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Hitting the Bullseye: Strategies for Shopping at Target
by Kim Danger
Not only is Target one of my favorite stores for day-to-day purchases, it is one of my favorite stores in which to look for bargains. Some of my best deals have come from Target... baby clothes to give as gifts for less than $3, a queen-size comforter for $15, and Christmas wrap for 90% off. Here are some strategies to make hunting for bargains in Target just a little bit easier.
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.
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 - Kids Clothing and Electronics
Tuesday - Women's Clothing and Domestics
Wednesday - Men's Clothing, Toys, Health and Beauty
Thursday - Lingerie, Shoes, Housewares
Friday - Cosmetics, Housewares, Automotives
Target will typically mark down unsold clearance merchandise every two weeks. 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.
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!
Learn to read the orange stickers. Orange stickers appear on all Target's clearance merchandise. The original price appears on the top right corner along with a code such as, "15A, 30A," etc. This is the percentage it has been marked down.
Keep your receipts. This year Target adopted a stricter return policy which limits the number of returns you can make without a receipt. 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. This option isn't always offered by the team members behind the counter, so you may have to ask for them to look up the item by the credit card number. 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.
Shop online. Some of the best Target bargains I have found have been online through Target's store at Amazon.com. Last spring I found a Mossimo leather jacket for myself for $27. I've also found great deals on fleece throws to give as gifts (under $5) and clothes for the entire family. Click here to get to the Target page on Amazon: http://www.mommysavers.com/deals/target.htm Then click on the clearance tab at the top of the screen.
Leave the store! Even though you've left the store, you're not done yet. Check out your local Goodwill store for items from Target. That is where their unsold clearance merchandise ends up. I've found new dresses for my daughter for less than a dollar complete with the tags still on.
About the Author:
Kimberly Danger is the owner/publisher of Mommysavers.com, an online resource for parents interested in saving time and money. For over 995 more ways to save, check out Kimberly’s book 1000 Best Baby Bargains.
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