Target Shopping Tips

Target NEW Store LOGO

Target Shopping Tips

Target is one of my favorite stores in which to look for bargains.  They’ve got great prices on those everyday items, but if you look a little closer deals are lurking in the aisles, on the endcaps and just about everywhere in between.  Not savvy about finding the best deals?  Here are some Target shopping tips to help you hone your bargain-hunting strategies:

  • Shop the endcaps. The endcaps are the shelves at the end of an aisle loaded with clearance merchandise. The endcaps with the most clearance merchandise are usually those farthest away from the main shopping aisles. Always make a trip around the perimeter of the store to find the best deals, since “perimeter perusing” at Target can really pay off!
  • Know the markdown schedule. This is a schedule that a typical Target store will use for their markdowns. Your store may vary this schedule, so get to know the employees! It doesn’t hurt to ask what your own Target’s schedule for markdowns is.

Monday Target Markdowns: Kids’ Clothing, Stationery (office supplies, gift wrap), Electronics
Tuesday Target Markdowns: Women’s Clothing and Domestics (Decor)
Wednesday Target Markdowns: Men’s Clothing, Toys, Food, Health and Beauty
Thursday Target Markdowns: Lingerie, Shoes, Housewares
Friday Target Markdowns: Cosmetics,  Automotives

Target will typically mark down unsold clearance merchandise every two weeks, although that can vary according to manager discretion (typically based on inventory).  So, if you are watching an item and see that it has been marked down 30 or 50 percent, come back in another two weeks to see if it has been marked down further. Read this article for details on the Target Holiday Markdown Schedule.

  • Use the scanner. Sometimes the clearance team misses an item that should have been re-stickered with a lower price. If it is something you want, always check the price with a scanner. Also, scan things that are one of a kind. These things may be returns from previous seasons that have been clearanced out. You may be surprised!
  • Target ClearanceDon’t judge the clearance by its sign. If you keep on walking because the clearance sign only reads 15% off, you may be missing out.  The fine print says 15% OR MORE and you’ll often see steeper markdowns upon closer inspection, intermingled with the 15% off goodies.
  • Look for repackaged items and online returns. These items could be something that was purchased online and returned to the store, or simply a return without a box. While they may not the prettiest item in the store, they often have the steepest markdowns. I often see online returns in electronics and home decor.
  • Learn to read the red stickers. Red stickers appear on all of Target’s clearance merchandise. The original price appears on the top right corner along with a number such as, “15, 30, 50″ etc. This is the percentage it has been marked down.
  • Keep your receipts. Target has a strict return policy which limits the returns you can make without a receipt ($75 per year). However, there is a way around this. The store tracks every credit card purchase. If you can remember which credit card you purchased the item with, the store can look up the transaction by simply swiping your card and scanning the item. If they find the transaction, they will let you return the item without the physical receipt. If you do have your receipt, Target will adjust the prices on items that go on sale (not clearanced) within 14 days of the purchase.
  • Check out the REDcard. Target introduced its REDcard in fall 2010. Cardholders will receive 5% off when they use the Target REDcard debit card, or 5% cash back with the Target REDcard credit card. A word to the wise: use credit responsibly. Only apply if you can pay your balance in full at the end of the month, otherwise you’re really not saving any money. You can apply for the REDcard at a Target store or by mail. Details here.
  • Take advantage of Target’s price matching policy. If you find an item in a competitor’s ad, bring it to Target and they’ll match the advertised price. The competitor’s ad must be local and current, and the product must be the identical item, brand name, quantity and model number. Read more about Target’s Price Matching Policy here.
  • Sign up for mobile coupons. Sign up to receive coupons via text message five times a month on your mobile phone. To redeem, simply show the cashier the barcode. Target Coupons via Text.  You can also get Target mobile coupons on the ShopKick app.
  • BYOB (bring your own bag). For each of your own reusable bags you use at checkout, Target will give you $.05 back. It’s a great way to keep plastic bags out of landfills while putting a little money back in your pocket.
  • Use coupons. Not only does Target accept manufacturer coupons, they can be used in conjunction with their store coupons as well. Printable internet coupons are accepted. Target even has their own store coupons on their website. Read more about Target’s Coupon Policy here. If you forget your Target store coupons at home, you used to be able to print them at the guest services kiosk. This no longer works.  Not sure which coupons on the site are store coupons and which are manufacturer coupons?  Here’s how to tell the difference before you print.
  • Check out Target Savers on Facebook. If Facebook is more your speed, check out Target fan sites like Target Savers. You’ll get the heads-up on deals and bargains going on at Target stores nationwide.

What are your tips for shopping at Target? We’d love to hear them! Post them in the comments section below.

Thanks, Mommysavers!