Secret codes at stores | Life and Linda

Subscribe to receive updated tablescapes, designs and more Click Here!


Secret codes at stores

Many of us shop at Costco. and other popular stores.  We look at the price sheets to know how much the products sells for.
I wanted to share some secrets on the pricing codes.
Costco and Target use this system, along with some other stores.
Len Rapoport broke down how the price signs indicate which items are marked down, specially priced, rebate items, discontinued, or will be not be restocked.
* Asterisks means a product will not be coming back into stock. If there is a lot of product left, wait to see if the price goes down.  For example: a platter that had a price tag of $19.99 was not coming back into stock.  They had quite abit of these, so eventually they ended up reducing these to $3.79.

According to Rapoport, asterisks are used to designate products that will not be coming back in stock. Basically, what you see is what you get. If there looks like a lot of product left, Rapoport says your best bet may be to wait and see if the price goes down further. He’s gotten great deals on serving platters that were originally priced at $19.99, but since he waited for the price to go down with the asterisk he was able to score them for just $3.97! - See more at:
Prices that end in 97¢: These have been marked down from the regular priced items, which end in 99¢
  •  Odd pricing, such as 79¢, 49¢, or 89¢: These indicate specially priced items that Costco got a deal from the manufacturer. Rapoport says these can be better deals than at other stores, but not usually better than the 97¢ markdown. 
  •  An asterisk* on the upper right side of the sign: The item won't be reordered.
  • 88¢ or .00 endings: Manager markdowns. Sometimes the company uses these to move a product very fast.

Regular price: ends in .99
Cheapest price: usually ends in .00 or .90
Regular price: ends in .99
Cheapest price: ends in .97 (or sometimes .88 or .00)
Gap, Old Navy
Regular price: varies
Cheapest price: ends in .*7
Regular price: ends in .99
Cheapest price: ends in .88 or .97
Regular price: price tag has letter A, I, or P
Cheapest price: price tag has letter C or F
Regular price: ends in .*9
Cheapest price: ends in .*4

In many stores, the bargain isles are in the back of the store.  This way, it pulls consumers deep into the store to see more.
In big box stores, bargains are usually on a large  pallet in the middle of the store.
 If you only remember one thing, though, just look for the price ending in any number other than 9 or 99, and you'll know you're getting less than full retail price. 
Remember not all markdowns are great deals.

Happy shopping!

About Linda @ Life and Linda

Hello, welcome to LifeandLinda. I am from Northern California. I enjoy blogging, Designing Blogs, Decorating, cooking, entertaining, gardening and clogging. I hope you enjoy your visit.


  1. Very Interesting! I learned to read magazine codes....because they say your subscription is ending, but if you look at the magazine, most times it isn't. My hubby fell for it, and I think he is getting his Popular Science until 2020!!

  2. Hi lovely lady.
    Thanks so much for the Inf. I will keep my eyes on the number on the price tag. I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

  3. Thank you for that info.........!!!

  4. Thanks for the info. The only one I knew was the asterisk at Costco.

  5. Good morning sweet LINDA! I missed your last post, being insanely busy with running to work early in the mornings! This is interesting information as I never noticed these things! I am a horrible shopper or rather, a very BORING shopper. I run in and get what I need according to a list, then run out and get back home! The only time I peruse any shoppes are when I'm looking for clothes, shoes (especially!) or antiques!!!!!!

    Happy shopping my dear! Anita

  6. Fascinating, Linda. So involved . . . . wonder if the same logic applies on our side of the pool.

    Belated Happy New Year to you.

  7. What great information!
    Thank you!
    I have bookmarked this page to share with my daughters.

    I am also a new follower-

    Enjoyed visiting,

    White Spray Paint blog

  8. Thank you for sharing more useful information, Linda. Hope you're having a wonderful weekend. xo

  9. I need to be a better shopper, and this will be helpful! xo

  10. It's good to be a savvy shopper. Thanks for the great information! I'm checking out the signs a little more closely from now on.

  11. Hi Linda! That's so informational! Thank you for sharing! Hope all is well with you and yours! Blessings from Bama!

  12. Excellent and useful tips, Linda! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing! I'll be on the lookout. I'm an avid shopper...or at least I WAS an avid shopper until yesterday when Ramon REALLY put the hammer down. Anyway, I'll be on the lookout if I'm ever out of the doghouse! :-)

  13. Linda, thanks for this great tidbit, now I'll be reading those tags a bit more closely!
    Hope your year is off to a great start.

  14. Thanks, Linda, I had no idea about this. It's always good to be armed with lots of information when we're shopping. Love this post!
    Hope you're feeling fabulous, WonderWoman. Talk to you this week - can't wait to connect. I miss you!

  15. Who knew? I know my sister gets deals at her Costco all of the time. Ours seems to to sell most things out!

  16. How interesting. I have added this info to my BJs coupon book.

  17. Interesting, and good to know! Thanks for sharing. I'll definitely keep this in mind the next time I go shopping.

  18. Hi Linda;

    Thanks for attributing the info on Costco to me, would appreciate a link to my extensive article on hub pages...Secret Price Codes At Costco Can Save You Money located at:

    I also completed a new article your readers might like which tells the back story on how I made $60,000 in one year reselling Costco mark-downs on eBay. You can see that on our online publication IMPress Magazine at:

    One correction in your post...the three platter sets final mark-down price was $3.97, remember the .97¢ is the marked down price, you have it as $3.99.

    Remember to tell your readers not all markdowns are a great deal. Find out how to tell when a markdown is a bargain by re-reading my articles. I continue to update them with more info.


I so appreciate your visits and sharing your thoughts at Life and Linda.

Please note that I use Google Adsense, Shareasale, Rakuten and Amazon affiliate links on this site. This means using them for purchases won’t cost you extra but may earn me a small commission. Our full disclosure is available for viewing under About in the disclosure policy.
All rights reserved. Our graphics, images and text are all subject to copyright protection.