJ Maxx/Marshalls was that the food products might be past their expiration date or just stuff the department stores couldn't sell--even stuff from last season. Not so, says TJX. In fact, it would be illegal to sell food past its expiration date. So all that food is top quality, fresh, and purchased directly from the vendors. Good to know, because I love putting together gift baskets with the gourmet goodies I find at TJX. And I buy a lot of my tea and coffee from them, too, so I'm glad it's not old! Haha

Yet another commonly held myth about TJX is that they sell only irregular or damaged merchandise. This is simply not true: 95% of their goods are top quality (ie. perfect, no flaws) while only 5% is irregular--and if it is, it will be clearly marked as such. For me, this isn't a big deal. In fact, I see irregulars as a chance to save even more money. The TJ Maxx folks also let us in on a little secret: Sometimes vendors will label something "irregular" even when it's perfectly fine JUST so they can sell to TJ Maxx/Marshalls without "upsetting" their other clients, like your big department stores. So buy with confidence, ladies!

Those are just a few of the things we learned about how the business operates. We also got the scoop on some upcoming initiatives by the company, including remodeling the dressing rooms in just about all of their stores across the country. I'm looking forward to some better lighting and stall doors with locks that actually work! They're also expanding their shoe sections with in-store shoe boutiques--you may already been to a Shoe Megashop at a store near you, in which case you know what I'm talking about. Those have been successful so far, so they're planning on opening more across the country. Same with The Cube, the boutique within the store that caters to the 16-24 year old crowd with the latest juniors/contemporary styles, all gathered in one convenient spot within the larger store. These also look promising and there are more on the horizon. Finally, TJX is looking into ways to expand their beauty offerings. Right now, the beauty products are often tough to sort through; a lot of the stuff gets open and tested by customers (not cool), so I would welcome an improved beauty/makeup section at TJ Maxx/ Marshalls so long as the prices stayed the same (ie., low).

We learned a TON more but I'm short on sleep and this post is verging on becoming excessively long, so I'll close by saying that the entire TJ Maxx crew was absolutely gracious, friendly, and visibly passionate about what they do. They are a very successful company, and continue to enjoy success during these tough economic times. It's no surprise that business has picked up for them in recent months. I was exceedingly pleased with the level of respect that they extended to us, "mere" fashion bloggers, and the degree of professionalism with which we were all treated. It was clear that they wanted this event to be the start of a continued relationship. They don't offer online shopping, which puts them at a slight disadvantage when it comes to promoting their products online, but they recognize the important role bloggers play, and more importantly, they want to be sure they are reaching our readers. And they want YOUR FEEDBACK! Clearly, your feedback is invaluable from a business perspective, but I think both parties can benefit.

So here's what TJX wants to know (spill all in the comments--and if you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer them): What is it about the TJ Maxx/Marshalls shopping experience that dissatisfies you?

[Above: Stacy (Mom Central) and Nichelle (55 Secret Street) browse TJX holiday merchandise]

Splurge versus steal fashion show

Splurge versus steal fashion show
Tempting shoe styles for Spring 2009

The latest winter styles--coming soon to a store near you!

Bloggers Adriana (The Fashion Bomb), Wendy (nitro:licious), and Anna (Shoe Smitten) snap pics of more irresistible shoes presented by the "Men of Marshalls"

Bloggers Nichelle (55 Secret Street), Lauren (Second City Style) and Wendy (nitro:licious) hit TJ Maxx and Marshalls stores for a complimentary shopping spree

Lindsay (Broke & Beautiful) scopes out the Shoe Megashop at Marshalls

Wendy (nitro:licious) shows off her latest find

OMG, I'm so jealous! Sounds like you had a ton of fun. Thanks for the scoop.

I would welcome a better beauty section as well. I buy all of my designer perfumes from TJ Maxx/Marshall's, and it always upsets me when I find the perfume that I want only to discover it's been tampered with by a customer.
#1 Joann on 2008-11-19 09:08 (Reply)
I noticed this summer that my local Marshalls was pinning the top and bottom of bikinis together with the security device, so it was IMPOSSIBLE to try's not realistic to ask the attendant to unpin eight different bikinis just to see if they fit. I hadn't seen it before and it made me feel like I was shopping at a thrift store = not the experience we look for at Marshalls.
#2 Stella on 2008-11-19 09:53 (Reply)
Maybe a "no screaming kids allowed" sign on the entrance door? ;-)
#3 Veronica on 2008-11-19 10:43 (Reply)
AMEN!!! But how can you have any at your store, when they ALL seem to be at MY local TJMaxx?!?!
#3.1 Mary on 2011-05-16 11:20 (Reply)
I have a couple things I would love to change at my local Marshalls and TJ Maxx in Chicago (northwest side):

The toy sections are a disaster!!!!! And I mean a total mess! Open boxes everywhere, toys piled up on the floor, its horrific!!!! Specifically the store at Six Corners in Chicago- its God awful!!! Its worse then the Salvation Army toy section. Things can't even be purchased they're in such bad shape- and its even MORE annoying when you find something your kid really wants, and the box is destroyed or some part is missing yet they refuse to mark it down anymore... its just a joke.... I know many people who won't go back just because they were so disgusted by the toy section....

Second- I would really like if employees were told they are NOT allowed to shop on the clock and put all of the good designer deals on the side for themselves! Its extremely upsetting! At that same Marshalls I have had the experience several times where an employee will pick up an item that I was about to look at, and when I express interest they say "this is for me" and walk away! So horrid!!!!

Third- I also would like a better beauty section where everything wasn't already open and used... its just gross....
#4 Peaches on 2008-11-19 11:12 (Reply)
Workers have done that to you?! That's awful! I know some people stash things, but to go right in front of a customer and take it? That's ridiculous.
#4.1 Joann on 2008-11-19 22:54 (Reply)
Oh get a grip, its not like she stole it out of your cart. So you expressed interest in it after she picked it up and you saw what it was? Sorry but employees don't have to bow down to you. The employees are allowed to buy stuff too. AND She probably wasn't on the clock. A lot of employees forget to take off their lanyard on their break. And I'm sure we don't take all the "designer deals" like you think we do. I couldn't take all the deals if I wanted too. our company pays us next to nothing so we can't afford it! Hah. And customers with your mindset are what make it hell.
#4.2 kayla on 2015-03-25 09:59 (Reply)
I really hope you have gotten a new job not working around people in the time since you posted this comment.
It says a lot about your character, or lack there of.
Stay in school.
#4.2.1 MannersMatter on 2015-07-16 16:38 (Reply)
Um no ma'am, you're wrong. I've been with the company for years & I can say that I am very kind & patient to every customer (rude or not) but you don't know what a person who works in retail has to go through. That young lady was speaking of her experience & you can't automatically say she's rude because of her comment. You can't expect her to be "nice" 24/7 just because she's an associate. She's entitled to her opinion & obviously speaking from experience. And so what if an employee took something that you were interested in. If it were another customer would you be complaining? Probably not, you just want someone to point a finger at.
# Think before you speak on 2015-10-30 09:11 (Reply)
Your mindset is off the wall. The employee is correct. Tjx is a company that is nice to work for. The customers and their constant expectations of items especially from home department is to much.
# Jewel on 2021-01-27 10:38 (Reply)
Tell it girl. I'm here in 2021 and the last year customers have gotten so rude at TJMaxx and I still see the employees treating them with such kindness. I know those employees work hard for the part time hours and pay they receive. I for one would never want to have to be in their shoes. God Bless them! I do wish TJMaxx had less polyester clothing though. They used to have way more cotton or cotton/spandex. I'm allergic to polyester/acrylic and the like since I was a little girl, I can't take the formaldehyde they use in polyester and acrylic just makes me itch. (I'm fine with wool so it's a man-made vs. natural thing.)
# Pat on 2021-03-26 06:17 (Reply)
How coooool that you got a behind-the-scenes look at TJ Maxx and Target! Thank you so much for posting about this experience. Really fascinating and informative!

I too am a long-time fan and shopper at both our local TJ Maxx and Marshalls stores, and have found fab deals there over the years. You can find pricey labels like Free People and DKNY (not technically "expensive" but in my opinion overpriced for what you get) at both stores in their end-of-season sales, which is awesome!

Our local Marshalls has both the Shoe Megashop and the Cube, which are really nice. Both stores are great for out-of-the-ordinary styles at great prices.

The one major complaint I have about both our local TJX and Marshalls is the staff, especially the cashiers. I don't know if they go out of their way to hire nasty, kind of skanky, downright rude people, but these are who I run into at every branch of these stores that I've visited. I have to say that it's a definite deterrent for me. I think that, if both these stores want an improved image, they should really concentrate on hiring better staff. Might not be easy to do for a retail environment, but they could follow the Target model, which I got to know a bit when I worked there in college. The cashiers and staff were really drilled, during the training sessions, on how to treat customers well, with courtesy, respect and friendliness.

And I think that more-or-less shows in the attitudes of the sales staff of our local Target. I've gone there for so many years now, and have never had a complaint, whereas the staff at our local TJX and Marshalls are very rude and intimidating. My mother, aunt and I once ended up complaining to the manager about one terrible cashier who rung up both our purchases and that of the lady behind us incorrectly!

Sooooo, there's my mini-rant about both these stores! Don't get me wrong, their merchandise and prices are just wonderful, but I think a store is more than what they sell, you know? The staff can make a huge difference ... at least here in the Sacramento Valley branches!
#5 Anusha (Homepage) on 2008-11-19 11:27 (Reply)
I have a hard time shopping in stores that are completely cluttered and unkempt looking. When I see shoes strewn around and clothing all over the place, I completely lose interest. As you mentioned in your blog, TJ Maxx and Marshall's can be a hit or a miss, but it's always a miss when the store looks cluttered and unkempt.
#6 Traci on 2008-11-19 11:30 (Reply)
I love shopping at both of these stores, but I agree, like most people, that cluttered and messy stores make for an unpleasant shopping experience. I really like the new shoe megashops because they are so clean and well organized, but I wish the rest of the store was like that. I think these stores should format their stores more like a Loehmann's or Filene's; more people would shop then I think.

By the way, Budget Babe, I have always wondered about the perfumes and colognes I find at these discount stores. I've thought about buying them, but I worry that they are really old or something else is wrong with them. Did you get any insight on fragrances and discount stores? Is it safe? Will I break out in a rash or something? Why are they so much cheaper than dept. store fragrances?
#7 Jennifer on 2008-11-19 12:04 (Reply)
Great question about the perfume, someone asked the same thing at the event! We were told those are top quality perfumes--exactly the same as department stores carry--except they may be packaged differently or they might even be discontinued, yet still available directly from the vendor. Because TJ Maxx/Marshalls does NOT pay a lot for display cases, fancy fixtures or advertising, or staff to help you try on the perfume/cosmetics, they can buy these items at a heavy discount and pass the savings on to the customer.

Also, we were told they once scored a huge quantity of perfectly fine, brand new Este Lauder makeup that the manunfacturer was going to dump because they had changed/updated the packaging, but the product was exactly the same, so TJX stepped in and scooped it up for dirt cheap.
#7.1 The Budget Babe on 2008-11-19 12:53 (Reply)
I just wish all the perfume wasn't half empty!!! ah!! Although I do appreciate that the store has to cut costs some where to keep prices low.. although you'd think all those half used and broken products end up costing them more in the long run... hmmm...
#7.1.1 Peaches on 2008-11-19 23:55 (Reply)
I find these stores to be a huge "hit" with shoes and accessories, but often times a "miss" on clothing, especially pants. But I almost ALWAYS find shoes or handbags I love. I just wish the handbag prices were lower, more in line with the discounts on the shoes, and more leather offerings.

Also, this is minor but I HATE how the music is different in the "cube" than in the other sections. If you happen to be on the edge of the two sections, the clashing music is so annoying!

I think one opened "tester" bottle of the perfumes they are selling would cut down on people opening them up, and I'm also more inclined to buy a fragrance if I can try it first.

And lastly, especially in my area, the men's section is nothing to brag about. Consequently, my husband hates going there, and it makes it harder for me to convince him to go! Could there be more styles for men from say J. Crew or Gap, Old Navy, etc.?Casual, but not sports-related or oversize, baggy jeans, etc.

Thanks! Love the blog, and LOVE Marshalls/TJMaxx!
#8 beth on 2008-11-19 12:50 (Reply)
That is so true about the guys section! My boyfriend hates going with me because everything for him makes him look like hes running with the Latin Kings or something... Its really bizarre
#8.1 Carmindy on 2008-11-19 23:57 (Reply)
omg!!! that thing about the clashing music is so true!!! It drives me absolutely nuts! The music from the cube at my marshalls goes over to the shoe section and you can CLEARLY hear both songs playing at the same time- I had to leave last time without looking around at shoes because it was freaking my mom out so bad!
#8.2 Bloomies on 2008-11-19 23:59 (Reply)
J. Crew does not sell it's merchandise at these types of stores! They sell their clothing in their own stores and extras/lower quality stuff at J. Crew Factory stores, which is their name for their outlet stores and only located at outlet malls.
#8.3 Ivette on 2015-12-20 19:06 (Reply)
Metro Center..D.C. Is The Top
#8.4 Evelyn on 2020-08-11 00:14 (Reply)
wow-great info!!!!! I haveto agree about the men's section!
#9 Real Style Real people (Homepage) on 2008-11-19 13:09 (Reply)
Wow, thanks so much for this information! I hated it when my bf always said they sell hand-me-downs and "damaged" goods. I knew that was false, but couldn't really explain it to him. And all the other information about it and pictures were really great! I even signed up for the newsletters like you said so I can check out the TJ Maxx in my hometown this Thanksgiving break. Great post! :-)
#10 Celeste (Homepage) on 2008-11-19 14:21 (Reply)
What a fun experience! We don't have a TJ Maxx or Marshall's here (sigh), but I'd definitely be heading to one right now if we did! I especially like the splurge vs steal fashion show.
#11 Mishka (Homepage) on 2008-11-19 16:43 (Reply)
My complaint is jealousy-related: I hear tales of East Coasters landing amazing brand-name finds at TJ Maxx and Marshalls ... and while I occasionally unearth a Ralph Lauren blazer here in Minneapolis, other top-quality designers are scarce on the ground. Spread the joy, guys!
#12 Sal (Homepage) on 2008-11-19 17:22 (Reply)
I love marshalls and TJ Maxx. I will be doing a feature on them soon as well. Crazy about the red gloves and the fur skirt!!
#13 budget chic (Homepage) on 2008-11-20 07:20 (Reply)
I dislike that TJ Maxx and similar stores are organized by size, rather than style. It makes the shopping experience difficult that rather than see something i like, and pick up that item in my size, i have to look through the rack to see if i like anything. it really adds to the thrift-store type experience, and can be time consuming.
#14 kate on 2008-11-20 16:38 (Reply)
Thanks for this article - super informative. I don't live in the US so can't comment on TJ Maxx but we have the same here...called TK Maxx in England ;-) I like the store but don't have much chance to visit. They always seem to have good homewares.
#15 Daily Style Guide (Homepage) on 2008-11-20 17:53 (Reply)
What is the brand of those brown boots of the model in the fashion show pic?

I think the best thing about TJ Maxx is their jeans and the worst is the rude people that work there for sure.
#16 Linda (Homepage) on 2008-11-20 18:03 (Reply)
I pretty much do ALL of my fashion and home decor shopping at T.J.Maxx, HomeGoods, and Marshall's. Seriously, I think I am one of their most loyal customers. They have the best designer jeans at the best prices. In fact, I just bought 3 pairs the other day. Also, great prices on high-end, European handbags if you are lucky enough to get your hands on one. I find a better selection of nightlife & social fashion at T.J.Maxx, while I find a better selection of professional & career clothes at Marshall's.

My complaints are dirty fitting rooms (not as bad as Ross, though) and, on occasion, unfriendly service. It can also tend to get very hot in the fitting rooms, not sure why this is the case. It makes trying on the clothes very uncomfortable (especially if you are in Texas and trying on fall/winter clothes in August) and sometimes I find myself in a rush just so I can escape the heat. My brothers and my husband dislike shopping there due to the limited selection of men's fashion. I agree with previous posts that they need to take it up a notch on the men's merchandise.

I never buy beauty products there except an occasional decorative soap or something like that. I think the company could do a better job on increasing consumer confidence within this product category.

The Christmas decor has been a little disappointing the past couple of years, not a very good selection on Christmas ornaments. They used to have a better selection. T.J.Maxx waaaaay outscores Marshall's in the home decor selection.
#17 Elle on 2008-11-23 03:10 (Reply)
I am a looooong time fan! I discovered TJ Maxx as a fluke a couple of years ago (i thought it was like Ross....i was VERY wrong!!!). This is where I got my very first premium denim @ less than $80...nope not irregular. I influenced family members and friends and this place is always their top choice when shopping. I looove all the deals and occasional extra deals (additional 25% off on clearance!!). I can't really comment on other people's experience as I always have a good one.
TJ Maxx has a special place in my heart! :-)
#18 anne on 2008-11-23 12:02 (Reply)
My only problem with TJMaxx and Marshalls is the way the clothes are just thrown together on the racks. Sometimes it just looks so unorganized. If a store looks like a large mess I usually walk right out. Presentation is everything no matter where you go.
#19 Michelle on 2008-11-23 20:58 (Reply)
Haven't really gotten to try a TJ Maxx but there is a Marshalls near my work as well as a Ross in downtown SF. The Marshalls has by far better marchandise but it is to hard to get in and out of and the selection is so limited. It isn't worth my time to wander there if there are only a few dresses in my size. I've found really random bargains of nice quality stuff at the Ross but not really at the Marshalls because they have 2-3x the merchandise that the marshalls does. I'd love it if they sold housewares too. The big problem seems to be staffing. The Ross in comparison is kind of a zoo/ thrift store but they always have lots of cashiers and staff on dressing rooms and in sections. In Marshalls I frequently get stuck at a huge line to get into the dressing room because there's only 1 attendant and each item has to be counted, or stuck trying to get someone to show me something in a case, or in line trying to pay. Also have had to deal with cranky rude staff. If I can't get in and out in 30-40 minutes they will never get my lunchtime shopping money.

Other shoppers - how does the TJ Maxx marchandise compare to Marsall & Ross? Is it worth my time to trek over and check it out? What are your favorite brands / dept stores whos stuff they seem to carry?
#20 m on 2008-11-25 13:57 (Reply)
I used to shop at TJ Maxx all the time ,and I did find some awesome stuff there, but over the past 2 years I noticed the big designer brands disappeared and prices went up. Then I went to Ross, and I found a few, designer brands at really cheap prices. I kept coming back and each time I found something different, but all at super discounted prices and more selection than tjmaxx. I don't like the carts that won't go past the front door and there is a lot of junk in the store. But it's a small price to pay for savings.
#20.1 Cris on 2012-11-24 21:58 (Reply)
The biggest complaint I have is the lack of organization and cleanliness at some of the stores. While some stores are pretty well maintained, others are very dirty and messy. I'd focus on the dressing rooms first...dirty dressing rooms in retail are like dirty bathrooms in restaraunts.
#21 Shawna on 2008-11-25 20:12 (Reply)
Um, I just got a Badgley Mischka dress at the TJ Maxx in NYC for $199. I am a satisfied shopper :-)
#22 KJ on 2008-11-27 21:17 (Reply)
i also found a badgley mischka dress at tj maxx a few months ago, except i found it for $29 on clearance in new orleans! the original price was $999.

tj maxx is one of those stores that one should visit regularly because there are always super steals.
#22.1 jackie on 2009-04-03 01:45 (Reply)
These stores are very difficult to keep clean because there is so much merchandise on the floor at once, and there is not a very rigid organization style. Plus, so much merchandise is shipped to some stores that it's forced out onto the floor even when it doesn't fit. And to be honest, some customers are inconsiderate and pull apart sets and the mates get lost. If the management and associates are good though, the store can run very well and be pretty clean.
#23 Anon on 2008-12-03 00:25 (Reply)
I used to get upset at the store staff when the store looked like a cyclone hit it - then I realized it's not the staff that makes it look that way, its the SHOPPERS - it's not fair that the people who work in the store should pick up something a shopper left on the floor - and if people would leave their cart at the end of the rack, then the aisles would not be blocked
#23.1 sd on 2009-10-13 14:53 (Reply)
Exactly. I work at a TJ Maxx and at my store every employee is on top of keeping the store clean. But that's so hard when there are customers who tear apart everything. After closing I am in charge of the dressing room, shoes, and lingerie. Piles of shoes and lingerie will be on the floor and last week I found that a child had drawn on a mirror in red crayon. I love my customers and treat them with the kindness and respect they deserve but I refuse to be blamed for this. It would take hours to clean the shoes up completely after I get off work and that's usually after 10. So please, if you are a customer, think twice about putting the shoes where they belong! :-)
#23.1.1 Anonymous on 2010-10-27 12:20 (Reply)
I have to agree with Anon that these stores are difficult to clean. You have to consider the budget that these stores have. Big stores in busy areas tend to have bigger budgets whereas smaller stores have a lower budget. That budget decides the number of staff that can be hired and paid, what they can buy, etc. You also have to keep in mind that it's no more than two people maintaining an area. The women's section is probably the most shopped. So think of the constant shopping done with only two associates cleaning, all the while making runs back and forth from the fitting room and service desk to pick up the returns. If the store becomes busy, then the floor associates end up being called to the front to work the registers so the customers can move out. It can be as quick as 10 minutes or up to a half an hour. By the time they return to their area, depending on how big it is, it could still be in good shape or a horrible disaster.

If the customer does their job, then so will the associates. Not every cashier/associate will deal with a pleasant customer as they are bound to come upon rude ones as well.

Each store is different. Try not to carry the same mindset for all TJX stores.
#24 Ly on 2009-02-13 11:40 (Reply)
Ly said it perfectly.

Customers can really trash a place, and it can be so hard to keep up with everything. People put clothes in the wrong sections, throw them on the floor, abandon cart fulls of merchandise, lay clothes over the racks, leave stuff they don't want by the mirrors after trying them out (instead of just putting them back where they found them), leave their garbage on the floor instead of disposing of it. It's really disrespectful to the store and to the people who work there. I know at the local TJ Maxx there is only one person to clean up the main clothing section (which includes misses career & casual, juniors, dresses, petites, womans, active wear, and clearance).
#25 iouaname on 2009-04-03 01:24 (Reply)
Love this post! And how jealous am I? Just a question based on a hypothesis I've been working-- did they talk about some of the "off-brands" they carry? Because I'm pretty sure there are some brands mixed in that only sell to Marshalls/TJ Maxx (or possibly also to other discounters such as Ross). Caribbean Joe comes to mind.

I don't mind at all-- I'm perfectly capable of determining quality for myself, and some of the "off-brand" merchandise is totally decent.

But I admit I raise an eyebrow at the "retail price" on their tags. I gotta say, I assume it's inflated and has never actually sold for that price anywhere. Am I wrong? Did anyone ask about this?

I've most definitely seen the exact items (many still in higher-end stores) I've seen elsewhere, selling for more. For example, I just bought a $54 Wacoal bra at TJ Maxx for $12.99-- the same bra I just tried on in Lord & Taylor-- make, model, color and size.

But I've always assumed that these discounters supplement their racks with cheap off-brands as well.
#26 theprettyyear (Homepage) on 2009-08-22 16:32 (Reply)
I wouldn't mind seeing a larger accessories section. Maybe it is just my local store but cute and fashionable hair clips, etc. I think would be the perfect addition to the perfect steal I just landed from them!

One request, stop allowing the rude women to hog the tiny, shoulder width aisles with their carriages! They're never moving and somehow they end up taking up the whole row and shoot a dirty look when god forbid you try to make it to a size they're attempting to hoard! Share ladies, there's enough bargains to go around!
#27 kp on 2009-10-06 21:54 (Reply)
Absolutely love Marshalls and TJ Maxx but horrified to recently learn that they are selling clothing/ coats from China that includes the fur of skinned dogs. Hidden camera uncovered this while dogs were alive. Just signed a petition to have them stop purchasing/selling these items at
#28 Janine on 2009-11-13 21:17 (Reply)
I definitely think better customer service would benifit TJ Maxx. A simple customer service training class would be incredibly helpful for the cashiers. I worked at the Nordstrom Rack which has a very similar layout and we never treated our cusomers the way that I have been treated in TJ Maxx. :-( ...Even just a little eye contact would help!
#29 Leah on 2009-12-22 00:24 (Reply)
Totally agree with the eye contact/smile thing. Aren't they getting PAID to be at least a little friendly?

#29.1 Paige Rideout on 2017-10-31 05:14 (Reply)
I have worked in those big stores and they have alot of overhead to cover, commissions, higher rent, etc. I love my tjmaxx. I have shopped at no frills to save a buck or two. I am greatfull for what they mean to my budjet and wish other would consider that. I shop it nearly every day. I even help pick up. What makes me mad is what I see other customers do. Throw things anywhere, drop and go, steal, switch tags, scratch items, etc. Then at the service Desk complain about them, want a better deal they created. TJMAXX needs us budject shoppers to help keep our stores profitable so it stays in business or I have to starting paying more at the bigger stores. Personally I liked the $29.99 boots I bought at TJMaxx after I tried on the Same pair at Yonkers for 149.99. Show some respect. Remember sometimes people get blasted by a customer and you are the next one. You try to smile.!!!:-)
#30 tammy on 2010-01-31 22:33 (Reply)
I have been working at TJ Maxx for a couple of years. I absolutely hate the store and the company. I did not know what I was getting into. It is a very hard job, physically and emotionally draining, they expect so much from you in return for those coins they are paying. If I were single, I would not be able to survive with what they are paying me! Check their sales reports online! The company is doing great during recession, because it is a discount store. There is an increase in consumer's traffic in our store. However, there are never enough employees on the floor, there is never payroll to schedule enough people. There are never enough cashiers, the store is always mess, there are never enough people to recover it properly, it is very difficult to work in. There is very high pressure to sell those credit-cards. They do not care about working condition. This is a minimum wage slavery, you work hard for nothing. It is a dead end job! Never work at TJ Maxx. The company will make fortune on your hard work, and you get nothing! I agree that some people work very hard and others are extremely lazy. They all get 15-20 hours and minimum pay. The store managers are extremely mean! Do not expect employees at TJ Maxx to be as nice as at Macy's. Working at TJ Maxx is very low paying and stressful job. Employees have to handle a lot. Some days I am sweating. I do not need gym membership anymore. The reason stuff at TJ Maxx so cheap is because they underpay their workers, they do not care about working conditions, they do not pay any benefits. Do not expect to see happy employees and great customer service in that hell.
#31 Kelly_K on 2010-03-11 17:36 (Reply)
I also work at TJ Maxx"x"'s not as bad as Target, I also worked there for two years that was HELL...but they never offer anyone the opportunity to work full-time, and only full time associates get's a good high school job you know? The hours suck, and they except so much of you...I honestly tell new people to be lazy! You show them how good of a worker you are and they take advantage of it and make you do things you aren't being paid to do (do incaps, etc) Retail is all the same...customers throw crap on the ground, tell their kids to go "play" in the toy department, leaving your three year old unsupervised in the toy department...REALLY??? People are idiots...I'm always nice to customers, kill em with kindess...ya know? But seeing customers throw stuff on top of the racks after you clean them, put items in the wrong something fall on the ground and keep gets under your skin. Hearing someone break something and go over there and there isn't anybody in sight...really?? Do they have no idea how dangerous that is??? Gr. It's a decent job for college students, high school students...retired peoples and people figuring their shit out...Yeap. Could be worse though...could be worse...could be Target.
#31.1 Penelope Arnold on 2011-03-22 20:59 (Reply)
I work at Marshalls. I have to say i like the deals and steals you can get. However, these come at cost. Employees make poor wages, there is usually not enough staff, and managers don't seem to care that much about their employees as well. When and if you get a raise, it's not even a dollar. Much more could be done for the employees, which would make them happier and in turn happier to customers.
#32 David on 2010-07-11 00:07 (Reply)
I was at the cash register at TJ Maxx with a steal!! A Juicy shirt for my daughter....the girl at the register said the price was wrong!! she took it for herself!!! I was so mad I have not been back! I loved shopping at TJ Maxx. I watched her put in a cubby and put clothes on top of it. It really took that excitement I had for the day into the dumps!
#33 Donna on 2011-11-26 09:00 (Reply)
I think I would've asked to speak to the manager immediately. No reason to miss out on great deals just because that cashier behaved badly.
#33.1 Anonymous on 2012-03-11 13:21 (Reply)
I don't know about their perfumes though, ... I bought a designer perfume for my sister as a gift, just so happened that she already have one, but she commented that the smell was very different that hers it was very very light, more like alcohol than a perfume and only lasted a minute...... I felt embarrassed.
#34 Sheryl on 2011-12-14 02:39 (Reply)
I work at a TJ Maxx. I really enjoy making conversation with people while I check them out at a register. However, I'm required to mention the TJ Maxx Rewards card. Suddenly, all the enthusiasm and terrific customer service I've offered seems phony to them, because it appears like I'm only interested in getting them to sign up for a credit card. I just want to increase the experience for the customer. Plus, if they do decide to sign up for a card, it takes forever and other customers have to wait twice as long, lowering customer satisfaction. It's a lose, lose.
#35 Anonymous on 2012-02-22 23:07 (Reply)
I just ate a whole stick of butter.
#36 Yena on 2012-04-05 21:28 (Reply)
yeah! : )
#36.1 Nickles on 2016-06-11 14:40 (Reply)
I'm currently working at the Marshalls on Six Corners (Chicago) Kelly K is spot-on...I didn't know what I was getting myself into. The store is a mess b/c of CUSTOMERS not the associates. We sweat our asses off for hrs and have to stay past our working hrs every single day b/c customers unwrap shit and throw everything on the ground, the managers expect way too much work for shit pay (they made me work half the store all the time in mens and kids). I am making less now that at my other job...I only plan on staying a few more months and then quitting. It's just not worth it...they're soooo damn cheap to their hard workers and can I say UNDERSTAFFED UNDERSTAFFED UNDERSTAFFED enough times? if you work here, please be a little slow or else they'll take advantage of you and make you do things that aren't your job. They looooove new workers b/c they have the need to prove themselves by working quickly.

So customers:
-GET IN LINE ONCE THE STORE HAS BEEN DECLARED OFFICIALLY CLOSED (we'd like to get out ASAP and you're, unknowingly, messing all the clothes up that we have to fix before leaving and closing the cash registers)
#37 Anonymous #1 on 2012-04-07 03:30 (Reply)
I agree with you that the staff sucks and it's mainly the customer's faults for screwing things up and can sympathize having to work the long hours with little pay and the under-staffing, etc. I worked at my local one and I never wanted to after only being in it once ever and finding everything in the wrong places on the wrong numbered hangers (size 2 shirts on size 24w's pant hangers, etc) when I needed to do a quick shop and found a nice black dress that was only $25 and like an evening, banquet dinner, formal dress and it wasn't marked as anything, like shoddy, etc, to make something that good sell for so low. As a customer, I am a stickler for putting back my items, whether I purchase them or not, on the proper racks so the employees have less work to do, even if it takes me a bit longer to get in and out. My local one is one bus ride away so I have time and I usually beat the wave of bad high school kids that mess everything up by doing so. As an employee, I already knew the horrors of the store and while I was doing book-keeping and clerical for the store, they would still make me work the floors and there would be clothes draping over racks and the staff was not people friendly in the least, it's a nightmare. The manager and my supervisor, don't even get me started on them! While this is all stuff that's as is on the rack, as a customer I would avoid it at all costs and as an employee, I agree with the person I am replying to that you should be a bit dim to get by working there and the customers should do a better job monitoring their children, what they do in the stores in-regards to not messing of the racks, un-wrapping things, getting to check-out lines quickly upon closing, etc. I am disabled, but I am not at all "dim", not by a long shot, believe it or not, I was actually smarter than my supervisor and had plenty of ways to cut costs and adjust everything to save even more money, build even more revenue, etc, even though I was just a "kid" working her way through college. I however, had learned from the day I first entered the store to shop, the day I shopped there and prayed I'd never be employed there, unless there was no other job in the world I could get to keep me in school and in my apartment. It actually came down to TJ-Maxx or turning to "street work" because the economy was so screwy, that I was so far behind on bills and everything else, that I had no choice. I worked 'til I found something better and the day I quit it was a week after I was supposed to get my last pay check and they refused to pay it!!!! There was noway I was going to be able to cover bills and everything else. SSI was barely covering my rent and on top of that I had my medications, school etc and my parents stopped helping out and my roommate was in a similar boat and had no room to try and help me out more. Sure, I quit for a better job and in the end it was worth it, but I loathed having to "play" dumb to get by when the world already views me as such for being disabled and they even tried to take advantage of me for being such and kept saying things like, "My books are wrong because I was too incompetent to pass 5th grade math and because I'm disabled I'll never get anywhere, but them sticking me in the back and having me re-hang things since that's the only thing disabled people people are good at, mindless, menial, repetitive labor and nothing more, if we could have our way with you!" Sure, I tried to sue, but the only people that heard the insults and slander were my supervisor and manager and of course they would deny it. The police in my town already didn't believe me over anything, based on the soul count that I was disabled and without 3rd/4th party witness statements from un-related parties there was nothing I could do. They refused to even settle out of court and there was noway it could go to trial with what was there.
#37.1 Jessie on 2012-04-22 13:02 (Reply)
Haha, I work at Winners which is basically the Canadian version of TJ Maxx/Marshall's, and we have the sammmeeeee problems! I guess all the TJX stores are like that.
#37.2 Canadian Girl on 2012-06-30 02:40 (Reply)
I live in Brazil and I travel at least twice a year to USA.
In all my travels I visit many stores TJ Maxx and Marshalls.
I just love to shop there and visit more than 10 stores for each journey.
I do not mind in the middle of the day the store is disorganized.
I love the double TJ Maxx and Marshalls!!
#38 Cynthia Blanco (Homepage) on 2012-04-10 17:41 (Reply)
I may be too late to chime in, but here goes anyway... I don't ever recall shopping at a Marshall's or TJ Maxx before, but I went to both today. I tried Marshall's first. I found a quilt that was exactly what I'd been looking for for several months now. The only problem was, it was the only King size left and they had no matching pillows or king size shams. Not knowing what you said here, I decided to buy the quilt to come home and see if I could find the matching pillows to order them online. I did see there was no name for the pattern, but it said "Well Dressed Home" so I thought that was the name of the company. I thought matching it would be easier. Now I am very frustrated. I can't find the matching pillows I want and I don't want the quilt without any pillows. I am thinking of going back to Marshall's tomorrow to buy the standard sized pillow shams (about 6 of them) and see if a seamstress can just make me a pillow set to match. The standard shams were only $12 each. Still, I shouldn't have to do that. I did pick up 2 tops on the cheap and a set of bath mats I liked. I went to TJ Maxx on the advice of the checkout lady. She said sometimes they would get matching items for Marshall's stuff, but I had no luck. I really want to keep that quilt, but if I have to sink so much money into it, it may not be wort the savings!
#39 Heather on 2012-04-10 17:41 (Reply)
Love your sharing on TJMax which is also one of my favorite stores! Thanks!
#40 amanda on 2012-06-01 14:24 (Reply)
As a former Multi manager for TJmaxx, I can tell yyou that one fthe reasopnds that they are so succesfull and pushing to become a $40 billion co. is that they pay the employees minnimum wage and what do you get for minnimum wage ? Thats right a bunch of teenagers who could give a crap! Thats why everyone above who complained had the experience that they did. These kids have no respect for anyone and could care less if they get fired because it rally is very hard to fire soemone at TJMaxx/Marshalls. add to the fact that every store is completley understaffed. Budget Babe should have someone get a job at TJ's undercover and see what it is really like.Trust me the stores you went to were given extra payroll for your visits and beefed upwith management. Happens all the time.
#41 "John" on 2012-12-11 21:06 (Reply)
First of all, I DO love TJMaxx!!!! However I beg to differ in that they don't buy from old stock. I have been a hairstylist for 13+ yrs and alot of their shampoos, conditioners, styling creams, and such, are super old. Professional hair products from companies like Redken, TIGI, Sexy Hair concepts, etc....don't allow their professional products in stores unless they have a salon period! Much less super outdated bottles/packaging. I refuse to go thru those aisles when i shop TJMxx for that reason.
Also, as a very experienced Dooney & Bourke shopper, they sell fake Dooneys!! I know it for a fact! I almost went up to the manager to let them know they're selling fake items.
Point made....they do sell super old items (not bought directly from the retailer/maker) and they sell fake designer bags.
End of story. I will continue shopping there....but with lots of caution....checking EVERYTHING!:-)
#42 Isabel on 2013-08-22 11:31 (Reply)
After receiving a pair of paige jeans for Xmas from my aunt I had many problems from the fabric puckering. I have paid $200+ for full price for 3 other pairs at Nordstroms that I love and have had them for a few years and never had a problem with. I contacted Paige Jeans USA in CA and had to send them pictures of the damages along with the tags and all the numbers on the tags, they responded that they would not warrenty or replace any jeans that were Paige Jeans specifically cut only for TJMaxx and Marshalls. In another email she went on to say that these are lighter weight fabric and specifically made for off-priced retailers.

So if you think you are getting some fantastic deal think again you really aren't getting the real deal. Might have the Paige designer brand on the tag but its not the same jean. I was actually shocked that Paige Jeans would put products out there with cheaper thiner fabrics with no indication on the labels.
#43 Erika on 2014-06-25 20:17 (Reply)
to tell the truth tj maxx sell fakes, they are not designer quality clothing, they don't have a scoop on buying designer clothing they are fakes with designer names on them. look into all the lawsuits, and now congress and the ftc are investigating them. so if you want to keep on supporting theifs and not getting real designer clothing keep shopping tj maxx, marshalls and other so called outlet stores
#44 carey on 2014-09-25 18:32 (Reply)
I bought a Ralph Lauren all leather handbag. Ibhad questions about it being gernunine. I went to a Ralph Laurn store. I described in dertail ther handbag and was told itvwas a fake. Todsy I will takevthe hand basg to the depsrtmennt store and find out from the manasger if it indeed iis a fake or the real thing. I believer bitbisva fake.
#44.1 Joanne weiss (Homepage) on 2016-01-02 09:19 (Reply)
I was wondering about the perfumes..I purchase them at other stores and get compliments off if them...but when I buy TJMaxx the scent leaves faster and people say they cannot smell it..question are they misfit formulas or why there is a difference
#45 JDShiwers on 2016-11-11 13:01 (Reply)
JD, what you're describing are counterfeit fragrances.

Yes, the box/bottle may look like the 'real thing' but what is inside is not. Unfortunately, this kind of fakery is more common than most people realize so the crooks get away with it.

The companies that sell 'impressions' of famous perfumes are far more honest than the counterfeiters because they tell you up front that they are not the original. Go to a dollar store and buy one that may be familiar. It may be smell similar to the real thing but will not perform, i.e., last/project like it.

I called TJX directly and asked where they source their fragrances. Turns out they use LOTS of 'distributors' throughout the U.S. and might even get different products from the same line from different warehouses. In short, _zero_ quality control.
#45.1 Myo on 2017-12-04 12:34 (Reply)
I just want to say that I work at TJ Maxx! It is the best job I have ever had. People come to TJ Maxx and Marshalls to scavenge for things. They ravage through the shelves and racks, tossing clothes over them instead of hanging them back up. Stealing from the store even though the prices are already low. Asking for discounts for every little detail. Some people are really not nice. But at the end of the day, I honestly love my job. I really love helping customers and interacting with their shopping. Most of them are good people. And The company is good to us. They have seriously improved since this was posted. I’ve been with this company 5 years in August & I seriously love it.
#46 Ashley (Homepage) on 2018-03-02 21:53 (Reply)
Well said, thank you for sharing this!
#46.1 The Budget Babe on 2018-03-03 08:04 (Reply)
the fact is that they DO get merchandise that is left over, imperfect or just out of style. Some sizes are slightly off for example when comparing two same items. The clothes are not defective so it's just more of cosmetic thing. the prices are off sometimes. One location of marshalls might have different price on the same item than another location. They do NOT price match nor are they willing to give any further discounts when the merchandise is dirty because it was on the floor. The managers at these stores are not businessmen which explains a lot. The "gourmet" food section is too expensive and they will only put it on clearance when expiration date nears. they would rather see things go bad than get rid of them. Pretty idiotic but that's how they operate. Again, that's my experience after having been to hundreds of tjmaxx/marshalls locations throughout the years. People (mostly women) flock to these stores like savages and I'm willing to bet that most of them don't need anymore clothes but they're still buying more. Hoarder mentality.
#47 justabuyer on 2018-11-06 11:00 (Reply)
Bit naive to think you visit the HQ and they’ll give you the whole story. They gave you what they want you to believe. If you had worked for TJ Maxx as a manager, as I did, you would find many more details. Do you really think those CK & Tommy Hilfiger tshirts and polos are the real deal, the same merchandise those brands sell in their stores? Think again. CK for example has three separate entities: online business, their own retail stores, and the dept stores unit. This last one has different levels of quality and merchandise: 1) Bloomingdale; 2) Macy’s; and 3)….yes, TJ Maxx/Marshall’s. It’s generally Chinese made crap that was never even seen by the people in the NYC HQ of the iconic brand. Chinese companies pay a merchandising fee for slapping the CK logo on tshirts that are no better than your everyday Hanes Tshirt (actually the Hanes Tshirt is better). CK gets the money and has no role in the design/manufacturing of the product. They are well aware that the people who buy their real products in their real store rarely if ever go to TJ Maxx and are not exposed to the a if al quality of the merchandise there. I have seen so many imperfections on CK, TH and Michael Kors products at TJ that initially assumed those brands had lowered their standards. Only later I discovered it’s just crap that is specifically marketed through TJ Maxx. Products at TJ Maxx are cheap because they are of sub par quality. Simple as that
#48 Mike on 2023-09-10 13:37 (Reply)
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