Why Is Marshall’s So Cheap? (11 Reasons Why)

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Yasmin Fisher

Yasmin Fisher is a fashion-loving shopaholic who has spent the last 10 years in customer service. She loves finding great deals, and thrifting is one of her favorite weekend activities.

Everyone who is an avid shopper has heard of Marshall’s. It is TJ Max’s sister store, and it is typically very messy and always very cheap. The same company owns Mashall’s and T.J. Maxx.

Marshall’s is a store with great deals, and you can often find famous designer clothes at a significant bargain price. I have seen eleven reasons why Marshall’s is so cheap, and I would like to share them with you.

Why Is Marshall’s So Cheap?

1. Buying In Excess

Marshall’s does not get their designer clothes straight from the designer. One of the places they get overstock is from other department stores.

Marshall’s gets their stuff from the manufacturers of the brand’s excess inventory. The stock comes from specific sources:

  • Department store cancellations
  • Manufacturers making too many products
  • Closeout deals

Oddly enough, a closeout deal is when a merchandiser wants to clear out merchandise at the end of the season. Hence, all the swimsuits you see in the winter.

Some of the brand’s merchandise is also exclusively created by Marshall’s company and sourced from places like India or Australia.

Cheap places like Marshall’s will purchase at a discount and then turn around and sell items at a lower cost.

2. Department Store Returns

Another way that Marshall’s can sell at a discount is because they often get their merchandise from department store returns. There could be many reasons for this:

  • Damaged goods
  • Change of mind
  • Poor fit

Online purchases account for at least 30 percent of all returns. For these stores, it amounts to countless items being returned on a daily basis.

Returned merchandise is like a punch in the face for retail companies. The loss may not amount to what the item was worth in the first place.

The free shipping that is often guaranteed on returns does not help the company either, as they must make up the difference.

Retail companies must sell in bulk to avoid total losses. It is why you may see a lot of Ralph Loren or Tommy Hilfinger at Marshall’s.

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3. Stores Cannot Sell The Item

Items that do not sell well in retail stores often become clearance items and go to Marshall’s. Clothes or accessories that do not sell well tend to get even cheaper when they go to Marshall’s.

Another scenario is when retailers close, their merchandise becomes cheaper, especially if a store declares bankruptcy.

The dying company must liquidate its assets, and any clothes not sold at clearance go to places like T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s.

4. Damaged Goods

There are many items that you find at Marhsall’s that are poor quality due to a missing button or a rip or tear in the material. However, even things like this will still sell well at places like Marshall’s.

The retailer cannot sell the damaged piece of clothing or accessories. Certain items, such as designer brands, must meet specific criteria to be sold at the retailer.

To Marshall’s credit, this does not happen too often. Pieces of damaged clothing are marked way down and labeled for whatever is wrong with them.

5. You Can Haggle Down Prices

One of the most well-kept secrets of Marshall’s is that you can haggle down the prices on certain items.

For example, if you have been coming to the store for a month and see the item you have been spying on has not been marked down, you can tell the employee.

The employee can check to see if the item is due for a markdown, and if it is, Marshall’s can sell it to you for a lower price.

The same applies if you see that an item is damaged or defective in some way. The Nautica fleece jacket you have been eyeing with the missing button can be marked down even further.

It may be a good idea to point out to an employee, as you could get as high as another 20 percent off depending on the item.

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6. It Looks Like Bombs Went Off

It Looks Like Bombs Went Off

It is no secret that you can expect to see a mess when you come to Marshalls. Unless the employees at that particular Marshall’s are more efficient than most, you will likely find a mess.

It is not like walking into Express or Nordstrom, where everything is impeccable, pristine, and put in the right place. Sometimes when you walk into Marshall’s, it looks like bombs went off there.

The appearance of the store screams “cheap.” It looks cheap because it is not professional to have a store looking like that.

It may also affect how much money a customer expects to spend in the store. Marshall’s, after all, is a discount store, but that does not necessarily mean that it should look like one.

7. No Buyback

Most retailers have a buyback policy, but Marshall’s is different. A buyback policy is when the supplier buys back some merchandise that did not sell by the end of the season.

The policy helps retail stores make up for some of the losses when certain items are not sold. Marshall’s does not have a buyback policy, as their merchandise remains in one of their stores until it sells.

However, they may choose to shift an item to another store if it does not sell at a specific location. You may also notice that no two Marshall’s have the same products. It is like a treasure hunt.

8. Buyers

Clothing companies hire people specifically to search for merchandise to put into the stores. Most of the time, companies purchase goods that are in season.

Buyers from Marshall’s look for merchandise all year round. The deals come when they are available. Most buyers only purchase merchandise that fits their style.

It is because the brand must be represented. However, Marshall’s is not picky when it comes to vendors. There is flexibility in the stocking.

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Marshall’s does not skip over items because there is not enough to put in every store. Marshall’s has different store items, allowing the public to hunt for great deals.

9. Items Not In Season

Marshall’s does not care whether an item is in season or not. Marshall’s is not shy about having winter products in the summer and summer items in the winter.

It is why you often see flip-flops in the winter, and you can get them cheaply.

10. Limited Selection

Ever notice that when you shop at Marshall’s, it is difficult to find clothes that fit your size?

This situation is because department stores that they buy from may only be able to overstock one or two sizes of a shirt. Marshall’s can only stock what is available for them.

11. Poor Quality Items

Many items in Marshall’s are not so great in quality. It is not necessarily the clothes or accessories, but the make-up, perfumes, and those items.

It is because customers will often test these items, which means they have been tampered with.

For example, you may find Marshall’s selling half-empty perfume bottles or used mascara, which is a health hazard.

Items like small appliances may not work or break more quickly than other brands. Sometimes with lower cost, you get what you pay for.


Marshall’s is cheap for a plethora of reasons. Sometimes you will find clothes missing a button or broken zipper. You may find designer clothes that are out of season.

Marshall’s often sells what the original store they purchased from could not sell. However, Marshall’s is genuinely fantastic when it comes to bargain buying.


  • Yasmin Fisher

    Yasmin Fisher is a fashion-loving shopaholic who has spent the last 10 years in customer service. She loves finding great deals, and thrifting is one of her favorite weekend activities.

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