TK Maxx Thrift Tips

13 November 2018

*cue Macklemore and Ryan Lewis - Thrift shop background music*

Let's be honest, everyone loves a bargain. The thrill of searching through the hundreds of items on the store rails (and the floor) to find that item that has 50 per cent off is a bloggers dream. I'm a massive fan of vintage markets and stores like TK Maxx (or TJ Maxx for the US readers), which is where the little burgundy dress in the pictures is from.

The danger of wanting it all when you're walking around a market or a discount store is however, very real. But from my trials and errors, I have a few pointers if you want to completely ace the art of TK maxx shopping, or any form of thrift shopping for that matter. This post is in no way affiliated or sponsored by TK Maxx, I’m just a very big fan of the store.

Time - If you’re like me, shopping is one of those things that you do after work, online or on a weekend. It’s a casual activity with little planning and preparation involved. Oh, how wrong was I. In order to get the best items, going to a clothes shop has to be a military operation - perfect timing, the right objectives, perfect coordination. Getting there just as a store or market opens is putting yourself in the optimal position. The earlier, the better - the chances of arriving to a shop where the clothes are all over the floor or having to fight over that little black dress perfect for Saturday night, are minimised.

Avoid city centre stores - If you want to avoid a traumatic experience, head to those stores that are outside a town centre. Stores that are remote/hard to access are less visited, often better stocked, and come with a car park so you can transport your goods back home easily. They are less visited than city centre branches meaning there could very well be a better selection of designer pieces too. Also, some stores are just better than others, when you know, you know. It's like how you know what restaurants to avoid - some TK Maxx stores are best to avoid, but some are brilliant.

Stock up on the classics - The great thing about discount stores is that they are the place to go for those really pricey but classic items you know you need in your wardrobe e.g. smart black jeans, tailored white shirt or blazer. Those classic wardrobe pieces are some of the best things that can be purchased in TK Maxx. Introducing the Gold label section at TK Maxx - designers such as; Armani, Karen Millen and Gucci at a fraction of the price to cater for all your classic wardrobe piece needs.

Have objectives - Go in with a goal of knowing what you're getting to stop yourself from distracted by all the sequins, velvet and flared jeans stores that TK Maxx have to offer.

Try before you buy - This is something that is certainly applicable to the old TK Maxx shop. There’s hardly a time I go into TK maxx and am seen walking around with less than 5 items in my hand. With that in mind, a practical tip would be to leave all the complicated clothing at home - you want something that you can whip on and off quickly in the changing room when shopping at TK Maxx.

It's not just for clothes - The beauty department is completely overlooked. I’ve had people question me and ask ‘why do you buy beauty products from TK Maxx - are they even nice?’ The answer is yes. The beauty department at Tk Maxx stock a load of high end skin products and knock off up to 60% of the recommended retail price - Nars, Mac, Too faced - yes please!

The RRP might not be quite as high as the label claims - Speaking of 60% off the recommended retail price, I have this theory that discount stores mark up the recommended retail price, so it’s overexagerated and then mark it down again to make you think you’re getting a real bargain. The TV investigation show Dispatches proves my theory is actually substantial - just call me Sherlock Holmes. 

Be certain - Usually, I would say to myself if you’re not too sure on an item, then don't buy it. If you’re thinking about an item that you didnt buy a couple of hours after from walking away from it, that’s when you know you need that item in your life. So usually, you go back the next day and purchase that item you were thinking about so much. Well, unfortunately TK Maxx doesnt quite work like that - if you see an item you like, grab it - once its gone in TK Maxx, it’s gone. And you’re in a better position having to return an item that you’ve had second thoughts about rather than desperately yearning for an item you haven’t purchased to find out it's gone when you return to purchase it. 

Cash is key - As this post is also catered towards thrift shopping, make sure you carry cash with you. It sounds obvious, but in this day and age where everything is contactless - I have formed a dependency on my card, forgetting to take cash to places that need cash. On the plus side, market stalls are more likely to knock off a cheeky 10 or 15% off if you have the cash there and then.

Online - This next point is one I did not know about before writing this post, but then with shopping comes research and with research comes learning. While you are doing TK maxx in a truly correct fashion if you visit the stores, I also found out they hold ’flash events’ online, so you can browse their amazing collections without leaving the comfort of your own home. You can register for them here: Whilst were on the note of e-commerce, sign up their email alerts to hear all the latest about any new products they have and whats happening at your nearest store- it’s the best thing a TK Maxx fanatic like me could do.

Let me know how your TK Maxx adventures get on or if you have any tips and tricks

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