TJ Maxx Giving Away $500 in Gift Cards to Wise Bread Readers
Editor's note: Contest ended!
Blog Giveaway Winners:
- Powered by Tofu: $150
- Judy Palumbo: $50
- Heather C: $50
Twitter Giveaway Winners
- @sweepstakesgirl: $150
- @Lunachique: $50
- @simplyandreah: $50
We reserve the right to pick new lucky winners if you don't return our emails/Tweets by Friday, 10/2!
T.J. Maxx is giving away $500 worth of gift cards to our Wise Bread readers!
In addition to the giveaway, we also have lots insider tips about how to maximize savings at T.J. Maxx, the best frugal fall fashions for kids, and how to convince your kids to shop at off-price retailers. But first, the contest!
Blog Giveaway: $250
- 1 winner: $150 gift certificate.
- 2 winners: $50 gift certificate.
How To Enter:
Simply leave a short comment below answering any one of these questions:
- Name the favorite tip/fact you learned about TJ Maxx in this interview.
- Name a product you've purchased at an off-price retailer like TJ Maxx or Marshalls.
- Share your favorite back-to-school shopping tip.
Twitter Giveaway: $250
- 1 winner: $150 gift certificate.
- 2 winners: $50 gift certificate.
How to enter
Simply tweet one of these messages:
- Win $500 worth of #TJMaxx gift certificates at @WiseBread http://bit.ly/tjmaxx
- Retweet this for chance to win $250 in #TJMaxx gift cards @WiseBread http://bit.ly/tjmaxx
You can enter both contests. For both giveaways: Contest ends on 9/27/09. We'll randomly select the winners and announce them here on 9/28. US residents only, must be 18 or over, void where prohibited.
Sonya Cosentini, a spokesperson for TJ Maxx, was kind enough to answer my questions about back-to-school shopping and her company.
What do you say to a kid who thinks she's too cool to shop at T.J. Maxx?
Shopping at off-price retailers is a win-win for both mom and kid—they can find the trends and mall-store names they are looking for and you as a parent can stay within your budget. The best way to explain to your kids is to show them. Ask them to go through a magazine or online and point out the looks they want to create for their back to school wardrobe.
Have them make a list, and then take them to T.J. Maxx first. They’ll be surprised that they will find all of those trends right there! T.J. Maxx even has those same mall-store brands that kids crave, and once they see those in the rack, and parents explain how much more they can get by purchasing them there instead of the mall, they will be on board!
How much money can a typical family save at T.J. Maxx for back to school shopping?
Families can save hundreds of dollars on a back to school wardrobe by shopping off-price. For example, a hoodie you might find at a mall-store will be up to 60% less at T.J. Maxx. With the purchase of that piece alone, now you have more room in your budget for the other things your child needs to go back to school in style—like a new backpack or pair of sneakers!
What are the hottest fashion trends for girls this year?
There are so many amazing looks out there this season for girls! For the little girl, try colored skinny leg jeans with sparkly belts paired with a buffalo plaid tunic or graphic printed t-shirts. Little girls express themselves with t-shirts with peace signs, butterflies and hearts on sublimation and watercolor patterns. Printed scarves that feature the same patterns or tie-dye will be the must-have accessory for back to school.
For teen girls, it’s all about recreating their favorite teen tv celebrity look! For that upper east side style try skinny jeans with a plaid ruffled blouse and cropped jacket. Detailed ballet flats and brooches complete any preppy look. For the rocker teen, you’ll see them rocking leggings with cuts, rips, tears or lace trim, heeled booties and a tunic under a leather motorcycle jacket. With plaid all the rage this year, the ‘grunge’ look is easy to achieve: pair torn and worn jeans with a buffalo plaid tunic and chunky heels.
What are the hottest fashion trends for boys this year?
It’s really all about the basics and how to layer those basics to create must-have looks for both boys and girls this back to school season! For boys, you’ll see madras plaid in shorts, paired with collared shirts and striped sweaters. For a more casual, rocker look, boys will don printed t-shirts with skulls and vintage rock band logos with worn jeans and a funky hooded sweatshirt.
How is T.J. Maxx able to provide designer labels at such cheap prices? Are these items damaged in some way?
There are many ways that we are able to offer amazing value on designer merchandise, a few:
- Buying closer to need: Our buyers travel 40+ weeks per year to negotiate with more than 10,000 vendors in over 60 countries (vs. department stores who buy seasonally). This allows more opportunity to score great deals.
- Flexible “no walls” concept: Because not all stores carry the same merchandise, the buyers are able to buy either a large quantity to carry in all stores or only a few pieces to carry in select stores. For example, if a vendor has enough fabric to produce 600,000 blouses, but a department store only ordered 500,000, off-price buyers will purchase the extra 100,000 blouses – at a significant discount – and carry them in part of the chain.
- Company owned distribution centers: T.J. Maxx and Marshalls’ nationwide distribution system allows for faster processing of goods to stores. Therefore, buyers can purchase merchandise up until the last minute of any given season – not only allowing them to respond to trends much more quickly than other retailers (who buy several seasons in advance), but also allowing them to “swoop in” and negotiate a better deal by waiting until a vendor is highly motivated to sell.
- We buy it, we own it: Unlike department and specialty store buyers, off-price buyers never return merchandise to their vendors. This motivates vendors to provide a better price up-front.
- No sales ever: Off-price stores offer low prices every day, so the customer never has to wait for a sale. Periodically, at the end of a season, any unsold merchandise will go on clearance, providing even further customer savings.
- Don’t pay for the display: Another way the stores can keep prices low is by keeping their operating costs low. Rather than invest in expensive fixtures and fancy displays, off-price retailers focus on giving customers the best merchandise at a great price.
Besides price, are there any other differences between shopping at T.J. Maxx vs. department stores?
T.J.Maxx buys differently that department stores, which is the main way we are able to offer amazing values on the same merchandise to consumers. We also don’t pay for the expensive fixtures and fancy displays---so we can focus on keeping costs down for the consumer. Our merchandise is also organized differently, by size and department as opposed to designer.
More Insider Tips From Fat Wallet
Brian, who works for T.J. Maxx as a service coordinator, shared some great insider tips on how to maximize savings at T.J. Maxx. Here are some of his best tips:
Yellow stickers are final clearance, so don't expect more markdowns if you see an item with yellow stickers.
Look at the upper right of a T.J. Maxx price ticket. There is a 2 digit number. This number is the month the item came into the store and this number goes up to 24. The current month is 14. If an item is more than 2 months old but doesn't have a yellow or red sticker then kindly ask an associate to check for a markdown for you. Most likely the item was missed and you could save a lot of money. Also, if it’s more than 4 months before with one red sticker the associate can ask the manager to check the computer in the office for additional markdown but this is less likely to happen.
If an Item has damage and no markdown or one. you could get an additional markdown, just ask.
If you see an item you want. sometimes it would be best if you wait a bit and come back when its marked down. Markdowns are 33%, which is a good savings Read all 10 tips at Fat Wallet
Good luck with the contest everyone. I look forward to reading your comments!