Tips for Shopping the Day of the Target 70% off Toy Sale

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Tips for Shopping the Target 70% off Toy Clearance

If you are new to this unadvertised clearance sale, here are a couple of posts to get you up to speed:

Learn about the 70% off Toy Clearance at Target (Usually happens January and July/August)

Getting Ready for the Target 70% off Toys Clearance (things to do before the sale starts)

Here are some tips for shopping the day of the sale:

Arrive early:
Once word gets out that the markdown has taken place, things will start to go quick.    At some stores everything may have already been marked down when the stores open, at other stores you may have to shop while the employees are marking stuff down.   There is no way to know what it will be like at your store.

Leave the kids at home:
The aisles get crowded, if possible it’s so much easier to shop if you can leave the kids at home.   Maybe a friend can babysit for you while you pick up items she wants.   Team work!   If you do have to bring your kids, I usually say stuff like “Oh, don’t you think your cousin Cason would love this Lego”, so it’s totally tricks them into thinking I am not buying the Lego for them.   (Do you think that works?)  I have had years where I have had to bring my small children,  so it is possible, it’s just not my idea of fun. (once I even brought 4 of them – crazy, huh?)

Don’t believe the signs (check the stickers):
When you get there the signs in the toy department may say 30% or 50% off – don’t believe them!!!   I would walk down the aisles and check the individual stickers, you will probably find the items are in fact 70% off.  The employees are so busy scanning and changing prices, they don’t get the chance to change the signs.

The scanners are your friends:
If you see an item that is only 50% off, scan it to see if it is actually cheaper.   It takes the employees awhile to actually switch out all the price tags on the toys so they may not have gotten to all of them yet.   If you scan and see the toy is 70% off, a happy dance is required!

The employees are your friends too:
They employees with the pricing guns are the ones that are changing all the prices on the toys.   In order for the new discount to take effect, they have to scan each one of the items with their pricing gun, if the price is lower they will have a little red price sticker print out with the new price.   If there are 3 identical Leap Frog items, only one item needs to be scanned, once one item is scanned all the exact same Leap Frog items will ring up at the new lower price.

Since there are a lot of toys it takes the employees awhile to price all the toys.  Maybe you found a 50% off toy on the next aisle over that the employees haven’t gotten to yet.

When I first started shopping this sale (over 15 year ago) nobody knew about it.  It was kind of like my own little secret!  Asking the employees to check to see if an item was lower with their little pricing guns was a piece of cake.   Now, the employees have a long line of people wanting price checks and it is not easy on them.   I ask politely if they can check and item or two (not a whole cart).   I have never had anyone turn me down.  They employees at my stores have always been more than polite and I appreciate them so much for it!

Have fun:
I have had great experiences almost every time I have shopped this sale.  I find that most everyone is willing to point out where they found an item or share their thoughts on toys. I have run into several Grandmother’s that love to chat about their grandchildren.  It can be fun and friendly experience!   Make the most of it, even if it’s chaotic and you see and people buying tons of items for Ebay.

Share your Photos:
One of my favorite parts of this big sale is seeing all the fun stuff people bought. I LOVE PHOTOS!! Please email me photos of your finds to [email protected], or you can post directly to the All Things Target Facebook wall if you want.

Oh, and I should mention if you end up shopping at more than one Target, it doesn’t make you crazy, it makes you dedicated!!    Have fun everyone!!

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  1. I’m hoping to be at one of our local stores at 8am Thursday. I’ll have my 3 kids with me (and they have no cousins to fake-buy for!) so hopefully we can find some deals. I have to be at a meeting at 9.30, so I’m hoping they mark down the toys the night before. That happened during the January sale – I got there and everything was 70% already. I also shopped the July one last year with 2 of my kids. I think it may have been as the markdowns happened though.

    1. I will have my three kids with me too. I’ve had them all with me before. I tell them I’m Santa’s helper and they have fun helping me buy things for Santa to give as gifts. If they want something we buy they can ask Santa for it at Christmas time.

  2. I went & checked a less popular target today. They had a lot of things still 30% off. I wanted to see if you think they will skip going to 50% & go right to 70% off on Thursday?

  3. I hope people don’t trash the toy area like they did the shoe dept. The shoes were everywhere by 10am.

  4. While shopping the toys markdown, remember to pick up a few toys to drop off for the Toys for Tots Toy drive at christmas. I picked up over $2000 last year worth of toys at 75% off the last two years and helped many children. The year before over $5000 worth.

  5. I go to 5 targets in my Area ” dedicated” is my middle name lol !!!!!!!! I call it my yearly pilgrimage!!!

  6. Regarding the 30% off, 50% off & 70% off signs.. An employee told me during my last Target visit that if even ONE item on the shelf is still at 30% then they have to leave the sign at 30%. Just fyi.

    1. They mark down Wednesday night and the new prices are available on Thursday. There are already certain items at 50%

  7. I perused the local Target today and talked to a man stocking shelves and asked him if the “big markdowns” were going to happen Thursday. He said he has no clue; the employees don’t know until they walk through the door and are told what to do. (Which says to me that they likely won’t be marking things down overnight.)

  8. Thanks Christy!! I’m definitely going to the less popular target this time! My usual target hadn’t even started consolidating the clearance toys to one isle! I went & checked it out this afternoon. I might go by later in the day tomorrow though. I’m so excited, I know I won’t get much sleep tonight lol Good luck everyone!!!

  9. Went to 2 Targets today. One at 8am and all the clearance was still all over the toy dept. Everything seemed to be 30 or 50% off. I asked the guy about the big markdowns and he said something about restocking (not sure that was the word he used) next week and everything was marked down already. I did buy my daughter a kid camera for 70% off, $21.00. The 2nd store I went too had everything on end caps and one aisle. Pretty much all the same stuff/prices. Do you think they might be marked down more tomorrow? I am going back to the first one tomorrow morning.

  10. Went to Target this morning at 8am to get some good deals on toys and was disappointed. They have yet to markdown the toys here in Chicago. I even waited and looked in other departments hoping that they just hadn’t got to it yet bur as of 8:45 they still did not so I got my Starbucks and went home. Guess I will wait another week.

  11. I also went to Target at 8am here Katy, Texas and the toys were not 70% of either.
    My husband talked to the manager (he was very friendly and around the area) and he said they didn’t have inventory to push the sale. He said they may have it next week but all depends of the inventory he is getting. I’ll check everyday though.

  12. Just went to the one by my work in Foothill Ranch, CA this morning. The clearance toys were 70% off. I scored a Sesame Street play store, some Sesame Street figures to go with it, an Eric Carle Dominoes matching game, wooden blocks, a Vtech Reader (kind of looks like a child kindle), and a Vtech Kareoke toy all for about $45. Thanks for the heads up! My daughter’s birthday is in a few months so I have lots of new things for her!!

  13. The price change team knows the day before what will be in three workload for the next day. That way they can decide whether they want to work overnight or come in at some ridiculous hour the next day to get the workload started before the store opens. It is VERY difficult to price change areas like This while the store is open. If one item is scanned and marked all of that item will markdown at the register but not having all of those items ticketed because people have them in their carts ruins their numbers and effects their yearly reviews and raises so please be patient with them.

  14. I had to take my little boy with me to the last sale. I used the obnoxiously huge shopping cart with the separate child seats in the front and gave him a toy to play with. He never noticed what I put in the cart behind him. 😉 The cashier was super sneaky for me and double bagged the toys.

  15. Hi! I recently moved to a place that doesn’t have a target 🙁 The closest one is about 2 hrs away. So do you know if good items are still around by the weekend? Or if they also do the markdown online?

  16. I have tons of questions. I have always arrived at the sale a couple days late when all the good things were gone so I want to catch it on time this year.

    1- are games included?

    2- can employees tell you when the sale will happen? I asked 7 different employees the past couple times I went to target and they all looked at me with blank expressions.

    3- can you put stuff in your cart and they will be reduced when the employees mark them down?

    4- can you use the self price scanner to check the price, or do you have to have an employee check it?


  17. Hi Sue
    To answer your questions
    1. Some stores do markdown games…it depends on ur store. Check more than one store
    2. Employees usually say they don’t know but believe it or not looking at past clearance patterns most likely this year it will happen last wed/Thursday of July.
    3. I put my stuff in cart n then ask a friendly employee if he/she can scan that toy to see if its going to be 70% off and once they scan one item then all the identical items will reflect the same pricing regardless of the sticker…but they need to scan atleast one item.
    4. If its already reduced then u can check it the scanner or ask the employee to check it for you….hope this help…I have been doing my clearance toy shopping for past 5 years n love it!

  18. Jyoti,
    Thanks for the replies! Our store has a bunch of games at 50%, but the toys are only 30% so I wasn’t sure if the games would go down to 70%

    1. Yes, there is clearance online too, but it usually happens at a much slower rate and more times than not the lowest we seem them go is 50% off. It seems the lowest items get reduced to is 65% off.

  19. FYI, my Target is doing some tricky pricing on their clearance stickers. It was always very straight forward that the clearance sticker would have the current price in the center, the original price in the bottom left corner and the percent off in the top right corner. A few days ago I did a little recognizance mission at my Target to see what toys would be clearanced on, hopefully, Thursday. I saw a lot of interesting clearance stickers that I had never seen before. 25% off. 40% off. There was also a good amount of the traditional 30% and 50%. At first I thought, this is strange, I guess these may not go down to 70 percent off. But then I started peeling back the stickers underneath. The 25% off stickers had been placed over clearance stickers that were marked at 30% off. So, for example, if the original price was $19.99, the 30% off sticker had the original price in the bottom left corner of $19.99 and the 30 in the top right corner, and the sale price at $13.99. But the 2nd sticker, did not show the original price of $19.99. Rather it showed in the bottom left corner $13.99, the price of the 1st markdown, not the original price. The sale price was now $10.49 and the top right corner showed 25, meaning 25% off of the first mark down. So this item was actually at approximately 45% off, not the usual 50% off for a second markdown. I saw this same thing for even bigger markdowns. I bought a beyblade set that I initially thought would be marked down further because it was only showing 40% off. When I pulled stickers back I discovered that it was a $34.99 item that had a 1st markdown of 50% off, thus being $17.49. The second sticker, the 40% off one showed the original price at $17.49, and 40% off so marked down to $10.49. When I did the math on this one it adds up to be exactly 70% off of the original price. It was time consuming to peel each sticker and try to figure it out, but for the ones marked at 40% off, it turns out they were all 70% off the original price. I’m not sure why my store is doing this and I don’t know if any others are. It makes me wonder if Target is getting wise to the amount of people (like me), who wait to buy something until it goes to 70% off and are trying to make it harder to find the original price so consumers don’t know that the items are actually marked down to 70% off. It was very time consuming to peel all of the stickers and try to figure out what original prices were! I just thought I would mention it to give warning to others that the stickers may not be as straight forward as they usually are.

  20. I’ll be checking my Targets tomorrow morning. We moved to a new area this time last year, and when i went last year there was nothing left. Hoping this year will be better…i’ve been shopping the July Target clearance for the last 4 years now!

    1. I’ve been doing this sale for 7 years. Way before it became well known. I think each year the sale gets worse and worse. There is nothing that I found remotely worth getting this year.

  21. I just returned from my local Buffalo Target (Transit). Very, very disappointed because I have been waiting all year for this sale since I missed the one in January by 1 day. I wanted to stock up for next school year’s round of birthday parties but all of the clearance shelves (mostly endcaps)were empty or filled with things that were only 30 or 40% off. Not was I was expecting at all. So sad.

  22. Thanks for the post. This has some really great information. It looks like not believing the sicker price and using the scanners can really help you get the best deals. I also agree that you should leave the kidos at home. That will definitely free you up and give you more time to get things done.

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