Monday, June 2, 2014

And This Is Merely a Partial List

Earlier this year, I regifted a set of never-used wrist weights to someone who later reported that a houseguest of hers “glommed onto” them. There wasn’t enough time or privacy to look up “glom onto” on the spot, and I thought she and the houseguest were onto me about regifting.

“Where did you find them?” she asked, wild-eyed. That’s when I knew I was in the clear, that glom was good. The weights came from either the Chelsea or Upper West Side T.J. Maxx, originally bought as a gift to myself, for under $15.

It amazes me how many Americans don’t shop at T.J. Maxx or Marshalls. It doesn’t amaze me how many European tourists crowd the racks of the Chelsea T.J. Maxx in particular, fiendishly filling up shopping carts with marked-down casualwear. I have happy memories of stopping by T.J. Maxx with my mother in high school, and going there with friends after a late-afternoon class and an early Chili’s dinner in college.

I’m further amazed by how many bargain-hunting virgins think these two stores only carry clothes, shoes, and handbags, unaware that T.J. Maxx and Marshalls are also places to fall into quality:

*Vases, ranging from simple to stunning;


*Umbrellas with pretty prints;


*Tupperware, Pyrex products, kitchen utensils, pots and pans. I found a Baccarat French press at Marshalls that cost less than any French press at the Target store, two floors below;

*Bathroom-sink hand soap – my current bottle smells like wild lavender; in reverse chronological order, my last three scents were pear, holly berry, and pumpkin spice;

*Yoga mats;     
*Jewelry - in a T.J. Maxx on Long Island, a loved one (at the time) suddenly exclaimed that “T.J. MAXX IS THE BEST PLACE TO BUY JEWELRY!” She also once tried to convince me that the nursery school across the street from my apartment building is a methadone clinic;

*Olive oil, including huge $10 Sicilian imports, tasting much like the blends I sampled in Sicily;

*Miscellaneous goods along the checkout line, en route to the cash register, where (in addition to the omnipresent bags of Jelly Bellies), I’ve found $3 bottles of Essie nail polish and a 5-pound bag of coffee more potent than Starbucks. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Roving Retorter, you are a brilliant bargain hunter! I'm not such a brilliant bargain hunter because I wear out quickly. I go into sort of a daze when I am in a store with a lot, lot, lot of stuff. I guess my tendency is not to bargain hunt--I simply don't buy. I've run out of space in my apartment. If something comes in, something else has to go out. Sort of a Physics 101 approach to life.

    However, there is one place where I get out of control, and that place is Costco. I feel as if I'm entering a giant cathedral. Angels come down and hover over really, really great things that are 40% off retail. In a TV documentary on Costco, I heard that their strategy is to offer only three or four brands or styles of an item. They have found that if a store offers 10 or 20 brands and/or styles of something, the customer becomes paralyzed by indecision and consequently buys nothing. But if the customers are confronted by only 3 or 4 brands, they can cope with decision-making, and something will go into the basket. Works for me.