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Target Clearance

Target already has great prices, but it also has clearance sections in a several categories.  They are usually on the outside of the aisle and are often very small.  My favorite clearance section is in the beauty department. Don’t blink or you may miss it.  Look for red and white price tags.  Clearance is on it.  Old prices are listed to the left, and new prices are listed to the right.  It is not unusual to find multiple stickers.  Unlike some other stores that sometimes have a cheaper price on stickers as you peel the layers down, you will not find that at Target.  As items are more deeply discounted, the price always goes down.  I always look at the prices on all stickers, and I suggest you do as well.

Most Target items do not have price tags on them, so any time you spot a price tag, that is a huge clue that you have hit the clearance section (or someone dumped a clearance item off in a random place if you find one odd product).  While markdowns on clearance items can happen any day of the week, I’ve read that Wednesday is the most common day for beauty items.  However, Target via Snopes denies that.  How do you know when to buy and when to walk away?

The reason for the Snopes article is to point out that there is no blanket day across all Targets to mark items down.  Stores get to it when they get to it.  If you feel compelled to go clearance shopping for beauty items on a Wednesday, go for it.  Realize though that if your store chose to put them out on Tuesday instead, you may miss some items.  Also, the articles that claim prices ending in $.08 will reduce further to $0.04 can be incorrect.  Sometimes, the last price will end in a $0.08 and other times it will end in $0.04.

Rather than focusing on the number the tag ends in, look at how many items are out and decide what your purchase price is.  If you do not want to buy it at the current advertised price, walk away.  In the event the price does not bother you, buy it.  Yes, it may get marked down again, but it can also sell out before any more markdowns.

We’ve all read about price tags and have been given tricks on how to read them.  Different stores have different methods, and no store will divulge all of its secrets.  For any store, it never hurts to see how many stickers are on the product.  If there are a lot of stickers, that means the product has lasted through multiple markdowns.  There could be many reasons for this with the most obvious being there was too much stock.  People tend to stock up on loved products that hit clearance shelves, so items that stick around a long time may be duds or not well-known brands.  Even if you get an incredible deal on something, it is not really a great deal if you hate the product.

For items you’ve never tried, resist the urge to buy them all.  Buy one and try it as soon as you can.  You run the risk of loving the item only to go back and find them gone, but that is better than the alternative.  A lot of stores do not allow returns on clearance items.  I never look into store return policies, because I only return damaged items.  If it is not damaged but just does not work for me, I will toss or gift it (depending on how sanitary it is to gift something).  If you like the item and go back to get more, there is also a possibility that it could marked down even further.

Cartwheel, Target’s digital coupon clipping site, usually works with clearance items, so do not forget to load your offers before a trip to the store.  With Cartwheel, you can load digital coupons up to your amount of offer spots.  The more you save, the more spots open up.  Every Tuesday, Cartwheel releases more offers.  While the expiration dates in Cartwheel tend to vary, most Target promotions run Sunday through Saturday.  You can have a Cartwheel account through Facebook, Google+, or Target.com.  If you have more than one account, just remember to link them together or you will discover the hard way that you have different lists.  Download the Cartwheel app for smart phones.  Have the agent scan one bar code and all eligible items will automatically deduct.  It is that easy.

You never know what you will find on clearance.  Even if the items are not on clearance, Cartwheel has impressive deals of its own and should not be overlooked by a Target shopper.  Of course, people who do not mind opening a Target credit or debit card, can also save 5% on every purchase by signing up for a Red Card.  I found this soap in the clearance section on a recent trip.  It is Shea Moisture Peace Rose Oil Shea Butter Soap.  Online, it is listed at its full $5.99 price, so I have no idea why my specific store has it on clearance.  Beauty items on clearance usually appeal to me, and it certainly helped that this is designed for people with dry skin.  Check!

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 5.19.48 PM

Bar soaps are not usually my thing.  My biggest issue other than it seeming less clean than liquid soap, is the slightly sticky film bar soaps tend to leave on my skin.  Some say that is more of a hard water issue, and the water is hard here.  The thing is I never get the sticky skin film from liquid soap, so I am unsure it is just hard water.  It seems like hard water and bar soap mix to create that film, so you probably have no clue what I am referring to if you have not used bar soap in hard water.  Anyway, I decided to buy this anyway.  At $2.98, it was certainly worth a try.

Shea Soap 1Shea Soap 2Shea Soap 3

The first thing I did when I got home was peel back the Clearance stickers, of course.  I see on the left that the price started at $5.99 and ended at $2.98.  Where did it stop along the way?  Before it hit $2.98, it stopped at $4.18.  It looks like the first mark down was from $5.99 to $5.08.  Even though this is a single item, therefore it carries no statistical significance, all three markdowns ended in an 8.  That means if I buy into the mark down theory, it would have gone down even further to a number ending in a 4, perhaps $2.54 or something similar. At $2.98 marked down from $5.99, I saved 50.3%.  I’m happy with that regardless of the outcome.

Shea Soap 4

I have huge stockpiles of almost every beauty item possible, including soap.  Usually when I buy something new, it sits in the stockpile waiting for its turn.  This soap would be the exception.  If it was an amazing item for half off, I wanted to let you know before they were gone.  That is assuming they are on clearance at your Target.  I could also go back and buy more if I love it.  After a week of using it, I can safely say, I am glad I only bought one.  It smells great and while I moisturize after showering so it would be hard to really see if a soap lacked the moisture it promised, the soap has the same slightly sticky feel I get from most bar soaps.

On my next Target (which was a week later), I noticed that there were none of these soaps out.  Even if I wanted to get more I would not have been able to.  That shows the concept of waiting for items to get marked down further does not always work out.  It also shows that if you think you have a gem, you really need to decide whether to risk hating it and having too many or risk loving it and not getting more.  Have you found any great items on clearance at Target lately?

Remember to check all offers before placing an online order. See all Target articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.

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