The handful of days book-ending Christmas are the busiest shopping days of the year. A quick drive by the parking lot at your local mall is evidence enough of that fact. What most holiday shoppers aren’t aware of, however, is the secret shopping code; a form of which is used at almost all major retailers nationwide.
Savvy shoppers will likely already be familiar with the pricing schemes of their favorite stores. For the uninitiated, however, a basic understanding of store pricing has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars every time you visit the cash register.
In order to get the best deals, you need to pay close attention to the price tags at your favorite stores. Every store is different, but the overall pattern is similar.
Costco, for example, sells their full price items with prices ending in .99. Items ending in .97 with an asterisk in the upper right-hand corner of the tag are on clearance, so act fast! Other stores follow a very similar system, as you will see below.
Below we have listed the pricing schemes for a few of the nation’s top retailers. Use these tips next time you are out shopping!
Target’s pricing scheme is slightly more complicated than Costco’s. The guidelines below should help you get the best price possible.
- Prices ending in .99 are full price items.
- Prices ending in .88, .98, .24, .04 are clearance items. Jackpot!
- Once you identify a clearance item, look to the top right-hand corner. You will see one of the following numbers: 15, 30, 50, 75 or 90. These numbers indicate the percent off the original price.
Note: Target marks down clearance items every 10 to 14 days. For the best deal check back every few weeks.
2. Home Depot
Home Depot’s pricing scheme is relatively straight forward and easy to spot.
- Prices ending in .06 on a yellow tag mean that the item is on clearance and will be marked down further in 6 weeks time.
- After 6 weeks, the price will change to end in .03. This is your final chance to purchase the item. Three weeks after the .03 appears on the tag the item will be removed from the shelves entirely.
Thanks to their use of digital price tags, Kohl’s is the easiest store at which to quickly determine which items are on sale and which are not. In order to identify which items are on sale, look towards the upper right-hand corner of the price tag.
- Tags with NM (new markdown) will go on sale that evening or the following morning.
- Tags with GV (great value) indicate that the item is on sale for a limited time.
- Tags with S (sale) indicate that the item is on sale.
Now that you have a better understanding of how stores discount their items you should have no problem finding a deal on your next shopping trip!