Clearance season, ya’ll! Best time of the year!
Specifically, seasonal toy clearance. Even more specifically, at my favorite store, Target.
A few times a year, stores clearance their specifically themed merchandise with savings growing exponentially the longer the sale goes on. This mostly happens after big holidays, or when the store is clearing certain departments for new products.
It’s time to get ready for the Target toy clearance that happens in July. As soon as July 5th, you’ll see more and more toys with clearance stickers. Some stores will devote whole aisles to the stickered merchandise. Most stores will start in the 30% off range. Over the course of about a month, you’ll see prices come as low as 70% off.
Toy clearance is a great opportunity to stock up for Christmas, as well as fill that gift closet. We’ve got an August and September birthday in our house, so when I see small things like blind bags discounted to 70% off I grab those as party favors.
I head out to my stores on July 5th, so I can combine my toy shopping with 4th of July clearance. All the clearance! I’ll be reporting back often with good finds and bargain brags this month, so make sure you’re checking the blog. Availability varies from store to store, but it’s great to have some ideas of what to look for.
In that spirit, here are my 5 tips for taking advantage of Target’s July toy clearance.
5. Focus on a few stores. In my early clearancing days, I made the mistake of hitting up every Target in a 20 mile radius. Not only did I get shopping fatigue real quick, I lost track of which deals were where. Pick one or two stores, and focus your energy on those. I have two stores equidistant from my house that I visit in rotation. For example, July 5th I’ll go to store 1. July 7th, I’ll pop into store 2. July 12th, back to store 1. And so on and so forth.
4. Make a schedule. Holiday clearance usually lasts a week, two tops for Christmas. For those sales, I visit every 2 days to make sure I am there when the price cuts are fresh. Toy clearance lasts a full month and the lowest cuts come towards the end, so visiting with that much frequency might get old very quickly. I start off strong that first week, and then pull back to once a week until we get to the end of the month.
3. Familiarize yourself with the toy section. The best way to know things have been moved to a special clearance section is if they’re not in their usual spot. It’s a good idea to have a general idea where your children’s favorites are. I have the Princess and My Little Pony aisles on lock, so if something there changes, I know about it. I’ll also take my girls with me the first clearance trip as kind of a scouting mission. We walk the aisle and I get a sense of what they’re really into, giving me ideas of what to keep an eye out for.
2. Shop smart. This is a tricky one. There is no guarantee that items will drop to 70% or that they won’t all be purchased when they’re at 30% off. I’ve found it’s best to go in with a mental budget as well as a wish list. Higher priority items or items that don’t often get discounted, tend to get picked up pretty quickly. When I see a Duplo set for 50%, it’s mine, no questions asked. But I’ll hold off on smaller items as long as I can. Make sure to take a peek at your gift closet before you go, so you know what you already have.
1. Check the entire store. Toy clearance can leak onto other departments, especially ones associated with kids. Make sure you’re checking Bedding & Kids Home, Books & Movies, and Arts & Crafts. Most shoppers don’t, so you can find great deals here that have been virtually untouched.
Are you gearing up for toy clearance? Do you have a different favorite store that does toy clearance as well? Share your tips in the comments!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey three years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!