7 Things Target Employees Want You To Know About Holiday Shopping

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It’s a classic image that comes to mind when we think of the holidays: Santa’s workshop, filled with industrious elves, putting all their love and care into making the best gifts possible. Snap back to reality and what do we really think of? Most likely, shopping at a superstore called Target. 

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While those employees inside might not be Santa’s elves, they do work incredibly hard, especially around the most wonderful time of the year. In fact, Target employees have a few tips to share with customers to make the holiday shopping experience as smooth as possible for you and them.

1. Make a List and Check It Twice

Consumer deals are the foundation that Target was built on as a company. That’s the whole point of the giant retailer. But with families tightening their budgets these days, you don’t want to go to Target without a plan in hand and get blindsided into spending more than you intended. “The biggest mistake I see people make when shopping at Target during the holidays is falling for a deal they didn’t already have in mind,” said Derek Hales, a former Target worker and now the founder of ModernCastle.com

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The best course of action is to make a list, revise it a few times, then double-check the prices, potential discounts, and the number of items your heart is set on purchasing. That way, you get all your shopping done and won’t find a lump of coal in your bank account when it’s all over.

2. Always Check Online First

Pull out your phone, go to the app store, and if you haven’t already, download the Target app. Like many apps, Target allows you to stay up-to-date with the best deals and discounts which you might not find in the brick-and-mortar stores. According to Target employee Kaitlin Sondae on her TikTok for Target hacks, depending on where you live you might find mark offs on items online that are better than if you went to a store in person.

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Plus, the Target Circle option in the app allows customers to earn 1% back on all purchases made, even if they don’t have a Target REDCard. It also pays to follow Target on Twitter for all updates from the company. You never know when a surprise sale or free shipping might happen.

3. The Price Is Right…For Matching

This is technically a year round practice at Target, but you can utilize it to your advantage during the holiday season. Price matching is the gift that Target keeps on giving to its customers. Their site officially outlines the holiday price matching policy as “​​Starting October 6, 2022, if you purchase an item in store or online and the price goes lower at Target on or before December 24, 2022, you can request a price match.”

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“Definitely ask about price matching if you find a product cheaper at another store,” said Steven H., a former Target employee told Reader’s Digest. “It may vary by store, but I know at the one I worked at, we were encouraged to price match to the best of our ability. Obviously, this doesn’t work for Black Friday or Cyber Monday when the deals are at their greatest but bring it up during any other sales period and you might be pleasantly surprised.”

4. After Holiday Discounts

Of course, the holidays happen at the same time every year, but what about next year? Have you gotten a jump start on your holiday shopping for 2023? If not, consider the savings you might be able to pocket after Christmas has concluded. 

Stocking up on wrapping paper from December 26th through January 5th is almost a no brainer, but you can find markdowns on all clothes, electronics, homeware, and accessories that will stay fresh for the upcoming round of gift giving in the year or years to come. To top it all off, if you go to Target in the middle of January through the middle of July, you’ll find the best discounts on toys, which are often the hottest and hardest items to buy the closer you get to Christmas.

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5. Return Policy Like No Other

Did your gifts not go over as you planned? No need to bah humbug! Target’s return policy is truly fantastic. While the company’s site outlines the standard return policy as, “most unopened items sold by Target in new condition and returned within 90 days will receive a refund or exchange,” some brands like Threshold, up & up, and Mossimo might give you up to one full year to return them. 

As Target employee Miss Rhae explains on her TikTok for Target hacks a brand such as Cat & Jack has “365 days to return it with any issues. No problems, no questions asked. You can return it for what you paid for it.” Just make sure you have your proof of purchase, such as your physical receipt, Target app, or REDCard.

6. Pays To Be Nice Rather Than Naughty

The most important thing Target employees wish customers knew: being kind will probably be the key to your holiday shopping success. Target employees have to do a lot of work. From being trained in cleaning up biohazards to responding to customer needs in a 15-second timeframe –all of these tasks can ramp up for the end-of-year gift-buying rush. 

The employees really appreciate all of their shoppers being patient, treating them with respect, and remembering not to wear red shirts to the store (that is their uniform, after all, and it can get confusing who is who sometimes). 

Remember, It is the holidays, so spread good cheer to all, including Target employees. 

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