IKEA Staff Have Come Clean About The Store’s Biggest Secrets

We bet you have at least one piece of IKEA furniture in your home – or have at least considered it. But even if you’ve spent hours walking around the store, enjoying all there is on offer – from super-cheap cutlery to delicious Swedish-style food – you probably don’t know these incredible secrets. Lucky for us, IKEA staff have spilled the beans. And they may even be able to help nab you a bargain or two…

40. Moving walls

IKEA’s displays may look immaculate, but there’s a hidden surprise. Those walls aren’t permanently fixed! And it’s for good reason. An employee called Paula told Mental Floss in 2018, “[The walls] have a lock on them so people can’t randomly move them. At the end of the night, we move all the walls out of the way so we have a straight shot to where the trash is.”

39. Cheap reservations

Seen a great cabinet online but not happy about paying over the odds for shipping? Well, perhaps there’s a good alternative at IKEA. And even better, you can simply reserve your furniture in a store for just an extra $5 and pick it up at your leisure. Even taking gas costs into account, this may work out cheaper than purchasing from other online retailers.

38. The “bulla bulla” technique

Remember those huge containers full of stuff in IKEA? They’re not just there because staff don’t feel like putting the items on the shelves. Employee Paul Robertson revealed to Mental Floss that this is the so-called “bulla bulla” technique. This involves filling bins full of items “to create the impression of volume and therefore inexpensiveness.” Neat trick!

37. Don’t leave things open


The next time you go to IKEA, keep this warning in mind. Staff member Jana told Mental Floss, “Everything in that store, we have on display. You can touch it, feel it, lay your face on it, but for some reason [customers will] open the package and then leave it there. What they don’t understand is when they open certain things we can’t resell them, so we have to scan them out.”

36. Price protection

Is there anything more annoying than seeing an item you’ve already paid full price for on the sale racks? Well, IKEA has done something about it! It offers its “IKEA Family” customers a 90-day price protection policy. If you’re signed up to the scheme, the company will give you back the difference on any previously purchased item – but only within three months of you having bought it.

35. The showroom books


Those random books on shelves in IKEA? All down to the staff. Yep, that’s right: it’s their own reading material. An employee named Rob explained to Mental Floss, “All of [the books] was stuff we owned. [But] you had to use your common sense – nothing pornographic or anything.” Well, that goes without saying…

34. Don’t arrive too early

An IKEA worker called Algren has some sage advice if you want to beat the hordes. During an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit, he said, “I work at a store in the United Kingdom, and I see a lot of people coming in before the store is open to be first. But the funny part is that they create a rush. The best time to go towards the checkout for no [line] is 30 minutes to an hour after opening.”

33. You can purchase entire rooms


Have you ever seen a whole IKEA showroom that you wished you could just buy outright? Well, if you’ve got the money, staff member Paula has some good news for you. She told Mental Floss, “There have been people that come in and see a room and like everything there, and they take it.”

32. Free diapers

As any new parent will tell you, there are few things worse than accidentally leaving your baby’s spare diapers at home. Messy accidents are basically a given after that… But don’t fret if you’re at IKEA, as you can avoid the nasty consequences by visiting the store’s family bathroom. They have some free diapers there if your little one has an unexpected emergency. How kind!

31. Employee discounts


During his Reddit AMA, IKEA employee Algren revealed some of the benefits that come from working at the Swedish chain. He explained, “We get a 15 percent discount on everything, which includes food, furniture, orders, distributions and so on. Also during shift time, we get 15 meatballs and fries with a salad and drink for around $1.” We’re tempted to put in an application ourselves for meals that cheap…

30. Follow the schedule

If you’re looking for a particularly good deal at IKEA, the store’s so-called “As-Is section” should be your go-to. But you should know that staff replenish stock in this discount corner only a couple of times a week. To ensure that you don’t miss out on anything, then, acquaint yourself with this schedule – and get ready to pounce.

29. The ‘Long Natural Path’


IKEA isn’t just famous for its stylish furniture. No, it’s also iconic for those bendy, seemingly never-ending aisles. Staff apparently refer to these as the “long natural path” or the “long natural way” as they lead customers across the entire shop floor. New Yorker writer Lauren Collins has also claimed that the trail always turns after 50 feet to keep you on your toes.

28. Don’t pick up the displays

There’s a super-cute vase that you’re just itching to put into your cart. The only trouble is that it’s in a display section of the store. What do you do? Well, for starters, find an employee, as they need to check that particular item can actually be sold. If you go straight to checkout without doing this, you could be in for a disappointment.

27. The serial numbers


Those weird IKEA serial numbers do actually mean something! Paul Robertson told Mental Floss, “While I was there, it was that the last two numbers would tell you what color the item was. So let’s say it ended in 40, it was blue. That would mean the 4 range was blue, so 41 might be light blue and 42 would be dark blue.”

26. Missing screws

Picture the scene: you’ve almost built your IKEA wardrobe after spending hours assembling it. Then you notice you’re missing a few screws. Gah! At least you’re not alone, according to Algren. He told Reddit, “In around six hours we’ll have eight to nine cases [of this], which range from one to three [missing] screws to a whole bag.”

25. Always check the website


Internet shopping is obviously way less stressful than a frantic trip to IKEA. But the chain’s website can make your life a lot easier if you do find you need to go to the store – if an item is out of stock online, for instance. Apparently, you can jot down a product’s reference number and then hand it to a member of staff. And from there, they’ll locate your goods for you. Easy.

24. Free coffee

Shopping can be thirsty work after a while, and IKEA knows that all too well. You see, one of the perks of the IKEA Family scheme is a free warm drink inside the store. You’ll be ready to browse those aisles again once you’ve had a caffeine fix.

23. Hidden deals


Compared to other parts of the store, IKEA’s As-Is section boasts plenty of excellent deals, as it houses products that have either been pre-owned or used for the showroom displays. And don’t be put off by the stock not being box-fresh. It’s still likely to be in good working order – and cheap, too.

22. Staff Christmas gifts

IKEA employees get positively pampered when the holidays roll around. Staff member Rob recalled to Mental Floss, “The first year I worked [at IKEA], they gave out bikes [for Christmas]. This year, they gave out Rokus.” Meanwhile, Paula revealed that she and her colleagues once had the opportunity to win plane tickets. Beats a lazy gift card, anyway.

21. The TaskRabbit workers


If you’re not very good with tools, DIY can be an absolute nightmare. Sound familiar? Well, let IKEA come to the rescue! Yes, there could well be TaskRabbit employees at the store who will build that pesky bookcase or bed for you. It’s not a free service, though, so be ready to get your wallet out.

20. Local deals

Depending on where you live, you could be in line for some exclusive deals at your nearest IKEA. You see, apparently the stores are somewhat independent from one another when it comes to particular sale items. That means certain pieces may be cheaper in a specific outlet – although maybe not others – if there’s a lot of that stock in the warehouse.

19. The power of Pinterest


If certain products seem to be flying off the shelves at your local IKEA, Pinterest could be to blame. And Paula shared an example of that very phenomenon to Mental Floss. She said, “There was one specific spice rack we were constantly sold out of. Someone had gone on Pinterest and said [that] you can paint it and make it a bookshelf for toddlers. We had to tell people, ‘If you’re here for the spice rack, we don’t have it.’”

18. In-store arguments

Shopping as a couple can test practically anyone’s last nerve. But IKEA staff member Jana believes that lovers’ tiffs are particularly prevalent in outlets of the Swedish chain. She told Mental Floss, “If you really wanna test your relationship, go through IKEA and buy something. I guess [folks] just get stressed and overwhelmed that the store’s so big.”

17. Free children’s meals


IKEA doesn’t just offer excellent deals on furniture to parents, but free meals, too. Yep, if you have kids in tow, you can feed them completely gratis at the store each Tuesday. All you have to do is buy an entrée at the counter for yourself. Not a hardship, really!

16. The ‘open the wallet’ section

Did you see all the gadgets at rock-bottom prices during your last trip to IKEA? Well, you may have just entered the “open the wallet” section. While talking to Mental Floss, Rob explained, “It’s basically impulse buys. It’s a lot of very cheap items: things that look practical, useful [and] something you didn’t realize you wanted.”

15. Try before you buy


Ever tried to visualize what a piece of furniture would look like in your house? Well wonder no more, because that task is now a lot easier if you download IKEA’s Place application on your phone. The app apparently allows you to move chairs, tables and the like into a photograph of your living space. Neat, huh?

14. The perfect time for returns

Depending on your luck, the line for returns at IKEA can sometimes be just as busy as the standard checkouts. And if the staff are dealing with a severe fault to a product, you could be waiting for a while. Arrive at the store before it opens in the morning, then, to reach the counter first.

13. Moving discount


Moving into a new house is both exciting and daunting in equal measure. But if you’ve been left completely out of pocket – brokers’ fees aren’t cheap! – IKEA could take some of that financial pressure off your shoulders. If you buy a product that’s worth $250 as you’re relocating, the store will shave $25 off the price.

12. You can buy mattresses

Think of IKEA, and tricky-to-assemble – but reasonably priced – flat-pack furniture probably pops into your head. But did you know that the retailer has mattresses for sale as well? Apparently, staff members are surprised by the sheer number of customers who aren’t aware of that as they browse the showrooms. Anyone for a new bed?

11. After-hours fun


IKEA staff aren’t averse to having some fun together after stores shut their doors for the day. Worker Paul Robertson told Mental Floss, “On closing shifts, one guy I worked with would always manage to have me distracted, then he’d go hide in the store. So I’d have to finish up tasks [and] walk through the store knowing somewhere along the way he’d jump out at me. He got me all the time.”

10. Pricey backsplashes

IKEA’s kitchen backsplashes are fairly expensive compared to many other products in the store. But why is that? Well, an unnamed shop manager answered this very question during their own Ask Me Anything thread on Reddit. According to them, the backsplashes “are custom-made by a third-party factory” – unlike the standard stock.

9. The employees can build everything


If you’ve ever wondered who puts all the cabinets and accessories together at IKEA stores, you’re in luck, as a worker posting under the name epimetheus answered that very query on Reddit. They wrote, “Every piece of furniture you see that’s pre-assembled was built by an IKEA employee. It’s required as part of the training for people working in sales.”

8. VIP treatment

Of all the bonuses that come with signing up to IKEA Family, this one is arguably the most intriguing. Reader’s Digest claims that you can receive invitations to exclusive media gatherings from the retailer. And unlike the other advantages that you get with the membership, these perks are not advertised ahead of time. Instead, they pretty much pop up as a surprise. Cool!

7. The intercom codes


You aren’t alone if the intercom codes at IKEA have left you confused. But staffer Jana shed some light on a couple of them when speaking to Mental Floss. Apparently, “Code 99” signals a lost child. “Code 22,” meanwhile, is a cry for help at the checkout. Jana explained, “[Code 22] means the cash lanes are backed up into the warehouse. Anyone in the store who’s register-trained has to go to the front and help.”

6. The most popular products

Sure, IKEA is home to a huge number of products. But have you ever wondered which of them are the most popular? Well, employees told Mental Floss that the Lack table and Billy bookcase rule supreme. The Ektorp sofa and Poäng chair are hot, too, but that’s probably not surprising. We all like a nice place to sit…

5. Try the salmon


Redditor and IKEA employee epimetheus has shared their thoughts about the chain’s food selection – and what you should definitely try next time you’re in a store. They wrote, “As a well-seasoned connoisseur of the IKEA restaurant, I’d recommend the salmon, the princess cake, the mac and cheese and the cornbread. My go-to is the salmon wrap, because of the sauce.”

4. Positive work culture

During his Ask Me Anything on Reddit, Algren received a question about life behind the scenes as an IKEA employee. And he responded, “I get along really well with the management. They’re very down to earth and understandable, and [they] promote a work culture where you’re happy and comfortable to give the service that the job asks you to.”

3. You can sleep on the furniture


Shopping can tire anyone out – especially during the busy holiday season. But should you find yourself in an IKEA store, you’re more than welcome to get some shut-eye on the furniture. Incredibly, Paula told Mental Floss that staff will only give you a nudge if you’ve been sleeping for a couple of hours.

2. Ask for help

You may have noticed something quite different about the staff at IKEA. Unlike folks who work for other big stores, they don’t bother customers or ask if they need a hand. Instead, you’ve got to find them yourself if you require their help. Rob told Mental Floss, “We were told that’s a very Scandinavian way of how stores work.”

1. The secret shortcuts


When walking along IKEA’s so-called Long Natural Path, you may have caught sight of a few doors on your journey. These aren’t just entries to random rooms, however, but secret shortcuts through the shop. Paula explained to Mental Floss, “If you know where to look, you’ll find [the doors]. Nobody’s going to stop you unless it explicitly says ‘employees only,’ but other than that you can open doors – and you’d be amazed.” Good to know if you’re lost!

If you’re more of a Target fan, however, then there’s still plenty of insider info you should know. Take these 40 secrets, for instance – all of which have been disclosed by staff who work at the chain. And when you go to Target, be extra nice to the employees, as you never know when they may do you a deal…

40. Different items are marked down on different days


When it comes to hunting down the best deals, a blog called All Things Target seems to have the answer. Apparently, you see, each store follows the same strict schedule for marking down items. Ready for it? On Mondays, you’ll find bargains in child and baby clothing, books, stationery, electronics and accessories. Tuesdays, meanwhile, have price slashes on womenswear, food and pet items. Wednesdays, it transpires, are the days for diapers, gardening, furniture, beauty products and menswear. Next up, Thursdays see discounted footwear, sports apparel, décor, travel items, lingerie, housewares and toys. And finally, Fridays are the time to bag steals in jewelry, makeup, car products and hardware. Did you get all that?

39. It takes a while to rise up the ranks

Ever wondered how long it would take for a retail clerk at Target to work their way up to the very top? Well, according to one Reddit user, said task is no mean feat. “As far as climbing the ladder to run your own store, it would probably take a long time,” they said on the site in 2017. “We call [the person in charge] the STL – Store Team Leader – but there are positions below that which essentially make you the manager on duty at the time… It’s pretty much based on the store culture and team.”

38. Shop for toys in January and July


Here’s some advice for parents – and perhaps child-free adults who just really like toys. Target’s best sales for kids’ playthings apparently take place in mid-January and late July. This time of year is said to be when the stores clear out all their old merchandise from the children’s sections, you see. So, while you may have to wait longer to get you or your little one that must-have gadget, you’ll hopefully get it cheaper!

37. You don’t need a credit card for the RedCard

Target’s REDCard allows keen shoppers to get 5 percent off their items. But unfortunately, the associated risks are pretty high – unless you get a REDCard debit card, that is. Assuming you have an account with an FDIC-insured American bank, you can use your debit card to shop at any Target store. You’ll get a welcome gift and even free two-day shipping in some cases, too.

36. You can return online items for free


Online shopping is pretty handy, as all it takes is a click of a mouse to purchase a product anywhere and anytime. But there’s just one problem with e-browsing: what if you need to send an item back? Well, Target will let you return your buy for free. All you have to do is make a trip to their online return center and print out a label. Easy, right? But, sadly, this method doesn’t work if you don’t live in the U.S.

35. You probably won’t spot the security guard

Did you know that Target has people whose jobs are to prevent shoplifting? Yes, they’re known as the Assets Protection – or AP – team. There aren’t many of these special employees, but they’re certainly well disguised. According to one Reddit user and Target alumnus, a few of these security guards don subtle, all-black ensembles. The head of each AP department, meanwhile, actually blends in like any other employee.

34. Target has a reputation for good Black Friday deals


Black Friday is, of course, the day when everyone goes out to try and bag a bargain. And Target, it seems, should be bumped to the top of the list. “Every year, Target is one of our top five stores for Black Friday deals,” DealNews editor Benjamin Glaser told CheatSheet in 2017. “It should definitely be one of your first stops for apparel, electronics and appliance deals during the whole two-week period surrounding Thanksgiving.”

33. Put those shoes back

If you’re a regular Target shopper, you may well have noticed that the shop floor can get a little chaotic. So, if you feel like helping out those employees who are tasked with tidying up the mess, here’s the best way: put that footwear back on the rack after you’ve tried it on. Yes, according to one Reddit user and Target worker, sales assistants can “spend hours and hours just picking up shoes. It is one of the most dreaded positions in the store.”

32. Don’t aimlessly wander


Target employees keep a very close eye on customers. Unfortunately, though, that means that if you come into the store for nothing in particular and end up just casually browsing, you’ll probably get approached by staff a lot. And while that’s partially done to try and help you, it’s also because the workers want to check that you’re not in fact stealing. So, keep on moving!

31. You can request a rain check

Target doesn’t like to see customers go home empty-handed. So, keep in mind this top tip: if you have your heart set on a sale item that’s out of stock, you can ask for a “rain check.” Then, when said product comes back into the store, you can still purchase it at its discounted price – even if the sale is over. Nifty, right? It’s worth noting, though, that this process doesn’t apply to software, movies or music items.

30. Baby formula is a high-theft item


You’d think that TVs and video games – or other expensive things, for that matter – would be the go-to loot for Target thieves. But as it turns out, baby food is a particularly hot commodity among crooks. In October 2018, for instance, a woman stole thousands of dollars worth of formula from three Target stores in Coachella Valley – and that was within just the course of one day.

29. Check the ends of the aisles

While Target offers products at lower rates all over its stores, certain spots are perhaps more likely to yield bargains. So, if you’re after the very best deals, don’t just jump right into the middle of the shop; look carefully. The display shelves located at the ends of the aisles – known as endcaps – are where you may find some of the best discounts, according to HuffPost.

28. There’s a long process to get hired


As it turns out, bagging a spot on the Target team is no walk in the park. Take it from one Reddit user, who in 2016 explained on the site just how many hoops they had to jump through to land their job at the company. “I had four interviews in total,” they said. “The first interview was with a standard team member with longevity. Once she liked me, I moved onto a higher-up GSA, which is essentially a lead. Once he liked me, I moved up to a human resources leader and finally the HR director. So, I had to please and impress four people to get hired.”

27. Asset Protection also guards against fraud

Target’s Assets Protection team doesn’t just feature security guards who prevent against shoplifting; it has to handle fraud cases, too. According to one Target employee on Reddit, if a customer uses a stolen card, the cashier has to complete the transaction. After that, however, the AP department – who apparently receive intel direct from credit card companies – quickly call the police. And Target now also trains its employees to better spot gift card scams.

26. Employees can wear what they want as long as it’s red


The Target dress code is more relaxed than you may think. “We can wear any shirt that’s primarily red and khakis – as long as the shirt doesn’t have a brand of clothing logo on it,” a Reddit user and Target worker with the appropriate username of “redandkhakis” – wrote on the site in 2016. “So, I can wear my red polo one day and a black and red plaid flannel the next.”

25. You can stack deals to get more money off

If you’re someone who’s pretty nifty at couponing, you really need to get to Target. There are so many dollar-saving options available in store, in fact, that you can even pile different deals on top of one another – and bag items for much lower prices! For example, you could combine a regular sale deduction, a Target REDCard discount, a Target coupon and a manufacturer coupon if you so wish.

24. Free gifts are given sometimes


Deals are great and everything, but they’re nothing compared to free stuff. And Target’s been known to give away gift cards for buying certain items or even to hand out material goods. So, it always pays to check the Target website before you go shopping, as it reveals all the gift offers that you can expect to find. Be warned, though: the promotions change pretty fast.

23. Employees have their own store

Often, one of the upsides to working at a retail store is the possibility of employee-only discounts or freebies. And Target is certainly no different. One Reddit user dished the dirt on some of the perks of the job in 2016. “We have an entire store for employees online, and we can buy a bunch of stuff. We got free Fitbits a few months back,” they wrote. Nice.

22. Watch out for wet floors


“We are really careful about wet floors and clean everything up as fast as possible, but people are just in too much of a hurry or are on their phones and don’t see the signs and slip anyway,” one Redditor and Target employee revealed in a 2016 “Ask Me Anything” thread. But what should you do if you spill something yourself? “Please let a team member know, and we will be happy to clean it for you!” the commenter added.

21. You can usually save at least $5

Everyone knows that Target offers a lot of deals. And while some promotions are harder to track down than others, all you need is a bit of detective work. If you search sites such as PromotionCode, for instance, you may just find a few hidden bargains. “Target runs an online offer of $5 off $50 purchases almost year-round with relatively few limitations that is not available in store or publicized in their mailers,” PromotionCode founder, Mike Catania, revealed to CheatSheet in 2017.

20. Cashiers have a letter grade for speed


If you’ve ever overheard Target employees talking about Gs and Rs, and it’s left you slightly baffled, you’re not alone. But what do the letters mean? Well, according to Business Insider, the code is all to do with the company’s cashier system. Target workers are graded on their speediness, you see, and given different letters depending on how long they take to complete transactions. Apparently, G stands for green, which means fast, and R means red, which is slow.

19. Black Friday isn’t too manic

In the retail world, Black Friday has a reputation for being a bit of a crazy time – to put it mildly. But surprisingly, some folks who have worked at Target say that the event isn’t actually too wild. “Most people who get rough get kicked out of the store without purchasing anything, and we get extremely strict about the rules,” said Redditor TheSecondSam. Another user of the site commented, “I worked two Black Fridays for Target and was really surprised at how quickly it dies down.”

18. You don’t actually need a smartphone for Cartwheel


The Target app features a tool called Cartwheel, which allows you to save and use digital coupons on your cell. But what if you don’t own a smartphone? No problem! As it turns out, you can actually create an account using just your PC and then simply print out the barcode that you need to get money off.

17. Hardware has the best deals

If you’re hunting for a Target bargain and are not sure where to look, a sure-fire option is apparently one that many people may not think of. “Check out the clearance sections in our hardware area,” suggested a former Target employee on Reddit in 2015. “It’s not actually a very popular section, and so you can get a ton of stuff for 75 percent off: decent tools, nice flashlights, two-way radios… It’s quite the steal!”

16. Goodwill gets the unwanted Target items


What happens to Target items that don’t sell? Well, thankfully, unwanted clothing doesn’t always go to waste. “There are a variety of ways we address unsold product, including donations, liquidating to third parties, recycling and – when necessary – disposal,” a spokesperson for Target informed website Racked in 2014. “Goodwill is one of many partners that acquire Target merchandise as part of this process.” It seems, then, that thrift stores may hold some hidden Target bargains.

15. You have a limited time to return electronics

If you’re in the market for entertainment gadgets or electronics at Target, bear in mind that you only have 30 days to take back items if you decide you don’t want them. The store also only allows 15 days for returns on non-iPhone Apple products. But the rules are slightly different around the festive season. For electronics purchased between November 1 and Christmas Day, your 30-day allowance begins on December 26. Happy holidays!

14. Employees serve coffee as well


Have you ever been in a Target store and seen the same person working both the shop floor and the Starbucks? Well, apparently there’s a good reason for this. “If you’re cross-trained, you can pick up shifts for other employees or get more hours if you’re part time by working [in the] cafe [or] Starbucks and [on the] floor [or as a] cashier,” one Reddit user explained in 2016.

13. Target has its own forensics lab

Believe it or not, but Target has an official in-house forensics lab. Cool, right? It’s also pretty top-secret, although some savvy shoppers do know about the covert operation. The job of the lab workers is to examine evidence – such as fingerprints – record the information and then send it off to the authorities. So try not to commit any crimes in a Target, or you may just end up being a target yourself.

12. Target will price match for you


Did you know that if you come across a product being sold for cheaper elsewhere, Target will match the price for you? Yes, simply show a member of staff the advert for said item or a receipt, and it’ll be discounted for you. And if you don’t believe us, then take it from Target’s corporate website, which says, “If you find a current lower price within 14 days after purchase, just bring in the proof, and we will adjust your payment to the lower price upon request.”

11. Cashiers are asked to sell you the RedCard

If every Target cashier you’ve ever seen has tried to push the REDCard on you, it’s not just because they feel like it. Instead, their bosses actually tell them to try and get customers to sign up. “My store manager said the entire guest/team member interaction should be based around the REDCard,” one Redditor revealed in 2016. Another user commented, “This is just a hazard of retail… I actually got pretty good at convincing people to get one at American Eagle way back in the day.”

10. Markdowns vary between stores


Apparently, Target discounts aren’t universal. In 2014, for instance, Snopes reported that a shopper had found a deal to be inconsistent across different locations. “I have a pretty good idea of what is on clearance at each store and what percent it’s selling at,” the unnamed source claimed. “Once, there were things that I found at one store for 70 percent off that I really liked, so I went to the other store, and they were only 30 percent off.”

9. Online apps can save you more money

If you like Target’s own app, why not try some others to go with it? CheatSheet suggests that Shopkick is a good option when it comes to maximizing your deals. The app gives you rewards simply for going inside a Target and for scanning items – regardless of whether you end up purchasing them or not. And eventually, you can trade the points that you collect for gift cards. Sign us up!

8. Employees get rewarded


There are, it turns out, multiple perks to being a Target employee. According to one Reddit user, each worker receives a letter and a $25 store voucher after being with the company for five years. When it comes to seasonal staff, meanwhile, Target announced in 2018 that it was going to start offering them 20 percent discounts on various items. Plus, the company has apparently set aside $2 million so that it can hand out gift cards to randomly chosen employees.

7. Customers have to show their IDs properly

In 2015 an ex-Target worker on Reddit informed customers of a seemingly little-known rule. “At the registers, if we need to see an ID for anything, we are required to have the person take it out of their wallet,” they explained. “It’s Target policy that we have to hold it in our hand to ensure it’s not fake. And with any Target policy, we always have to require it – even under some kinda silly circumstances.” We imagine that said rule may have led to some interesting situations.

6. You ought to bring your own bags


Many stores reward you for bringing your own bag instead of using theirs, and Target is one of them. If you reuse and recycle, Target will take five cents off your purchase. And while this may not sound like much, it sure can add up. Plus, single-use bags may one day become illegal altogether across America; they already are in some places, after all.

5. Employees have their own lingo

Sometimes Target staff adopt their own ways of referring to different parts of the store, and customers may not understand what those words mean. In this so-called “Target Talk,” the main aisle is known as the “racetrack,” while “softlines” and “hardlines” denote the clothing and non-clothing areas, respectively. Plus, customers are always called “guests” – even the badly behaved ones.

4. You can exchange old electronics for gift cards


Don’t throw away your old electronics! Instead, take your gadgets to Target. The company has a system – organized by CExchange – in which you can swap your unwanted tech stuff for a Target gift card. Apparently, the amount that Target will give you varies somewhat, but you still essentially get something for nothing. Plus, you free up space in your house to boot.

3. Cashiers won’t judge you

Some shoppers worry that when they buy items in a store that are a little embarrassing, the staff may be giggling behind their back. Fear not, though, as Target cashiers aren’t really interested in what you’re spending money on. “I don’t care what you’re buying – not my business,” former Target worker and Reddit user redandkhakis explained in 2016.

2. Employees won’t chase shoplifters


If you see a person stealing from Target, employees won’t ever chase them; it’s store policy for them not to, in fact. Why? Well, apart from the obvious safety risks, small acts of theft aren’t worth the effort – unless they’re committed by a known repeat offender, that is. And even so, staff can and will detain you until the police show up.

1. Not every deal is real

There was once an urban legend that circulated online about Target bargains. Apparently, there are secret codes that customers can use to select discounts. And, as one theory goes, if the cost of an item ends in a four, the price won’t be reduced any further – and the product should therefore be snapped up. But unfortunately, there are apparently no codes of this nature, and Snopes debunked the persistent rumor back in 2014.