By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Does it feel like every time a store has a sale, you’re the last one in on it?  With clearance racks cleared out, before you even have a chance to browse?  Well pull out a calendar!  3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan shows us how to maximize savings and get first dibs just by shopping on the right day.

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Fifty percent, 60 percent, 70 percent off or more!  Discounts like that are a big deal!  “I have a family of five, three children, myself, my husband, I look for any bargain that I can find,” says shopper Susan Barclay.  And knowing which day a store does its markdowns, leaves you with more merchandise to choose from.   Shopper Doreen Bongiovanni says, “If I knew in advance I would probably take advantage of it.”  Shopper Lauren Rivera says,  “If I knew what days they marked merchandise down I would be more inclined to go shopping.”

Well Kyle James knows.  The founder of says many retail chains are just like the rest of us, they operate on a schedule.  He says, “It’s amazing how open employees were with the information.  If you plan your trip accordingly you can really get in there and shop the clearance racks, the new mark downs, when they actually have stuff there that you can save money on.”

For example at Macy’s when it comes to marking down merchandise, James says, “They’re supposed to be done by Tuesday morning, making Tuesday’s and even Wednesday morning a great day to go in.”

Over at Old Navy, James says employees advise shopping on Wednesday’s for the best bargains.  In his research he found employees tell customers that “by Tuesday evening we have to have all of our new mark downs done we add all the new stuff to the clearance section.”

At Target it depends on what you’re buying.  According to James, “They don’t do all their clearance markdowns on one day, they break it up.”  For instance Mondays are best for electronics markdowns, Tuesday’s are best for women’s clothing, Wednesday is a winner in the lawn and garden department.  On Thursday’s housewares get marked down and on Friday hardware gets discounted.

James says the days that JC Penney does its markdowns is pretty easy to remember, the first and third Friday’s of the month.  At Kohl’s it’s the second and forth Saturday’s.

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And the GAP? James says “Every two weeks on a Monday.  An employee told me that can change from store to store but it’s almost always on a Monday.”  Just figure out which Monday and plan accordingly.  James says, “The key is just to be polite yourself and just say ‘hey, I notice there is not a lot here on the clearance today, what day is a good day to come in?”

In his research James found that Anthropologie, Babies”R”Us, CVS, Ross and Joann Fabrics also mark down items on a schedule.  Some schedules may differ from region to region.

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What Day to Shop? 12 Insider Tips on Store Markdowns: homepage:

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