(Updated 12/02/16) How to find screaming deals at Target is a popular topic among shoppers these days. If you’re not shopping smart and looking for ways to save, the retailer can easily become a black hole of overspending. So I decided to cut through all of the clutter and come up with the only 5 Target shopping hacks you’ll ever need to save money at Target.
Tips that will give you insider information on the retail giant and a leg up on how to spot deals that the average Target shopper will have no clue about. Drum-roll, please…
1. Shop for Target Items at Goodwill
I was in my local Goodwill a couple weeks ago and found a Target branded Mossimo shirt on the rack that was brand spanking new. My deal radar went off and I asked an employee if they get Target surplus items and she verified that they do indeed.
She said they typically come in once a month, within the first week of the month, and include housewares, clothing, and sometimes toys.
So if you love Target, but never shop at Goodwill, it may be time to change your shopping routine. Also, be aware that just because it came from Tar’ Zhay, doesn’t mean Goodwill will always price it cheaper than the Target clearance price. But in most cases, you can score a great deal on Target items at your local Goodwill store.
2. Crack the Target Clearance Sticker Code
If you learn to crack the price tag code at Target you can time your purchase to maximize your savings. Check out the Target clearance sticker above, do you see the tiny 30 and 50 in the upper right hand corner? That number signifies the percent off the original price. I have it on good authority from a Target employee that they mark down items by the following increments, 15%, 30%, 50%, 70% and 90% off.
Clothing and shoes are marked down at 30%, 50% and then 70% (and then go salvage). Seasonal Items goes 30, 50, 70, and only the non-”big name” items go to 90. Everything else goes 15, 30, 50, 70 and then salvage.
Typically an item will stay at the current markdown percentage for 10-14 days before getting marked down further. So if they have a bunch of an item at 30%, for example, wait and come back and you stand a great chance of getting it for 50% off.
3. Sign up for Target Coupon Alerts
Most Target shoppers are already aware of their Cartwheel app which gives you access to a whole bunch of coupons and deals. But perhaps the easiest way to ensure you don’t pay full-price on your next Target shopping trip is to sign-up for their mobile coupon alerts. Once you’ve signed up for these little-known alerts, you’ll get coupons sent directly to your smartphone that can be redeemed directly from the screen.
No clipping required and no need to dig-up a coupon specific app while checking out. You can even pick the time of day you want the coupons delivered.
4. Get a Target Price Match
The Target price match policy has been discussed before on my blog but is still a bit of a mystery to many Target shoppers. If at the time of purchase, or within 7 days, you find a lower price from Target.com, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, ToysRUs/BabiesRUs.com or in a competitor’s local printed ad, they’ll happily give you the lower price.
Simply go the “Guest Services” desk and tell them about the lower price. They’ll then use their tablet to verify the price, make sure the item is in-stock, and identical, before giving you the lower price.
5. Shop on the Right Day of the Week
Are you aware that Target employees markdown specific departments on different days of the week? By knowing the day, you can walk into your store and find a plethora of items recently marked down or recently put on sale. From my article on markdown days, and courtesy of All Things Target.com, here is what you need to know:
- Monday – Electronics, Accessories, Kids Clothing, Books, Baby and Stationery
- Tuesday — Domestics, Women’s Clothing, Pets and Market (food items)
- Wednesday — Men’s Clothing, Health and Beauty, Diapers, Lawn & Garden items and Furniture
- Thursday — Housewares, Lingerie, Shoes, Toys, Sporting Goods, Decor & Luggage
- Friday — Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, & Jewelry
Use this information to save money on stuff you would be buying anyways; not as a green-light to buy marked-down stuff just because it’s on sale.
Ask the Reader: How do you save money at Target, or do you just head to Walmart or Amazon.com? I look forward to your comment.
By Kyle James
Photo credit to Mike Mozart.