Learn Target’s Clearance System and Save More

Every section of Target has a specific clearance spot. Clothing has select clearance racks, and aisles have end caps with clearance products visibly displayed. Target routinely marks items for clearance near the end of a season as well as post-holiday and during their semi-annual big toy clearance sales.

 

 

Target Marks Down Products Weekly. All Target inventory goes through a markdown phase that is in set increments: 15%, 30%, 50%, 70% and so on, up to 90%.

Target’s “Unofficial” Markdown Schedule. Know the unofficial markdown schedule in order to take advantage of the best deals and know exactly when to look for them:

  • Monday: Baby items, children’s clothing, electronics, and office supplies/gift wrap/stationery
  • Tuesday: Home décor, women’s clothing, and domestic items
  • Wednesday: Food, health and beauty items, men’s clothing, toys, and garden items
  • Thursday: Lingerie, housewares, sporting goods, shoes, and luggage
  • Friday: Cosmetics, jewelry, hardware, automotive, and home improvement

The “Every Two Weeks” Markdown Schedule. Target typically further reduces unsold clearance merchandise every two weeks once the markdowns have begun, but this can vary based on region, amount of unsold inventory, and manager discretion. If you are watching an item and see that it has been marked down 30% or 50%, come back in another two weeks to see if it has been marked down further.

How to Read Target Clearance Tags

  • 15%: When an item goes on clearance at Target, the first markdown is usually 15%. You can tell exactly how much the item has been marked down by looking at the upper right hand corner of the red clearance tag. If you see the number 15, it is marked down 15%. The original price of the product will always be listed on the left-hand side next to the word “was,” and the new price of the item on clearance will be located on the right, next to the word “now.” The last digit of the item will mainly end in the numbers 6 or 8. Example: $7.48.
  • 30%, 50%, 70% and 90%: If you look closely at the red clearance tag, you might notice the higher clearance numbers 30, 50, 70 or even a giddy 90! These numbers correspond to the percentage off that product is now being sold for. The original price of the product will always be listed on the left-hand side next to the word “was,” and the new price of the item on clearance will be located on the right, next to the word “now.” E.g.: $3.88.
  • Price Tags Ending With $0.06 or $0.08: If the price of the item on clearance ends in $0.06 or $0.08, the item will be marked down again during the next markdown cycle as long as there is inventory in the store. The item typically will remain at the next percentage off for two weeks before progressing to the next level.
  • Price Tags Ending With $0.04: If the last number in the price of the item ends in $0.04, the item has been marked for final clearance, and this is the lowest price that Target will sell the item.
  • Random Price Tag Endings: Often, Target price tags end with $0.00, $0.01, $0.05, $0.07, etc. I spoke with some store managers and was told these endings are arbitrary and simply indicate an item is on clearance with no specific meaning, and the item will continue on its clearance cycle.
  • Sectioned Clearances: Seasonal merchandise such as holiday, back-to-school, and summer items are examples of these clearance products. Many of these are holiday branded and will be reduced at a much faster rate than the typical two-week increment because Target needs the space for new inventory. Often the products begin at 50% off, then are reduced to 70% off, and continue on up to 90% off within two weeks. Also, items may not be individually marked; the entire section will be at one discount rate.
  • Gift Card Bonus Price Endings: This has nothing to do with clearance items, but since we are talking about price tag endings, anything that ends with $0.49, $0.79, and $0.99 indicate a Target Gift Card promotion is in effect. The Gift Card offer details will be listed at the very top in red, and the amount of the gift card will be listed on the card or offer.

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23 thoughts on “Target Clearance Schedule and How to Read the Clearance Tags”

  1. Laura says:

    Awesome tips and very well laid out!! I’ve linked your post to my blog for my readers to learn more about how to save at Target.

  2. AmandaRipsam says:

    I love shopping at Target. I do love Clarence. Thank you for sharing those tips. Very helpful. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    I love shopping at Target. I do love Clarence. Thank you for sharing those tips. Very helpful. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sorry ladies. Your site is fantastic, and I love it! But this Target info isn’t exactly accurate. http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/bigstoreprices.asp

  5. Boston says:

    my target has put aisles of toys on clearance for 70 percent off.

  6. kristin h says:

    I’m an team member in Va. and our markdown schedule is very different so I would suggest asking your local stores what their schedule is. Plus, when they have large storewide markdowns like after Christmas that are not POS (Point of Sale items like Seasonal) schedules are not often followed. Also another tip if you are in an area with many stores close in proximity or you have a higher volume store by you, you may want to ask if they have clearance sent to them. My store has clearance sent to us becasue we sell it better than other stores in my area. Lastly, many Heath and Beauty items like the boxed set and specail packages (like Dove, Axe, & Secret) will NOT go past 50% off. They get sent back before they go to 70%. Parfum and smaller gift sets may be mark down to 70%.

  7. MG says:

    The only items that go 90% off are seasonal items, nothing with a red tag ever goes 90.

  8. Michelle says:

    Just and FYI I was a former employee of Target and although they have clearance throughout the year they do bulk clearance as well, the mark down an entire area of the store. It starts after the new year, its targets way of getting ready for the up and coming year and changing there layout and merchandise. They usually start with toys, move to home decor and then over to food, this process is done over the first few months of the new year. I plan most of my shopping for next years christmas this way.

  9. Cynthia says:

    Thanks video was very helpful!

  10. Q-pawn Molly says:

    Do toys go higher than 70% off now?

    • Kristin H says:

      For the 6 years I have worked at Target I have NEVER seen or put a mark down price tag on anything 90%. Toys will usally only go 90% if they are Seasonal items like the smaller stocking stuffer type ones. I’ve got some small Halloween and Christmas Polly Pockets and Hot Wheels sets at 90% before but nother bigger than that.

  11. AM says:

    This video was very helpful – thanks! I have a question re. Target clearance. I found some of the Scotch double-sided tape that was marked at 90% off at other Target stores. I went to check the price at the red scanner and it did not read it. I took it to a register to do a price check and it didn’t scan there either. I took the tape to the customer service desk and the cashier kept the tape, saying they weren’t allowed to sell it. I’m assuming there’s nothing more I could have done, but I’m just wondering why other stores had it marked for 90% off and I wasn’t allowed to purchase it at my store? Any ideas?

    • Heather says:

      Everything that was a 90% markdown from the Christmas clearance was removed from their systems on January 9th. Anything left was to be boxed up and sent to salvage, but there are always remnants around the store that will pop up. That is why they wouldn’t sell it to you.

  12. cozgrl05 says:

    thank you so much!

  13. annettesaves says:

    This info is so helpful!

  14. Carol_R says:

    Thanks for the info.

  15. Thank you so much for all the information you provide for us. It is so helpful! I am printing this one and posting on fridge. LOL

  16. Wren Snethen says:

    Oh I have to check this out now, I love Target and live like 5 minutes away. Thank you so much for this.

  17. cwalker82 says:

    Gosh, I really really REALLY can’t wait for them to build a Target up by us!!! I can get there maybe once a mth because its an hour away.

  18. D4wn says:

    Thanks for sharing!