Price tag secrets revealed to save you money

Price tags can contain hidden deals and information on whether or not the price could drop soon, consumer blogger Kyle James says. (WSYX/WTTE)

The next time you go shopping look closely at price tags. All those numbers could reveal a better deal may be on the way.

Consumer blogger Kyle James says he has "cracked the price tag code" at several major retailers on his website ""

"A lot of stores are pretty hush, hush about it," James says. "It's not a secret to employees. They know what's going on, and it helps them stock the shelves, basically."

James says he has posted information about more than dozen retailers based on information from employees.

He also created a pricing cheat sheet to take into stores while you shop (Click here).


James just added information about TJ Maxx in January.

Red price tags are the standard clearance tag, and those can be marked down more than once, James says. Yellow price tags are usually final clearance and are typically the best deal, he says. Purple price tags are just an indication the item was featured on the runway at fashion week.

ABC 6 / FOX 28 reached out to TJ Maxx for information on its pricing policy.

"While many of our loyal customers have learned how to shop our clearance sections, we wouldn’t have anything to add to your story on pricing practices," Director of Corporate Communications Erika Tower wrote in an email.

James says to watch the pennies in the price at J.C. Penney.

"If you know what the price ends in, you know if you're getting a regular price deal or a clearance deal," he says.

A price ending in .99 is clearance, but your better price ends in .97, which James says is reduced clearance.

"The .97 is lowered every 2 weeks to half of the current ticket price," James says an anonymous manager told him. "Items will go as low as $2.97 before they’re shipped out of the store.”

J.C. Penney didn't respond to a call or email for comment.


Pay similar attention at Best Buy.

James says sale prices ending in .99 aren't usually the best deals. A better price ends in .92, which is a one-time price drop at or below the retailer's cost, he says, while a price ending in .96 is designed to beat a competitor's price.

ABC 6 / FOX 28 didn't find any prices ending in .92 or .96 during a recent store visit.

Best Buy didn't respond to emailed questions about its prices.


While shopping at Target, James says look for the fine print on red clearance tags.

In the upper right-hand corner, you'll find a number ranging from 15 to 90, which indicates the percentage off of the original price.

"Target marks down items by the following increments, 15%, 30%, 50%, 70% and 90% off," James says. " Typically an item will stay at the current markdown percentage for 10-14 days before getting marked down further."

Target didn't respond to emails requesting pricing information.


Remember many stores will price match a competitor's price. It's always worth asking.

Smartphone apps can also help you price compare and find coupons.

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