More Price Tag Codes Decrypted

The popularity of yesterday’s “Target Price Drop Hack” post helped rustle out some other retailer’s secret pricing codes:

Sears: 99: regular 98: No coupons or sales 88: closeout 97: clearance/discontinued 93: refurb/open-box

CircuitCity: 98: local price match 97: open box item 96: limited stock item, either oop (out of production) or so new that supplies are not regular yet 95: clearance oop product

OfficeDepot: Prices not ending in 0,9 or 5 are final markdowns.

Target: 9: full price 8: clearance 4: final markdown

RadioShack, Gap, many retailers: 7: final markdown



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  1. dustboo says:

    none of you probably care, but i work at abercrombie & can tell you that anytime an item is $xx.50, it is full price, and anytime it is $xx.ANYTHING ELSE, it is on sale. 99.99%, the item on sale will end in $xx.90, but sometimes we do $xx.89 just to confuse people.

    other than that, i haven’t really noticed other trends in prices in our store.

    but our ceo is kinda nuts, so i’m sure the prices are just random…

  2. NeoteriX says:


  3. shybipo says:

    The seven at the end of Radio Shack prices doesn’t indicate a final markdown, just that the item is clearanded. Prices ending in seven still drop but only after several months of collecting dust on the shelves.

  4. InsaneNewman says:

    Meanwhile, it’s Standard Operating Proceedure that all prices at Best Buy end in .99 or .49 no matter what their status is (excluding CDs/DVDs/software and the occasional odd sale item with an even dollar amount).

  5. cheapdaddy says:

    I worked at Target and any 4 in a price other than the first digit is the lowest markdown price and a signal to the reshopping staff to return the item to the clearance rack/shelf. The cashiers are also authorized to take 10% off opened/damaged/missing merchandise, but only if asked to do so. They know plus sizes are priced higher , so don’t bring up a regular priced item with plus size with a missing tag.
    75% and 90% clearance is only for seasonal items, like Christmas now, school supplies/ dorm furnishings after Labor Day etc.

  6. rbf2000 says:

    Circuit City is not right, unless they changed something in the past 3 months.

    .98 is a downloaded price match (i.e., they see Best Buy has a lower price), which may be local to a singular store (more likely a local to a district)
    .97 is an open box item
    .96 is a limited stock item, either oop (out of production) or so new that supplies are not regular yet.
    .95 is a clearance oop product

  7. InsaneNewman says:

    I should mention that while Best Buy doesn’t use price coding, you can figure out the status of the product by taking a close look at the price tag on the shelf. The designations would appear just below the UPC ans SKU numbers (where the light streak is in this photo: ).

    If there’s a “C” there, the item is on clearance, and if they’re out of it, they should let you buy the floor model. It there’s a “+”, it means they’ve price-matched a competitor, but it’s an unadvertised change to the price (you may be getting a great deal on products like this). Finally, if there’s a “M”, that means that the product is planogramed for more than one location, so if its out-of-stock there, you may still find it somewhere else in the store.

    Hope this helps all you consumer mavens out htere.

  8. Lacclolith says:

    Psst. At Office Depot, you can tell how many markdowns are to come by reading the last two digits. .00 designates the first markdown, .01 for the second going all the way to .04 before it is placed on buyback and is not allowed for sale. This holds true to just about everything in the store.

  9. kim says:

    The Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic all used to do markdowns on Wednesday AMs, and I think they still do.
    Also: you have 14 days to do price adjustments (a lot of retailers do this); just bring the receipt back within the allotted time and get the lowest current price.
    F’r instance: I shopped at The Gap on Xmas eve and went back last Saturday and got $20 back!

  10. Jim Kosmicki says:

    I have been told by several students who work at Sam’s Club that any price ending in a 1, especially .81 is at its clearance price and will almost certainly not be restocked. My wife and I have used this ever since to determine if we want to buy multiples of something that won’t be there next time. and the product is almost always not restocked the next time we come back.

  11. Here’s the scheme for Canadian electronics retailer Future Shop, but it should be identical for Best Buy in Canada & the US. They’re all one big company now. Here it is:

    Price ends in .99 – Regular or sale price, hardest to get a discount on. Not that that’s saying much.

    Price ends in .97 – Clearance price, you can push a bit harder for a discount because they want it out of the store. Stores have a certain percentage goal of clearance product per day.

    Price ends in .96 – Open box. Product has been bought and returned or possibly refurbished. A discount has already been applied to it but you *might* be able to push for a bit more by accenting any negatives (missing manuals, case scratches)

    Price ends in .95 – Pre-clearance price. This is not clearance yet, but will be soon. You can’t push as much as on clearance product, but you can push a bit.