CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - There's a secret language being spoken in retail stores and if you have the right cheat-sheet you can unlock the code.
Everything you need to know is right in front of you. It is there on the price tag. We aren't talking about simply looking at the price itself, but at the different numbers and symbols that share space with the price.
"Basically, it is an internal pricing system," said Kyle James who runs the RatherBeShopping website.
"I am always looking for unique, out of the box ways to save money. My wife is a stay at home mom and we have three kids. We are living on a budget ourselves." James said.
He's worked for years researching pricing systems at dozens of stores. Occasionally store employees will give away the secrets to him. He's gathered all he's learned on his website and even created a short-hand version that shoppers can print and take to stores for easy reference.
To get an idea of how it works, we hit the aisles at Kohl's, Costco, and Target.
"The Holy Grail at Kohl's is when you see NM on the price marker. It stands for New Markdown which means that night or the following morning before they open they are going to mark that item down. So, it's worth your while, especially on more significant items cost-wise, to wait and come back the next day and get the sale price," James told us.
He also says if a price tag at Costco has an asterisk and the price itself ends in .97, you're getting the best price at Costco.
Here's a link to the portable cheat-sheet and more tips from Kyle James. To see which item James says for which you should always negotiate the price, watch the exclusive web-only video on this page.