The Truth About Off-Price Retailers

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The Truth About Off-Price Retailers
Have you ever been to off-price retailers, like T.J. Maxx or Marshalls, and wondered why you're getting such a good deal on brand name clothes and other items? Here's an inside look at how off-price stores cut down their prices without compromising quality.

Let's start with clothes. A lot of people think the great deals you see are because the outfits are defective or irregular, but that's a myth. While regular department stores can return the clothes they don't sell to the manufacturer, off-price retailers don't have that luxury. They ultimately have to unload their inventory, which gives them more incentive to lower their prices. That means more savings for you in the end.

As for food products, one major misconception is that they're old and past their due date. That's not true, either. It's actually illegal to sell expired food, so what you see on their shelves is safe to eat. When you see a deal, take advantage of it.

However, when it comes to beauty products, it's a little harder to tell what you're getting for your money. Since these items are pretty popular, be sure to check the box for wear and tear. This could mean that what's inside is damaged, or has already been opened up and used.

Also, some types of beauty products aren't required to have an expiration date stamped on them. Search to see if it's safe to buy. Just check the batch number, which is usually on the bottom of the container, and this site will tell you if that marked-down lipstick or eye shadow is past its prime.

The next time you're at an off-price retailer, keep these tips in mind to help you get a good deal. You'll see that you don't have to shop at high-end stores to get high-quality merchandise.

Best Days to Snag New Markdowns at 7 Big Retailers
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The Truth About Off-Price Retailers -- Savings Experiment

 Go on Thursday. Why? The markdowns are required to be completed by the time the store opens on Thursday morning, James said.

Monday and Tuesday is best at CVS (CVS), he said. Markdowns are started on Sundays, so if you want to get a chance to see the bulk of what's been price-chopped, waiting beyond Monday or Tuesday could cost you a shot at a great deal.
Sunday is the first day or markdowns, James said, but coming to the store on a Monday you'll typically find a less crowded a store and will see the latest markdowns. And, he said, don't forget the 40 percent off one item coupons Jo-Ann always puts out.
The second and fourth Saturday of every month are the two days of the month when Kohl's (KSS) has the biggest markdowns.
Macy's (M) goal is have all the markdowns ready for Tuesday's store opening, James said he was told by a women's apparel manager. That means get to the store on Tuesday morning, if you can.
Wednesday is the day to expect to best shot at markdowns, James said. Markdowns and clearance rack additions are typically done on Tuesday nights or early Wednesday, he said.
Markdowns at Target (TGT) are more complex than you'll find at most retailers because they happen on different days for different departments. Monday, for example, expect new markdowns in electronics, accessories, kids clothes, books, baby products and stationery. On Tuesday, markdowns will be in domestics, women's clothing, pets and food items.
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