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There are some people that are new to Target holiday clearance shopping and the question I get asked by most of them is how I go about finding the 90% off deals. I am going to share some tips how I personally go about finding the best holiday clearance deals. Before I fill you in on the tips, it’s important to first understand how the Target holiday clearance works. The holiday/seasonal clearance is the only time when Target clearance gets marked down to 90% off.
Target holiday and seasonal clearance happens around major holidays and seasons. The holiday clearance usually excludes holidays like St. Patrick’s Day that aren’t as big, and don’t usually bring in a lot of merchandise. Here are the times when you can usually find the holiday/seasonal clearance deals at Target.
- Valentine’s Day
- Back to School
At these times of the year the seasonal clearance will get marked down to 50% off the day after the holiday, around 3 days after, it will go 70% off, then about 2-3 days later, it will finally get marked down to 90% off. These are general guidelines, the rate at which things are marked down can vary by store. There are some items that aren’t marked down as deeply too, food generally goes 30%, 50% and then 70% off. Beauty items will sometimes only go as low as 70% off too.
2020 Update: I will say that this crazy year could factor in how the clearance is marked down. We didn’t see the Halloween merchandise go to 90% off this year and I am hoping we don’t see the same thing happen with the Christmas clearance. Only time will tell! I know A LOT of the holiday merchandise is already gone (at least the stuff that looks like Christmas merchandise) at my stores, so there may not be much to put on clearance.
Here are the dates the Christmas markdowns happened last year. I can’t guarantee they will happen on the same days this year, but it gives us a general idea of when they may take place.
- 50% off – December 26th
- 70% off – December 30th
- 90% off – January 1st
These clearance items WILL NOT be marked with yellow clearance stickers. It’s best to use the scanner to check the markdown level for these type of clearance deals. Holiday seasonal clearance items will usually end in a 9 or a 0. When it’s time for the markdowns, I recommend scanning an item or two and not looking at the percent off signs on the shelves, sometimes they don’t change those signs right away when a new markdown has taken place.
The best thing about the holiday/seasonal clearance is that many times they will include items that aren’t holiday themed at all, they are items you can use year round. You can check out the items I found on clearance to get an idea of the type of items you may find during various seasonal clearance times.
- 90% off Valentine clearance
- 90% off Christmas clearance
- More 90% off Christmas clearance
- 90% off Halloween clearance
- 90% off Easter clearance
- 90% off Christmas clearance
A lot of times these holiday clearance deals will include items from the Target Dollar Spot and those items even make it to 90% off.
My biggest tip for scoring great deals during the holiday 90% off clearance is to scope out what seasonal items there are BEFORE the markdown happens. I do this a couple of ways, the first way is to just walk through the seasonal department, pay attention to packaging that isn’t necessarily holiday themed.
The second thing I do when checking out the items that I believe will be included in the holiday clearance is to check out end caps in kitchen and home decor. They often have an entire end cap devoted to seasonal merchandise. It’s important to look at these things ahead of time, because often these items will be in their respective departments or on a random shelf instead of back with the holiday clearance. A lot of times these items won’t necessarily look “holiday” themed. For instance, at Christmas time it could be a serving bowl with a gold rim or a pastel serving pitcher at Easter time.
Another great way to get a peek at what items will probably be included in the clearance is to check the respective holiday section online at Target.com. I look through the items and take mental notes of things I want to look for when the clearance happens.
Here is a peek at some Christmas items from around the store. I can’t guarantee all of these items will be included in the Christmas clearance, but there is a very good chance they will. Of course, once the markdown happens I’ll be at the store scanning all the stuff and sharing photos so you will know for sure.
Some of my favorite things to watch for are beauty items, like lotions, bath bombs, face masks and lip care. Target usually brings in a ton of these items and they can get marked down to 70-90% off. Keep in mind that bath items occasionally only go 70% off. Check out a few photo below:
Home Decor and Textiles is another great thing you can get at 90% off. Here are a few items that might be included this year.
The Hearth and Hand Holiday collection usually has some things that can be used year round and lots of cute toys for kids.
The kitchen area is a great place to look too. Watch for the item that have holiday themed packaging or a group of items that are on an end cap.
Here are some kids’ items I found in the Christmas section that are meant to be stocking stuffers. All of these items would be great to use in Easter baskets too. Buy now when they are cheap and save them for future use. Some of these items might get moved to their respective departments so that is why it’s important to check them out now.
There are usually always some bagged LEGO that is part of the holiday clearance, this year there are quite a few different characters.
This Play-Doh set would be good to separate and use in goodie bags for birthday parties. Think outside of the box!
You will also find clothing too! In many cases you will be able to tell which items are holiday themed, but there will be some cases where the clothing items doesn’t have any holiday theming but it will be included in the clearance.
Target also brings in lots of gift type items, these will be on displays throughout the store, check to see what are on these displays. While not all of these items will be part of the Christmas clearance, it helps to know what will possibly be marked down.
They usually always have digital frames that are included in the clearance. Most of these will have Christmas theming in the background on the box.
In the girls’ department there is usually a special display of More Than Magic and LipSmackers items that are usually marked down every year. Here is just a few examples of items I found this year.
One area that is great for deals is the pet area. I promise you, your dog and cat do not care if they are playing with Christmas themed toys or eating Christmas themed treats.
I like to scope out the gift wrap to find items that can be used year round. While I do buy Christmas gift wrap for the following year at 90% off I really like it when I can buy paper and bags that I can use for birthdays, weddings and baby showers all year long.
Another thing to look for is food items that might be included in the holiday clearance, many times they will have seasonal packaging. Food usually only goes 70% off.
Of course there is always paper goods like paper plates, Ziploc items and facial tissue marked down too!
Another section I recommend checking is at Starbucks at the front of the store. They often bring in seasonal tumblers and mugs that are included in the 90% off markdown. Study them now so you know what to look for later.
You can also find food that will be marked down, the boxes may have holiday theming. These usually only go to 70% off, but it’s a great way to save big on food.
One more thing to note, this clearance usually also includes the Dollar Spot items, but as late they have not been following the same markdown schedule as the holiday items and also only going to 70% off. I’m hoping that the Christmas items will go 90% off too, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Once you know what you are looking for it’s easier to score the amazing 90% off deals. Most of the time the items that are included in the holiday clearance will be moved to the back of the store with the other holiday items, but often times things can be found around the store instead.
Here are a few examples of holiday clearance items I found lying around the store after the Christmas clearance markdown happened last year. Looking at the items before the holiday means there is a better chance you will recognize random items sitting on shelves after the holidays.
I found this tray in the home decor department sitting with all the regular priced items.
This basket was also just in the home decor section with regular price items.
This was randomly on an end cap with other clearance items that had the yellow clearance stickers.
Clothing and accessories are usually some of the items that can be found in their respective department. I have found tons of clothing mixed in with the regular clothing.
I found three of these shower curtains hanging with all the other regular priced shower curtains. I wouldn’t have known to look for this one if a reader hadn’t shared a picture on Facebook. I love my readers, they are the best!
There were about 10 of these hanging on the regular Chapstick section in the health and beauty department. I could share tons more, but I think you get the idea. You will want to look around the entire store!
Another great way I find all the great holiday clearance deals is from my wonderful All Things Target readers! I love our Facebook community that is very active, especially when the holiday clearance starts. So many readers share photos of their finds on the Facebook page, which makes it easy for me and others to know what to look for, I have found so many great deals thanks to people that were willing to share. It’s the best! I highly recommend you follow along on the All Things Target Facebook page and also follow All Things Target on Instagram because we can often share the markdowns in real time over on Instagram.
So, there you have it! My main tips for scoring the 90% off deals. Who is ready for the next seasonal clearance? We won’t have to wait long, the Christmas clearance will be here before you know it.
my only tip is that after holidays i look for clearance items that don’t necessarily ‘look’ like they’re related to a holiday. Example: after Christmas, you can buy a sumptuous gold brocade tablecloth at a huge discount. And gold brocade tablecloths can be used any time of year!
Best of all are holiday print paper towels. It’s one way to get top quality paper goods at dollar store prices.
I’m sure other people have tips akin to mine!
Yes, I totally agree! Unfortunately, Halloween is a difficult one because most everything does look Halloween. If it looks like fall then it stays around for Thanksgiving. Christmas and Easter are great times to find those types of items.
I’ve been a long time target shopper & fan. Not so much anymore. I watch your page in hopes to learn more.
I believe things are changing at Target. This past Christmas the clearance stayed at 50.% for weeks. It did not get to 90% when it could have.
Clearances since have been just as lousy. I watch here & pick days to go & nothing. Then a day later the stuff is gone. Or you keep checking the prices & it stays at 50% & then it disappears. I have not seen 90% all year. I do look.
This past Christmas was the real kicker. Something is off. Something is changing.
I agree with you that things are changing, but I wouldn’t totally rule out Christmas going 90% off. I’m here to help navigate any changes and share the news (I know we’ve seen a difference in how the toy clearance works). I found lots of Christmas items at 90% off, you can see them here:
Here are some photos from my readers:
Don’t give up hope! Target will always need to clear out some merchandise fast. I don’t think the great clearance deals are going away.
The ladies who work at my Target informed me of such change. Something was on clearance at like 30% off and there were several so I was debating waiting to see if it dropped in price or buying it to ensure that I got one… I asked one of the girls when the toys were generally marked down as many stores have set days based on what the item category was and she told me that they now only discount a little, after that they pull all the items and mass sell/donate them. She acted like anything over 50% off was getting that treatment from now on.
Items at my locals are still only 50/30% off on 12/30 and there is also next to nothing left. They really promoted the “Great Winter Clearance Dash” this year so I think that’s part of the reason why. 🙁
Scoring any clearance items at Target is akin to finding a good parking spot: it requires patience and a good eye.
Don’t believe the online device that assures you that something is still in stock at a certain store; that inventory software is still stuck in the ’90s.
I fortunately live in a metro where there’s a Target store every two miles or so. In 2016 i was able to score a complete John Robshaw bedroom set by driving from Target to Target. The day the 20th anniversary collaboration goes on sale i’ll be driving around again. I can be such a frau.
I know what has happened to a LOT of Target clearance and it saddens me. There are salvage places called Dirt Cheap which is where it ends up, often right after 50% off. I live in Jax, FL and we don’t have any, but I’ve seen them and visited them in other states. Google it. I think they buy huge lots from Target. The prices are okay but not near as good as getting merchandise at Target for 70 or 90% off.
It ends up at these types of stores once it has been salvaged after 90% off. My stores have always gone to 70% and 90% off, if they didn’t I would be disappointed for sure!
My mom has a dirt cheap near her and we used to love that store for bargains, but the last few times have been really hit or miss. I have gotten many brand new clothes there for only $1, so if you see them then they are worth checking out. They have a pricing system based on when an item comes in. Sometimes they have a lot of merchandise for 90% off, it just depends if it is junk or not… and they don’t take returns (even for faulty items), and the stores are often disorganized… but absolutely worth it to me!
Rachel Burgess says
Christy, I noticed a Facebook Marketplace ad for shoes and they were ALL Target shoes! TONS of them. It appeared they were being sold out of her Garage, $3 a pair. I was annoyed because I had bought some at 70% off and her price was cheaper. When i looked into her profile, it looks like she has connections (or owns) a thrift store. So the Targets in my area might “gift” things to her. Should I report her somehow? Or is this legal? It just seems so unethical to me.
Tina Sepulveda says
How do I buy a GIFT for my husband for Valentine’s day as I am bedridden and immobile but I want to buy him a GIFT and have it delivered to me on Valentine’s day or now
I see target items at goodwill all the time. Huge amounts and sometimes it’s items still in store. I’ve bought Christmas items in store for less than the 1/2 price they sell them at goodwill. It’s a bummer because part of the hunt is gone since there is nothing left. They clear the isles and send the stuff off. I did however score a target name brand salvage $300 A/C for $99 at a goodwill when I stopped in for blankets for local animal rescue.
Thank you for the latest updates. I have noticed at my local Target that their Christmas candy/stocking stuffer items are all gone. I really don’t believe that people bought every single one of them. I don’t know what Target is doing differently, but something is off. It has been that way the last couple of years though.
Sara Evans says
Shopped several Targets around Portland, OR yesterday (12/26/20) and the Christmas sections were basically cleared out. Discount was 50%. There was half the inventory than what I saw last year on 12/30!
I bought some holiday stuff when it was 50% ( about 4 days ago). Now it is 70%, do you think I can get price adjusted. If so, should I wait until 90% or am I risking it just disappears (show not available) and not able to get even 70% off?
Can price adjustment done by online customer service for items bought in store?