Timing is everything when it comes to getting the best deals at your favorite retailers. While there are some consistencies in clearance between stores, they each have their own unique markdown schedules and money-saving hacks.
To save the most while shopping for the biggest selections, mark your calendar using the hints in this post and check the retailer’s website or social media to see if anything sneaky is going on at your local store.
1. Shop Macy’s Clearance Sales by seasons for up to 75% off.
Bottom line: You should never pay full price at Macy’s. Knowing when to shop is just one of the many ways to save there. For more ways to save serious cash at Macy’s, check KCL’s Macy’s deals page before you shop for extra promo codes and coupons.
Best Macy’s Clearance Sales of the Year
- Semi-Annual Sales: Get 40-75% off clearance prices throughout the store using a promo code in January and August.
- Friends & Family Sale: Save 25% on everything (including clearance) during the Friends & Family sale in April and October.
- Off-Season Sales: In general, the best time to buy items are when they’re out of season. And Macy’s marks down their in-season inventory sooner than competitors like JCPenney and Nordstrom.
Macy’s Clearance Sale Seasons
Seasons at Macy’s are defined as follows:
- Spring: February – April
- Summer: May – July
- Fall: August – October
- Holiday/Winter: November – January
That means the best times to stock up are:
- Spring clearance: April 1
- Summer clearance: July 1
- Fall clearance: October 1
- Winter clearance: January 1
Additionally, when you see a sign that says “Lowest Price of the Season,” it refers to the three-month period listed above.
2. Save 75% with Coach Outlet clearance sales.
Coach Factory Outlets have two different kinds of merch: bags made specifically for the outlet stores (lower quality) and Coach store overflow. Their prices are significantly lower than at the official Coach store.
Best Coach Outlet Clearance Sales of the Year
- February: 70% off Coach Reserve Styles. These styles are the luxe accessories.
- June: Coach Outlet Online offers up to 70% off + extra 20% off everything toward the end of June.
- November: Coach Outlet offers a Black Friday sale with up to 70% off + extra 25% off everything. This includes clearance items. (In 2021, I was able to get a tote for $85 — regularly $378!)
3. Shop Target clearance Monday – Friday when each department does their markdowns.
Yes, Target marks down their discounts five days a week for different departments. . . which means you have a valid excuse to wander the aisles every day. (You’re welcome.) Note that each store’s markdown schedule may vary.
Best Target Clearance Sales of the Year
- Semi-Annual Target Toy Sale:
- Shop for toys at Target in January and July
- Target toy clearance starts at 30% and typically progresses to 50% off within a week, followed by 70% off in the following weeks.
- After-Holiday Clearance:
- 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.)
Target Clearance Schedule by Day of Week
Shop the first day that items in each department are marked down for the best selection:
- Monday: Girls’, Boys’, Infants’, Electronics
- Tuesday: Women’s, Juniors’
- Wednesday: Men’s, Food, Stationery, Health, Laundry
- Thursday: Sleepwear, Athletics, Paper, Shoes, Housewares
- Friday: Domestics, Auto, Scarves, Jewelry, Beauty
4. Beat everyday low prices with up to 75% off during Walmart clearance sales.
Walmart has been a pioneer for low prices…but here at KCL, we like to get lower! That’s where Walmart clearance sales come into play. You don’t have to wait until holiday clearance to save either. Walmart offers clearance deals year-round. We have tons of Walmart clearance secrets, but here’s just a little teaser to get you started.
Best Walmart Clearance Sale of the Year
- Walmart Toy Clearance Sale: Occurs in January and July. Toys go on clearance for 75% off and will reach up to 90% off the original prices.
Walmart Holiday Clearance Schedule
- Dec. 26 – Jan. 10:
- Walmart Christmas clearance starts Dec. 26 in store and online with discounts starting at 50% off.
- The second round of discounts occurs between Dec. 31 and Jan. 10 with 75% off.
5. Get T.J.Maxx’s biggest markdown selection on Monday mornings.
Never shop T.J.Maxx on the weekend, if you can avoid it. Markdowns come from TJX Co. (the corporation that owns T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, Homesense, Home Goods, and Sierra Trading Post) to the store only Monday through Friday. New merchandise also ships during the work week.
Best T.J.Maxx Clearance Sales of the Year
- Semi-Annual Sales: The closest thing to an actual sale occurs in July and January. That’s when the focus shifts from winter and summer seasons, so they’re actively getting rid of any inventory for that past season. Scout out yellow tags for the biggest discounts.
T.J.Maxx Clearance Schedule by Day of Week
- Monday morning markdowns: Get in there first thing Monday morning for the biggest selection. Most discounts are made after store hours or before store opening, so morning shoppers always have first access to the latest steals.
Here are ALL the ways to save at T.J.Maxx.
6. Shop Nike clearance sales at Nike and Nike Factory stores.
All Nike clearance isn’t the same. And knowing where and how to shop is key to saving the most on your Nike apparel and shoes. Look for red and green clearance tags at Nike Factory stores. When there’s an additional percent-off clearance sale, you can apply the discount to these items as well.
Nike Clearance Sales Options
- Nike Store Clearance: When new versions or colorways of a product are released, items are briefly marked down to make room for new merchandise. The remaining stock gets shipped to a Nike Factory store.
- Nike Factory: Sales are frequent, and new products arrive at a steady flow. Products are priced up to 50% off retail, plus the store offers an extra 20-30% off clearance.
- Nike Clearance: Don’t get too excited…there are only about 20 clearance stores in the country. But if you’re one of the lucky ones to live near a Nike Clearance store, you’ll get amazing deals on out-of-season merchandise.
Nike Clearance Schedule
- Friday – Sunday: New inventory usually ships from Nike retail to Nike Factory stores Thursdays and Fridays, right before the weekend crowd comes through. This makes the best time to shop at Nike Factory Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings. Nike Factory sales occur on select Thursday or Friday mornings and last until Sunday or Monday night.
Join Nike Membership online or through the free Nike app to unlock exclusive coupons like the 30% off entire purchase Friends & Family discount and also get free shipping every time you order from Nike.com.
7. Ask for an extra 20% off patio furniture in August at The Home Depot.
Best Home Depot Clearance Sales of the Year
- Floor Model Sale: Try asking for an extra 10-20% discount on floor models when it comes to lawn equipment, grills, or patio furniture in August — that’s when the major selling season has ended and everything is already discounted.
- Holiday Weekend Paint Sales: The biggest discounts are applied during any three-day weekends like Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. Plan ahead to save around $5/gallon!
- Post-Holiday Clearance: Find some killer deals on holiday decor next to the Contractor Services desk — especially following Christmas and Halloween.
- Kitchen & Bath Event: This DYI-er’s dream sale runs from mid-January to mid-March. You’ll see up to 40% off everything you need to renovate your kitchen or bath.
8. Get 50% off Hobby Lobby home decor every four weeks.
You have to practice self-control when you know our Hobby Lobby shopping strategy.
Knowing the best time to buy virtually everything they offer will help you know when to pull the trigger, and when to pull in the reins. Want to know when every item at Hobby Lobby goes on sale? We’ve got all that info too!
Best Hobby Lobby Clearance Sales of the Year
- Floral, Decor Party & Crafts:
- Mid-July through the end of October — 40% off
- First two weeks of November — 50% off
- Last two weeks of November — 80% off
- Last week of September through October — 40% off
- Christmas Floral, Decor, Trees, & Crafts:
- Mid-August through the end of October — 40% off
- November through mid-December — 50% off
- Last two weeks of December — 66% off
- New Year’s Eve through the first week of January — 80-90% off
- Christmas Party & Gift Wrapping Supplies:
- Last week of November through the first three weeks of December — 40% off
Hobby Lobby Clearance Schedule by Every Other Week
Hobby Lobby rotates its sales every other week. If you’re looking for home decor but it’s not on sale this week, just wait till next week.
- Home Decor — 50% off
- Floral — 50% off
- Frames — 50% off
- Art & Art Supplies — 50% off
- Select paper crafts — 50% off
9. Get up to 80% off seasonal decor after a holiday at Michaels.
Michaels doesn’t shy away from 50% off sales or clearances, but you gotta know when to go.
Best Michaels Clearance Sales of the Year
- Holiday Decor Sales: Holiday decor hits as much as 60-70% off two weeks before a holiday, and up to 80% after the holiday.
- Annual Tree Sale: Bookmark the week before Thanksgiving when Michaels’ annual tree sale features 50-60% off artificial Christmas trees, and free online shipping for those over 6 feet.
- Home Refresh Sale: Refresh your home in January with frames up to 65% off, BOGO or 50% off home decor, and personal planners marked at least 50% off. Spring floral is discounted 40% off (through February), and 50% off home/craft storage.
- Home Fragrance Sale: After you get your home spiffed up, shop in February to make it smell as good as it looks!
Learn more easy ways to save at Michaels Craft Store.
10. Stock up on 50% off beauty and hair products during ULTA clearance and annual sale events.
If you know what you like, stocking up at ULTA’s annual sales could tide you over all year long. But you don’t have to wait for a sale event to find ULTA clearance. Located either by the registers up front or in the back of the store, depending on your store, ULTA’s clearance section is where you’ll find products discounted up to 90%. Every item has a red or yellow sticker. Look for the yellow stickers for the biggest savings.
Best ULTA Clearance Sales of the Year
- 21 Days of Beauty Sale: In March and September, this sale offers one item at a DEEP discount for one day only, and they feature a new item every day for 21 days (three weeks!). Most of the featured items are 50% off.
- Love Your Skin Event: Happens in January. It’s 21 days of daily deals for up to 50% off skincare products — from cleansers to eye serums — including prestige and high-end brands.
- The Liter Sale: Happens in January and July, and most major professional hair care brands have their liter size shampoo and conditioners on deep discount.
- The Gorgeous Hair Event: Happening every year in May and October, this event allows you to get deep discounts on hair products. Remember, if you have a coupon, you can stack it with this sale!
- Christmas Gift Sets: Prestige brands roll out lots of bundled (and discounted!) product gift sets around Christmas. Not only are they a great value on multiple products, but it’s the best way to get a deal on brands that rarely go on sale (BareMinerals I’m looking at you…).
Keep your makeup budget in check with these ULTA tips to save money year-round.
11. Buy seasonal apparel four weeks after they arrive on the shelves at Gap.
Shop Wednesday mornings around four weeks after seasonal apparel arrives to snag a few great deals (like up to 80% off full price in the clearance section) at Gap.
Best Gap Clearance Sales of the Year
- The Great Gap Sale: Happens around January, June, July, and December. Offers 50% off already marked down items.
- Denim Sale: Occurs in February, where you will see jeans discounted as much as 50%.
- Friends & Family Event: 40% off everything plus an extra 10% off. Happens in March, May, August, and November
- Warehouse Sale: An online-only event where you can save 50% on clearance items. Occurs in April and August.
- Labor Day Event: 40% off the entire store plus 50% off summer styles. Occurs in the end of August and into September.
- Sweater Sale: Happens in October with sweaters 50-60% off.
Gap Clearance Schedule by Day of Week
- Wednesday markdowns: Markdowns always happen mid-week, so get there first thing Wednesday morning to see the best selection.
- Shop four weeks out: An item’s first markdown (the little orange sticker) is placed about four weeks after it arrives in the store. Most items will be marked down at least once before reaching their final sale price.
We did the research: How Three Years of Gap Sales Reveal the Best Ways to Save
12. Use Kohl’s Cash and coupons for up to 80% off apparel and seasonal items.
Kohl’s has some of the best money-saving hacks in all the land. And honestly? The best things to buy at Kohl’s are almost everything. Kohl’s clearance is where it’s at. You can save from 50% and up to 80%, sometimes even more. Look for up to 80% savings on clearance clothing racks, including brands like Carter’s, regularly throughout the store. Redeem Kohl’s Cash and coupons on clearance items and you’ll want to brag all about your final price.
Best Kohl’s Clearance Sale of the Year
While you find clearance deals regularly throughout Kohl’s, the best time to save is right after the holidays.
- Christmas Clearance:
- Kohl’s Christmas clearance starts Dec. 26 in store with discounts starting at 50-70% off.
- Sometimes Kohl’s discounts seasonal items online sooner than in store, with items up to 80% off before Christmas day.
13. Shop Sunday, Monday, and Thursday for the best Old Navy steals.
Best Old Navy Clearance Sales of the Year
- End-of-Season Sales: The best time to find store-wide sales at Old Navy is between seasons.
- Extra Discount Days: Wait for extra percent-off sales on top of already reduced clearance prices.
- Mid-Season Sales: By the time we’re feeling like it’s summer, Old Navy is preparing for fall! See the following list of best times to buy for each season:
- Spring: April 15 – June 1
- Summer: July 15 – September 1
- Fall: October 15 – December 1
- Winter: January 15 – March 1
Old Navy Clearance Schedule by Day of Week
- Sunday and Monday: New markdowns come out every Sunday, but depending on a variety of factors, markdowns may not be complete until close on Monday.
- Thursday: Shop temporary price cuts starting Thursday. Thursdays are “Signage Days” at Old Navy. This means that most of the advertised signage and sales switch in preparation for the upcoming weekend’s sales.
- One Day Only Sales: Look for these savings each day. They sell out quickly, as the prices are typically the lowest they’ve been.
14. Find your new clearance bedding at JCPenney on Fridays.
You have to be careful with JCPenney sales, as they tend to inflate the prices a bit to make it seem better. But lucky for you we have the best-kept JCPenney secrets. One secret is 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. Pink price tags indicate a final clearance price.
JCPenney Clearance Schedule
- First and Third Fridays: JCP 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 coupon to get the best deals.
15. Go in the exit (instead of the main entrance) to shop IKEA’s As-Is section on Mondays.
If you’re alright with a few dings, head straight for IKEA’s As-Is section to save.
Best Day to Save at IKEA
- Mondays in the As-Is Section: This is where you’ll find returned, damaged, and previously displayed items marked as much as 50% off original prices.
Shopping in this section is the absolute best way to score a deal at IKEA, and it’s the most full on Monday mornings after all the weekend returns!
16. Shop DICK’S Sporting Goods clearance in February for up to 50% off outerwear.
Dick’s Sporting Goods has flash sales more than no sale. . .so there are many opportunities to save. The key is to know when to shop for the best deals. We have Dick’s Sporting Goods entire sale schedule unlocked here.
Best Dick’s Sporting Goods Clearance Sales of the Year
- After Christmas Clearance: Score up to 50% off sports equipment and apparel (think “giftable” items).
- Winter Outerwear Sale: Get 40-50% off Columbia and The North Face outerwear starting in January through March. Plan to shop the middle-to-end of February to get the best discount but also still have a nice selection.
- Spring Golf-A-Thon: Look forward to 50% off or BOGO discounts on golf apparel and equipment in March and April.
Dick’s Sporting Goods Clearance Schedule
- Every Other Week: Dick’s Sporting Goods offers a Flash Sale where they offer discounts from 20% to 50% off. You can snag deals on Nike and Adidas, too.
17. Shop Bath & Body Works’ semi-annual sales for up to 75% off.
Wait a few weeks to buy that lotion, and you could save enough to stock up for the year.
Best Bath & Body Works Clearance Sale of the Year
- Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale: December/January and June are Semi-Annual sale months at Bath & Body Works (AKA stock-up seasons!). If you want the best selection, shop at the beginning of the sale and you’ll still score up to 75% off.
These Bath & Body Works sale hacks might blow your mind.
18. Get your Victoria’s Secret swimwear in August or September.
Everyone knows about the amazing Victoria’s Secret semi-annual sales, but why wait? There are other notable clearance sales throughout the year too.
Best Victoria’s Secret Clearance Sales of the Year
- Semi-Annual Sales: Once the December and June semi-annual sale dates are released, plan to be there on that day as soon as the store opens. There will be a lot of other shoppers doing the same, trust me. Or, wait until the end of the sale when discounts go as high as 75% off.
- August and September Swimsuit Sales: $9.99 is the magical number when it comes to swimsuits. It’s typically the lowest price you’ll see (except for during the Semi-Annual sale). Shop late summer to find the biggest markdowns.
- Buy fragrances in January: Victoria’s Secret had a whole display of fragrances marked 75% off in mid-January. Mists and lotions were starting at just $3.
Learn all about the best Victoria’s Secret PINK shopping strategies right here on KCL.
19. Shop the UGG clearance sale online for up to 60% off.
UGG.com has a “last chance clearance” section, but there aren’t many products listed — there were only 21 when I checked, and only six of them were footwear.
But a few times per year, UGG opens up the UGG Closet — an online pop-up clearance shop. The newest products are discounted up to 30%, and other products — like bedding, home decor, clothing, and shoes — are discounted up to 60%.
Best UGG Clearance Sales of the Year
- March, July, and September: Based on past year’s UGG Closet sales, expect clearance sales online during these months, and make sure to sign up for the UGG mailing list so you know exactly when the sale starts.
Here’s more info on how to get the best UGG deals.