'It's like a treasure hunt': You can find name-brand electronics for as low as $2 at Tampa's huge new discount store
"Hot deals. Hot prices. All day long," that's exactly how the new discount store in Tampa, HotBins, describes themselves on their website. With prices as low as $2 per item on select days, including for name brands, as well as a chance to win free items? We may be inclined to agree at least a little bit.
Taking over the abandoned CVS at 4001 East Busch Boulevard in Tampa Florida, HotBins officially announced the opening of its doors on Instagram in October of 2022 with one goal in mind — to sell out their rows of massive bins stuffed to the brim with overstock items and a slew of unwanted returns from big-box retailers such as Amazon, BestBuy, Walmart, Target, Kohl's, and more, every week.
The best way to do that? Offering a price drop every day leading up to their next big shipment on Thursdays. Starting the week off every Friday, HotBins pins prices at $12 per item, dropping it by $2 each day leading up to their Wild Wednesday deals, where they slash the price to just $2 per item.
With prices that low, you might think that getting a sick steal on electronics was out of the question, but the discounted shop has been known to regularly carry a large selection of heavy hitters — such as the $225 and $300 drones, and Galaxy 3 smart watch found on $12 Fridays, and a pair of Beats earbuds found on a $4 Tuesday.
Don't under estimate the unmarked brown boxes either, they often times conceal some gems. A Nintendo Switch OLED model was found in a mystery brown box return on $12 Friday, as well as an iPhone X in an $8 day brown box.
You might be worrying about the same thing we did, "What if that iPhone doesn't work?"
Don't worry, you can test out the electronics before you buy to make sure they're in working order. There's a whole station set up for you to go make sure it works and has all the necessary parts. While potentially time consuming, knowing you saved hundreds of dollars off may be worth the little bit of extra effort.
If it works but doesn't happen to have a charger included, you're also not obligated to pull the trigger on the purchase. After all, some items are returns and every return is made for a reason. To some, the deal still may not be worth the unknowns about the reason for return, especially if they have a perfectly functional phone already. Opt to pass on the deal to someone else instead and head back to the bins for your perfect find.
Thanks to the variety of retailers HotBins works with, their shipments can have a little bit of everything. Aside from 22" flat screens and Amazon tablets, you'll find a variety of goods like carpet shampooers, Nespresso machines, Ninja Blenders, and Air Fryers, even self care, clothing, décor, and other home goods, bikes, toys, and much more.
However, since the stock consists mostly of returns and things that were overstocked, you never know what mix of goodies you're going to find from week to week. Everything gets randomly mixed in together too, so don't be shy about making a dig toward the bottom of the bins if the top-most items don't happen to catch your eye.
But if you plan on truly embracing the spirit of the treasure hunt by digging deep for the best steals or simply because you have FOMO, you may want to bring a partner in find. On a post made by HotBins Tampa to Instagram in January, a comment from user @tylerhinton01 warned visitors to not leave their cart unattended, as some deal bandits like to try to snag stuff right out from under your nose when you aren't looking.
"So many new people here today they were taking stuff right out carts. I got gripped twice, security camera and massage ball gun." the comment reads, in part. "Can’t do nothing about it but to just keep digging and come back next week."
If the slashed prices weren't already enough to have us considering packing up our reusable bags and trying our luck at the bins, you also have the opportunity to win free stuff. HotBins Tampa is known to run Friday raffles, posting sneak peeks of that week's items up for draw on Instagram.
Previous raffles have included hot-ticket items like the Nekteck Kneading Shiatsu Neck Massager, an Amazon Fire HD8 Tablet, Apple Pencils, Playstation 4 controllers, Rig Wireless 800 Pro HX headset and charging stands for Xbox, and even Nintendo Switch Mario Kart Bundles.
Patrons showing up between 8:30 and 9 am to shop get a free ticket entered into the drawing. Commenters have noted that eager shoppers will line up as early as 5 am for the 9 am door time hoping to secure the best items and their free raffle ticket.
Open Friday through Wednesday from from 9 am to 7 pm, HotBins closes up shop every Thursday to refill the entirety of the store's dwindling bins; however, according to a comment from the shop on social media, if merchandise allows, approximately 2-3 smaller restocking events will happen on Fridays and Saturdays between the hours of 12 noon and 5 pm, and sometimes even Sundays.
Tampa a bit far for you to travel even for the deals? You may be happy to know there are a few other locations scattered across the Sunshine State. They can be found in Lake Worth, Forth Myers, Hialeah, and Tamarac. The Tamarac location recently reopened after closing in November of 2022 for improvements.
What do you think of HotBins? Worth the hype, or does it sound like an over-glorified everyday version of Black Friday bargain brawls to you? Let us know in the comments!
Article by Rachael Volpe