Target Clearance Today, Goodwill Tomorrow

Clearance Today, Goodwill Tomorrow

Ever wonder what happens to Target clearance merchandise that nobody buys?  As I wrote about in my article, Hitting the Bullseye: Strategies for Shopping at Target, Target follows a fairly consistent clearance strategy – 15%, 30%, 50%, 70% off and sometimes even 90% off (seasonal items seem to be the only ones that ever hit 90% off).  Much of it is sent to Goodwill Industries.  In fact, Goodwill stores offer many brand-new Target items (sometimes for less than their Target clearance prices).

During one of my recent trips to Goodwill I spotted many of Target’s winter clearance items I’ve been reporting to you on over the past month or so.  So, if you missed Target’s clearance buys – you’re not out of luck yet.  Head on over to the nearest Goodwill store for another chance at finding a great deal!

Join in the discussion and leave your Target Shopping Tips and Goodwill Shopping Tips on our forum!

Related Resources:


Target Clearance Item at Goodwill
Target Clearance Scarves
Target Clearance Item at Goodwill
Target Scarves at Goodwill
Target Clearance Item at Goodwill
Target Clearance Item at Goodwill


  1. Anita says

    Be VERY careful here. Target does give Goodwill ALOT of items BUT Goodwill cannot sell them for less than a certain price which is often more than what they were on sale at Target for.

    Recently I found a Shark on clearance (75%) for $22. I even picked one up for a friend a week later. Well, they eventually made it over to Goodwill were they were marked for $44. These are known as the RED tags. Goodwill has an agreement with Target and cannot sell them for less. I was told this info by a cashier and a manager.

    They do have red tag sales I believe once or twice a year where all red tags are 50% off the red tag price.

    • Kimberly Danger says

      That’s interesting, Anita. Some of the prices I saw were less than the 75% off price. There’s a home decor item pictured above – Reg $9.99 at Target, clearance price was $2.48. Goodwill price $1.99. The kids’ boots I saw were also marked less than Target’s 75% off price. Target clothing at Goodwill was generally marked in between Target’s 50-75% off range.

    • susan says

      I also have purchased target items from goodwill for less than the lowest clearance price~ most recently a cute leather wristlet for $1.99 marked $3.48 on the Target tag. That was part of what rekindled my affair with goodwill after many disappointing trips! 🙂

    • Becky says

      That is incorrect about Goodwill not being able to mark it down lower than Target. I have been purchasing housewares from Goodwill AND Salvation Army for months now. They price WAY lower than you can get it at Target. I’m talkin Throw pillows for $1.00 and Fieldcrest King Duvet Sets for $5. My most recent purchase was brand new Eclipse Thermal Backed Drapes, 4 panels with grommets, for $4 each. Thats $16.00 for 4 panels that retail $20.00 EACH. And they had Blue tags, not red. I’ve had my eye on Eclipse drapes for awhile and clearance prices weren’t even close to that. Maybe you are referring to a regional thing?

      • Becky says

        Oh and I believe my drapes came off this pallet concept… There was a typo on the packaging so Target couldn’t sell it! Perfect condition. Oh and there is the $99.00 Wall Clock I got for $9.99 because it was missing the second hand- who needs it for a price like that?! Goodwill has once again become an addiction of mine 🙂

        • says

          …Especially when you can buy clock hands at a craft or hobby store for a couple of bucks and replace that second hand. Heck, replace both hands at that price.

  2. Simeren says

    My friend is a manager at a Goodwill store and while I think it may be possible for the individual clearance items to have a minimum sale price, he has said that Target also sells pallets of unsaleable items to Goodwill for very little money, say $100- $200. When packaging tears or a manual is lost and Target cannot sell it at their store, they’ll dump the items onto a pallet in their store room until the pallet is fully piled up with the loot and is then shrink wrapped up and sold to Goodwill. The thing is: Goodwill doesn’t know exactly what it is buying. It could be anywhere from baby socks to flat panel televisions and everything in between. Maybe this is how the items that are being sold for less than clearance price appear?

  3. julie says

    I have bought many of things from goodwill that was still in box (damaged) but good for 1/2 if not less than the price at target. I have bought several toys, clothes, curtains, curtain rods from goodwill that were less than what target had them on sale for. Ive seen stoller sets with the car carriers for like 50 bucks for the whole thing still in the box from target and if anyone has kids or babies knows the combo sets are not cheap.

  4. LindaH says

    I just bought new pants from Catherines at Goodwill w/ tags.

    I’d love to buy another pair, as they are soooo great, but they don’t carry them anymore.

  5. Natalie says

    How would I find out which GW my Target locations sell to? My GW down the street never has anything good, it’s pretty pathetic actually.

  6. grace says

    our goodwill has tons of target items marked way up from the clearance price at target. while goodwill is better to support the actual clearance at target is much cheaper

  7. Debbie says

    I talked to my local GW to find out why they are selling new products for more then the sale price. Their response was they sell new items for half off the original price even its cheaper then sell price or not. My suggestion to them is at least remove the sale tag when pricing items lol

  8. Monique says

    I spoke with a manager at Goodwill and he informed me that they need to price some Target items at an increased price in order to make a profit. He informed me that they actually purchase the items from Target rather than the items being donated. However, the Goodwill near my home usually has one or two racks in the front of the store with various Target items (all the same style but in various colors) priced at $1.00 each. I can usually find the childrens’ $1.00 items, which are located at the front of the Target stores priced between 25 cents and one dollar. I usually stock up on these items and give them to charity around the holidays.

    The last time that I shopped at Goodwill, they had two racks full of Target maternity items which were priced at $8.00 each which still was a good bargain since they were brand new and with tags!

  9. Denise says

    My Goodwill also prices their Target items higher than Target’s clearance prices. Still good deals, but I won’t buy them out of principle when I know they were cheaper at Target.

  10. Cathy Bishop says

    When you donate something at goodwill and they ask you if you want a receipt….say yes. There is a coupon on the back for 50% off of one item. At least this is the case at the goodwill in my town.

  11. Amy says

    Where we live the salvation army has target items and we recently purchased a outdoor canopy originally $880 for $125! Talk about a steal!

  12. Alexandra says

    Last year my husband and I bought a fireplace screen (new, in box) for only $7! This was much cheaper than it was marked down on the target sticker. We’re quite happy with it, as it keeps our 18-month-old away from the fireplace.

  13. Christi says

    This is so interesting to me since my Goodwill claims they BUY these items by the pallet. I’ve been told this since about 2004. I mean they claimed it over & over again. Good to know they were full of it.

    • Christi says

      I forgot to mention that they were majorly reprimanded for leaving any Target clearance stickers/tags as pictured above on any of their merchandise. I saw it happen a couple of times.

    • Lauren says

      You know, most people here are saying they DO buy it by the pallet – perhaps you should ask the Target manager if you really want to know.

  14. georgia says

    I work at Target and we do sell to Goodwill by the pallet!!!! It’s gets filled at our store, shrinkwrapped, and picked up!

    • Amy Jones says

      Hey Georgia…our Goodwills here in Central Texas (or at least the Austin area) will no longer be getting Target pallets. 🙁 Do you happen to know if this is everywhere and if so where the pallets will now be going?


  15. Samantha says

    I love that Target has a deal for unsold merchandise with Goodwill!! That, & other things will keep me shopping at BOTH places!!

  16. Carolyn says

    I’m not sure if this is the case at every Goodwill, but the one in my town has set prices for all clothing. So like all shoes are $4, whether they are used and half falling apart or leftover Target clearance. I have big feet so while I usually can’t find regular thrift-store quailty shoes at Goodwill, I do find lots of leftover brand new Target size 11’s…

  17. kelly says

    maybe its just me but my goodwill is ridiculously overpriced, i often see broken figurines from the dollar tree marked at $2 each.

  18. tracy says

    You just have to watch what you’re buying. I’ve picked up some awesome Target deals at Goodwill, but I’ve def. seen the items that are more expensive at Goodwill than at Target. The things I saw this most with was the Christmas items. You can get these for dirt cheap at Target after Christmas, and at Goodwill they are just priced ok. The bottom line is, once it’s made it to Goodwill, you probalby can’t buy it at Target anymore, so if your really want it, paying Goodwill prices is your only option. We just bought a new house and I’ve gotten great deals on handle pulls (cabinate door pulls), bathroom fixtures (towel bars, toilet paper holder), and brand new rugs. The things you’re going to get the best deals on are the opened items. The towel bar I bought was $3 and I saw the exact same one at Target for $17.

  19. says

    I work for Pepsi and am constantly in the backroom of a Target and always see these Gray bins being filled up with stuff they can not sell. When asked what they do with the gray bins, I was told they get thrown away. They had 1 bin full of these blanket throws as well as picture frames and sure enough watched them dump it into the compactor. I even asked if I could take some of the blanket throws home and was told that it is a liability issue.

    As for Goodwill, I feel the prices are becoming to costly. I was browsing one day and found these bookends of Gargoyles I liked. Did a quick search online and seen the same exact ones go for $15 dollars, Goodwill was asking $25 and the manger was upset because I was using my Smartphone to check prices.

    • Kimberly Danger says

      I agree, some of the Target prices at Goodwill are high. However, Goodwill often runs half price days based on the color of their tags, and then all of a sudden target stuff at Goodwill becomes really affordable. More Goodwill shopping tips here.

  20. says

    The Goodwill ‘s in our area have have changed for the worse(last 2yrs.). As noted ,broken,mismatched,parts missing,overpriced,etc.some prices are ridiculouly high. it would be better if the owners/managers could unify the services and prices. Where are the better organized Goodwills located?

    • Kimberly Danger says

      Rae, we have a brand new Goodwill store in our community (Mankato, MN). It’s clean, well-priced and well-managed. We love it!

  21. says

    Goodwills have an agreement with target in which they buy returned or clearance items at 30% of the retail price. Goodwills mark all items they buy from target to 50% of the retail price. So $100 item would be purchased for $30 by goodwill and marked up to $50 even though target had it in clearance for $35.

    • Kimberly Danger says

      I don’t think that’s right. Target merchandise that gets salvaged is often up to 90% off retail already. It wouldn’t make sense that Goodwill would pay more for it than any customer off the street.

  22. Jennifer Taylor says

    I’ve been thrift shopping/yard-selling most of my life ( I’m 42) and I go to Goodwill’s, Dirt Cheap, Salvation Army, etc. very frequently and have come to realize they all are over priced on some items. You really have to know your prices. I (now) don’t have to shop resale, but prefer to because I love it, but it does bother me when I see things over priced or the price marked out from the retail store and marked up by the re-seller especially when they are supposed to be stores that sale to one’s whom can’t afford retail.

  23. Amy Jones says

    I make the weekly trek to two of my Goodwills which sell “Mission Goods” or items from Target. The two stores price items differently, it’s just up to their discretion although I know that for higher items they try to price things at 1/2 the price on the white Target sticker you’ll find on the product (not the red & white Target clearance tag price). I VERY SADLY just found out today that they will NO LONGER be getting shipments from Target and will now be getting Mission Goods from WalMart. BOOOOO and TEARS!!! 🙁 (I live in Central Texas by the way and I know that Goodwill does business differently in different parts of the country…I hope that this is only happening here & not everywhere). Sigh…


  1. […] Target will typically mark down unsold clearance merchandise every two weeks. So, if you are watching an item and see that it has been marked down 30 or 50 percent, come back in another two weeks to see if it has been marked down further.  Read this article for details on the Target Holiday Markdown Schedule. Even after the merchandise leaves Target after its final markdown, you can often find it at Goodwill Industries (more on how Goodwill purchases Target Clearance Items HERE). […]

  2. […] Know the Target Holiday Markdown Schedule. For instance, the toy department gets reset in January to make room for Spring/Summer toys and again in July/Aug. During those times, I stock up! My favorites are Lego’s, Littlest Pet Shop, and Playmobil sets. You can’t go wrong with those at 75% off. I typically stock my supply of birthday gifts for a whole year during this time. I probably look like a crazy lady throwing things in my cart. Even after the merchandise leaves Target after its final markdown, quite often you can find it at Goodwill! […]

  3. […] Target Halloween Clearance: Save 70% on General Merchandise, 50% on Bagged Candy November 5th, 2012 by targetsavers Have you hit the Target Halloween Clearance this week?  General merchandise is now 70% off, bagged candy 50% off.  If you haven’t stopped by your Target store, you may only have a day or two left.  With most Target holiday markdowns, once things get marked down to 70% off they will go to 90% off a couple days later and either get salvaged or thrown away.  More on that here:  Target Clearance Today, Goodwill Tomorrow. […]

  4. […] Target Christmas Markdown Schedule 2012 Posted on December 20, 2012 by Kimberly Danger If you’re like me, you’re eagerly awaiting the Target Christmas markdowns.  Target holiday markdowns usually follow a 3-3-2 schedule.  Clearance merchandise goes to 50% off the day after the holiday, then 3 days later 70%.  One exception: Bagged candy starts at 30% then goes to 50% and 70%.  Again, 3 days after that what’s left is 90% off.  2 days after that it goes to salvage (Goodwill).   More on that here:  Target Clearance Today, Goodwill Tomorrow. […]

  5. […] *UPDATED for Valentine’s Day 2013:  We still anticipate a 3-2-2 schedule for Target’s Valentine’s Day Clearance 2013.  However, the 75% off markdown is no longer used.  We expect the clearance to go like this:  February 15th = 50% off, February 18th = 70% off, and February 21st = 90% off.  After that, Target Clearance merchandise goes to salvage/Goodwill (read more here: Target Clearance Today, Goodwill Tomorrow).* […]

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