Archived Dan's Guide to Finding Great Deals Fast at Target

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Aug 16, 2011
So you wanna get stuff for cheap at Target, like a $250 TV stand for 35 bucks or two $170 dining chairs for $4.50 each? It's easy as long as you have the time and resources!

To get the most cheap stuff at Target, you need to be in an area filled with stores. My other job requires me to drive to places sometimes 30 miles away from my home (and my store) and I have a lot of downtime in between cases so I'm able to visit 4 or 5 Targets in one day. Usually I'm in a Target for 15 minutes max. If you don't have many Targets by you, no means of transportation, or actually have a life, you can still use these tips at your store to spot some finds.

Here's my tips for finding deals at Target.

Some Targets seem to get more online returns than others. Not sure why; if it's demographics, how the price change team operates or the DC sends them the stuff. In my area, there seem to be two or three Targets that get the random stuff. Make these visits your priority!

I go through the same door and the same path at each Target I go to. At a former Greatland I enter through the HBA/Pfresh area, go through home, and end up in electronics down the way. In regular stores, I do it the same way but in a zig-zag pattern since that's the way it's set up.

Always go through the store checking the back endcaps of each section. That is where the clearance will normally be. If a whole endcap of stuff goes clearance, sometimes an endcap facing the racetrack will go clearance, but that's rare.

Know what sections have transitions coming up. Whole aisles (mainly in home and toys) will have clearance in them for a couple weeks between planos and TMs can drop random department crap in these aisles. A few weeks ago, a store didn't have all their Christmas crap set up in seasonal and they used the 4 4-ft sections not set up to dump all their clearance in.

Always check main aisles! These can have clearance in them. You can train yourself to look for clearance tags quickly and not even go into the aisle.

Sometimes things that are similar but a different color (or something else) and clearanced can be found in aisles with the similar products. For example, I got the white Keurig Mini for 70% off because it was originally a BTC item, went clearance, and was hiding with the same models that were different colors and regularly priced.

Online only stuff can be very cheap. They will usually have "Online Only" clearance stickers on them. They work the same as clearance; the system marks them down a certain percentage but price change can mark them down again. I generally don't ask anyone to mark down online only stuff again if I'm shopping as I don't want to cause any trouble so if I see an online only table down 30% and it's not something I want/need, I'll wait until it gets marked down whenever price change marks it down.

It is very important to look in the furniture aisles. Here's a hint for a fast trip: Stuff made for Target stores will almost always have "Target Stores" on the box. Online only stuff may reference "" or may not say anything at all. I mainly look for online only furniture and ignore "Target Store" stuff because it will most likely not be marked down.

Most stores print out the page of the item and stick it on the box. If you can't tell what's in the box, try entering any description on the box into Google or Try the DPCIs. I found that entering the "TC Item #" (I believe that's what it's called) into Google will return a picture of the item from Google Images in most cases. Click the picture and then click the description and you will be taken to the item page on

Know your store's clearance schedule. You can generally find it out by going to your backroom and on the aisle descriptions, it will list the price change day for that department's stuff. It is not the same for all stores though.

Be careful! If you see something you want in the backroom that's clearanced, please do not buy it. Wait for another TM to push it out and wait at least 15 minutes. Get LOD or ETL approval. You do not want to get fired for saving $150 off a $300 vacuum from the backroom; it is not worth it.

See those gift cards for restaurants and such in electronics and the front lanes? For most of them, you can use your discounts and REDcard on them. With your TM and REDcard discounts, you can get a $25 gift card to Outback Steakhouse, Olive Garden, Taco Bell, or Google Play (etc) for $21.38. If you like Starbucks and have one in your store, you can buy a $10 Starbucks card with your discounts and then use your discounts when buying drinks or food. Ultimately you will pay $7.31 for each $10 you were supposed to spend. Just never use your own credit/debit cards to get a Target giftcard and then use that giftcard to get discounts!!

Always look at the Catalina coupons you get; some are good. You can also use one Target coupon and one manufacturer's coupon per item. Catalinas may be either. Use Cartwheel but note that Cartwheel almost always cannot be used on clearance! In my store where the R/G/Y scores used to be shown, there is now a Cartwheel "double dip" sheet which tells what items are on sale AND what has a Cartwheel discount. In addition, sites such as Krazy Coupon Lady will match up coupons with sales. RED Magazine (which is usually sent to your house or there are copies in the breakroom of your store) comes out four times a year and will usually have great TM discount coupons (40% of Dyson, free candy, Buy 1 Get 1 Free of something, etc.) Note that you have to use your discount with these and all of them say "1 per team member." You cannot also give them to non-TMs. I bet you they track them, so play by the rules to be safe.

Also, you are not supposed to resell any items you bought with your TM discount; that can lead to a termination.

Let me know of any other ways or any corrections. Hope this helps!!
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Super Ninja
Oct 7, 2011
Clearance Markdown Schedule: (This is the most typical, but may very based on your store)

Monday: Baby items, children’s clothing, electronics, and office supplies/gift wrap/stationery
Tuesday: Home décor, women’s clothing, and domestic items
Wednesday: Food, health and beauty items, men’s clothing, toys, and garden items
Thursday: Lingerie, housewares, sporting goods, shoes, and luggage
Friday: Cosmetics, jewelry, hardware, automotive, and home improvement

Not my Guide, but, it's nice to read over. Just some helpful Hints ;)

15%: When an item goes on clearance at Target, the first markdown is usually 15%. You can tell exactly how much the item has been marked down by looking at the upper right hand corner of the red clearance tag. If you see the number 15, it is marked down 15%. The original price of the product will always be listed on the left-hand side next to the word “was,” and the new price of the item on clearance will be located on the right, next to the word “now.” The last digit of the item will mainly end in the numbers 6 or 8. Example: $7.48.

30%, 50%, 70% and 90%: If you look closely at the red clearance tag, you might notice the higher clearance numbers 30, 50, 70 or even a giddy 90! These numbers correspond to the percentage off that product is now being sold for. The original price of the product will always be listed on the left-hand side next to the word “was,” and the new price of the item on clearance will be located on the right, next to the word “now.” E.g.: $3.88.

Price Tags Ending With $0.06 or $0.08: If the price of the item on clearance ends in $0.06 or $0.08, the item will be marked down again during the next markdown cycle as long as there is inventory in the store. The item typically will remain at the next percentage off for two weeks before progressing to the next level.

Price Tags Ending With $0.04: If the last number in the price of the item ends in $0.04, the item has been marked for final clearance, and this is the lowest price that Target will sell the item.

Random Price Tag Endings: Often, Target price tags end with $0.00, $0.01, $0.05, $0.07, etc. I spoke with some store managers and was told these endings are arbitrary and simply indicate an item is on clearance with no specific meaning, and the item will continue on its clearance cycle.

Sectioned Clearances: Seasonal merchandise such as holiday, back-to-school, and summer items are examples of these clearance products. Many of these are holiday branded and will be reduced at a much faster rate than the typical two-week increment because Target needs the space for new inventory. Often the products begin at 50% off, then are reduced to 70% off, and continue on up to 90% off within two weeks. Also, items may not be individually marked; the entire section will be at one discount rate.

Gift Card Bonus Price Endings: This has nothing to do with clearance items, but since we are talking about price tag endings, anything that ends with $0.49, $0.79, and $0.99 indicate a Target Gift Card promotion is in effect. The Gift Card offer details will be listed at the very top in red, and the amount of the gift card will be listed on the card or offer.


Hasta Ba Rista, Baby!
Jun 9, 2011
'Bout time you started your own thread on this!
Most of this I already did having done a few stints in PA but it's good to see it all laid out (along with warnings).
Another GTC from me.
Aug 16, 2011
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Thanks guys and thanks HL4 for the additional information. I just added a warning about reselling stuff you bought with discounts too.
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