There’s a lot of information online about Walmart price tags, clearance and rollback codes. But to be honest, most of it is straight up inaccurate. So we scoured the Walmart aisles to confirm or disprove every Walmart price tag claim.
1. Clearance price tags always end in $0.00: FALSE.
Most clearance price tags end in $0.00, but a little bit of digging uncovered a variety of other digit combos. This is, in part, because every Walmart store manager has an independent markdown budget she may use at her discretion to properly manage her store’s inventory.
Walmart corporate may mandate a markdown to $11.00, but then the manager may determine that because so many items remain on the shelf, she wants to mark it down to $9.88.
2. Walmart price tags ending in $0.97 are always regular, everyday low prices: FALSE.
The most common everyday low price suffix at Walmart is $0.97. However, rollback prices sometimes end in the same digits, rendering this data pretty useless.
3. A 9-digit UPC on every price tag can help you find sold-out inventory in other stores: TRUE.
If you find an empty shelf at Walmart, open BrickSeek.com on your phone and select “Inventory Checker.” Then, enter the nine-digit UPC code plus your zip code to find prices and availability of the same item at nearby Walmart locations.
4. Retail price is always on the right, unit price on the left: TRUE.
This one’s usually a no-brainer. Cost per ounce is in orange, on the left. The selling price of the item is in yellow, on the right.
5. The date on the price tag shows the last time an item’s price changed: TRUE.
Every Walmart price tag contains the date the tag was printed. In some cases, it can be useful to know whether the price of an item you’re considering has been stable for a long time. Particularly with clearance pricing, a three-month-old price tag could mean a new markdown is imminent.
6. Rollback markdowns are temporary price reductions, lasting 4-10 weeks on average: TRUE.
Check the date each rollback began to get an idea of how long the price drop may remain.
7. Rollback prices are always good deals: FALSE.
This canon printer is on Rollback for 1% off the regular retail price — $0.44 savings. I used my Amazon app to price compare and found this same Canon printer sells for $28.50 at Amazon.
8. The 12-digit code on every Walmart price tag indicates category-section-shelf placement: TRUE.
The three sets of four-digit codes describe an item’s location within the store. The first two sets of digits indicate section and row. The final set of four numbers is the item’s placement on its row. The tag pictured above is the 18th item from the left on this particular shelf. The item to its right would end in 0019, followed by 0020, etc.
The only time this info is likely to help you is if you’re trying to re-shelf an item or impress a friend with random Walmart knowledge.
9. New items remain specially marked for the first month: FALSE.
Many shelves are reset as infrequently as once a year, so “new” items may be nearly a year old. The tag pictured above is 11 months old.
10. Clearance pricing is always consistent within one store: FALSE.
Yeah. . . no. It’s not uncommon to find two identical clearance items at one store with different prices. The good news? Both of these ring up at the $2.00 price. So the takeaway is, especially if you see multiple prices, find a scanner to see what the item will actually cost at the register.
11. Savings are accurately tallied on every clearance tag: FALSE.
Follow me on this math: spray hair color, regularly priced $1.98, is on clearance for $0.12. Savings are listed at $0.13. Nope. That’s wrong. Savings should be $1.86. Bank error in your favor! Stock up for crazy hair days for the next decade. Do it.
12. Clearance items will continue to be marked down up to once per month until they sell: TRUE.
Walmart clearance markdowns happen within the first five days of each month. Often, an item will get marked down monthly until it sells. Sometimes clearance items will skip a month. But they almost never see mid-month markdowns.