Signs that shoppers often see while out and about read things like, “Clearance” and "Major markdowns."
But smart shoppers can get the deal even deeper than that if they know the secret to reveal the retail code.
Kyle James is the owner of ratherbeshopping.com – a website stacked with savings. He says the key to better bargains is printed right on the price tag.
“[At] Costco, if it ends in 99 [cents], it's full price; if it ends in 97, 88, or 00, it's markdown price,” said James.
And when you see a price tag with an asterisk, that means it's time to buy, because the item has been marked down because it's being discontinued.
“Always 20 to 25 percent cheaper than anywhere else I can find it if I see that asterisk,” said James.
At Kohl’s, shoppers looking to save should look for letters on the store’s digital price placards. “N-M" means a new markdown, but the deal is about to get even better.
“What the employee told me is at the end of the night or the next morning, they're going to mark that item down to clearance,” said James.
At Target, 99 cents means full price, while 98, 04 and 24 signify a sale. But for the best bargains, shoppers should decode the clearance tags, starting with the tiny number in the corner – like 15, 30, 50, 75 or 90.
“What that is the percentage off of the original price,” said James.
James says that with shoppers knowing retail codes, they’ll have a better idea of whether or not they should wait to buy certain items.
When shoppers see a 15, for example, “You know it just went on clearance,” said James. “They have a bunch of them. Don't buy -- wait. Come back.”
Ten to 14 days later, it'll be marked down again, and again and again.
At stores like The Gap, Old Navy, JC Penny and even Pier One,
“If it ends in 98 or 48, it's clearance or discontinued,” said James. “You want to look for those.”
All have codes of their own.
James gets his insider information straight from the source -- employees who share the shopping secrets only a few know about.
James once worked at Home Depot, where he learned some savings tips.
“If it ends in 06, it's a final markdown price,” he said. “But the one thing you really want to look out for is the green shelf tag.”
If you see one, that means it’s a closeout or discontinued item, and it’s a sign of a deep discount and limited stock that won’t be replenished.
But don't let the savings stop there.
“Get a coupon on top of that and really save some money!” said James.