Published on November 23, 2008, by

What? You actually pay full price for Christmas gifts and decorations at Target? Read on, then get ready to stock up in preparation for next year:

  • All holiday merchandise at Target stores gets discounted to 50% right after Christmas, then 75%, then 90%. The exact days these discounts kick in varies by store, so expect to visit multiple stores on multiple days to hit them just right.
  • Even though decorations and other obviously seasonal merchandise will be moved to a clearance area near the back of the store, the discounts apply on merchandise in every department. Toys are an obvious place to find leftovers, though they may get discounted on a separate schedule after the primary wave of holiday discounts. Also look for holiday discounts on paper goods, storage bins, food — just about everywhere. That expensive can of cashews may be 90% off just because the box is red and that dog bed may be on sale because there’s a holly leaf stitched onto it. Other items are included in clearance pricing for no apparent reason at all.
  • In the toy area look for items marked “Only At Target” that are often included in clearance sales.
  • The seasonal dollar bin items near the entrance also go on sale, though not always on the same schedule as the rest of the store. The colored dot near the bar code indicates the item’s age, more or less, so look for items with a color different from most others on the dollar shelves.
  • Pay special attention to end caps (the display at the end of an aisle) facing the less popular outside walls. Clearance merchandise often gets dropped there but overlooked by shoppers.
  • Don’t trust sale signage or shelf prices to be correct. The signs often lag behind automatic discounts.
  • These same tricks apply to other holidays, too. Look for similar discounts after Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Easter, etc.
  • When in doubt, carry items to a nearby price scanner and SCAN SCAN SCAN to discover hidden deals.

Good luck!