Secret store price codes revealed

By Eryka Washington , Consumer Reporter, Fill-in anchor, ewashington@wkmg.com
Published On: Apr 29 2014 11:15:00 PM EDT
Updated On: Apr 30 2014 09:59:20 AM EDT

Imagine always getting the cheapest prices and knowing what’s going on clearance.

Imagine always getting the cheapest prices and knowing what’s going on clearance.

We asked several Target shoppers if they considered themselves a bargain shopper and almost everyone said, "Yes."

[WEB EXTRA: Store pricing code guide]

In Fact, Donna Fosnaugh says, "If it's not on sale, I don't buy it. I never pay full price."

Now, there is a way to ensure you don't pay full price.

Kyle James, of "Rather Be Shopping," cracked several stores price tag codes so you know if what you are buying is on sale, clearance or full-price.

"It's a great feeling you kind of have a one-up on the stores," James said.

Here's how it works. Look at the price tag and focus on the cents.

"It's important to pay attention to the dollars, but this tip is all about the cents," James said. "If you know the cents at certain stores you can determine if you're getting a good deal or not."

For example:

  • Target: If the price ends in .99 you are paying full price
    If price ends in .98 it is a markdown
    If it ends in .04 it is a final markdown

Shopper Kim Rugh says she has heard of this before for other stores, but not Target.

"I did not know that. I heard at the gap if it ends in 97 that is as low as it will go. I did know that for another store, but not for Target," Rugh said.

According to James, stores like Costco, The Home Depot and JC Penney all use the same method -- you have to look at the cents to determine the deal you're getting.

At Sears, if price ends in .88, it's the best price. If it ends in .97, it's a discontinued item on clearance and if it's .99, it is full price.

Brandy Carter said she was also caught by surprise and didn't know some stores have a pricing code.

What if it goes on sale the next day but you already bought it?

"I take the receipt in and usually within 30 days -- sometimes 90 -- depending on the store they will give you the difference," Fosnaugh says.

Rugh says it's frustrating.

"You wish you had a crystal ball, like, if you wait till tomorrow you could save money," Rugh said.

If you see "NM" in corner of Kohl's electronic price tag, it means "new markdown,"  and the next day, the price will be cheaper.

Shopper Tammy Leckrum said she had no idea.

"Oh no, I didn't know that," Leckrum said.

Or if you see an asterisk in the upper right corner of a price tag in Costco that means it is the best price you are going to find.

James says it's a simple way to save money.

"It's kind of a no-brainer," James said. "Within seconds, you can determine if you're saving money or not."

That's good news for Rugh and her daughter, Lauren.

Rugh says now that she knows the codes, "I can be an even better shopper, that's cool right."

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