Cracking secret price tag codes key to saving money - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Cracking secret price tag codes key to saving money

Kyle James Kyle James
Contrary to popular believe, not everything at Costco is on sale. Contrary to popular believe, not everything at Costco is on sale.
This coffee maker sold at a 47% savings at Costco, and the price card tells the story of its discount. This coffee maker sold at a 47% savings at Costco, and the price card tells the story of its discount.
Consumers need to read the fine print on Target's clearance tags to know what kind of bargain they're getting. Consumers need to read the fine print on Target's clearance tags to know what kind of bargain they're getting.
The letters in the upper right hand corner of the digital price displays at Kohl's are key to cracking the store's pricing code. The letters in the upper right hand corner of the digital price displays at Kohl's are key to cracking the store's pricing code.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Stores are constantly trying to lure customers with the promise of big sales. So how do you know if you're really getting the lowest price? The answer may lie in a code hidden on the price tags you see every time you're at a store.

Our shopping expert says the key to saving dollars all comes down to the cents. Sales are the Holy Grail for penny-wise consumers.

Californian Kyle James of the shopping blog rather-be-shopping.com says he's unlocked a secret to saving money. James says he has translated the internal language a number of major retailers use to code sale items.

"It really empowers the consumers to figure out what kind of a discount this is," James said.

The first key isn't what the price starts with, but what it ends with -- the change to the price after the decimal point instead of before the decimal point, according to James.

Costco

WAVE 3 News went shopping and put James' theory to the test. At Costco, where contrary to popular belief, not everything is on sale, James said only prices that end in 7 or .97 have been marked down.

If you see a price tag with an asterisk, James says that means the item won't be restocked to clear space.

If you find both of those markings together, you're really saving money.

"I've done the research, and it's typically 20 to 30 percent cheaper than anywhere else you're going to find it," James said.

We found a $39.97 coffee maker with an asterisk at Costco priced at $74.99 online. That's a 47 percent savings.

Kohl's

At Kohl's, James said to look for the small letter in the right hand corner of the digital price display. It's a code even one Kohl's employee didn't know about.

"No, I don't know what that means," the Kohl's employee told our secret shopper.

James says an "S" on the digital display stands for an ongoing sale price that doesn't have a time limit. A "GV" means "great value," which indicates a limited time price drop. Consumers should act fast on a GV before the price goes back up.

Target

At Target, consumers have to read the fine print in the top right hand corner of clearance tags to know what kind of bargain they're getting.

A "30" means 30 percent off, "50" stands for 50 percent and so on.

If you're interested in a clearance item that has a lot of inventory but a small discount, patience will be a virtue.

"Every 10 to 14 days they mark stuff down," James said," so wait, come back, you know it's going to be marked down even further."

James admits this is not an exact science. His blog says Target prices ending in .99 are full price, but we found a number of items ending in .99 at Target that were on sale.

JCPenney

In addition, at JCPenney, where James believes anything ending in .00 is full price, that is not the case.

Other resources

James said he constantly updates the information on his blog.

"Knowledge is power, and for consumers, we really need to shop smart and make sure we're getting the best deal," James said.

He hopes shoppers use his forum to share tips and insight so everyone knows what the numbers on the price tag say about how much you pay.

James also has tips for cracking price tag codes at other stores, including Sam's Club, Home Depot, PetSmart and more. You can find all of his tips and a cheat sheet to carry with you while you shop by clicking here.

WAVE 3 News reached out to a number of the stores to see what they had to say about James' claims. Target spokesman Evan Lapiska said in a statement:

"At Target, we use a number of different factors to determine the price for an item. The ending digit of a clearance price is determined by several factors including the original retail price and the applied percentage discount. It is not possible to determine the final markdown or timing of the price change from the item's current price."

WAVE 3 News is still waiting to hear from some of the other companies.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

 

  • Cracking secret price tag codes key to saving moneyMore>>

  • Money

    Money

    Tips to find a job, balance your budget & more.

    More >>

    Find a job, balance your budget & understand the economy.

    More >>
  • NewsMore>>

  • More than $55K raised for teacher who stopped shooter

    More than $55K raised for teacher who stopped shooter

    Sunday, May 27 2018 3:24 PM EDT2018-05-27 19:24:15 GMT
    Monday, May 28 2018 1:08 AM EDT2018-05-28 05:08:14 GMT
    (Southern Illinois University via AP). RETRANSMISSION TO CORRECT NAME TO JASON SEAMAN - In this undated photo, provided by Southern Illinois University, Jason Seaman, a defensive end for the SIU football team, poses for a photo in Carbondale, Ill. Seam...(Southern Illinois University via AP). RETRANSMISSION TO CORRECT NAME TO JASON SEAMAN - In this undated photo, provided by Southern Illinois University, Jason Seaman, a defensive end for the SIU football team, poses for a photo in Carbondale, Ill. Seam...
    Online fundraiser has already surpassed $55,000 goal for Indiana teacher shot while tackling armed student.More >>
    Online fundraiser has already surpassed $55,000 goal for Indiana teacher shot while tackling armed student.More >>
  • Bloody but forgotten WWII battle still haunts soldiers

    Bloody but forgotten WWII battle still haunts soldiers

    Sunday, May 27 2018 11:34 AM EDT2018-05-27 15:34:09 GMT
    Monday, May 28 2018 1:07 AM EDT2018-05-28 05:07:50 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen). In this May 19, 2018, photo World War II veterans Allan Seroll, left, of Massachusetts, and William Roy Dover, right, of Alabama, right, attend a 75th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Attu in Anchorage, Alaska. Dover w...(AP Photo/Mark Thiessen). In this May 19, 2018, photo World War II veterans Allan Seroll, left, of Massachusetts, and William Roy Dover, right, of Alabama, right, attend a 75th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Attu in Anchorage, Alaska. Dover w...

    One of the bloodiest World War II battles in the Pacific was waged 75 years ago this month on Attu Island in Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

    More >>

    One of the bloodiest World War II battles in the Pacific was waged 75 years ago this month on Attu Island in Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

    More >>
  • LeBron's 35 help Cavs beat Celtics 87-79, reach NBA Finals

    LeBron's 35 help Cavs beat Celtics 87-79, reach NBA Finals

    Sunday, May 27 2018 11:14 PM EDT2018-05-28 03:14:46 GMT
    Monday, May 28 2018 1:07 AM EDT2018-05-28 05:07:00 GMT
    (AP Photo/Charles Krupa). Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James soars to dunk in front of Boston Celtics forward Al Horford (42) and forward Marcus Morris (13) during the first half in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Sunday, ...(AP Photo/Charles Krupa). Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James soars to dunk in front of Boston Celtics forward Al Horford (42) and forward Marcus Morris (13) during the first half in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Sunday, ...
    LeBron James scored 35 points with 15 rebounds and nine assists to earn an eighth straight trip to the NBA Finals, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to an 87-79 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the...More >>
    LeBron James scored 35 points with 15 rebounds and nine assists to earn an eighth straight trip to the NBA Finals, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to an 87-79 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.More >>
Powered by Frankly