Re-cracking the price code: When best to shop the clearance rack - CBS46 News

Re-cracking the price code: When best to shop the clearance rack

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The CBS46 Protecting Your Money Team has the inside edge to get the items you want, at the deepest discount, from your favorite store.

After all, deep discounts mean nothing if they don't have your size or the right color. Knowing when those prices get slashed, is key.

They're not stop signs, but sale and clearance signs will make shoppers pause.

"I'm determined not to pay the full price," said Richard Barnett.

Coaxing consumers to reach for their wallet. Rosa Arriaga told us, "That's the only way I shop otherwise it isn't any fun, right?"

If you're eyeing, say, the perfect shirt hoping it might make the sales rack, how do you know when?

"Who doesn't want to know when everything's going on sale?" questioned Deanna Allen.

The clearance rack, however, isn't always kind.

"It will be like all the extra, extra large sizes, so I don't generally pick up stuff from there," confessed Sarah Curry.

Enter coupon king and bargain shopper Kyle James. "If you have this inside information at different stores, you can go in and shop when the clearance racks are full or when they've done their most recent markdowns," said James.

Through his blog, Rather Be, it's easy.

"I just started going in stores and talking to employees, and I went online and found a couple of online forums and employees and posted some stuff about when stores do specific markdowns," confessed James.

Take Old Navy, for example.

"I found out shopping at Old Navy on Wednesdays is your best bet to find new stuff put on clearance, usually Monday, Tuesday they start marking stuff down," said James.

We went undercover to check it out. Sure enough, we found freshly marked down items Tuesday, and clerks willing to fill us in.

"Sundays and Mondays, so probably next Sunday it might be men's and kids, since it wasn't this week," said the clerk at Old Navy.

The price guns were also slashing tags in accessories at Ross, making Tuesday or early Wednesday prime shopping. While the days are set, clerks aren't sure which pieces will be on sale.

"We never know what's going to be marked down. You just have to scan everything, so you don't know what's going down. So like when we're doing ladies dresses, I have one lady that's just standing right there, and I'm afraid to do anything," said the Ross clerk.

At Babies R Us, remember one word: Thursday. There, look for the blue tag, which means 90 percent off.

"Thursdays are usually a pretty busy day, confirmed the Babies R Us clerk.

According to James, the second and fourth Saturdays at Kohl's could have you seeing green with the addition of coupons.

"Yes, we do it maybe twice a month and we do it on the weekends, admitted the Kohl's clerk. At Target, it was more hit and miss.

"Target is a good example. They actually do a different markdown every day of the week so on Monday's it's electronics, kids clothing, books. On Tuesdays its three different categories, and that can change a little bit from where you live. I always tell people it's a good starting point," said James.

Clerks we found were ahead of schedule.

"Babies, we actually got a little ahead. Yesterday there were a few deals, but normally they go really fast, but yeah we did get ahead and did it yesterday," said the Target clerk.

At JCPenny, James was told the first and third Fridays were prime days for cuts, but our clerk told us differently.

"On Wednesdays, we usually mark them down and then again on Sundays," said the clerk.

The best advice - don't be afraid to ask.

"Open a dialogue and you'll be amazed about what employees will share with you," said James.

"We kind of have an idea but, they change it around all the time, admitted one of the clerks.

It may mean a new friend to text you, letting you know for sure.

"I get e-mails, I go online, my favorite shops actually text me sometimes," said Rosa Arriaga.

One tip we learned for ourselves from two different store managers - check the racks for items you may have just purchased. If it's within 14 days both Macy's and Old Navy told us they'll refund you the amount the price was cut with your receipt.

Here are a few other links you might want to check out:

Here's a list of the businesses and the days to shop.

Rather Be Shopping Home Page

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