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TJ Maxx reopened its online store—7 secrets for finding the best deals

How to get past the pesky search function.

Tips and tricks for shopping T.J. Maxx online now that it's reopened Credit: Getty Images / gpointstudio

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Ever since T.J. Maxx temporarily closed its stores in March to adhere to social distancing, my heart has been aching for sniffing candles and discovering cute bedspreads. But I was absolutely heartbroken when the retailer announced it would not be shipping items from its online store either. How else would I get my bargain fashion fix? And I’m not alone, as many Maxxinistas have been tweeting and sharing memes about how much they miss the store.

Thankfully, our T.J. Maxx wait is over. The best place to find bargain swimsuits and home decor just reopened their online doors, but there’s a catch: T.J. Maxx will only accept a certain number of orders each day. So you’ll have to act fast and early (really early) to get your goods shipped.

The store has also extended its typical return policy so you can make in-store returns within 30 days of the stores reopening, or return by mail within 40 days.

T.J. Maxx holds a special place in my heart. My grandmother, Ronnie, worked there for years and always gave me the tip when they received a shipment of Abercrombie when I was in middle school. It’s been my go-to for finding Free People and Michael Kors items at reasonable prices and I always come out with something I never knew I needed—at a great price.

While the online experience can’t compare to shopping in stores (there’s no digging through the racks, no expecting cookware for dings, and no receiving a number from a cute old lady for the dressing room), it’s a good alternative for now. However, navigating their online shop is a bit tricky compared to other e-commerce sites.

Luckily, there are ways to find the same great deals you would in store without spending hours digging through the site. To help you out (and make my grandma proud!), I’m breaking down the tips and tricks to help you find designer brands and get exactly what you’re looking for from T.J. Maxx. Happy hunting!

1. Know exactly how the search works

T.J. Maxx search
Credit: T.J. Maxx

What comes up when you try searching brands on T.J. Maxx's site.

T.J. Maxx intentionally makes their search function more difficult than other online shops. You can’t search for specific brands or items (that would take away the thrill the hunt, obviously) and some high-end brands' names won’t even appear on the pages—though they’re logos are still very apparent, so it’s the equivalent of the crossed out names on the tags you see in T.J. Maxx.

Basically, the only way to navigate the store is to scroll page by page until you find something you like or a brand you're familiar with. It does sort of mimic the T.J. Maxx experience, but boy is it frustrating when you try searching a brand only to get a cheeky message that they’re being a bit “shy.” It’s something to keep in mind if you’re looking for a specific brand and good to know in advance that certain phrases that sound like a brand (like “movement”) will not show up in the search bar either.

2. Keep open tabs of your favorite items

Open tabs
Credit: Getty Images / urbazon

Keep those tabs open, and start early.

Currently, because the number of orders are limited, it’s very difficult to get your order shipped later in the day. I’ve seen T.J. Maxx orders close as early as 10 a.m. But thankfully, you can still browse the site once orders are closed, though you won’t be able to add anything to your cart. I recommend having a few tabs open of the products you’ve been eyeing, so you can add them to your cart first thing in the morning.

3. Search for the model name of a specific brand

Product name
Credit: T.J. Maxx

Find the model names of the products you want and get searching.

While you cannot search the actual names of brands or designers, the easiest way to get around this is to search for the name of the product rather than the brand it's associated with. T.J. Maxx will also have some hidden copy that isn’t searchable either, but the model name of the product is usually in the description, so if you search for it, you might find it.

Here’s how it works in action. Free People’s popular Movement activewear collection has a tank called “Run In The Sun.” While you can’t search Free People, or Movement for that matter, you can look up Run In The Sun—and bingo, it will appear for nearly half off its usual price. Same goes for Champions iconic Reverse Weave pullovers, which, yes, are on T.J. Maxx’s online shop.

The easiest way to find these “models” is to look up the brands typically sold at T.J. Maxx like Free People, Trina Turk, and Champion and find the product names on other retailers’ websites. Typically, T.J. Maxx sells outdated or overstocked products, so you’ll be able to find these items at a reduced price in a different color.

4. Try looking up specific materials

Find materials
Credit: T.J. Maxx

Certain materials can help you find some high-end brands.

Some jackets and activewear and some jackets have certain material that makes them more breathable or insulating. These materials also make great search terms for finding specifics at T.J. Maxx’s online shop. Try looking up "goose down" for a super warm coat or "silk dress” to find a popular slip dress. This also brings you closer to finding designer brands that use these more expensive materials—like Canada Goose or Chole.

5. Get creative to find the exact colors you're looking for

Specific color
Credit: T.J. Maxx

This sweatsuit was found by searching "midnight."

While you can’t stroll through the store in search of items in specific colors, you can scroll through the online shop doing so. However, if you are looking for something in a shade of a particular color, it can be hard to find exactly what you’re looking for. Sure, you could search for everything in the colors ‘pink’ or ‘gray,’ but that would just yield way too many results.

To make this experience less stressful, I suggest searching for unique color names that you know brands use to describe the color you’re looking for. Thinking of colors that brands use to describe their products like ‘dove’ instead of ‘gray’ or ‘midnight’ instead of ‘black’ can really help you narrow down search results to what you’re looking for.

For example, entering “midnight” in search brings up this trendy tie-dye sweat set, but searching for “black” or “navy” excludes it in the first page of your results. Basically, when shopping online at T.J. Maxx, you have to think like the people who come up with the names of nail polish colors and get that creative.

6. Go as specific as possible with descriptors

Specific description
Credit: T.J. Maxx

Some options that come up when searching "suede" at T.J. Maxx.

When I go into T.J. Maxx, I’m usually on the hunt for something in particular—like that time I was looking like high-waisted houndstooth pants to make me feel like Shiv from Succession and was successful (thanks for asking).

You can recreate this experience shopping online, as well. When searching on the site, try using descriptors like studs, sequins, cable knit, camo, and the like. If the term brings up too many choices you can always narrow it down by filtering categories by shoes, handbags, or whatever you’re visualizing.

For example, these strappy neon pink sandals from Sam Edelman were found by searching “suede,” which has nothing to do with the color or brand. They’re also half off and just $50, which is an incredible price.

7. Check "The Runway" for savings on high-end items

The Runway
Credit: T.J. Maxx

All luxury items will be featured in "The Runway."

Select T.J. Maxx’s in metro areas have a section called “The Runway” that features high-end designer items (i.e. Gucci, Fendi, Saint Laurent)—and it also exists online, which is a total score if your local store doesn’t have one. This section is a must-browse, as the inventory changes often and you never know what crazy savings you’ll find on coveted handbags, dresses, shoes, and more.

Although you can’t search or filter by designer, you can navigate this section online like you would in the store: by category. This will help you narrow down your search to the different racks you’d see in a T.J. Maxx store (clothing, jewelry, watches, swimsuits, etc).

While items featured on “The Runway” may be more expensive compared to the rest of the site, the savings are insane. For example, you can get this Trina Turk one-piece swimsuit for just $30, nearly half off its original price. Or you could opt for a Saint Laurent shoulder bag for $1,700, which is a pretty good deal considering it usually goes for $2,150.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.