You've been shopping in the dark for years. At certain stores, just by looking at an item's price tag, you can actually tell whether you're getting the best deal or whether you should wait for another price drop.

Shopping carts sit inside a Target store
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Several former and current employees of major retail chains have been flooding the Internet with inside secrets of how those chains price their items, and what those prices indicate.

While no retailer has offered us confirmation on whether these codes are legit, a number of industry experts can vouch for the tips they see online. And many of the same tips are seen across several popular consumer sites, including Rather-Be-Shopping, Brokepedia, The Krazy Koupon Lady and Passionate Penny Pincher.

Here's a list of the systems allegedly in place at several chains with locations in New Jersey:

Banana Republic/Gap/Old Navy

You're getting a great, possibly the best, price if it ends in .47, .49, .97 or .99.

Earlier this year, a Gap employee said anything ending in .97 is considered a "price kill," and unless it doesn't sell for another month, that's the lowest it'll go.


Regular prices end in .99. Look for prices ending in .00 or .90 to know you're saving something. But even those prices can drop even further.


The cheapest prices end in .97.

An asterisk on a price tag means the product is discontinued, and you can expect to see the price drop in the near future.

Home Depot

Look for prices ending in .06. That means you're dealing with a clearance item and within two months, the prices can go even lower, ending in .03. These deals are typically found on yellow tags.


You're looking for letters on the top right corner of the store's digital signs.

NM = New Markdown. Have patience, and that price will drop in the next day or so.

S = Sale Price

GV = Great Value. However, the price will probably last no longer than two days.

Office Depot

Very simple.

Prices ending in 0, 9 or 5 are full or regular price. Anything else, and the product is marked down.

Sam's Club shopping cart
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Sam's Club

If you're interested in a product and the price ends in a 1, grab it! You may not get any lower.

Also, if there's a C in the top right corner, that means the store doesn't plan on carrying the item for much longer. The price may drop again.


The best possible deals end in .88. The next best bet is .97. If it ends in .99, you're paying full price.


There is a one-letter code on each price tag that can hint at whether an item is at its highest or lowest point.

A, I, and P are associated with items at regular price.

C stands for clearance, F stands for field or final, and prices hit rock bottom.


Their system on sale items is pretty easy to remember.

If the price ends in a 9, don't buy. Expect a drop.

If it ends in a 6 or 8, that may be the lowest, but it could go even lower.

If it ends in a 4, buy! That's the absolute lowest price.