More Mystical Secrets Of Retail Price Codes

costcoLast fall, we posted a handy cheat sheet to price tag codes that can tell you whether an item is on its first or last markdown, or even whether it’s on clearance or just plain on sale. Want to learn some more codes? Of course you do!

You can also find more info on codes for Kohl’s, Land’s End, American Eagle, and other retailers on the constantly updated post over at Rather-Be-Shopping.


Target’s price tag codes have been the subject of some controversy, and there’s a lot of information floating around that has since been debunked. What you should know is that prices ending in .99 are full price. Prices ending in .98 are items on clearance, which is why you sometimes see “clearance” items marked down only a penny. One interesting bit of information that Snopes uncovered since our last post on this subject is that prices ending in .04 are no longer necessarily final markdowns, but they can be.

Also, look at the upper right corner of markdown price tags at Target for a two-digit number:

That’s the percentage discount on a clearance item. You can use this to check Target’s math, since we know that their calculations can be a little shaky.


Their system is pretty simple: Prices that end in 9 are regular retail. Prices that end in a 7 are items on clearance. These will usually have a “Reduced to Clear” shelf tag, but not always.



Yes, some people still shop at Sears. If you’re going to, now that full prices end in .99, first markdown prices end in .97, and final markdown prices end in .88.


Things remain kind of in flux at JCPenney, but a store manager sent in these price guidelines to Rather-Be-Shopping:

Price ends in .00: Full price.
Price ends in .99: Initial clearance price.
Price ends in .97: Further price reduction. According to the manager, every two weeks these prices will be cut in half. “The .97 is lowered EVERY 2 weeks to 1/2 (half) of the current ticket price. Items will go as low as $2.97 before they’re shipped out of the store,” she explains.
Price ends in .98: A buy one, get one free deal.

Retailer’s Big Secret: Crack the Price Tag Code [Rather-Be-Shopping]

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  1. T says:

    Academy Sports + Outdoors marks their clearance items by ending the prices with .88. There is no final markdown price ending. Items would go down in whole dollar amounts on a weekly basis. I’ve seen summer clothes that got lost behind a shelf sell for $0.88 in the winter. I’ve also seen a calendar priced for $0.01 once though. Not sure how that happened.

    The markdowns are done automatically by a computer I’m pretty sure. If a customer came without a receipt to exchange or return a GPS that was 5+ years old, the price would usually ring up around $2.88.

    I worked for Academy Sports + Outdoors at their flagship store as a Customer Service Cashier. It was the only retail job I ever had, and I actually enjoyed it.