Shopping Target for clearance is my absolute favorite way to save at Target. Once you know how and when Target marks merchandise down, you should easily be able to find stuff for 70% off. Not just lame stuff that nobody wants, you can find GOOD STUFF!
How do you find Target clearance items? Target has recently changed the way they mark down their clearance items, so there is a decent chance you may find clearance items in their respective aisles. When something goes on clearance they will add a bright yellow clearance tag to the shelf. They will also manually mark some items down with yellow clearance stickers. Pretty much all clothing and accessories will get marked down with yellow clearance stickers. In the lower right hand corner you will see the current markdown priced. The lower left hand corner will let you know the original price. Plus, you can find the percentage of the markdown in the upper right hand corner. They make it super easy on us!
This example shows:
- This item is marked down to $2.99
- The regular price was $9.99
- The percentage it is marked down is 70% off!
Where do you find Target clearance items? Some Target clearance items can be found on an end cap in their respective departments. These end caps are usually facing a wall, it’s not normal to see clearance shelves on the main walking aisles. You will usually see big yellow clearance sign posted at the top of the shelves. When items are marked down for the first time, there is a good chance you will still find them in the aisle with a tag on the shelf like I mentioned above.
Here are some examples of places to look for clearance
Clothing will usually have racks dedicated specifically to clearance deals, this goes for all departments (women, kids, etc)
You will often find an end cap in the beauty department with misc markdowns. Recently though, they have been tagging the shelves of clearance items so you may find them on the aisles as well.
The electronics department usually has one section where they put all their clearance merchandise, this is also where clearance books end up going too.
How do they mark things down? Target has a system for marking down their clearance items. In general the markdowns go 30%, 50%, & then 70% off. There are exceptions to this rule, sometimes more popular or everyday items will start at 15% off. Things like electronics, food, beauty and LEGOs start out at 15% off. Holiday and seasonal items follow a totally different markdown schedule, they start off at 50% off (some items like food start at 30% off) and will get marked down to as low as 90% off. Yahoo!
Generally, they seem to mark things down to the next level every 2-3 weeks (sometimes it is longer, or shorter). So, if you see something in sporting goods that was just marked down 50%, you may want to check back in a couple of weeks to see if it hits 70% off. Sometimes you may come back and the item will be gone. If you see an item that you really need, it might be a good idea to buy it at 50% off. If I am buying items for the future use, or for my gift closet, I usually wait to see if I can get it at 70% off. I’m all about getting a good deal!
When do things get marked down? All stores, not just Target will mark things down with the seasons. We will see new merchandise brought in for spring and summer, holidays, school, college and more. So, there are times when we will see a larger amount of clearance. While Target will clearance items year round we see a much bigger selection of items on clearance in January because they are clearing out winter and holiday to bring in spring. And in July/August when they clear out summer to get ready for fall and the holidays. There are other reasons for items to get marked down too, like when packaging changes (a great example of this is diapers)
What days to items get marked down? Generally, Target marks down their items Monday-Friday. Each department is generally assigned a certain day that they do their markdowns. Knowing this schedule is the key to finding great deals at Target. Holiday items don’t follow a set schedule, so they could get marked down on a weekend, I will share more on holiday markdowns below. Here is the Target Markdown Schedule that I have found most stores follow. Please note that some stores may have a slightly different schedule, and there is a chance that departments can change to a different day. As an example, several years ago the markdown for the toy department used to always happen on Wednesday, but now the majority of the stores have moved the toy markdown day to Thursday.
Monday — Electronics, Accessories, Kids Clothing, Books, Baby and Stationary, (Cards, Gift Wrap, etc.)
Tuesday — Domestics, Women’s Clothing, Pets and Market (food items)
Wednesday. — Men’s Clothing, Health and Beauty, Lawn & Garden items
Thursday — Housewares, Lingerie, Shoes, Toys, Sporting Goods, Decor & Luggage
Friday — Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, & Jewelry
It is important to mention that clearance prices will vary from store to store. You may find some towels on clearance at 70% off at one store, and find that they are only 30% off at another store.
Holiday Target Clearance Markdowns: The holiday clearance is so much fun! These items get marked down as low as 90% off. That’s like nearly FREE! The holiday items will go to 50% off the day after the holiday and usually within a week the items will drop to 70% off, a few days after that everything that is left gets marked down to 90% off. Food goes from 30%, to 50% to 70%. Also sometimes beauty items will follow the same markdown as food.
Here are the items that are considered holiday items. In the past it also used to include summer and back-to-school items but that hasn’t happened lately:
The seasonal items will not have yellow price stickers. The markdown for these items is done via computer and not manually like the regular clearance.
When it’s time for the markdowns, I recommend scanning an item or two and not looking at the percentage signs on the shelves, sometimes they don’t change those signs right away when a new markdown happens.
The best thing about the holiday/seasonal clearance is that some of the items included won’t even be holiday themed at all, they are items you can use year round. You can check out the items I found on clearance during previous holiday markdowns to to get an idea of the type of items you may find during various seasonal holiday clearance deals.
- 90% off Valentine clearance 2020
- 90% off Valentine clearance 2019
- 90% off Christmas clearance 2019
- 90% off Christmas clearance 2018
- More 90% off Christmas clearance 2018
- 90% off Christmas clearance 2017
- 90% off Halloween clearance 2018e
- 90% off Easter clearance 2019
- 90% off Easter clearance 2018
Fun fact! Many of the Starbucks holiday cups are included in the season clearance and you can score them at 90% off too! I have a post that shares some tips I how I easily find the 90% off deals at Target during the holidays. Check it out!