mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Hacking the Target Christmas clearance...

So for the last few years I've tried to hit the Target Christmas clearance, but last year I discovered the secret to getting awesome deals. So of course they changed up the rules this year.

Target has a very specific clearance markdown schedule, where items drop a certain percentage, usually 15-30-50-75 off. For holiday merchandise, the schedule after the holiday is more like 50-75-90 off. Obviously, by 90% off, not much is left, but you can get some crazy deals.

The fun thing about Target is that they will have seasonal merchandise that isn't obviously seasonal merchandise. This is cool because it will often be hidden among normal items, because other people won't know it's clearanced so it will sit there, and because it's often items that you can use everyday, not just holiday stuff.

Last year, Target had a bunch of household items included in this stuff. I got a ton of Glade Apple Cinnamon candles for 64 and 29 cents, Glade sprays for 29 cents, Method sprays for 39 cents, and method plug-ins for $1. I also got several 35-packs of Dawn dishwasher tablets for $1.50 each.

This year, though, Target did not clearance the holiday scent stuff with the other stuff. But they still had some other hidden treasures.

In addition to the usual obvious holiday candy, I was able to snag some "hidden" Giradelli chocolate - 3 bags for 74 cents each from one store (75% off), and 4 more today for 29 cents each. They look just like the normal bags, except for a holiday pattern and a holly leaf, and were with the rest of the full-price Giradelli. I also snagged four boxes of Choxie truffles for 50 cents each.

I also got two bags of Archer Farms "holiday" coffee (Winter blend and Hot Toddy) for about $1.57 each. I could have bought more of the Winter blend, but passed it up since I usually buy whole bean coffee, and usually prefer darker coffee (or Trader Joe's spiced Winter Blend).

The other odd hidden item was a bottle of Archer Farms spiced apple cider for 24 cents.

People on one of the deal forums I read also reported finding Archer Farms yogurt and Coffeemate creamer in holiday flavors for 90% off, but I didn't get a chance to visit a Target with a big refrigerated section.

It's not as good a deal as last year - I could have used some more plug-in air fresheners, although I still have a ton of sprays, candles, and dishwasher detergent - and I probably shouldn't have bought so much candy, since I'm trying to get back on my diet (although I've brought it into work and quite a bit was eaten by my coworkers).

Still, there's something about finding something hidden in plain sight on the shelves and getting it for pennies on the dollar that feels good - sort of like you are sticking it to the man, like you are smarter than the hundreds of other customers who passed that same item by not knowing that it was really only 10% of the price that was tagged.


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