3 Things You Need to Know about Target Clearance

Target clearance sales

In addition to alerting you to the best kosher-friendly deals at Target each week, I will also, from time to time, draw your attention to their clearance items. Like I did yesterday, when I told you about school supplies and outdoor lights for your sukkah.

Now before you grab your car keys and speed over there, you must know three totally important thing about shopping the Target clearance deals.

1. All Target stores mark down their merchandise in waves.

The first wave is usually 15%. Unless you really REALLY want the item, hold off. It will go cheaper (unless it sells out first). The next wave is 30%, then 50%, 75% and finally 90%.

Most items never make it to 90%; they sell-out first. So I usually aim to buy at either 50% or 75% clearance. For example, I bought our fireplace screen at 75% off in late February, paying less than $7!

2. All (or very nearly all) Target stores follow a weekly  mark-down schedule.

If something is gonna get clearanced, you can expect it to happen on its scheduled day, including the initial 15% clearance, plus all the other waves, too.

Monday – electronics, stationery/party ware, children’s clothing

Tuesday – women’s clothing, pet supplies, groceries

Wednesday – men’s clothing, garden/outdoor living, health & beauty, and toys (in addition, Target has two *massive* toy clearance events each year — one in early to mid January and the other in mid to late July)

Thursday – housewares and home decor, sporting goods, shoes, luggage

Friday – automotive, hardware, jewelery, cosmetics

Holiday items usually get marked down 50% off the day after the holiday, dropping to 75% after 4 days and 90% after a week. Again, most items don’t last until 90%.

Last year, after Christmas, I scored big time: 4 tubes of red and white-striped wrapping paper, 15 green gift bags, a 100-foot outdoor extension cord (presumably for Christmas lights?), and (2) 50-foot strings of twinkly lights for our sukkah. My total? $5.20. I still remember it!

3. Price check your items.

Have you ever noticed those little Target scanning stations throughout the store? I always recommend that you confirm the price  of your clearance goodies at one of these stations before heading to check-out.

Why? Because when the store has a lot of merchandise to clearance at once, they may not get everything marked in time. An item may be on sale, but still not have a clearance tag — this is especially common during the biannual toy clearance and in the first few days after a big holiday.

Also, an item may have had its second wave of markdowns — from 30 to 50%, for example — but still be showing a 30% tag. The scanner, however, will know the right price, so it can’t hurt to check.

Well, that’s it for this edition of “The Secrets of Shopping at Target”. Tell me, do you get a little thrill from seeing those red clearance tags, too? What are some of your best Target clearance finds?


  1. Th kids Purim costumes from last year! I spent under $5 for both of them.

    • Oh good one! I did the same at CVS last year and got my son an awesome ninja costume for $2 the day after Halloween. Perfect for the dress-up tub!

  2. I dub the “Queen of Target” I would remember $5.20 for all of that too 😉

    • Funny how I can be so bad at math, but apparently excellent at remembering what I paid for every single item in my home!

  3. Thanks for these tips. They are really helpful.

  4. I have always wondered why they were ‘zoning’ the kids clothes on Monday morning when I go. Thanks for letting me know the clearance schedule 😉

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