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.
Edited to Add: Welcome Pinterest users! Be sure to follow Mommysavers and our Target Board on Pinterest.
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.
I used the Target price matching policy this past holiday season when shopping for Christmas presents for my toddler. Target’s own website was advertising a toy for 13.88 online one morning, but when I went to the store that same afternoon, the item rang up for 19.99. I had written down everything I was going to buy, at which stores, and for how much. I didn’t even have a printout of the ad, I just told the cashier of the lower online price and she matched it.
They really shouldn’t have done that, you caught a seasonal emplaoyee that didn’t know what they were doing, Target stores do not match those at Target.com nor any other Target store, due to inventory and specials that the website can run.
You are incorrect about the Target.com price matching policy. As of this past holiday season, Target stores are supposed to match Target.com prices AS LONG AS the prices are for the exact same item.
I am a Target Team Member. We are given great latitude for reasonable price changes below the $20 level, particularly on big ticket items.
Not necessarily. The cashiers have empowerment to lower a price if necessary as long as it is under $20. If the cashier felt it was priced wrong, they change it to please the guest. If it had been over $20 it would have been a different story because they would have had to get approval first.
Yes they do I am a current employee
Online prices are different from in store prices. She shouldn’t of changed it but I worked for Target and at least during the time that I worked there we normally didn’t need to do any price check if it was an item under $20, which is probably why she accepted it PLUS I know I don’t feel like getting yelled at by “guests” either so I did whatever to please them.
Your 2nd sentence should read, “She shouldn’t HAVE changed it….” and not “…shouldn’t of…”
Seriously, Camille? At least she capitalized her name…
Happy to see there’s another “grammar police officer” out there!! 🙂
I’m a cashier at Target. We are not supposed to match prices on target.com, looks like you got lucky! 🙂
Careful with that because employees can no longer match online prices with store prices. I work at target and it is against store policy to price match like that.
I completely agree i work at Target and we always have GREAT DEALS..
Not all stores are created equal, know your Target! My Target rarely has items go to 75% off but I know another store that always has a bigger selection and I find LOTS of great deals.
That’s because the items go quicker at the store before they reach 75%. Clearance is to clear the inventory of an item. People don’t seem to get that. Sometimes they get a similar item back in stock with new packing but things like shoes, clothing and furniture items probably won’t be back in stock anytime soon.
I think targets Iphone app is really useful, if there is a certain product you are after it will tell you which is the closest store that has it in stock, it also makes buying presents much easier as long as the person you are buying them for has built a wish list of what they want.
We were surprised to find out over Christmas that our local target refused to match their own online price. We had to pay $43 for something they had online for $30. When asked, they said they will not match Target online’s prices.
Kimberly Danger says
That’s true, Sheri. Target will match competitor’s advertised prices though.
Target.com usually has lower prices because of added shipping costs. That is why stores do not price match Target.com. You’re pretty much paying the same price for the same item in store and target.com + shipping.
Target.com & Target ( the store ) are actually two separate entities. I work for Target and work in guest services. Many people do not read the fine print. “online price” is often next to the price online. I am not saying I agree with the policy, just follow it.
Yeah, this is against store policy now it is to get people to sign up for the target debit or credit card.
The end of the isles really are the place to start finding good deals. I came into my local target one morning ( I try to go right when it opens) and I just happened to go to the end of the isle in the baking section and found a kitchen aid mixer for $69!! It was the floor model and it said it was marked down from $199 because of repackaging. I was euphoric, I’ve wanted one for years! I love Target.
I used to work on the pricing team…best job ever at Target, especially for a bargain hunter like me! Pricing team always goes in early (5am, 4am at Christmas time) and stay until noon-ish. If you see a cart with a printer and someone scanning away don’t hesitate to ask them to check items for you. Sometimes you will find a unique item and when they scan it, depending on the store, the management and the attitude of the people working there…it can 0.00 out which means it is due to go to in the next shipment out…but if you ask really really really nice they will usually give it to you for the last price it was listed which is usually the biggest discount they give for that item. Usually at the 75% mark. I’ve gotten a bunch of stuff at rock bottom prices this way.
Kimberly Danger says
Great tips, Shana! Thanks for sharing!
They should not being doing that, Target can be fined for selling items priced at 0.00. Even if they are selling them in turn for the last price. It goes in the system that it was a Salvage item and sold regardless even though the system tells them it has no price. It then goes out to a report that a salvage item was sold. It would be pretty sad if your begging got someone or some people fired. I Work at Target [6+yrs] so I have had many of people come across this problem its not an all the time kind of situation at my store but when it arises no matter what how much they beg we never give them the item. If you want it that bad you can go the places like Ross who get all of Targets Salvaged items.
Also hate to break it to everyone but Targets mixed up some of their Markdowns this year ^_^ also certain areas tend to Vary by Store.
I worked retail for over 30 years 20 of them as management (including Target), there isn’t a manager alive that’s going to fire an employee for one mistake. No one is sayin to “beg”, but your crazy not to ASK..there are always deals if you ask…including asking a manager. She didn’t say they sell it for 0.00, she said that’s how it will show up in the scanner. And that’s true it zeros out when it’s about to go onto sale ON HER SCANNER…not at the register. Every store makes mistakes and mixes things up, sometimes this becomes a benefit for the customer (sometimes it can hurt the customers).
My advice always ask..but no means no…but always ask!
I worked for Target for 10 years and I worked in pricing many times. When the items come up 0.00 they are to be sent back out of the store, but if a guest were to come up to see if you could check an item and it scanned salvage we would tell them that it is due to get sent out. If they didn’t want to buy it at that price and asked if there was anyway they could still buy it we were able to do an additional markdown. It was only in rare cases though and was not at all a common practice.
Definitely ask a team member if you see them marking things down in that department though. It is a higher chance that the price may be changing for the better.
Thanks for sharing some great tips. Another idea about the Target Red Card- I don’t like having a store credit card. I signed up for the target debit card. You get the same benefits but it comes out of your checking and not a credit card. That way I am not as tempted to overspend but I still get 5% off.
Kimberly Danger says
@Rikelle – That’s true, but I don’t think the debit card has all the benefits that the credit card version does when shopping at Target.com
I have a target debit card. Benefits are the same, I buy stuff with free shipping from target.com all the time. 🙂
yes it does, i work at target and you still get the online benefits
The Target REDCard existed before 2010 though. I worked there from 2005-2008 and had to try and shell them out all the time. They changed their benefits in 2010 though. You used to have to earn 1000 pts for a 10% off now you get 5% back every time you shop, a definite upgrade, since sometimes I never get a chance to use the 10% off coupon. I might have to sign up for the debate card because I want to quit using the credit card so much.
I worked for Target in 2002/2003 and the Target Credit card was a constant push for us as well. It has been around a long time. I think the debit card is the new part of it. And the newer rewards are definitely better. I’m still not sure I would want one, but I am glad it has helped many to save more money. I am a big Target fan. Even my kids get excited when we go because they know it usually ends in a slushee form the food court. 🙂
Also, just in case people haven’t heard yet, you now also get an extra 30 days to return items when you use a REDcard. And both the debit and credit have the same benefits. Also, there’s a few things in this article that aren’t accurate. The return without receipt limit is $70 a year. And just so you all know anything marked ‘As Is’ is un-returnable. So even if something is wrong with it, it cannot be returned. And you can use two coupons per ITEM, one store coupon and one manufacturer. I’m one of the front end managers (GSTL) and work with these policies daily. C:
With the introduction of Targets mobile app, Cartwheel, you can now stack a manufacturers coupon, a Target coupon and a Cartwheel coupon. Mobile coupons from the Target app (not Cartwheel) and a printed Target coupon cannot be stacked. Also if you have the Target app you can text words such as baby, style and offers to get specific coupons, for example texting baby will get you baby coupons, while style is more for apparel.
Anne Green says
One note about Target price matching: BE AWARE! The Targets in my area only consider Walmart and K-Mart to be competitors. They won’t price match any grocery or drug store ads, which really is false advertising. I’ve found a way around it. I’ll just buy it at the store it’s on sale and return the one I purchased at Target. Food items can’t be resold so they lose out and end up throwing away the item. Maybe they’ll learn.
Any food item that is returned, is often donated to a local food bank or women’s center. BTW.
all food is thrown away. Because of regulations and laws we are not able to keep anything.
Jesi is right. Any food return (unless it’s a temperature sensitive item or open) get’s donated to the food bank.
It would be great if people commented on things that are more honest, and less deceptive. Trying to stick it to a store for not matching EVERY store out there seems pretty low. Shouldn’t you just be grateful that they match any stores at all?
I’m sorry but this is sick and sad on your part. Wasting food while people go hungry. They normally only honor ads within a certain area. It is amazing the stuff people do to save a buck. A hate seeing the crazy ass coupon ladies in my line who waste 40+ hrs a week couponing. Wouldn’t this time be better spent with your family?
JC, I hate cashiers that hate couponers. It is just my husband and I, and I ensure we stay on a strict budget so we can enjoy other things in life. Cashiers like you is why I hate going to the store. You shouldn’t assume that every couponer takes time away from their family to save money.
You are right on!
JC, who told you Couponers spend 40+ hours a week couponing? Some stupid “reality” show on TLC maybe? I coupon so that I can spend all of my time with my family! My kids will never have to spend time in daycare or with a sitter while I work. A couple hours spent couponing and preparing a grocery list, ONCE A WEEK, when my kids are asleep is well worth the 50% i save on grocery costs. Plus my kids understand the value of a dollar, even at such a young age. I am raising fiscally responsible children. Maybe you’re crazy for spending more than you have to, when that money could be put to better use.
Be nice…there are other lines! We save money for our families, not everyone has tons of money to spend on things we need! Wise is the customer who knows how to save!!
No you just make it harder for those who work there. Plus you are wasting food in a world were people don’t have much now a days. The big wigs don’t care that you are doing this. You just are screwing over the little people. Plus the number go down and guess what …the prices go up! So in fact you are screwing yourself over in the end. Sorry, but I use to work there and this is just the truth.
What do you mean, “maybe they’ll learn”? What a foolish statement. Attitudes like yours are exactly the reason that very little gets accomplished in society anymore. Congratulations for wasting your fuel dollars and not to mention your time, most likely away from your friends and family, so that you could essentially swap items between one store to another and possibly save a few cents. Maybe you will learn one day… Oh, and, thanks for contributing to needless waste, that’s really commendable.
You waste gas to stick it to Target b/c they do not price match other places. Walmart and Kmart are their competitors. Drugs stores are just that drug stores, grocery stores are grocery stores. Their competitors are the other companies that sell like items. Also you are part of the reason prices need to be higher. Lost of prevention is partly to blame for higher prices now. Stop stealing
I’m sorry I had to comment on your “lost of prevention” phrase lol. It’s “loss prevention” and Target’s own is called “Assets Protection.” I work in AP/LP and “lost of prevention” made me laugh lol,
So you are stealing from Target and wasting food? Wow that’s very moral of you. And it won’t teach them they will just have to raise their prices!
That seems pretty low-class. Can’t you just be thankful that they match at all?
It suggests the target red card credit card but they also have a red card DEBIT card. with no fees, and the same benefits of the credit card. I guess the reason no one knows about it is because they don’t advertise it. 🙂
Hi there. So, as a banker, I would like to point out one little problem I’ve seen with the Target Debit Card. Because it pulls directly from your bank account, it can actually cause overdraft fees if you aren’t careful. I see this frequently (I work for customer service at a large bank). They are set up as ACH transactions, so it is pulling out based on your account number and routing number, not your bank debit card number. Because of some legislation from 2010, bank debit card items are not capable of overdrafting your acct (they just get declined, unless you set up a different option) but items going through on your acct. number, like the RedCard, still can. So if you’re careful, then go for it, but if you don’t watch your acct closely, you could easily pay multiple $35 fees for that cute thing you picked up on an end-cap. The 5% won’t be too satisfying then. Something to think about.
Diane King says
I ordered an item online and receieved the wrong color. I paid for the item with PayPal. Target refused to refund my money through PayPal and I had to take a “gift card” for the return. I talked to no less than six “customer service” representatives who spoke broken English. They were obviously Indians and were very difficult to work with. I spent several hours looking for items that would equal to the value of the “gift card” online since it was an “electronic” card that could not be used in the store. It was a nightmare!
That’s because no retailer can refund a PayPal account. It’s almost like a third-party – You give your money to PayPal, who then sends it to Target (or whatever retailer you are using). No retailer system will be able to go around that unless you mail the item back.
I work in a retail environment, and when people come in with a return paid by PayPal, they will walk out the door with that item still. I cannot credit the card because the money came from PayPal, not your account.
Janie, I believe you are wrong about not getting refunds through PayPal. I have gotten refunds on returned merchandise several times. Only Target refuses that. My own business accepted PayPal for some time and we also refunded payments for returned merchandise.
There is a trick with those electronic giftcards. If you or someone you know has a smart phone you can put the gift card numbers into the phone on the target app and then from there use it in the store. i’ve done it a few times with my own giftcards and for other people so they can use them in the store.
If you are looking at something that is slightly damaged or repackaged, ask the cashier if they’ll give you an additional discount. Usually it’s 10% off, but I’ve gotten up to 20% off. This is above and beyond any discount the item already has. If you have a coupon you can things for free, or close to it.
I tried to price match on black Friday and they wouldn’t do it. I even called the store in advance and they told me that they would with the print ad. I was so mad what a waste of time and I was on vacation at the time too. They also refuse to take items back if it’s past the 90 day mark even if they are unopened. I still like to check out clearance deals but I’m very careful what I will buy. I will never buy electronics at target again since they sometimes break after the 90 day mark.
btw electronics are only a 45 day return policy
I think 90 days is more than enough to figure out that you don’t need any item. SERIOUSLY, 90 days is 3 months and in that time you can’t figure out you didn’t like the item or it didn’t fit. 90 days is more than generous.
It reaaly does depend on what you are buying if 90 days is long enough. In fact I have 3 nieces and nephews that have birthdays in November or Early December. I often go birthday shopping and xmas shopping at the same time for them sometimes late October or early in November. This year with our family christmas we didnt get together until mid January leaving those three to have to figure out and return or exchange that item only a couple of weeks. When you live an hour away from a target which most of my family does, it can present a challenge.
I suggest the next time you buy an electronic, to buy the replacement plan or exchange policy they have at the registers for 2-3 years.
I know that at Walmart, many of their black friday electronics are special models made just for black friday. They usually have less features, which is why they’re cheaper. Walmart may get 1 model number for an item, while target may get another model number for the same item. Only items with the exact same model # can be price matched. Even if it’s really the same item, if the model numbers are different, then it can’t be priced matched.
If you buy an electronic item at Target that breaks after 90 days that is a MANUFACTUR problem (hardware or software defect), NOT because you dropped it, wore it out, or spilled something on it, you can try calling the manufacture who will PROBABLY replace it. Don’t go blaming your problems on retail stores because you don’t like that they won’t return something you probably broke. It’s not our problem if you dropped your e-reader and shattered the screen or your kid threw his DS down the stairs. We shouldn’t have to give your money back for that, and we don’t!
Electronics typically have a 30 day return period FYI. Also, it’s not the people who won’t take it back it’s literally the system that won’t allow us to return it. There is absolutely NO way around the system for the guest service team members.
I do have to warn you about the ad match. I tried to ad match for a car seat for my daughter and because at the other store you had to use a coupon that was in the flyer to get the lower price, Target wouldn’t ad match it. If that make sense?
That’s because Target doesn’t coupons from another store. If the deal at the other store was that the actual price of the item was $200 but you can get it for $150 with in-ad coupon…well, why should Target honor that price? That’s not an ADVERTISED sale price. That’s a coupon deal. The price match policy is very clear. It must be an advertised price in a current, local ad and you must present the full ad as proof of those stipulations.
If you use the Target Red Card or want to use it…there is one available like a Debit Card. It will withdraw from your bank. You still save 5%! 🙂
Target’s ad match is very specific. It tells you they will do the ad match but there are restrictions. They won’t match limited items, bogo items, or timed event items. You must have the full ad and not a print out. It must match the same weeks ad.
Most stores won’t match timed event items.
To solve the Target.com price difference, use the debit redcard. No shipping, plus 5% off. 🙂
Some of these are right but not all of them. Domestics is on Friday and toys is on Thursday…. I also saw market wasnt listed and that is on wednesdays. But the price change team can be one day ahead or one day behind of this schedule. Most teams are usually not a day behind and some are always a day ahead. But keep in mind that they only work Monday thru Friday so to be a day ahead on Friday would mean doing Monday’s work.
Kara is right. I worked PnP for years and you can be ahead or behind on the mark downs. It just depends. There are times when there are TONs to do and you can get behind a day. Which also means not ever store will have that one item you want marked down yet. Also do wait if you see anything marked down 50% most stores don’t like to wait below 75% and will send it out to discount stores after that.
We were told at the local target that they THROW away stuff that is marked down. My daughter was looking for lawn furniture that had been marked down and they said it had been thrown away and that they cannot take it for themselves. That upset us since it seems they would give to the poor?
Kimberly Danger says
Target stores donate markdowns that don’t sell. More on that here: http://www.mommysavers.com/2011/02/target-clearance-today-goodwill-tomorrow/
They don’t throw it away, they donate it to goodwill and places like that
The only stuff Target tosses furniture wise are the displays in the department. This does NOT include lawn furniture. Bookshelves, dressers, etc… Those are built by an outside company and are not designed to be used, they are designed to be a display and that’s it.
Not sure if anyone said this or not, but on groceries, target has special target only coupons that can be combined with manufacturer coupons on the same item. So if you find the match ups (many sites have them posted) it can act like a double coupon.
About the 90 day return policy….I had a baby shower in July. My due date was the end of September. (We had it that early due to out of town family) My dad and step mom got me a car seat. It wasn’t the infant carrier, but the one you use after that. (this was also 8 years ago!!) By the time I needed it, it was November. It didn’t fit in my car. They would not let me return it. I went back in the next day..without the receipt, and the would only give me half the retail price. I just sold it to a friend. I understand they have a policy, but in some cases, a policy can be adjusted.
If we adjusted the policy for you, then we would have to for everyone.
And the reason why we don’t honor wrong clearance prices is because of dishonest people switching tags around….
Also, when doing a no receipt return you are going to get it at the last lowest selling price, and in the form of store credit (so a giftcard) and as I said in another reply, it’s not just the policy, it’s the system. There is NO way around the system if you’re trying to do a receipted return past the 90 day mark.
Sign up for the Target Pharmacy Rewards program. After filling 5 prescriptions you get a 5% off all day shopping pass.
Just a heads up about Target’s price adjustment policy-I think it has changed since this posting (or at least it has at my Target here in MS!). I recently stopped by customer service on my way out of Target to ask about their policy, and the clerk said you can receive an adjustment ONLY THE WEEK AFTER you purchase the item. This was written on the return policy on the wall as well, so I know she was correct. You might want to check with your local Target to see if this is a new national policy (which, unfortunately, it probably is!).
When I check out and use my REDcard for my extra 5% off I then walk right up to customer service and pay the total with my debit. I realy just ues the REDcard to get an extra % off but I had NO idea about the BYOB! Thats fantastic.
I have had many problems with Target in Louisville, KY not honoring the price marked on clearance items. One time the clearance tag was ripped off the jeans right in front of me by the manager and I was told they were marked in error and I could not have them for that price. Have friends that this same Target has done similar things to.
The store you shop at might have a lot of problems with ticket switching and that is considered theft.
The only way a clearance price is honored is if the dpci on the clearance sticker matches the dpci on the item. The dpci is the in store item number and the same number found on the receipt next to the item. These dpci numbers are also connected to the barcodes meaning that if an item has a clearance sticker on it, but does not have a dpci on the box you can use a price scanner to make sure the dpci on the price scanner screen matches the dpci on the sticker. I have been working at the service desk at a couple of targets for 2 years and spend a large portion of my day telling people that clearance stickers will get taken off of one item and put on another, we don’t honor that price and you need to be on the look out when purchasing clearance items.
Also clearance is based on what is selling, and how well certain items are selling meaning that if you have 2 of the same shirts, but one is medium and one is xl and the xl is on clearance but the medium is not, it means that the xl did not sell well and we are trying to get rid of it. It also means that the medium is selling well and therefore not on clearance. So bringing both up and throwing a fit when I wont give you the xl clearance price on the medium is not going to make me change the price. Whether an item has gone clearance depends on anything that can make it different from another item, so in terms of clothing: size and color are determiners. Happy Shopping.
Target almost never marks down certain clothing sizes, unless they are discontinuing a size. A few months ago, all of the mens size 31 pants got marked clearance because the stores no longer carry that size. But an XL won’t get marked down before a M will. Certain colors of the same style will if they aren’t selling, but not sizes. I’ve done price change AND worked in softlines for over 5 years.
Another way to save if you by chance live by a Super Target with a deli: If you get a pound and a half of Archer Farms meat cut at the deli, you get a free half pound of cheese (Archer Farms being Target’s premium brand). My boyfriend has sandwiches all the time, and we have never had to pay for cheese.
Another way to make sure you’re getting the right price is to check the DPCI. The DPCI is number in the Target system that is used to identify that item. Its the random numbers shown on the clearance tag (like the one in this post) and will sometimes be on the item tag as well (mostly found on clothes or bedding items). You can easily find the dpci of an item by scanning it on a price checker to make sure that it matches the clearance tag.
Use to work at Target too. Some stores get more clearance merchandise because it is the store in the district where they have higher volume sales. The go-to store for getting rid of seasonal stuff and mark downs. Once it hits clearance stage they will send a higher percent of the stockpile to this store. But a lower volume store might still have stuff that goes quicker elsewhere. It just depends on how much is left to eliminate from inventory.
If you forget a coupon or find a coupon for an item that was already purchased, you can take in your receipt and coupon to redeem. This has to be done within 7 days of purchase.
Thanks for the helpful guide! I wrote about ways to save money at Christmas and linked to your article because one of my tips is how you can get discounted wrapping paper for next year at the Target after-Christmas sale. That’s the only way I can justify getting luxury wrapping paper. 🙂
Susan [email protected] Earth says
Thanks for the information! I have found so many amazing deals in the clearance section of Target. A few years ago we got a $400 microwave for $120 since the box was beat up. Everything inside was perfect!
It used to be that if a clearance price ended in ‘4’ that signified it was a final markdown. It wouldn’t go any lower. Anyone know if that’s still the case???
Kimberly Danger says
Any clearance item ending in ‘4’ would have been based on the original price, Lori. It would have been 75% off $14.99, for example ($3.74). Now Target doesn’t do the 75% off, they do a 70% markdown instead.
Just bought a bag of chips that was originally .99 to .84 to .48 so I don’t think the ‘4’ is the last markdown anymore
Kimberly Danger says
Kristen, the ‘.04’ tip you may have seen on Pinterest didn’t come from us. The clearance price is ONLY a reflection of the percentage it has been marked down. Also, Target used to have a 75% markdown, which has changed to 70%.
I really wouldn’t go by the numbers. Clearance prices can range on ending numbers from 8, 4, to even 0 at the end. If you do the calculations, anything with .99 will have one of these eventually. These numbers simply distinguish that it is clearance, but not necessarily the final markdown. If you look up at the top right of the clearance tag, it will tell you the percentage that it is off. If it is not at 70% (used to be 75%) then it is usually not the final markdown. It was very rare for me to see things get sent back out before hitting that 70-75% markdown.
Always check this though. I can’t tell you how many times I would find missed clearance or inappropriately marked clearance. Take into consideration that these are people who ticket these items and have to go through every tag on a rack. Of course there may be some errors but they try to limit them as much as possible.
I’m not sure if this is still how their system works, but it USED to be that if the LAST number of the price of a Target clearance item was anything but a “4” (e.g., $9.90), then you could count on the clearance price dropping, so it was worth the wait. (That is, of course, IF they don’t run out of the item in the meantime) However, if the last digit of the clearance price IS a “4” (e.g., $5.74), then you’ve come to the end of the price reduction road, and it’s time to make your decision to purchase or pass before they’re gone! I received this info from an employee at my local Target a few years ago, and it has served me well. BUT… Remember, they may have changed their system since and it might NOT be how they do things now. If it IS still in effect, it’s definitely a great time saver! Certainly worth inquiring!! Good luck, fellow bargain hunters:)
My husband and I were buying a little times car for my daughter. Target had it online for $10 cheaper than in store. We checked toys r us and it was $20 more in store. We went to target. I showed them the online price and they said they can’t match online pricing because it’s two seperate things. But, he did give us a $10.00 gift card because I guess I complained enough. Then I used my red debit card and got 5% off. Pretty good deal!
the “AS IS” sticker, means it’s been opened, damaged, missing parts, or returned.
I do the pricing at my target and that schedule for markdowns, only some of it is right. Not all targets have the same schedule for markdowns. Also clearance items are not all the same at all targets. I get people all that time that come up to me and throw a fit because ours isn’t the same percentage as other targets in our area. yea pretty much one of the best jobs ever, my only complaint is when guests see you marking down stuff & arent patient enough to wait or even say excuse me! That’s only gonna piss me off & make me stop what I’m doing & go work on the next thing. They don’t realize how annoying it is & that we’re on a tight schedule to get stuff done.
When returning, they can look up your purchase by your checking account as well. You have to give them a blank check and they pass it through their reader, and if they find the item, you’re set.
[email protected] says
Great info…I did a post similar to this a few years ago. I loved finding out about the numbers on the red tags…it made shopping at Target so much fun!!
Pharmacy tip, if you want better service call or go after 11 am that’s when there is more than 1 pharmacist on and more technicians:)
That’s not necessarily true, it depends on the volume of prescriptions that store does on a daily basis. I am a Target pharmacy tech and the store I just left was a one tech-one pharmacist store. Also, the technician hours were set at maybe five hours a day and the pharmacy is open for ten hours. So for half the day there is only one person there. Our team was awesome though, and everyone loved my managing pharmacist.
Good grief. All the “they shouldn’t do that” folks are enough to make me gag. Try not to bust your arse while falling off of your high horse whilst looking down your nose.
The reason why Target and many other stores do not honor the online prices in-store is because in many cases, there are shipping and handling charges. It was also explained to me that online items are not shipped from the actual store, but a warehouse that processes many different retailers. Case in point — if you order something online and return it to a store, Target will immediately deep-discount the item rather than send
it back to the warehouse. On a different note — Pharmacy rewards are not available in all states. I’m in NY and the darn state won’t allow it.
Katie Zurawski says
Thanks for the post. My favorite tip: Sign up for mobile coupons or go onto Target.com to print the $3 off either Mossimo, Merona, or Xhiliration. I use them on clearance clothes all the time. My best finds: a dress I got for $4.98 (7.98 minus 3) and an awesome purple top for 2.98 (5.98 minus 3). There are some exclusions for example you can’t use it on shoes but it says nothing about clearance. And always go to all the racks in juniors and womens and plus sizes – items could be placed in the wrong section
Hi, I was wondering if anyone can answer a question for me. I went up to an employee in the toy section of target and asked if it was possible that they will give the toy display cardboard things away when they are ready to be switched. He said that they don’t do that and they HAVE to be thrown away. That seems odd and why would you throw something away that could be given away. Anyway, I didn’t go up to Customer Service and ask them because I assumed he knew what he was talking about. So, is it true? Or no?
All of Target’s signing is licensed and is technically illegal for use after a certain date. Target can be sued/fined by the toy company if the signing is being used in ANY way after it is taken down, including giving it to guests. It’s not just because Target likes wasting things or the TM you asked is just a jerk. We really can’t give it out without fear of getting in trouble. If Lego sends us a cardboard sign with their Lego label on it and it is found to be used 6 months after it’s supposed to have been taken down, Target will be in a lot of trouble.
Target’s price matching policy clearly states that they don’t match “door busters” which is what the black Friday ads are. That’s why they wouldn’t match those ads.
The markdown schedule is good to know, but the price change team sometimes gets ahead or behind, so it doesn;t always hold true.
Target has another price match policy. If something goes on sale in the Target ad within 14 days after you buy it, you can take your receipt to guest services and get the difference refunded. I has to still be in the active ad when you go in. They used to do this even with the black Friday ads, so you could avoid the crowds somewhat, but the big ticket items usually dont go on the floor until overnight Thursday. Not sure if they still do that for black Friday.
Throwing away displays is the corporate policy, they say because of copyrights, but some store managers allow the price change people to do it anyway, especially for teachers.
If the new price on the clearance sticker’s last number is a four, that’s the lowest it’s going on clearance, but if there’s an eight at the end, it will still get discounted more.
That isn’t necessarily true any more. Target no longer goes to 75% off. We tested this theory at work (yes, Target) and looked at a assortment of tags. Most of them don’t have a 4 or 8 any more because it goes (sometimes) 15-30-50-70 now instead of 75.
A lot of stores salvage things out, so don’t let something that you want to go away! Once it’s marked down it may not make it to the next markdown if they need the room in the store! So just heads up!
A L says
My husband and I love target especially for their clearance prices!! We went the other day and found a propane grill with side burner for $49.99!! Down from $199.99!! As my husband was pulling it up to the front of the store there were lots of other “guests” asking how much it was and if there were more. We had planned on buying a $20 charcoal grill even though we really had wanted a gas one and I went around the aisle and found the gas one yelling my name. So happy!!
I actually work at Target too and this summer we startped pushing our target check card. It has the same benefits as the red card. But instead of paying off your redcard every month, the money comes straight out of your checkings account. If you also have either the red card or check card you get 5% off every transaction and free shipping if you shop on target.com. From working as a cashier and at guest services. We do not match online prices. But from what I can remember, starting the 4th quarter we will start to do so. I don’t know if its for all targets but I know the one I work at in Las Vegas is starting to do so.
I work for Target and I am the person in our store who puts all these clearance stickers on the items and there are man points above that are wrong…your days we mark down items are wrong, the manager of the store has no say on what gets marked down and many items can sit at the same price for up to a month or longer. These are only a few of the points that are incorrect…just thought I would let you know.
Kimberly Danger says
We understand that markdowns vary according to inventory, and the markdown team received notifications via their PDAs when markdowns should occur (I edited the article to reflect that). What other points in the article do you feel need further clarification?
Ok. I have worked for Target almost 10 years. First off Team Members do not get notified of when markdowns are, not even the Pricing Team knows until that day. So friending a Team Member to get info is not an option. Not all markdowns go to the lowest markdown of 70%, some stuff doesn’t go past 30 or 50%. We DO NOT honor online prices, online is completely different from store prices, also FYI we DO NOT honor other stores clearance prices, every store is different with their clearance prices. You might visit one store and something is 50% but you don’t buy it but see it at another store for 15% and you ask for an adjustment it won’t happen. Days of markdown are not the same in every store, nor do they have a set week when things get markdown more. Return policy doesn’t apply for everything. You can not open electronic items, use them and return them, you can not wash clothes or wear them and return them, you can not return a game cause you don’t like it and expect a refund…not happening. The policies have changed and are very strict so I’d suggest visiting guest service to get a clarity before purchase. There’s more but ill stop here.
Funny because someone must have returned the obviously USED moby wrap i just bought from a Target…Had spit up on it and all…I was a tad upset with that i’ll be honest
Obviously someone shoved a dirty item back into the package and returned it that way. You would not believe the things people try to return – stained swimsuits, old toasters in the new toaster’s box, blank disks in game cases, smelly clothing (usually smoke) covered in pet hair with no tags… ugh.
Unfortunately employees can’t inspect everything. If the person returning it doesn’t admit to using the item and they put it back together carefully enough there’s no way to tell. Most people are just honestly returning something that barely left the store. If they said they had used it it should have been sold as a repackaged item, and if anyone knew it was dirty it would have been damaged out.
The no receipt return limit is now $70 a year, anything marked ‘As Is’ CANNOT be returned, electronic items have a shortened return period, it will say under the item on your receipt when that time is (usually 30 days) and a new feature of both REDcards is an extra 30 days to return items, which is an added plus. I’m a GSTL (front end manager) and these are just some points I found in the article that may need to be edited/clarified C:
Kimberly Danger says
I love their Great deals and coupones!
The price match policy was updated in the beginning of 2013. Target does match target.com and other online competitors! 🙂 and its target also changed from 30, 50, 75 to 30, 50, 70 at the end of last year
Linked to this in my blog. Thanks for the info!
Beth Bishop says
These dates can change at any time, depending on how quickly Target needs to clear space for new inventory. That means you may need to run in and scan a few items to verify current clearance prices if you’re serious about scoring some Target deals. Always scan a holiday product to verify its clearance percentage because signs are often not updated as soon as the barcodes are marked down. My rule for Target clearance has always been scan, scan and scan some more to find the best deals at the lowest prices.