Decoding Retail: Target Edition

This post kicks off the Decoding Retail series. Each segment in this series will focus on a different retailer where we will dive into topics like maximizing discounts, store pricing secrets, important store policies, and sourcing strategies. The first store that we will be breaking down is the well known nationwide retailer Target.

Maximize Your Discounts

As a reseller you should always be looking for different ways to maximize your discounts. With both retail arbitrage and online arbitrage you have more control over the price at which you buy something vs the price at which you sell something. The good news is Target offers lots of different opportunities to save money.

The Target REDcard

If you shop at Target I highly recommend you get yourself a Target REDcard. Target offer you a choice between a debit card and a credit card. Either option comes with a few different benefits. First anytime you use the card to make a purchase you receive 5% off. Second if you are making purchases online you always qualify for free shipping. Third by using the REDcard you get an extra 30 days to return most items. By using this card you are guaranteed a discount on every purchase you make it’s a no brainer.

Target’s Weekly Markdown Schedule

Did you know that Target has a schedule for when it marks down items in certain categories? Here is the markdown schedule for your viewing pleasure:

  • Monday: Electronics, Accessories, Kids Clothing, Books, Baby, and Stationery
  • Tuesday: Domestics, Women’s Clothing, Pets and, Market food items
  • Wednesday: Men’s Clothing, Health and Beauty, Diapers, Lawn/Garden items, and Furniture
  • Thursday: Housewares, Lingerie, Shoes, Toys, Sporting Goods, Decor and Luggage
  • Friday: Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, and Jewelry

Use this information to your advantage by shopping strategically. You will have an opportunity to gain a first mover advantage by getting these discounts as early as possible.

Breaking Down Price Cuts

Target incorporates two different kinds of price cuts into it’s pricing strategy. First there are permanent price cuts. As you might have guessed these products will always be sold at this reduced price. As a reseller I’ve had my best success with flipping these items when I find these price cuts early. Since Target has decided to mark these items down forever the longer you wait the more opportunity there is for other resellers to find these items.

The second kind of price cut which Target employs are temporary price cuts. Normally these types of price cuts last somewhere between 7 and 14 days. Check the tag for exact details on how long the price cut will be in effect. To really take advantage of these types of cuts find them early and get your items in or hold out until others sell out of their stock. Since these price cuts are temporary even if Amazon prices drop in the short term there is a good chance in the long term prices will rebound.

Target Pricing Revealed

Target provides you with a lot of information about their pricing if you understand the way their system works. When it comes to shopping Target clearance there are three different things worth mentioning. First whenever Target puts an item on clearance you’ll notice that they place clearance tags on their items.

In the upper right hand corner of these tags you’ll see a small number. On this tag you see the number 70 – which means this item is currently 70% off. The higher the discount the better the chance that this item has resale potential.

Next let’s take a closer look at how Target marks down their items. Target uses something I like to call a discount ladder. Target starts with a 15% discount on an item and then over time gradually increases the discount if items don’t sell. The discounts increase in set increments: 15%, 30%, 50%, 70% and continue increasing, up to 90%. Items are normally marked down every two weeks so remember to check those clearance items regularly you never know what you might find.

Last pay attention to the last number on the price tag. When a price ends in $0.06 or $0.08 that means the item will continue to be marked down in the future. However if you an item when the price ends with $0.04 that is the final clearance price and the lowest possible price at which you can buy that item.

Stacking Like A Boss

I’m a big fan of stacking to maximize possible discounts and Target offers you some great opportunities to do so. When you’re stacking at your full potential it will include:

  • Target Cartwheel Coupons
  • Target Store Coupons
  • Manufacturer Coupons
  • Target REDcard Discount

You can use all of these different things in conjunction and when do will be able to realize some serious discounts. Download the Target app and the Cartwheel app for free and start saving today. Check both apps regularly because Target is always adding new coupons to the mix.

Price Matching

This is one of favorite things about Target especially around Q4. If you find an item in a competitor’s ad with a lower price bring the ad to Target and they will match that competitor’s price. Many times advertised items are sold out before you get the chance to buy them. I keep track of these items and check for them at Target (or other stores with similar policies) and when I find them use price matching policies to my advantage.

Target Toy Clearance

Target toy clearance happens twice annually. The first time is in early January when they are clearing out space after the Christmas season. Toys also go on clearance in the summer (July/August). During these times of year you can get up to 50% off on tons of different toy lines. The timing of these discounts vary from store to store so I’d recommend visiting your local store(s) regularly so you can scoop up the deals when the markdown madness begins.

Now that you know some of the things that you can do to source smarter at Target get out there and put this information to use. If you’re looking for more great content bookmark our blog and join the FBA Sourcing Simplifiers Facebook group.

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