I have always loved TKMaxx (TJMaxx in the US). Yes they look like a jumble sale and you have to be prepared to spend a lot of time there to find the bargains. Like a charity shop you have to go often and be prepared to look through lots of things to find the gems. But when you do find the bargains they are worth all the effort. Recently have found high end Filofaxes, a beautiful Balenciaga City bag (in a strange shape though – it could have been a sample or from a range that never saw the shops) and a Campomaggi woven tote (very hard to find on sale).
How do they do it? They cut out the middle man and get their stocks from bankrupt shops, overruns, previous seasons and (less often) seconds. There is often only one of each item so you have to be quick. I am sure they get some fakes in now and then because working on the huge scale they do, it would be inevitable. But I have never seen one and the labels I buy I generally know very well.
Nowadays the Gold VIP section makes it easy for you to find designer items. I like the High Street Kensington TK Maxx in London. In the previous week I saw beautiful bags by Lacroix, Stella McCartney (Stella McCartney bags at TK Maxx were one third of what Selfridges is STILL selling the exact same bags for), Moschino, Gucci, Balmain, Furla, Osprey, Cavalli, Valentino, Fossil, and Aspinal. For example, this Aspinal bag is at TKMaxx for half price
Also in the High Street Kensington TKMaxx this past week were 1000ml/1L bottles of Redken shampoo and huge tubes of Sebastian Potion 9. I would have gone crazy if I hadn’t had to think about luggage weight on the way home.