If anyone didn’t happen to be watching ABC this morning at 4am, that’s a low news hour when they often air interesting trivia. So this morning, one Kyle James was being interviewed for his price shopping tricks obsession (I want to marry someone like him). I stopped mixing dyes for a gradient yarn I hope to end up with once I get it spun and quickly extricated a note pad from under all my formula computations. I like price shopping secrets. And hey, it wasn’t a secret the minute he said it on TV. So here’s what I learned.
Home Depot: You know those price signs they have on the edge of their shelves, like supermarkets do? If they’re yellow, that means the store has put the item on a clearance price. I have no idea why they don’t want to put a red sign that screams “Clearance!” but they don’t particularly want us to know that on some things. Otherwise, any Home Depot price ending in $x.06 means there are 6 weeks until the next markdown. If the price is $x.03, that means in 3 weeks the price will drop. Also, Home Depot employees have the leeway to give people up to $50 in compensation for customer service issues. Probably not all of them, but maybe just the managers. I don’t think “customer service issue” means some stock person was chewing gum too loud and annoyed you while he walked by, but if you have a problem that costs you time or something, then it’s just good to know they’re set up to let their people make things right.
Target: If the price ends in $x.98, $x.88, $x.04 or $x.24, that means it’s a clearance price. Furthermore, though, on the upper right corner of the price tag, there might also be a teensy little 2-digit number by itself. Let’s say there’s a “70” in small print by itself. That means that clearance price is set at 70% off its retail price. If it’s a “20” or some other low number, and there are a lot of copies of that item (overstocked for the speed at which it’s been moving), if it’s not something you absolutely must have but only thinking about if the price is irresistible, and you plan to shop there again in a week or whatever, that number might have grown to a higher percentage off. Just a neat thing to know.
Costco: A price ending with $x.99 means full price. If it ends with $x.97, it’s been marked down. If, however, it has a $x.97 pricing PLUS there’s an asterisk in the upper right corner ( * just sitting there all by itself), that means it’s secretly a clearance price. Also, I’m a huge fan of Costco specifically for their Kirkland brand because this is one store brand that’s quite often far superior to name brands, and cheaper. Just saying.
What used to be fun, way back when, was that a big national chain jewelry store used to code their cost of goods with the word Vanderbilt. So V=1, A=2, N=3… and so on until T=0. So when you’d go to buy a piece of jewelry they had priced at $89.95, if you knew that code, and its little tag said something like NARL somewhere on it, you’d know they paid $32.69 for it. Now I’ve never haggled with a big chain jewelry store, but at least you’d know what their markup was on it. And maybe you’d have more guts than I did and could just say, “Hmm, you’re only into this for $32.69, how about cutting me a deal?” I’m sure they’ve long since changed that, but those alphabetical codes could be fun to play with.
In any event, it’s handy to know whether an item is on clearance particularly if it’s something you definitely want, but think you ought to price shop and you see a clearance coded price tag and they’re low on stock on that item, at least you can figure your chances of getting it for less are on the low side and consider getting it right then and there.