I’m going to level with you. JCPenney shopping has never been my favorite. For me, it’s always been the place my grandma goes with her friends. Not really on my radar.
Well, I decided to give JCPenney shopping another shot. What did I find? A lot of sales and coupons, and JCPenney deals.
It can be kind of deceiving but with a little know-how and a push in the right direction, I’ve mastered the art of shopping at JCPenney. Check it out.
1. JCPenney inflates prices by up to 30% to make sales more appealing.
JCPenney is known for over-inflating prices to promote sales when, in reality, “sale” prices are often near regular retail.
I found a JanSport “Superbreak” backpack at JCPenney with a regular price of $48, on “sale” for $35.99. The same one is regularly priced at $36 at Jansport.com and $35.99 at Macys.com.
2. Buy Carters baby clothes when they reach 80% off.
Tags indicating 80% off can end in a 0, 7 or a 9. When you see Carters in store with these tags, snatch it up! This is an all-time-low price.
Clearance items are marked down in accordance with JCPenney’s corporate direction until they hit 80% off. From there, it’s solely up to the discretion of the store manager or pricing team to determine the price of the item.
You can also look online and filter by brand. I found Carter’s unisex bodysuits for $2.79, marked down from $14. That’s a smokin’ deal on a basic I can never get enough of!
3. JCPenney allows up to ten $10 Reward coupons per transaction.
There are three types of coupons you can use while shopping JCPenney. They are:
- Rewards coupons – These coupons are available for JCPenney rewards members or cardholders, like a $10 reward for every 200 points you earn.
- Free shipping coupons – Sometimes, JCPenney will release coupons for free shipping at a certain purchase threshold. Free shipping is typically available on orders over $75, otherwise.
- Discount coupons – These are your typical dollar or percentage savings coupons available to everyone. Think 20% off your purchase, or $10 off a purchase of $10 or more.
Coupons will be applied in this order: discount → reward → free shipping.
Note that some stores will not allow a discount with a free shipping coupon. But you can always stack in these combinations so long as the discount doesn’t exceed the purchase price:
- Discount + $10 Reward (up to 9)
- (10) $10 Rewards
- (9) $10 Rewards + Free shipping coupon
4. JCPenney will price match local brick and mortar competitors and online retailers.
See an item you want for a lower price somewhere else? Price match!
Best part? JCPenney will beat competitor’s prices by an additional 5%. Find a full list of restrictions here.
5. JCPenney’s price match policy even allows matching for 14 days after purchase.
If you buy an item and see it advertised for a lower price somewhere else that week or the next, JCPenney will give you money back to match the price. Just bring in the local competitor ad, and a customer service representative will help you out.
On that same note, if you notice the price of an item drop while you’re at JCPenney shopping within that 14-day window, you can request an adjustment.
TIP: JCPenney price matches during Black Friday. So, if you find something you want but don’t want to wait for Black Friday, buy it, and if the price drops within two weeks get the difference.
6. Pink stickers indicate final clearance prices.
Be on the lookout for pink price tags. This indicates a final clearance price.
As I mentioned above, most items at JCPenney are on sale, so there are plenty of these tags to be found.
Throw a couple of coupon offers on top of one of these items and you’ll have yourself a deal.
7. Get a $10 Reward on every 200 Points you earn with JCPenney Rewards.
Join JCPenney’s free rewards program, JCPenney Rewards, and in addition to exclusive coupons, you’ll receive benefits like a special gift on your birthday and 2X the rewards when you use your JCPenney credit card.
8. Online orders over $25 ship to a JCPenney store for free.
Placing an online order but you don’t have enough to hit the $99 minimum free shipping threshold?
Don’t worry — as long as the order is over $25, you can ship everything to your nearest JCPenney store for free.
9. Out-of-stock items always ship to the store for free.
Don’t see what you want in stock? Have an employee order and ship it to the store for free.
Just pick it up next time you’re at JCPenney shopping.
10. During Black Friday at JCPenney, look for deals on women’s boots, Air Fryers, cookware sets and small appliances.
JCPenney offers deals on women’s boots that start out at a Black Friday price of $19.99 a pair, but by early December have been known to dip to as low as $11.24 with a 25%-off promo code that wasn’t available on Black Friday.
Plus, watch for Air Fryers and a number of small appliances on Black Friday for just $4.99 (after mail-in rebate), Cooks brand 10- and 12-piece cookware sets that reach 75% off, and KitchenAid 5-qt mixers for $279.99.
Download the KCL app so you’re ready to shop JCPenney deals on Black Friday.
11. JCPenney credit card review — it doesn’t make the cut.
As far as a JCPenney credit card review goes, you have to consider whether the perks outweigh the liabilities.
With the JCPenney credit card, members save more as they reach specific tiers (standard, gold and platinum), which are based on spending habits.
To reach the highest level (platinum), you’ll need to spend $1,000 or more in a calendar year. The benefits?
A few extra coupons and savings opportunities throughout the year. Not really worth it.
Instead of the JCPenney credit card, consider purchasing discounted JCPenney gift cards from Raise. At savings of 10% off, you’ll save more without getting locked into a new credit card.
12. But if you do sign up, Sephora is the best place to apply.
If you do sign up for the JCPenney credit card, make sure to do so at that Sephora location inside JCPenney.
You’ll receive a 15% off coupon to save storewide at JCPenney, along with a box of Sephora freebies.
13. The first and third Friday of each month are the best days to find new markdowns.
Schedule your JCPenney shopping trips for the end of the week. The stores roll out new markdowns on the first and third Friday of every month.
You’ll notice the biggest sales tend to start right before the weekend. That’s when you’ll see “Super Saturday” sales and doorbusters. Combine these sales with a $10 off $10 coupon to get the best deals.
14. The best items to buy at JCPenney include linens, jackets, bras and boots.
The products we tend to see the most sales on while at JCPenney shopping, include linens (especially towels), jackets, bras and boots.
15. The worst brands to buy at JCPenney include Disney, Nike and Converse.
Coupons cannot be applied to a long list of brands at JCPenney including Nike, Disney, Converse, Levi’s, Hunter Douglas, Le Creuset, Columbia and Sephora.
This kills almost any hopes of a great deal. Find the complete list of excluded brands here.
You can find discounts on many of these brands when you shop stores like Kohl’s or shop directly from the retailer.
Follow KCL to stay up to date on the latest deals for these brands:
16. JCPenney sale alerts are now sent via text.
One of the best ways to keep up to date on sales and coupons is via JCPenney text alerts.
You’ll receive up to 8 messages per month. I typically get them on Thursdays.
Think coupons, sale alerts and updates on store holiday hours. You’ll also receive a 20% off coupon for signing up.
Text “JOIN” to 527365 to get started.
17. JCPenney.com may have better prices than in-store.
JCPenney online shop and in-store prices typically coincide.
However, sometimes you’ll find “online-only” or “in-store-only” sales. If you’re shopping JCPenney for something in particular, make sure to check the site before going in store to see if you’re missing out on an online exclusive.
If an item is cheaper online and isn’t part of an exclusive sale, ask a store associate if they will match the price in store.
18. Yellow tags tell employees where new merchandise will go.
Notice yellow or green tags sticking out of store signage?
This is simply a way for stockroom associates to keep track of new shipments coming in. A yellow tag tells employees where a new item will go. A green tag indicates an item is in need of new signage.
To make room for new shipments, a product with a yellow strip will most likely be relocated to a clearance area, where it has a better chance of being marked down even lower.
19. Employees save up to 30% on top of clearance prices when they use their JCPenney credit card.
If you’re in the market for a new job, consider a position at JCPenney. The standard employee discount is 20% off all merchandise and services (portraits, salon, etc.) when an employee doesn’t use a JCPenney credit card.
All-star associates (those who have gone above and beyond in their work performance) receive a 30% discount on all merchandise and the same 20% off all services. Employees can earn 25-30% off when they pay with their JCPenney card.
Employee discounts can be applied to clearance and sale items, along with coupons. It makes for a pretty huge savings opportunity. Discounts cannot be applied to shipping and handling, gift cards, optical exam fees or Sephora products.