If you’ve been around the blog or any of my social media long, you know that about four times a year I post about the holiday clearances going on at Target. I mainly shop after Easter, Summer, Halloween and Christmas. Every once in a while, I’ll catch some Valentines and Back-to-School sales too.
The reason Target is the most fun for this (besides everything they ever sell being perfectly the cutest), is that holiday sales drop 50% then 70% then 90%. 50 is good, 70 is great, 90 you BUYS ALL THE THINGS.
Somewhere in the last several years these clearances have become “my thing!” Just like people enjoy playing in sporting tournaments, running marathons or tasting lots of wine, this is what I LOVE doing. There's a thrill to the discount chase and I get to shop for other people too! It’s a win-win-win for me!
Here in the Dallas area, I live smack dab in the middle of about twelve Target stores. Any direction I turn, I can be at a Target within 5-25 minutes. My little small-town girl heart could burst with excitement just thinking about it!
Sometimes I make a large circle on the DFW map when I’m feeling extra ambitious and have some time to spare. From where I live in Addison, I’d make my way to a couple North Dallas stores, up to Lewisville, over to Frisco, down to a couple in Plano and back to the Addison area. Again, that’s ambitious!
For the shorter trips, I always go to Dallas Love Field, Dallas 635/Montfort and Frisco Preston Rd. These are just stores that are pretty close to me, and I’ve found tend to have plenty of products when it gets to 90% off. I’ve also heard the Haskell location in Dallas is great, but I haven’t been myself!
Once, I had to travel to the Central Texas area on the same weekend fall items went 90% off. I may have stopped by every single Target from Dallas to Austin. It was so. much. fun. The more stores you venture into, the more luck you’ll find the good stuff! It always seems like every single store has something different leftover!
This gets a little tricky. Target definitely keeps us on our toes guessing because there’s not any rhyme or reason to when the sales actually begin.
A lot of the time, I depend on fans of All Things Target. There’s a lot of Target-lovers out there and we all kind of let each other know when we see certain sales or percentages drop.
Here’s some rough estimates that I live by -
- Easter - 70% off: 4-5 Days After Easter Sunday, 90% off: 6-7 Days After Easter Sunday
- Summer - 70% off: 5-10 Days After July 4th, 90% off: 11-12 Days After July 4th
- Halloween/Thanksgiving - 70% off: 2-3 Days After Halloween, 90% off: 4-6 Days After Halloween
- Christmas - 70% off: 5-8 Days After Christmas, 90% off: 9-12 Days After Christmas
Again, super rough estimates, since it’s not really the exact same year to year. I’m sure there’s a lot that goes into the science of lowering those prices. For me, the timing is all part of the thrill! Sometimes I drive up to my closest store, just to scan an item and check or I see what the folks are saying on All Things Target.
WHAT'S YOUR PROCESS?
- I grab a buggy ("cart" if you're not from East Texas) and make a beeline for the holiday section. Although, sometimes the new dollar spot or cute scarves catch my eye and I have to check those out first. #Distractions
- No matter what percentage the discount sign says, I grab one item with a price tag with an even number. You know, I'm not so good at the whole "math" thing, so I need a nice even price, like $4.00.
- I find a price scanner somewhere. Target has them consistently throughout the store at the end of the aisles, so there's always one nearby. Scan that item!
- If that $4.00 item rings up $0.40, then girl, welcome to 90% off!
- I go through the holiday section, aisle by aisle, side by side. Sometimes you have to dig, sometimes you don't. I'm also probably constantly texting photos to friends with things like, "Do your boys need 5 different Star Wars costumes?" "How many gold stemless wine glasses do you want?" "Need this wreath for next year? I'm getting three."
- Once I'm finally done grabbing, I head back to the price scanner, where I scan every item. Overkill, yes, but it's what I do. There are occasionally holiday items that aren't technically on sale and therefor, I put them back.
- Finally, I make my way to the cashier, who will either be terribly confused or extremely excited at the price of each item and my total. I may have been given a high-five by a cashier before.
- From the parking lot, I try to use #DFWTarget on social media to alert local Target lovers. On my way home from all the Targets, I tell my husband to go in his man cave and not to come out. He doesn't need to see the number of bags I bring in, ammiright?
- I bring everything inside to my office (multiple trips must be taken, most of the time), where I begin taking pictures of all the items.
- Once the photos are edited and the items are put away, I'll write up a blog post to share all the goodies I got.
ANY ADDITIONAL TIPS?
- Super Targets seem to have more in stock than smaller stores.
- Some Target stores set up their holiday items in aisles in the back of the store, others have it set up in the aisles up front near the checkout. I've found that stores with front holiday sections never offer as many items.
- Don't ever believe the big red signs or depend on a phone call to the store. The only way to truly know what the deal is is by scanning an item at a nearby price scanner. I've been to stores that have 50% off signs up, scan an item and see that they're really 90% off - That's the BEST because it's still a bit of a secret!
- Scan EVERYthing. Super important. Throughout the day, people can bring items to the clearance section and leave it on the wrong shelves. Some things may look like they should qualify as a holiday item, but really don't. Find a price scanner somewhere in the store and beep through your haul, just to double-check.
- Search the entire store! This helps when you're familiar with a store's layout. When Threshold and Nate Burkus holiday items go on sale, they won't always be with the rest of the holiday items. They may just be on the inner endcaps of aisles in (what I like to call) the Target alleys. Same with cleaning supplies, candles, cooking utensils, etc.
Any other Target die-hards have some tips and tricks? Leave them in the comments. I'm always down for some improved shopping skills!