7 HomeSense Tips & Tricks Every Shopper Needs To Know, According To Employees

Shopping at places like HomeSense Canada can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack, searching for that one item that you know will tie the room together at a great price point.

But, depending on how you conduct your hunt, you might be missing out on some of the best deals and items around.

To help shoppers out, Narcity spoke to two HomeSense employees, Heather* and Joy* who gave the lowdown on how to maximize the deals and discover the best products you're looking for when you hit up the popular TJX chain in Canada.

Check the stationery section

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Depending on what you're after, the HomeSense stationery section might be a must-visit.

In fact, according to Joy, "Stationery is the best, hands down."

"If employees don't know where to put [an item], it goes to stationery," she said. "There are a lot of weird things in there that I've literally never seen anywhere else."

Heather agreed and mentioned that if your local store has a good stationery section, you should keep an eye on the canvas print art.

"They don't move quickly so they go on clearance pretty regularly and honestly, HomeSense has some of the best prices I've seen for larger canvases," she said.

Timing is everything

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Much like Winners, HomeSense receives stock in the morning. But to get what you're after, it might not be as simple as arriving as soon as the doors open.

"My store got five to seven trucks Monday through Friday, so we were always putting stuff on the floor," said Heather. "But in general, most things would be brought out during the morning."

However, she also added that if you're looking for furniture, it would be best to come in the later afternoon, around 3 or 4 p.m., "Because a lot of the time we have to build it in the back."

That said, every location is different, so if you want to know when shipments arrive for sure, just ask an employee!

Smell the rugs

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Okay, this might be a bit odd, but it's sound advice for buying nearly anything, especially rugs.

7 HomeSense Tips & Tricks Every Shopper Needs To Know, According To Employees

"Smell any hanging rug you're thinking of buying," said Heather. "Sometimes those things are in a warehouse for a while before they make it to a store."

So, unless you're willing and able to deep clean the rug you buy, just give it a quick sniff. No one wants their living room to smell like a warehouse.

Avoid Sunday afternoons

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As previously mentioned by Heather, shipments usually come between Monday and Friday, so Sundays can mean all the good stuff is gone.

Joy agreed, adding that "if you wait until Sunday afternoon, everything will be picked over."

If you're looking to find the best stuff, it'll be worth it to go during the week instead.

Be nice to employees

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Well, on a human level you should be nice to all people, but making a HomeSense employee's life a little bit easier could get you the edge you need.

"Be nice to your associates and they will make it worth your time," said Joy.

"The associates get put through a lot," she added. "If you're nicer to them, they'll be more inclined to tell you the tips of that particular store."

A little bit of retail quid pro quo never hurt anyone — when it's being nice in exchange for shopping tips, of course.

Shop often

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Because stock is coming in and out of the store all of the time, the best things are always found by those who go and check it out often.

"The only reason we found all the good finds is because we're there every single day," said Joy.

While a little more time consuming, if you're after some specific items, checking back regularly is a good strategy for you to get what you want.

"Don't expect to find everything in one trip — that's not how TJX works."

Be wary of expiry dates

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HomeSense will often have food, snacks and things like that for sale, but Heather points out that you should be vigilant if you're buying that stuff.

"I personally don't buy 'grocery' foods at HomeSense," she said. "We're a reseller and I'm lazy about checking expiry dates."

But, items with a longer or no shelf life are typically good, according to Heather.

"Real vanilla at TJX is so cheap compared to the grocery store. I guess the same goes for makeup and the bath products," she added.

*Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality. Narcity has verified their identity.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.