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Retail Secret: The one number that means big savings

Retail Secret: The one number that means big savings
Posted at 1:11 AM, Feb 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-26 16:44:01-05

DENVER — There is one easy way for you to stay one step ahead of retailers when it comes to getting the best price. The one little number on an item’s price tag could mean the difference in big savings for you.

KDVR reports that the system is known as the price code, which retailers have used for years.

It’s a secret the retailers don’t really want you to know about, and it’s a secret they have guarded or years as a way to monitor their inventory.

“Once you arm yourself with that information, you find yourself more conscious of it, and you`ll notice it on all the price tags,” Sandra Hanna, CEO of said. She’s made a career out of saving people money.

Hanna shares her secrets on her blog: Smart Cookies is a place to go for inspiration on how to save money.

One of her more popular posts decodes big store price tags.



“You want to look for that number 4 at the end of the price tag. That's it. It's not going to go any lower than that,” Hanna said.

  • Wait to buy if price ends in 9
  • Maybe buy if price ends in 6 or 8, but it could go lower
  • Buy now if it ends in 4

Knowing when items get marked down can save you multiple trips to the store. “So, I can check in on Monday … and if there`s an item I really want … I see it on clearance, great. Or I can wait for the following Monday to see if it`s still there and it`ll be marked down even more.



At Costco, look for prices that end in .97. There is also an asterisk that appears on the price tag to indicate an item is going to be discontinued, and the price will fall even more.

“If you see that asterisks and the .97, stock up and run for the hills because you`re getting the best deal possible!” Hanna said.


Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic

All of these Gap, Inc. stores follow the same pricing system. Prices ending in the following digits all mean sale — go ahead and make that purchase:

  • .47
  • .49
  • .97
  • .99