How To Decode The Secret Language Of Price Tags

Updated: August 17, 2018

Price tags give away a lot more information besides just the price you’ll pay. But knowing how to decode and understand them can be tricky! Especially because every store has their own price tag coding system, or language.

It’s time you, the consumer, knows how to read these codes and stickers to find out whether you are getting stuff for as cheap as possible!

Here’s how to decode the price tags at seven of our favorite retailers.

1. Target

Prices ending in a four or eight mean the item is on clearance. Clearance items usually have a red and white or yellow sticker. Look at the top right corner of clearance tags to see how much you are saving.

2. Costco

Prices ending in .97 are clearance items and have been marked down from the original price. Regularly-priced items will end in .99. If an item is on sale from its manufacturer, it usually ends in .89, .79, .69, .59 or .49. Anything marked with an asterisks in the corner means you better stock up because it’s being discontinued.

3. Whole Foods

Their price tags are pretty straightforward, but just note that if a sale or tag says something like, “Buy 2 for $5,” it doesn’t mean you actually have to buy two. You can buy one and still get the sale price.

4. Old Navy

Clearance prices always end in a seven or nine and when an item is final sale price, you’ll see the price ends with a .47.

5. Ikea

If you see a yellow tag with “last chance” on it, you better act quickly, the item won’t be available for much longer.

6. DICK’S Sporting Goods

Full price items always end in a .00 or .99. Clearance items will have a price ending with .93 or .97

7. T.J. Maxx

They use yellow stickers to mark down their inventory. So if you see a yellow tag, this means the item is marked down as low as it will ever go, so snatch it quickly.

Feature Image: Twenty20