Ah, Target clearance. The holy grail of deal hunting. You can find some of the best Target clearance deals ever just by waiting and watching for those little yellow stickers. But it can also be pretty hard to predict, especially with all the recent changes they’ve made to their clearance strategy. Lucky for you, we’ve done the legwork!
1. Target Clearance items can range from 15% to 90% off.
I don’t know about you, but Target is one of those stores that I can walk in with a list, but still walk out spending $150. So finding Target clearance items is essential to keeping up with my habit.
Target clearance starts at 15% or 30%, depending on the item and the inventory available. Household items, like laundry products, will begin their clearance journey at 15% off and eventually hit 30% off. These products (at least at my store) get snatched up so quickly, they never make it to 50% off.
2. Learn the Target clearance schedule for your store and shop on the weekdays.
Before we dig deep into the Target clearance schedule, keep in mind this will vary by store location. I suggest becoming familiar with your location and observing what and when your store is putting things on clearance.
Target generally marks down items Monday – Friday. You’ll notice each department does it on their own day. I have one store that does toys on Tuesday and another that does it on Thursday. While I can’t give you the exact day when your store will mark items down, I would start with being friendly with your Target associates and see if they will give you a little insight.
Once the initial markdown is made, further reductions are about every two weeks. This is another one that can vary. If there are tons of that item, Target will start aggressively marking them down more than if clearance inventory is strong.
3. Jump on clearance marked down 70% before it’s salvaged.
Unfortunately, the days of snagging 90% off items are few and far between. Target salvages items not too long after they hit 70% off. Clothing is a big one that won’t last past 70% off. “Salvaged” means that the item is no longer in the computer system and will ring up “item not found.”
High-value items are more likely to be salvaged around the 50% off mark. If it’s something you need, definitely don’t wait too long before the item disappears from the shelf forever. Throughout 2021, the only items I’ve seen hit 90% off are holiday clearance items such as Halloween costumes or Easter baskets.
4. Only shop for toys during the Target toy clearance events.
Target toy clearance sales are a great time to stock up for the little ones.
This semi-annual Target Toy sale clearance event happens in January and July every year, typically the second or third week of the month.
If you keep up with it, you can score name-brand toys for up to 70% off. These clearance deals are available online, but the best deals are in store. During this event, you can save on brands like Little Tikes, L.O.L Surprise, Barbie, and NERF. This is the perfect time to load up your gift closet for the whole year!
Need to shop for toys now? We have a whole list of Target toy hacks!
5. Prep for next year with Target Christmas clearance.
Now that you’ve stocked up on toys for gifts, it’s time to get the decor on clearance too. Target Christmas clearance starts on December 26th both in store and online. Markdowns will be on holiday gift sets, accessories, Christmas decor, party supplies, gift bags, wrapping paper, bows, and more.
- Discounts start at 50% off for non-food, 30% off for food and candy
- Second discount: 70% off for non-food, 50% off for food and candy between Dec. 28 and Dec. 31.
- Final discount: 90% off for non-food, 70% off for food and candy between Dec. 31 and Jan. 2 But fair warning — the best stuff will likely be gone by this time.
6. Score Target holiday clearance items like a champ.
Fair warning: Holiday clearance hunting at Target is not a science, it’s an art.
Like with everyday clearance items, stores will lag behind or go on clearance ahead of each other. But on the whole, you can expect to see this holiday clearance schedule at most Target stores:
- First day after the holiday: 50% off for non-food, 30% off for food and candy
- Second day after the holiday: 70% off for non-food, 50% off for food and candy
- Seventh day after the holiday: 90% off for non-food, 70% off for food and candy starting on the seventh day, lasting only one to two days. (Candy and food only goes to 70% off.)
You’re best off waiting for the in-between, so you can take advantage of 70% off before the entire store is picked clean. Stop by in the morning four days after the holiday and stock up.
Holiday clearance sales last for about a week. Prior to 2020, Target clearance would linger a little longer, but since the rollout of Target Salvage Stores, it appears Target likes to get it moving faster.
PRO TIP: Look for seasonal Target in-store Starbucks mugs to go on clearance right after a major holiday. But be quick – they go super fast!
7. Shop in July for Target patio furniture clearance and more summer fun items.
Now you know when to shop for toys and holiday items. In July you can also save on summer items from big to small.
If a new patio set is in your future, wait ’til they go on clearance in July. All the remaining patio furniture and garden items go on clearance up to 70% off. This section of the store is used for school supplies, so Target is super motivated to get the patio furniture out of there. In 2019 I was able to score the trendy egg chair for only $199.99 (reg. $399.99). I still have it and love it…I wish I had bought more!
In July 2021, I was able to grab so much beach gear like buckets, water toys, towels, and more. And these items aren’t just for the beach: my kids love to use them in the pool or bath too. Like other clearance, they will start off at 15% off then ramp up to 70% off as we get through the month of July.
8. Learn how to read the clearance tag.
For years, there have been speculations regarding what the numbers mean on a Target clearance sticker. While we cracked a lot of the rumors about Walmart clearance tags, there’s no big math equation to figure out Target clearance tags. For example, some people thought that tags ending in “6” or “8” would be marked down again, while tags ending in “4” were the final markdown.
Nope! This might have been the case in the past, but not anymore.
Don’t bother pulling out your handy-dandy calculator to figure out how much you’re saving on a Target clearance item. Simply look in the upper right-hand corner to see what the percentage off is.
The 9-digit number in the middle is what Target calls the DPCI. You can use this number in the Target app or even Brickseek to see inventory at other stores. If you’re looking for clearance clothing, the next size up/down is usually one number away.
- Small size shirt 013-00-24176
- Medium size shirt 013-00-2417
9. Use Brickseek to check Target hidden clearance at your local store.
Ever try to hunt down a Target clearance deal from KCL only to see it’s out of stock when you get to the store? You gotta try out Brickseek. It’s a free inventory checker that makes it easy to find an item’s current price and availability.
Just go to Brickseek’s Target inventory checker and put in the DPCI or UPC codes for the item you’re looking for as well as your zip code, and click “Check Inventory.” Find the DPCI and UPC codes by searching for the item on Target.com and scrolling down to the details section.
You can also sort your search by price, distance, or quantity. You’ll see if the item is in stock, limited stock (meaning they might only have a display model available), or out of stock, as well as the current price at nearby Target stores.
10. Check the endcaps and beyond for clearance deals.
99% of the time, Target clearance will be in one of three places:
- The seasonal section of the store
- Specific aisles (this is mostly true for the bi-annual Target toy clearance)
- Endcaps throughout the store
Be sure to keep your eyes open in any of these locations, especially the sides of endcap displays in the health and beauty section. There might be a few clearance deals hiding on those sides.
PRO TIP: Make it a habit to look closely for little yellow clearance stickers in all the endcaps, since they’ll often have clearance items from other departments.
11. You can use coupons on Target clearance items.
Just because an item is on clearance doesn’t mean that’s the end of the savings. Wanna save even more on Target clearance? Use manufacturer coupons on Target clearance items. You can even use Circle offers unless the fine print says otherwise. For example:
Use 20% Off – Just One You Apparel, Target Circle Offer
Final Price: $5.98
76% off is nothing to scoff at!
Wanna learn how to coupon at Target? We teach you everything you need to know!
12. Always check Target clearance items at price scanner kiosks for the real price.
Even if your Target clearance item seems cheap to start out, the actual price might be even lower. Head over to one of the Target price scanner kiosks in the store to get the current clearance price.
Sadly, you gotta use the kiosks for this since the Target app won’t always give you the current clearance price.
13. Miss a Target clearance price? Ask for a refund within 14 days.
If something you grabbed at Target pops up in the Target clearance section right afterward, you can still get a price adjustment within 14 days.
All you need is proof of purchase, whether it’s a receipt, your Target app’s order history, or the credit card you made the purchase with.
Easy peasy, right?
14. You can return Target clearance items.
Clearance items follow the same rules as anything else under the Target return policy. The only items you won’t be getting a refund for are products that have been salvaged or discontinued.
15. Check out Target salvage stores for more clearance items.
Target doesn’t let clearance items linger around the store as much as they did in the past. Once non-holiday items hit 70% off, that’s it before it gets sent off to a salvage store. If you’re looking for deeper discounts on Target clearance items, you can find them at Target Salvage Stores.
Good luck deal hunting Target clearance! And don’t forget to use those free coupons!