15 Things You Should Never Buy at T.J.Maxx

Uncover the surprising items that may not be worth the bargain at T.J.Maxx.

t.j. maxx retail store location
Updated July 18, 2024
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While T.J.Maxx is a treasure trove of discounted finds for your wardrobe and home, some items might be better left on the shelf.

This isn't to say you can't score amazing deals at T.J.Maxx. You can often save on everyday essentials, and unique pieces are waiting to be discovered.

But before you fill your cart to the brim, consider these items you might want to skip.

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Makeup

Jovica Varga/Adobe woman applying eyeshadow powder

T.J.Maxx is stocked with makeup, but you should take a second look before adding it to your cart.

The retailer gets deals on overstock of things that don’t sell or aren’t as popular in other retailers, so you may be stuck with colors that weren’t popular, limiting your choices.

High-end goods

15Studio/Adobe black leather Chanel bag

You may think you scored a deal with a high-fashion name on a handbag, but check the tag before you put it in your bag.

You may pay less for high-end goods like Gucci or Coach purses at T.J.Maxx than retail stores, but you may be surprised by how little they’re marked down.

Perfume

New Africa/Adobe man spraying luxury perfume

Like makeup, you can get a good deal on perfume if you can find the right product, but it may be difficult to find what you want because it’s overstock that didn’t sell.

You may also want to check bottles before you buy them, as they could have been opened and sampled by customers before you saw them on the shelf.

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Bedding

Irshaad Majal/peopleimages.com/Adobe man waking up in a bed

You may want to find some new soft sheets for your bed at a price lower than what you can find at a department store.

But double-check the sheets, as they may not be as soft as those from more expensive retailers. The lower price tag could be due to lower quality, and you could be disappointed.

Toys

New Africa/Adobe little baby with toy phone

Toys can be expensive, so you may think T.J.Maxx is a good way to stock up on something for your kids or give a gift to friends.

However, the toys may not meet the same standards as toys at other retailers, so be careful about what you buy. They could be a choking hazard or have pieces that could break off.

Small furniture

Diana Vyshniakova/Adobe white tulips in a vase near the bed

You might head to T.J.Maxx for a small accent piece, such as a nightstand or end table, or perhaps you need something a little bigger, such as a TV stand.

Remember that T.J.Maxx stocks its stores with furniture that may have been a floor sample or damaged, which is why it was unsellable before it made it to your local store.

Kitchen supplies

hedgehog94/Adobe Lady placing pea and corn containers in the freezer.

It’s a good idea to replace kitchen supplies like mixing bowls or measuring cups so you always have some on hand.

But you should be prepared to replace those items regularly due to the poor quality of items on the T.J.Maxx shelf.

It may be better to spend a little more money on kitchen staples you’ll have for years to come.

Coffee

Suzi Media/Adobe pouring a mug of hot filtered coffee

Coffee drinkers may want to fill up their stash of K-Cups with pods from T.J.Maxx, but slow down before you grab a box of K-Cups from the shelf.

Compare prices to the cost of store brands at your local grocery store. The grocery store may have a better selection and fresher pods for around the same price as T.J.Maxx.

Yoga mats

Svitlana/Adobe male fitness instructor streaming

Exercise equipment like yoga mats can be a good way to get you into shape and be healthier.

Yoga mats, however, need to be thick and non-slip to help you when you’re trying out a new pose, and the yoga mats from T.J.Maxx may not hold up to a workout like that.

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Swimsuits

dusanpetkovic1/Adobe brunette in one hand holding bikini and in other towel

Summer is coming soon, which is the perfect time to add some new swimsuits to your closet.

But cheaper options mean cheaper quality, which can be an issue when you’re swimming in the sun only to have problems with your swimwear.

Hair products

Brastock Images/Adobe customer choosing a men's hair product

Hair products have a similar issue to makeup and perfume, with shoppers tampering with the seal to smell them or maybe even test them out for things like hairspray or gel.

Skip the haircare aisle for products you’ll use on your hair, and be careful of things like hair clips that someone may have tried on before you found them on the shelf.

Spices

monticellllo/Adobe variety of spices

Spices don’t last forever, and many will lose their flavor if they’re old and expired.

But they’re also very shelf-staple, which makes them a good option to stock on the shelves of T.J.Maxx.

Check any spices for an expiration date and consider skipping them if the date is closer than you’re comfortable with.

Electronics

top images/Adobe smart speaker

You may think you found a deal on small electronics like a Bluetooth speaker or new headphones.

Those electronics may end up being duds.

Instead, spend a little more on a higher-quality item that will last longer than buying something cheap that’s likely to break.

Shoes

HBS/Adobe happy woman buying sneakers at store

Shoes can be hit or miss, so you may be taking a chance buying shoes at T.J.Maxx.

It can be good to find a pair that’s perfect for you, but you also may want a backup or have a plan if they give up on you while you’re out.

Other food items

Gorodenkoff/Adobe at the supermarket

Still want to buy a food item from T.J.Maxx? Give it a few more checks before you check out.

Some food items may have been opened or sampled before they're on the shelf, so make sure they haven’t been tampered with.

You’ll also want to confirm the expiration date, as it may be closer than you think for an item on the shelf.

Bottom line

Joe Hendrickson/Adobe t.j. maxx

T.J.Maxx can be a powerful tool for budget-conscious shoppers. By being selective and focusing on quality over quantity, you can find great deals that help you keep more cash in your wallet.

Remember, the best bargains are the ones you'll use and love for a long time. To maximize your savings, embrace the treasure hunt atmosphere and be open to finding unexpected gems.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.