9 Target Items That Are Actually Overpriced

There are some great deals at Target, but you could overpay if buy these items.

Buffalo New York target store
Updated July 18, 2024
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Purchasing something and then finding out later that you could’ve gotten it elsewhere for cheaper can lead to buyer’s remorse. And although you might know a few clever Target shopping hacks to help you save, it’s not the most affordable place for everything.

Knowing what’s less expensive at which store can help you save on everyday essentials. Here are the items that generally aren’t more affordable at Target.

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Books

BillionPhotos.com/Adobe pile of books on table

If you’re a bookworm on a budget, Target probably isn’t the best place to get a new read. Not only does Target not have a wide variety of books to choose from, but the store tends to charge more than several other retailers.

You’ll likely find cheaper books at Walmart or on Amazon. And if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you might find the book you’re looking for at no additional cost. Don’t discount your local library, either. Borrowing the book means you can keep more of your money.

Cosmetics

Africa Studio/Adobe Different cosmetics in modern shop

Some brand-name beauty products are more expensive at Target than at other stores. For example, Ulta Beauty and Amazon carry many of the same products for less. Amazon often runs limited-time deals on cosmetic products, while Target does not.

Of course, that doesn’t mean all cosmetics are more expensive at Target. Comparing prices before you shop can help you decide whether to pick up moisturizing cream or a new lipstick on your next Target run.

Pet supplies

Nomad_Soul/Adobe Leashes and collars variety on showcase

Pet owners love their pets, but that doesn’t mean they need to overpay. If your furry friend prefers a particular brand, consider checking prices at specialized pet stores or the online pet supply store Chewy. You might find that you could pay less.

Target and other department stores generally don’t carry a wide selection of pet products, either. So, in addition to possibly overpaying, you might not find the product your pet needs at Target.

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Coffee makers

Proxima Studio/Adobe coffee machine with espresso cup.

Some coffee machines are overpriced at Target. For example, the Keurig K-Mini Single Serve Coffee Maker coffee maker only competes with Walmart’s everyday low price when it’s on sale. When not on sale, you’ll pay $30 more for the same product at Target.

Target’s sale on the Keurig mini serves as a good reminder that just because something is listed as on sale doesn’t mean it’s a great deal. So, don’t forget to shop around before you buy.

Electronics

InsideCreativeHouse/Adobe african-american woman using smart phone

Amazon and Walmart win again when it comes to electronics. Amazon often runs deals for items in this category, and the online marketplace has a much wider selection, too.

You can also find price slashes at Walmart. For example, while Walmart prices the Vizio 50-inch Class 4k TV at a competitive $1 less than Target, with Walmart’s price slash, the TV costs $31 less than it does at Target.

Party supplies

makistock/Adobe Birthday party background with cupcake

Forget Target when it comes to buying party supplies. You’ll likely pay more than if you head to the Dollar Tree. And if Dollar Tree doesn’t have the selection you’re looking for, try Amazon, Walmart or Costco.

Even specialty party supply stores might charge less, and they’ll likely have more themes and styles to choose from than Target.

Store-brand diapers

natalialeb/Adobe chubby baby sitting with disposable diapers

Diapers are expensive, and some parents choose to use the store brand to save money. 

However, you might not save much if you go with Up & Up diapers (i.e., Target’s store-brand diapers). That’s because you might go through more of them — or get frustrated and simply throw them out.

A GearLab Baby review shows a major flaw with Target’s store-brand diapers. They have poor absorption, so they don’t do a good job of keeping moisture off babies’ skin. And no parent wants their little one to crawl around wet and risk a diaper rash.

Vacuum cleaners

Kristina Blokhin/Adobe target red shopping carts

Vacuum cleaners are a necessity for most people, but you might want to think twice before purchasing one at Target. While Target’s website lists several deals on vacuum cleaners, you might need to join Target’s loyalty program (Target Circle) to get the sale price.

On the other hand, you might find the same vacuum elsewhere at the same — or a lower — price without having to go through any sign-up process.

Groceries

ivanko80/Adobe Housewife with vacuum cleaner

If Target is your go-to grocery store, you could be overspending. Of course, you’d probably save more on groceries if you visited a discount grocery store, like Aldi, or a membership-based store, such as Costco. But it’s not just the cost of food that’s the problem.

Target has a wide variety of items, and it’s not always easy to resist purchasing something else. When you shop at a store that only sells food items, there’s no risk of you walking away with a new outfit you didn’t need or a candle you’ll never burn.

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Bottom line

PR Image Factory/Adobe female grocery shopping

You don’t have to avoid Target to save money. After all, the retailer offers some great deals. However, it doesn’t offer great deals on every item. Regardless of what items you plan to purchase, it’s wise to compare prices before you buy.

Saving money, no matter how much, can help you get ahead financially. And remember that buying something just because it’s on sale isn’t always a good idea, especially since the sale price might not be much of a sale at all.

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Author Details

Katelyn Washington

Katelyn Washington is a writer with a passion for finance and business. She put herself through business school as a single mother of three and has had pieces commissioned by national magazines. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and editing manuscripts for indie authors.