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A Winners store in Toronto.

A Winners store in Toronto.

Winners in Canada can be the ultimate deal-hunter's heaven. Discounted clothes, housewares, decorations and more can make a full stock-up of your home come at a pretty affordable price.

However, there are plenty of hacks for shopping at Winners that only a former employee would know.

So, Narcity sat down with former Winners employee Greg* to learn what it's like to work at the retail giant.

Greg, who worked at Winners for six months between 2020 and 2021, gave us the low-down on must-know tips, sale shopping and things that customers do at Winners that make life harder for employees.

So, here's everything you need to know:

What's the best section at Winners?

"I think the jewelry section is totally slept on," Greg told Narcity. "I love the jewelry section. I think it has pretty reasonable prices. You can get something really nice for $20."

He continued, "The jewelry section always has an attendant and I would say they're pretty knowledgeable. And, in my experience, in the jewelry section people always give their honest opinion because there's not really any commission."

That's not all, as Greg says the beauty sections are also worth checking out.

"I would also say the makeup section can be really, really good," he revealed. "I've gotten MAC as well as Anastasia Beverley Hills stuff there."

How can shoppers save even more money?

Look out for the red tags!

"The computer system tells us what things are being marked down in the morning," explained Greg.

"Employees scan all the tags [in a section] and the items that are on sale get taken off the rack [and employees] put a little red sticker on them."

So, in the sale section, or elsewhere, watch out for those red stickers as they could mean even more price reductions!

Can customers price-check items?

"We're very meticulous about scanning for markdowns. We do it like every morning," Greg said. "But people are still going to try to get a discount on the discount."

If you want to be double-sure that an item hasn't been discounted any further, you can ask the people that work there.

"If someone asks 'Is this on sale?' employees can look it up to double check," he confirmed.

What customer behaviour annoyed you most?

"One of the things I found annoying is people who would come into the store and be like 'Oh, at the other location they have so much stuff' or 'the other location is so much better.'"

Greg says this negative feedback doesn't help the store particularly, as each location gets different things based on how much of each product it sells.

"There are also people who would come into Winners looking for a specific thing," he said. "That's not really the name of the game for Winners!"

"You should come in with more of an open mind and maybe more of a concept of what you're looking for."

What are the best Winners hacks?

"You can actually get a good deal by going earlier in the day," Greg revealed.

"The markdowns happen in the morning unless the markdown team runs into issues. So, if you want to get to the markdowns, you have to be there as soon as the store opens."

And people apparently do that, and even wait outside so they can get to the markdowns first!

You snooze you lose, right?

When can you get the best deals at Winners?

"This is from someone whose family are lifelong Winners shoppers. Final clearance, which is normally takes place around February, is when you're getting stuff for as cheap as $1," Greg said.

"You can find some pretty fun stuff. Maybe not necessarily what you're going to wear every day but some funky outfits and fun shoes."

What's the worst section?

It really depends, according to the former employee.

"I would say I didn't like the men's clothing section, but that's because everything just looks like boring, old men's clothing," Greg said.

"It's always like plaid button down shirt, band shirts from bands I don't like, or simply brands I don't know!"

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

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

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