WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Retailers have secret price codes that many shopaholics know about and use to snag the best deals. If you don't know what a price tag ending in 4 means at Target, you are not one of them.
While regular prices typically end in .99, each retailer has specific numbers that indicate the item is at the lowest price it will be. At Costco, for example, to spot a markdown, look for a price ending in .97, .88 or .00.
At Target, markdowns are indicated by a price ending in 6 or 8. If the price ends in a 4, it's a final markdown. The price won't be going any lower.
About five years ago, there was a lot of interest in price codes when HubPages' Len Rapoport wrote at length about Costco, and now the topic seems to be surging again on websites such as the Consumerist, Lifehacker and even Time.com.
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It seems the codes are still the same as before they became so widely known. Of course, what's to stop retailers from changing them?
Why should consumers care what the codes are? Well, if you know the codes, you can determine whether the price is the lowest it will be. Of course, there's always the chance that if you wait for a further reduction, the item will be gone.
Not all retailers use such codes, but many do.
Target marks down items every week in set increments, starting at 15 percent, then 30 percent, 50 percent, 70 percent and so on up to 90 percent, according to the Krazycouponlady.com. The tiny number in the price tag's upper right corner indicates the percentage of markdown.
For the Target-obsessed, here is what Krazycouponlady says is its markdown schedule:
Monday: Baby items, children's clothing, electronics, and office supplies, gift wrap, stationery.
Tuesday: Home decor, women's clothing and domestic items.
Wednesday: Food, health and beauty items, men's clothing, toys and garden items.
Thursday: Lingerie, housewares, sporting goods, shoes and luggage.
Friday: Cosmetics, jewelry, hardware, automotive and home improvement.Here's a list of a number of retailers and what their end number, or codes, mean.
Abercrombie & Fitch: Regular price .50; marked down, anything except .50, such as .89 or .90.
BJ's: Regular .99, lowest, .00 or .90.
Costco: Regular .99, marked down, .97, .88 or .00, clearance is an asterisk; manufacturer's specials, .79, .49, .89.
Gap, Old Navy: Final markdown, 7.
Home Depot: Final markdown, 6 or green tag; clearance/discontinued, 6 or yellow tag.
J.C. Penney: Final markdown, 7.
Office Depot: Regular price 0, 9 or 5; clearance/discontinued, C.
Sam's Club: Marked down, .01, .91; clearance/discontinued, C; product codes at top right, 1 for regular, 2 for discontinued, 7 for one-time buy and 9 for send back to manufacturer.
Sears: Regular .99, final markdown, .88, clearance/discontinued, .97.
Staples: Regular, letter A, I or P; lowest price, C or F.
Target: Regular 9; marked down 6 or 8; final markdown, 4.