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Perimeter Perusing at Target (Target Clearance Deals) - 2015


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Welcome to the Wonderful World of Target Perimeter Perusing!

As many of you know, Target B&M stores are known for their terrific clearance deals. This thread is for GottaDeal.com forum members to share their latest clearance finds. Also, please keep non-clearance discussion to a minimum - there are other threads for discussing weekly sale ads and store policy. This first post will contain some background information on the wonderful world of Target clearance, otherwise known around here as Perimeter Perusing!

You may have noticed that although the sticker price (the red-orange clearance sticker) show one price, many times the items will actually scan for a lesser amount. You can use this to your advantage because many shoppers without the benefit of being GottaDeal members do not realize this and pass the item by, thinking the sticker price is the actual price. Also, many times an item is not marked clearance in any way but still may be on clearance, so if you have an item that you would consider buying if it was on clearance, we suggest you take it to the nearest scanner and check the price that comes up. This is especially true of items which other members have reported being on clearance at their local store.

The standard clearance pattern at Target usually begins by items being marked down 15% or 30% at the beginning. This price can last somewhere between two weeks to a month, depending on how well the item sells at this price and what department the item is from. Then the item typically drops to 50%, again for anywhere from two weeks to a month in most cases. Generally, the lowest an item will be marked down is 75% off, with a few exceptions.

Items considered 'holiday' or 'seasonal' items have been known to go as low as 90%, and you will find a few occasional display items or things found in the stockroom after inventory discounted in the 80%-90% range. In many cases, the lowest price an item will go will usually end in $x.x4 or $x.x8, but this is not always the case for 100% of items, so take that into consideration.

A typical markdown schedule for the seasonal or holiday clearance is as follows:

Traditional Post-Holiday Target Clearance Schedule

50% off - marked down on the day after the holiday, usually lasts for three days
75% off - marked down on the fourth day after the holiday, usually lasts for three days
90% off - marked down on the seventh day after the holiday, usually lasts for 1-3 days

Other than Christmas, this is usually the schedule used for post-holiday clearance, including Valentine's Day, Easter, Summerville, and Halloween, for at least the last few years.

The holiday mark-down does seem to fluctuate from store to store on occasion, but to help demonstrate how the holiday clearance has gone in 2008 and 2009, here is the Decatur, AL clearance dates for Valentine's Day and Halloween, courtesy of Timswife81404:

Valentine's 08
Feb. 15th, 2008 = 50%
Feb. 18th, 2008 = 75%
Feb. 20th, 2008 = 90%
Valentine’s 09
Feb. 15th, 2009 = 50%
Feb. 17th, 2009 = 75% (red dot dollar spot too)
Feb. 21st, 2009 = 90%

Halloween 08
Nov. 1st, 2008 = 50%
Nov. 4th, 2008 = 75%
Nov. 8th, 2008 = 90%
Halloween 09
Nov. 1st, 2009 = 50%
Nov. 3rd, 2009 = 75%
Nov. 7th, 2009 = 90%

Target initiated a controversial new return policy in November 2002 that says any seasonal clearance items returned will be refunded at the current clearance price, even with a receipt showing a higher purchase price. They updated the policy in April 2003 to specify these items as Christmas trees and decorations and Halloween costumes and decorations. Other seasonal merchandise should still be refunded at the price stated on the reciept.

Christmas clearance is an animal all to itself. The dates appear to be as follows:
50% off - always December 26,lasts four to five days
75% off - within a day or two on either side of New Year's Eve/Day (12/31-01/01)
90% off - within a day or two of Epiphany (01/06)

The Decatur, AL markdown schedule for Christmas in 2007, 2008 and 2009 was as follows:

Christmas 07
Dec. 26th, 2007 = 50%
Dec. 31st, 2007 = 75%
Jan. 4th, 2007 = 90%
Christmas 08
Dec. 26th, 2008 = 50%
Dec. 30th, 2008 = 75%
Jan. 6th, 2009 = 90%
Jan. 2nd, 2009 = 75% Dollar Spot Christmas (black dot)
Christmas 09
Dec. 26th, 2009 = 50%
Dec. 31st, 2009 = 75% (black dollar spot too)
Jan. 5th, 2010 = 90%

Twice a year, Target has a major clearance on toys. Once in January and again in the summer.

Here are the dates for the January toy clearance in Decatur, AL:

Toys 08
Jan. 10th, 2008 = 75%
Toys 09
Jan. 15th, 2009 = 75% on MOST toys some still 30-50%
Jan. 29th, 2009 = 75% on remaining toys
Toys 10
Jan. 15th, 2010 = 75% (Friday)

Other departments have an annual major clearance. Dates will be posted here as they become known.

Baby 09
Jan. 19th, 2009 = 75% on MOST already clearanced
Jan. 26th, 2009 = 75% on remaining clearance

Target is one of the few stores where many (although not all) of the cashiers have the ability to bargain when an item doesn't scan with a price. There are times when an item will scan as 'clearance + tax' - be happy in these situations instead of groaning. Sometimes the cashier can do a price override to find the most recent lowest price, but sometimes if you say "I'll take it for (whatever 75% off the marked retail price would be)" they'll just key that in. It's always worth a shot.

The same thing applies for an item that scans 'NOF' (Not On File). This means the item is so old that it is completely out of the computer inventory system. Again, a good suggestion is to try offering the 75% off the retail price, but if necessary a price can usually be looked up at the Guest Services Desk. However, if an item has gone 'salvage,' this may backfire on you. In this instance Target marks the item back up to full retail value before pulling it from the shelves and donating it to a charity such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army for a tax write off. This is one of the reasons how Target can claim to donate so much to charity.

The markdown teams in each many stores have been known to keep to a standardized schedule, but there are stores that have different ones, so your experience many vary. For those who do follow the standard schedule, the departmental markdown days are:

Traditional Department Mark Down Schedule

Monday - Electronics, Kids' Clothing, Stationery, Cards, Gift wrap
Tuesday - Domestics, Women's Clothing, Pets, Market Pantry
Wednesday - Men's Clothing, Toys, Health and Beauty, Lawn & Garden
Thursday - Housewares, Lingerie, Shoes, Sporting Goods, Movies, Music, Books, Decor, Luggage
Friday - Automotive, Cosmetics, Hardware, Jewelry

Note that while this schedule says nothing about weekend markdowns, many Perimeter Perusers on the forum have seen items change in price between a Saturday morning shopping trip and one done on a Sunday afternoon. But nobody has found any rhyme or reason to what gets marked down on those days though - another part of the fun.

Target does not have a layaway plan, but die-hard Perimeter Perusers have tried various methods of getting around this. Most are constantly debated on the forum as far as being 'ethical' or not, so we'll leave it for you to decide for yourself. Just don't be surprised to find some differing opinions if you bring it up in this thread.

When an item goes 50% off and there are several left, some posters have said they find a hiding place to put the item. They then go back to see if the item is still there several weeks later, and if so, scan it to see if it has dropped in price. Some common hiding places shared are in the middle of a round clothes rack, where all of the clothes hide the item, about a third of the way off the floor of a stack of pillows or behind similar items, perhaps with newer packaging, on the proper shelf.

Sometimes, when items are getting scarce at 50% off, posters will buy them at that price and hold on to the receipt. If they find the item later at 75% or 90% off, they will buy the item again, remove any clearance stickers that show the lower price and return the item at another time with the older, higher priced receipt, as long as it is within the 90-day return period.

While not technically a clearance topic, in this thread, you may see reference to MM Juice or MM packs. These refer to 10 packs of Minute Maid juice boxes that can generally be bought for $.69. They are found in the juice aisle mixed in with the 15 packs. This usually includes only the Grape, Apple & Fruit Punch flavors -- never Orange Juice. They look exactly like the 15 packs which are generally stocked on the shelf, but instead of having 3 rows of 5 boxes, there are only 2 rows. They are often mixed in with the others, and even hidden in the back behind the 15 packs. You may go months or longer before you find your first set, but they really do exist. They are not an urban legend. And most of us can attest that you'll do a little dance in the aisle when you find them the first time.

Helpful Target Clearance-Related Links

Target Store Locator
Target Coupon Generator
Target Clearance Locator

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Still 90/70 here today, went to 2 stores.  Found some kids light projector toys mixed in with regular toys in the mix bins of mostly Disney stuff.  Holiday Starbucks in red packages ringing up 70%, found regular ground coffee, k cups, and via-- think it said Holiday Blend on it.  Shower poof with snowflake attached to tag 90%.  2 packs of gold and silver sharpies 90% were on endocarp near Christmas.  Only found 2 rolls of Scotch tape, the ones that were 500 inches were ringing up 90%, all the ones with higher inches were regular priced.  Found chex mix peppermint in the regular aisle 70%.  Found goldfish hot cocoa flavor in regular section 70%.   There were soooooooo many M&M's left here.   Hope everyone found some goodies at 90%!

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has anyone had a hard time returning Christmas things?  I noticed the signage changed this year.  I'm not returning and rebuying - just returning some things bought at 50% off that I do not want.

The general rule is that you are only able to get the current price unless you happen to live in one of the states that allows you to return at the purchase price.

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Maybe it makes a difference if you purchased it on their Target Visa card which I always use there.

Nope, the seasonal returns (the ones like Christmas, Vday, etc.) are returned at the current selling price once the holiday has passed, unless you live in one of the states that prohibits them from doing that.


You can find a discussion of this after Christmas in the archives from almost every year.

Edited by lovetoshopCA
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I am thinking so.

There is a very quiet sense around here though.

I kinda miss all the speculation and input from everyone about what may take place.

That some places would have gone today - a Wed while most should go tomorrow.

It will interesting to see but I doubt it will be anything like years past.


Good Luck.

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Where I used to live my store was almost always a day earlier than the rest of the pack for markdowns.  I bet they went 70% today on toys. I will miss having the early advantage.


I went to 2 stores here today just to check and not marked to 70% yet.  There was so little I'm not sure it is worth going back tomorrow.  I only saw one thing I was marginally interested in.  I think the 70% will be tomorrow.

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I went yesterday just to scope it out and saw some new stuff marked down 70% but just a few items that weren't marked down previously.  I too only saw a few items I wanted so I won't be too sad if I don't get there.  Very slim pickens at the 4 stores I've been to this week.  (and that's good for my bank account)  LOL 

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