Extreme Couponing Tip: Understanding Target Clearance

How Does Target Clearance Work

How Does Target Clearance Work

This week’s Extreme Couponing Tip is on understanding Target Clearance cycles and how to read Target Clearance Tags.

We all know Target is awesome.  Something about Target is just addicting for so many of us.  We may not be able to always find the BEST deals or the cheapest products, however Target does have some pretty awesome deals on a regular basis, not to mention they have EVERYTHING you can ever want or need in that store, all in one convenient place.  So, with that said, why don’t we take a few minutes to try and better understand how Target Clearance works to help us save even more money?  You’d be surprised at these awesome tips and wonder how you didn’t know this sooner!

::Target Markdowns Occur Weekly

Inventory starts at 15% off, then goes to 30%, 50%, 75% and sometimes even 90% off!  It is important to know the unofficial, yet very trusted and typical markdown schedule in order to take advantage of the best deals and know exactly when to look for them.

Unofficial Target Markdown Schedule:

  • Monday: Children’s clothing, baby items, electronics, and office supplies/gift wrap/stationery.
  • Tuesday: Women’s clothing, home decor and domestic items.
  • Wednesday: Men’s clothing, toys, food, health and beauty, garden items.
  • Thursday: Housewares, lingerie, shoes, sporting goods, luggage.
  • Friday: Cosmetics, jewelry, hardware, automotive, and home improvement.

::Target Clearance Tags

How Does Target Clearance Work

The next key tip to saving money at Target is knowing how to read their clearance tags.  I never knew this trick until recently and I think it’s so cool to know this now!

Tips on Reading Target Clearance Tags:

  • If the price of the item on clearance ends in 6 or 8, the item will be marked down again at the next markdown cycle, only if there are more of this particular item in stock at the end of the current sale cycle.
  • If the price of the item on clearance ends in a 4, the item is selling at the lowest price–there will be no more markdowns.
  • The item typically will remain at a percentage off for usually two weeks before progressing to the next level.
  • The number at the top right-hand corner of the clearance tag is the current % markdown, so if that number says 50 the item is currently 50% off, if the number in the top right says 30 the item is marked 30% off. This is helpful when there aren’t any signs near the item.

Do you have any other tips for understanding Target Clearance and saving money at Target?

Do you have an idea for an Extreme Couponing tip you’d like to see addressed?  Leave your ideas in the comments!

Source: PassionforSavings and TargetSavers


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  • Erika

    OMG, this is awesome thanks :)!

  • kabby

    I love to stumble upon Target. I have one additional tip…also price check your items at the scanner(including clearance). You might be surprised to find the price is even lower than the clearance tag…Love it!!

  • Ana

    IS there usually a section for just clearance items or are the clearnace items in their own department??

    • Arielle

      Usually clearance items are shelved in their respective departments on endcaps. Sometimes, especially with bigger items in housewares, etc., they leave the clearance items where they are in the aisle–so make sure to look down each aisle for red clearance tags popping out of the shelves, too!

  • Andrea

    I used to work at Target. I was on Plano. Which is the team that sets the aisles. Anyway I would occasionally have to help out the pricing team. If there is something you find on clearance but there is only like one or two and you want more just ask any team member to check the backroom for more. A lot of times the backroom gets forgotten about and the items don’t get put out right away.

  • Laura D.

    This is too funny, I stumbled upon this a few weeks ago through Yahoo news. I printed it out to keep in my coupon tips. I was going to forward the article to you, but I figured that you knew everything and it was probably already here on your site somewhere. Target is always out of my way, so I only go there with a purpose. Oh well, awesome information though!

  • This is awesome! Target is my favorite place to shop and the gift card deals are amazing.

  • Jenn

    Thank you so much for posting this! I always kinda kick myself around Target when I figure out I have missed a great deal. LOL So, now I dont think I will miss as many. Thanks for all you info and hard work on here! Much appreciated!

  • Arielle

    Thank you for this! It will definitely help me manage when I want to take a trip to Target 😀

  • Holly

    Another tip…from a former Target employee…once and item has hit it’s final price point…buy it! After a few weeks it will be zeroed out and sent back to the MFR or donated. Target likes clean stores and does not tend to hang on to clearance stuff like other stores do. Learned this the hard way 🙁

  • Jasmin

    this is a great post! you are the best i dont go to target often but every time i go i do so well!

  • Jennifer

    A few things that aren’t totally true here. Items are only marked down 3x so if they start at 15.% they will only get to 50% (some things start at 30%). The highest discount is now only 70%, you must have an older picture or you found a rare case. Tagged clearance maxes out at 70% and only holiday items go to 90% off.

  • Kathy

    Today I found 50% toys including Barbies.

  • KEVIN HOBBS

    Thanks for the great tip!!!