Retailers Use Secret Codes With Numbers On Price Tags

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Little-known tricks of the trade could save you a bundle when you are shopping at some major department stores.

As CBS 2’s Andrea Grymes reported Sunday night, one number hidden on a price tag could determine whether that item will be marked down.

“There is a kind of a secret code on many price tags and price signs at various retailers, and if you know some of those tips, you will save some extra money,” said Edgar Dworsky of

For example, at Target, the website found that the story has a pricing strategy that can indicate if another markdown is likely.

Some handbags and some T-shirts on clearance were spotted with a price tag ending in 98 cents. But that means the price could be slashed again, as a tag ending with a “4” represents final markdown.

Dworsky said knowledge is power for shoppers.

“You’re learning the tricks of the trade, basically,” he said. “If you know some of these codes and know some of the color codes, and you can probably save some money.”

At the Gap and Old Navy, look for the number “7.” The price survey said that means a final markdown.

At Sears, a price tag with 88 cents also means a final markdown, while a 97 indicates a discounted item.

Home Depot will end a price with the number 6 or a green tag to indicate the lowest price.

“They are secret for a reason,” Dworsky said. “They are really meant for internal use.”

But now that the secret is out, it is up to you what do you with the price tag tricks of the trade.

“You almost have to be a gambling person to figure it out — when do I take the plunge?” Dworsky said. “Do I take it at 50 percent because I really want that and they don’t have too many, or do I wait ’til 70 percent?”

As a general rule, if the item you want has a price tag that ends in a number other than 9, chances are you’re getting it at a discount.

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