Wait, what? That can’t be right… Well it seems it is. Today while looking on Kohl’s.com for the best price on a particular toy, I noticed that it said it was excluded from promo codes. I kind of brushed it off. The toy was popular and becoming hard to find, so it wouldn’t be unusual that it was excluded from promos. Later in the day, I checked something else and saw the same. Both toys were Step2, so I assumed that there was now a brand exclusion in place and didn’t look any further. This evening, I heard from one of our Kids Steals & Deals group members that now Kohl’s excludes TOYS from promo codes. After poking around a bit, I found out a couple of interesting things.
Toys are Excluded from Kohl’s Promo Codes
The first piece of major information is that now toys are excluded from Kohl’s promo codes. Beyond markings on every.single.toy I looked at (see below), toys are now an excluded category in the Kohl’s promotional terms and conditions. That’s right. The terms and conditions that typically exclude brands with strict pricing guidelines like Nike, Under Armour, & Apple now also exclude toys. You can check it out for yourself here.
Toys at Kohl’s are now listed at typical retail prices
I also noticed that toys are now listed at the typical retail prices that we see at stores like Amazon, Walmart & Target. To provide deep discounts like 30% off regularly (often with stacking promo codes), Kohl’s likely had to mark up the “retail price” well beyond manufacturer recommendations. With the loss of Toys R ‘Us this summer, the toy market is shifting. As we approach the holidays, in-store retail options for toys are limited. In years past, we counted on Toys R Us to order large quantities of popular toys. Target and Walmart do not traditionally stock tons of a single item and do not carry a full range of toys in store. More people will be googling for different toys. If a price is coming back in a search 30% higher than everywhere else, that retailer will miss out on valuable traffic. Moral of the story – a retailer cannot only be competitive for one week out of the year for select customers (cough cough, 30% off for Cardholders).
Can I still earn Kohl’s Cash on toys? Will I be able to use Kohl’s Cash on toys?
YES! YES! YES! Nearly everything at Kohl’s is eligible to both earn and redeem Kohl’s Cash and Yes2You Rewards. So what does this mean? Well let’s say you purchase a $100 toy (keeping the math simple here). During a Kohl’s Cash Earning Period, you would earn $20 in Kohl’s Cash. You would also earn $5 in Yes2You Rewards. You then have $25 to spend toward a future purchase. So basically you get $125 worth of merchandise for $100 – a 20% discount. It doesn’t sound like much, but on toys that are rarely discounted like Legos, it’s something. Kohl’s Cash is earned only during certain promotions. Yes2You Rewards are always earned as long as you have signed up here. You can check out current Kohl’s promo codes here. (If it is a Kohl’s Cash earning period, it will be noted at the top of the page)
So what does all this mean?
Well, sadly, some of the best deals we’ve seen in the past, like for Veteran’s Day will probably not be available this year. But it also looks like Kohl’s may be doubling down on toys for the holidays. That’s not a bad thing. More availability means more competitive prices. There may be something standing in the way though. SHIPPING.
Kohl’s typically has a $75 free shipping threshold. During Kohl’s Cardholder events there is always a free shipping code, but it’s only for cardholders. They offer store pick up, but only on in stock items. From a competitor perspective, half the world has Amazon Prime and with that free 2 day shipping. Non-Prime members receive free shipping with a $35 purchase. Similarly Target offers free shipping to RedCard holders or store pick up (both same day and ship to store). Last year, Target offered free shipping for the duration of the holiday season to everyone – otherwise Target shipping is free with a $35 purchase. Walmart also offers free shipping with a $35 purchase or store pick up (same day and ship to store)… The common denominator here is that nearly every order from the Top 3 toy retailers offer a way to avoid shipping costs. On a $15-$20 toy – $5 shipping will throw a retailer out of the mix. Kohl’s minimum shipping charge is $8.95.
So we will see! As usual, I will be keeping an eye out for holiday deals and popular toys. You can keep up with everything that’s happening on our Facebook Page and in our Kids Steals & Deals Facebook Group. To join the group, click here!