Everything You Need To Know Before Shopping At Marshalls

Marshalls is well known among people who love a good bargain. Target, Walmart, Ross, and other stores tend to have great deals, but Marshalls seems to be one of those places that has shockingly great prices. Despite Marshalls' popularity, there are a lot of shopping secrets and tips you might not know.

Because Marshalls is very different from your typical department stores, there are certain things you should be aware of before heading in. First of all, there's a reason the prices are generally low at Marshalls. According to the company's website, items are priced at about 20-60 percent lower than retail. But that's not all. From tag colors to the name brands Marshalls' carries to all the must-have items you can't pass up, shopping at Marshalls is truly an experience. So, before you head into your local Marshalls, here's everything you're going to need to know — oh, and you're welcome.

You should shop early at Marshalls

Unlike department stores or even superstores like Target, Marshalls doesn't guarantee that they'll carry the same things every day or even the same things as other Marshalls stores. As such, the best thing you can do to ensure you get what you want is to go shopping early. Stores tend to get crowded during people's lunch breaks or after work, but if you have a day off or don't work mornings, that might just be the best time to head to your local Marshalls.

Celebrity stylist and Marshalls partner Melissa Garcia explained to Rachel Ray In Season that you should head to the store soon after it opens in the a.m. And if you like the store to yourself, this will be especially helpful. If you're not a morning person, though, the magazine suggested heading to Marshalls right after dinner. You'll avoid the crowds, but unfortunately there's a good chance the inventory will be lower, considering other customers have shopped earlier in the day.

If you see something you like at Marshalls, don't wait

While stores like Target or Macy's tend to carry plenty of backstock on popular items, Marshalls is different. When Marshalls gets something in, there's no telling how many of that particular item the store will have, or if they'll ever get it in again. The company's site advises shoppers that if they see something they like, don't wait. "We don't hold replenishment stock in our back rooms and the store managers often don't even know what's coming until they throw open the delivery truck doors!"

Additionally, Christine Lee of the Instagram account @HomeGoodsObsessed told Good Housekeeping that shoppers have a limited time frame to buy something. "Products are initially launched in a few stores to see how well they perform and if they do well, it gets a wider distribution throughout the country," she said. "The goal of every item is to sit on the shelf no longer than 3 weeks, so act fast." Even if you weren't looking for a pair of faux snakeskin booties, if you see some for half price, you might want to take advantage and snag them while you can.

Pay attention to the color of the stickers at Marshalls

Ah, the clearance section. In any store, the clearance section might just be the ultimate treasure trove of unknown possibilities. Will you find your new favorite sweater in there? Maybe an adorable mug for 60 percent off? There's no telling what you'll find at Marshalls, but the color of the price tag on an item can tell you a lot.

According to Rachel Ray In Season, most items at Marshalls have a white price tag, but if it's on sale, it will have a different color tag on top of that white tag. A red sticker means an item is on clearance whereas a yellow sticker means that the item is marked down as low as it will go — so definitely grab it. It's also important to note that even though Marshalls may have clearance sections, you never know where you'll spot a red or yellow tag, so keep your eyes peeled. Although the publication noted that Marshalls appeared to be phasing out these colored tags, many stores seem to be continuing with the system, as of this writing.

Wednesdays are a good day to shop at Marshalls

While Marshalls is obviously different than a lot of other stores, they still get regular shipments of items and there are days that are better than others for making the most of their latest hauls. And while you might think Sunday or Monday would be a good day to head out looking for new items, that's actually not the truth. In fact, Wednesday is one of the best days to hit up your local store.

As Christine Lee of the Instagram account @HomeGoodsObsessed told Good Housekeeping, "The best time to shop is weekday mornings when everything is tidy, clean, and well-stocked from the overnight shipment." She told the publication that "Mondays are usually catch-up days from the busy weekend," which makes Wednesday a much better option. Obviously, not everyone can go shopping in the middle of the week but if you're able to, stopping in at Marshalls on a Wednesday morning might just get you the ultimate bargain.

Don't rule out shopping at Marshalls on Fridays

While most stores, including Marshalls, are going to be pretty crowded during the weekend — people are off work and out of school, after all — you can escape some crowds by shopping on a Friday.

As Christine Lee of the Instagram account @HomeGoodsObsessed told Good Housekeeping, Fridays are not only going to be less crowded, but have another great benefit too. "To really up your chances of scoring a unique find, head to Marshalls on Friday when the stores are stocking the shelves for the weekend crowds," the publication noted. Yes, this means if you stop in on a Friday, you get a head start to all that good stuff. And really, what better way to kick off your weekend than score some amazing deals?

If in-person shopping isn't your bag, though, you can always scour Marshalls' website for deals. In a September 2019 press release provided to NBC's Today, Mark DeOliveira, executive vice president of Marshalls' parent company, TJX Digital US, announced the launch of the company's online store, "which allows customers to shop Marshalls anytime."

These are the two best months to shop at Marshalls

Just like there are certain times and days of the week that are more advantageous for shopping at Marshalls, some months of the year are better than others. Although you may know about the major sales of the year, like Labor Day in September and Black Friday in November, you may not know when to find the best of the best deals at Marshalls.

Sonya Cosentini, style expert for Marshalls, revealed that the stores mark down items to clearance prices and offer their lowest prices during the months of January and July, according to shopping hacks site Rather-Be-Shopping. These months follow popular shopping seasons; January marks the end of all the holiday decor and winter clothing while July wraps up much of the summer season. If you don't mind buying out of season, you'll be able to get some great deals on clothes, furniture, and home decor for the following year.

Marshalls' store credit card might be worth it

Listen, it's no secret that credit cards are kind of a double-edged sword. Yes, they can help you build credit and they're great in an emergency, but they also represent money you might not necessarily have, and can therefore put you in a lot of debt. Still, it can be worth it to have credit cards for certain things. If you're a big Marshalls shopper, one of their store credit cards might be a smart investment for you. 

"In addition to earning points for in-store redemption, you'll receive exclusive access to shopping events and other perks," Stefanie O'Connell, Marshalls consumer savings expert, told Good Housekeeping. And according to Marshalls' website, you'll also get 10 percent off of your first order and 5 percent in Rewards for shopping at Marshalls or Marshalls' sister stores TJMaxx and HomeGoods. As with any credit card, it's important to keep tabs on how much you spend with your Marshalls store card, but it can be a smart move for a responsible shopper.

Marshalls has a great selection of home decor

While you might simply think of Marshalls as being a great place to score designer clothes at a knockout price, the store carries a lot more than just clothing. One big area of Marshalls that you really shouldn't discount is the home section. Yes, Marshalls has a great selection of home decor and essential home items that are all pretty affordable.

According to Marshalls' website, the company carries items "for the entire family and home," which range from trendy, in-season clothing from hot designers and expensive shoes marked down to prices just about everyone can love, but also toys to aid learning, pillows to make your home homier, and more. Specifically, Marshalls' home section includes "bedding, home decor, bath accessories and everything for a chic home," according to the site. So if you already like shopping at Marshalls for the clothes, you may want to consider giving their home section a browse.

Don't skip over Marshalls' beauty aisle

Marshalls' beauty aisle might not be the thing that pulls you into the store, but once you check it out, you'll be hooked. If you love Marshalls for having name brand and designer clothing and shoes, you should know they also have name brand and designer beauty items just waiting for you to check out. Forget spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora, Marshalls is where it's at.

As beauty and style blogger Kristen Jones of A Classy Fashionista told Good Housekeeping, "You can find so many popular brands on sale like Anastasia, bareMinerals, O.P.I., and Philosophy [at Marshalls]." While those products typically cost a lot at places like Ulta and Sephora, because of Marshalls' unique buying power, you'll often find them at a much lower price there.

However, Jones added that you should be vigilant while shopping the beauty aisle. "Open and inspect any beauty items before purchasing them to check for breakage or fingerprints," she said. Overall, keep your eye out on that beauty department, because you might just find your favorite eye shadow pallet for less than half of what you paid for it somewhere else.

Marshalls' selection of pet items is impressive

Marshalls is obviously a great shopping destination for you and your (human) family, but while you're there you can do more than just treat yourself to some new boots, makeup, jeans, or sheets. You can also treat your furry friend to something new. Yes, the pet department at Marshalls is seriously awesome.

According to Real Simple, Marshalls carries a large inventory of pet items that you might need, such as dog beds, fancy treats, and even nice toys that aren't easily destroyed by your good boy who tends to rip all his toys apart. Canines aren't the only ones who benefit from the pet section as you can also find items for your cat — we're talking treats, climbing and scratching posts, and food bowls. So why not grab your furbaby something while you're out? Or, considering Marshalls is one of the most popular dog-friendly retailers out there, you can bring your doggo in for him to see for himself. However, this pet policy may vary. You should always check with your local store before bringing Fido.

This must-buy item at Marshalls might surprise you

When you think about going on a super fun shopping trip to Marshalls, you might picture yourself getting some cute shoes or a skirt or maybe some new beauty supplies. However, there's one must-buy item that will probably surprise you — and one that you should definitely stock up on. Believe it or not, but the paper goods aisle is actually one of the best sections in the entire store.

According to Kristen Jones, the beauty and style blogger behind A Classy Fashionista, you would be making a mistake by not grabbing some cards or gift wrapping supplies. "You can find gorgeous cards for under $2," Jones told Good Housekeeping. Honestly, who doesn't love getting a sweet card in the mail? Snail mail may be old fashioned, but it's a great way to stay in touch, and it's always smart to have gift wrapping supplies on hand, just in case. Plus, if you need to buy a gift for someone, Marshalls is truly your one-stop shop.

Be careful when buying certain products from Marshalls

While Marshalls might be a great place to get yourself a new makeup brush or discounted mascara, that doesn't mean you should throw caution to the wind when wandering down the beauty aisle. Specifically, you're going to want to check the expiration dates on any and all beauty items — because even though they might be cheap, they might also be past their prime. In fact, a News4 Investigates report found that products at discount stores including TJ Maxx, Ross, and Burlington were selling products with either expired or missing expiration dates. Although Marshalls wasn't part of the investigation, the store is under the same parent company as TJ Maxx and follows similar standards.

Dermatologist and plastic surgeon Brian Biesman told News4 Investigates that expired products are bad news. "I don't recommend ever using a product which is expired. No matter what it is," he explained. "Most often the issues going to be the product just isn't as effective but there aren't any guarantees something wouldn't be harmful. And depending on what exactly is in it could even be dangerous," said Biesman. Sure you might find a bareMinerals concealer for half off at Marshalls, but you should make sure it's not expired before you add it to your cart.

Marshalls has a can't-miss shoe department

If you've never shopped at a Marshalls before, you might be unaware of just how awesome their shoe department is. While some discount stores may have messy shoe aisles with sizes and styles mixed up like a bag of potpourri, Marshalls sets itself apart. In fact, you can end up getting some great items if you have a keen eye.

As former Marshalls associate planner Kwabena Richard Leibel told Complex, there's a good chance that you'll even be able to find expensive shoes such as Yeezys and Air Jordans at a Marshalls store. How does this happen? Well, for one, Marshalls likes Nike. "Marshalls is on the hunt for labels, they don't care what the product is," Leibel told the outlet. "They'll buy cleats, whatever, they just want Nike in the store because it brings in customers." If you want designer kicks for less, Marshalls is your place.

Yes, you can haggle at Marshalls

In most stores across the United States, you can't really expect to haggle the price much. You don't go to Target and ask to buy a $100 bookshelf for $50. Sure, maybe at a flea market you can talk a price down, but in brick-and-mortar stores, it's just not a typical practice. Except at Marshalls, that is. The store is known for its already low prices, but you still might be able to haggle for a better deal.

According to Real Simple, there are two ways you can go about it. If you've been coming to the store for a while and notice that something has been there for longer than a month, Real Simple reports that it's due for a markdown, so you might as well ask an employee if they can check whether or not it's eligible. Additionally, if you notice an item has is damaged — like it has a missing button or a small tear — it's worth mentioning. You might get a 10 to 20 percent discount.