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I don’t know about you, but Target clearance is an essential part of my shopping strategy. I can walk into Target with a short list and end up spending at least $150, so I need all the savings I can get.
You can find some of the best clearance deals ever just by waiting and watching for those little yellow stickers. But at the same time, it’s pretty hard to predict the markdowns, especially with all the changes Target makes to their clearance strategy. Lucky for you, we’ve done the legwork.
I covered everything from clearance discount ranges to weekly and holiday clearance schedules right here.
Before you dive in, download the KCL app and add Target to your favorite stores. You’ll see all the latest and greatest Target deals right in the app.
1. Regular Target clearance discounts range from 30% to 70% off.
Target markdowns normally start at 30% off and reach up to 70% off, depending on the clearance item and the inventory available.
Household items like laundry products begin their clearance journey at just 15% off and finish at 50% off. These items (at least at my store) get snatched up quickly, so they never make it to the final 70% discount.
2. Learn the clearance schedule at your Target store, and shop there during the week.
Before we dig deep into the “when” of Target clearance, keep in mind that schedules vary by store location. My best advice is to get familiar with your Target store and observe what and when clearance markdowns happen for different departments.
Target generally marks down items Monday through Friday.
Target does markdowns five days a week, Monday through Friday. You’ll notice each department does it on their own day. I have one store near me that marks down toys on Tuesday and another that does it on Thursday. Try being friendly with the Target associates at your store and politely ask if they can share some insights.
After the first clearance markdown, Target makes further markdowns every two weeks.
This is another one that varies by store since it all depends on inventory and what is and isn’t selling. If we’re talking about Target’s typical clearance schedule, further markdowns happen every two weeks. But if your Target store has a boatload of items that aren’t selling at 30% off, they’ll aggressively mark them down much sooner.
3. Clearance discounts won’t get better than 70% off — Target salvages items after that.
Unfortunately, the days of getting Target clearance items at 90% off are few and far between. Target sends clearance items to salvage stores not long after they hit 70% off, so you only have a short window of time to snag these final clearance markdowns.
Target is more likely to salvage big-ticket items when they hit 50% off. If you find something you really need, don’t wait too long. Otherwise, it might disappear from the shelf forever.
The only exception to this 70% off rule are holiday clearance items — you’ll see select items reach up to 90% off at Target in the weeks after Halloween and Christmas.
4. Shop for toys during the Semi-Annual Target Toy Clearance in January and July.
Target’s Semi-Annual Toy Clearance happens in January and July each year, and it’s THE BEST time to stock up on toys, games, dolls, and more for the little ones. Both sales typically start the second or third week of the month.
If you stay on top of the best deals, you can score name-brand toys for up to 70% off. These clearance deals are available on Target.com, too, but the best deals are always in stores. During the event, you can save on brands like Little Tikes, LOL Surprise, Barbie, and Nerf.
Related: Looking for the best toy deals right now? We have a whole list of Target toy hacks to help you save.
5. Save BIG on holiday decor for next year during Target’s Christmas clearance.
Now that you’ve stocked up on toys and other gifts for kids, it’s time to get all your Christmas decor on clearance too. Target Christmas clearance starts on Dec. 26 both in stores and online. You’ll find markdowns on holiday gift sets, accessories, Christmas lights, decor, party supplies, gift bags, wrapping paper, bows, and more.
- First Markdown: 50% off for non-food, 30% off for food and candy
- Second Markdown: 70% off for non-food, 50% off for food and candy
- Final Markdown: 90% off for non-food, 70% off for food and candy. But fair warning — the best stuff will likely be gone by this time.
Related: Shop all the best after-Christmas sales with this ultimate guide to Christmas clearance by store.
6. You’ll honestly find the best clearance deals at Target after any major holiday.
Hunting for holiday clearance at Target isn’t a science, it’s an art.
On the whole, you can expect to see this holiday clearance schedule at most Target stores:
- The day after the holiday: 50% off for non-food, 30% off for food and candy.
- 3 – 4 days after the holiday: 70% off for non-food, 50% off for food and candy.
- 1 week after the holiday: 90% off for non-food, 70% off for food and candy (usually only lasts for one or two days).
There are some exceptions to this schedule, though. Like in 2021, Target Christmas Clearance started at 70% off the day after Christmas and went to 90% off on Jan. 4. Regardless, your best bet is to wait for that 70% markdown so you can take advantage of deep discounts before the entire store is picked clean. Stop by Target in the morning for first dibs and stock up!
Target’s holiday clearance sales usually only last a week. If and when items hit 90% off, you’ll only have a day or two to snag what’s left.
7. Shop in July for clearance patio furniture and more summer items at Target.
If a new patio set is in your future, wait ’til they go on clearance in July. You’ll find clearance patio furniture, summer toys, and garden items for up to 70% off — and Target marks down all their remaining summer inventory.
Discounts will start at 15% off, but they’ll ramp up to 70% off as the month continues.
8. Learn how to read a Target clearance tag — it’ll tell you when to wait for a bigger discount.
For years, there have been speculations regarding what the numbers mean on a Target clearance sticker. But in reality, there’s no secret formula to figuring out what they mean.
In the upper right-hand corner of the tag, you’ll see one of three numbers: 30, 50, or 70. The number represents the discount percentage (30%, 50%, or 70% off). So once you know that clearance markdowns start at 30% off and end at 70%, you can easily tell whether you’re looking at a first, second, or third markdown!
The 9-digit number in the middle is what Target calls the DPCI. You can use this number in the Target app (iOS / Android) or even type it into BrickSeek to see inventory at other stores.
9. Use BrickSeek to check for hidden clearance at your local Target store.
Ever try to hunt down a KCL clearance deal only to find it’s out of stock at your Target store? If so, you have to 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 as well as your zip code. Then click “Check Inventory.” To find the DPCI and UPC codes, search for the item on Target.com and scroll down to the “details” section on the product page.
You can also sort your Brickseek 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 aisle endcaps and beyond for clearance deals in every department.
About 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 Semi-Annual Toy Clearance)
- Endcaps throughout the store
Be sure to keep your eyes open in any of these locations, especially on the sides of endcap displays in the health and beauty section. There might be a few clearance deals hiding on those sides!
11. Yes, you can use coupons on Target clearance items.
Low prices aren’t the only way to save on clearance items from Target. Want an even better deal? You can use manufacturer coupons on Target clearance items! According to Target’s Coupon Policy, you can even use Target Circle offers unless the fine print says otherwise.
65% off is nothing to scoff at!
Related: Wanna learn how to coupon at Target? We’ll teach you everything you need to know.
12. Always check the price of clearance items at the Target price checker kiosks.
Even if your clearance item seems cheap enough as it is, the actual price might be lower. Bring all your clearance items over to a Target price scanner to check for the most accurate prices. Unfortunately, if the price rings up as “$0,” you can’t get the item for free. If this is the case, it means the clearance price just isn’t registered in the system.
13. Miss a clearance markdown? Ask Target for a refund within 14 days.
If something you grabbed pops up in the Target clearance section immediately after, you can get a Target price adjustment within 14 days.
All you need is proof of purchase, whether that’s your receipt, order confirmation email, or the order history page in your Target app.
Easy peasy, right?
14. You can return clearance items to Target at any time.
Clearance items follow the same rules as anything else under the Target return policy. However, there are some items you can’t get refunded for, like 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 nonholiday items hit 70% off, they get sent off to a salvage store shortly after. If you’re looking for deeper discounts on clearance items, you can find them at Target salvage stores.
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