How to Find the BEST Deals at Target
Not only is Target one of my favorite stores for day-to-day purchases, it is one of my favorite stores in which to look for bargains. Some of my best deals at Target include: baby clothes to give as gifts for less than $3, a queen-size comforter for $15, and Christmas wrap for 90% off. Here are some strategies to make finding deals at Target just a little bit easier.
Yet ANOTHER PINTEREST UPDATE: A lot of pinners are pinning this thread and my clearance sticker photo below and saying the ‘4’ and the ‘8’ signify the last markdown at Target. Not so. Those numbers are simply a reflection of the price after the old 75% off markdown (Target now does a 70% markdown). If you see those pins circulating on Pinterest, please leave a link to this article in the comments to stop the spreading of inaccurate information .
- Shop the endcaps. The endcaps are the shelves at the end of an aisle loaded with clearance merchandise. The endcaps with the most clearance merchandise are usually those farthest away from the main shopping aisles. Always make a trip around the perimeter of the store to find the best deals, since “perimeter perusing” at Target can really pay off!
- Check the Target Clearance Locator to see if there is inventory left at your Target store.
- Know the markdown schedule. This is a schedule that a typical Target store will use for their markdowns. Your store may vary this schedule, so get to know the employees! While they don’t know exactly what will get marked down until they are notified on their PDAs, they are familiar with their store’s routine. Many Target stores nationwide follow a similar markdown schedule such as this one (although it’s important to note that this is not universal and can vary):
**TARGET MARKDOWN SCHEDULE UPDATED FOR 2019**
Monday – Kids Clothing, Stationery, Books, Baby, Pets and Electronics
Tuesday – Women’s Clothing, Food and Domestics
Wednesday – Men’s Clothing, Health and Beauty, Lawn & Garden
Thursday – Lingerie, Shoes, Housewares, Decor, Sporting Goods
Friday – Cosmetics, Hardware, Automotives, Jewelry
Target will typically mark down unsold clearance merchandise every two weeks, although that can vary according to store inventory (the markdown teams get notifications on their PDAs). 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 (sometimes it never gets to that point – so you’ve got to be willing to take a chance on it). 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).
- Use the scanner. Sometimes the clearance team misses an item that should have been re-stickered with a lower price. If it is something you want, always check the price with a scanner. Also, scan things that are one of a kind. These things may be returns from previous seasons that have been clearanced out. You may be surprised!
- Look for repackaged items. These items could be something that was purchased online and returned to the store, or simply a return without a box. While they may not the prettiest item in the store, you may snag a great deal.
- Learn to read the red stickers. Red stickers appear on all clearance deals at Target. The original price appears on the top right corner along with a number such as, “15, 30, 50” etc. This is the percentage it has been marked down.
- “As Is” According to a Target associate, the label “AS IS” typically means that the item’s SKU is no longer carried in the store, although there are other reasons it may be marked that way. Further reading: What does AS IS mean at Target?
- Keep your receipts. Target has a strict return policy which limits the returns you can make without a receipt ($75 per year). However, there is a way around this. The store tracks every credit card purchase. If you can remember which credit card you purchased the item with, the store can look up the transaction by simply swiping your card and scanning the item. If they find the transaction, they will let you return the item without the physical receipt. If you do have your receipt, Target will adjust the prices on items that go on sale (not clearanced) within 14 days of the purchase.
- Check out the Target REDcard. Target introduced its REDcard in fall 2010. Cardholders will receive 5% off when they use the Target REDcard debit card, or 5% cash back with the Target REDcard credit card. A word to the wise: use credit responsibly. Only apply if you can pay your balance in full at the end of the month, otherwise you’re really not saving any money. You can apply for the REDcard at a Target store or by mail.
- Take advantage of Target’s price matching policy. If you find an item in a competitor’s ad, bring it to Target and they’ll match the advertised price. The competitor’s ad must be local and current, and the product must be the identical item, brand name, quantity and model number. Read more about Target’s Price Matching Policy here.
- Sign up for Target’s mobile coupons. Sign up to receive coupons via text message five times a month on your mobile phone. To redeem, simply show the cashier the barcode. Target Coupons via Text
- Use the Cartwheel App. Cartwheel is a great way for smartphone users to save money at Target. It’s socially-based, meaning you’ll need a Facebook account to connect. 2018 UPDATE: Target now has the old Cartwheel deals on its TARGET app in an effort to keep all the Target information in one central location. Old Cartwheel users will have a limited number of times to use it before moving to the new Target app.
- BYOB (bring your own bag). For each of your own reusable bags you use at checkout, Target will give you $.05 back. It’s a great way to keep plastic bags out of landfills while putting a little money back in your pocket.
- Use coupons. Not only does Target accept manufacturer coupons, they can be used in conjunction with their store coupons, sales and deals as well. Printable internet coupons are accepted. Target even has their own store coupons on their website. Read more about Target’s Coupon Policy here. If you forget your Target store coupons at home, you used to be able to print them at the guest services kiosk. This no longer works.
What are your tips for finding deals at Target? We’d love to hear them! Post them in the comments section below.