Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Everything you ever wanted to know about liquidation sales

May 27, 2009

USA/By Dhanya Skariachan

Ever walked out of an out-of-business sale hoping to return when the discount gets even deeper? Ever found your much-desired bargain-priced pair of shoes or television set already snapped up by an early bird?

With so many U.S. retailers going out of business and many having liquidation sales (Circuit City, Goody’s and Linens ‘n Things are three recent examples) savvy consumers should prepare in advance to get a good deal amid all the chaos.

So, what do we do? Check out ShopSmart’s five quick tips to make the best out of liquidation sales.

Always check prices at local stores before buying something at a liquidation sale. Sometimes, they slash prices to tackle threats from their rivals that have gone kaput. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to do business with a store that might be around for a while, does it?

Do your homework before you go shopping at one of these sales. Warning — you might not find the sales staff very helpful. Many liquidators tend to employ not-so-knowledgeable sales staff, simply because that’s all they can afford. And yes, don’t expect your cheap television set to be shipped home. You will most likely have to do it yourself.

Remember to check the warranty on the product. Whether it’s issued by the maker or a third party, it should still apply after the store goes out of business. Nevertheless, you might still want to call the manufacturer to confirm, especially if the brand is not one that the retailer normally carries.

Channel your inner Poirot. Inspect the item thoroughly before shelling out those valuable bucks. Check for defects, and make sure the product works. Remember, sales are final so you won’t get a chance to return or exchange it.

Finally, pay for the goods using your credit card. This way, you always get a chance to dispute the purchase through your card issuer incase of a problem.

Shopping, anyone?


You also need to check prices, Circuit City in preparing for their sales marked up prices and marked them down, removed all price tags, so often there was no savings beyond their normal prices. They also brought in distress merchandise from other stores that they did not normally carry, things like iPods never went on sale.

Posted by Robert Stark | Report as abusive

Liquidations are usually not run by the company that has went out of business. That company usually sells the store contents to a private liquidator. All liquidators are in business to make money. They almost never sell items for less than fair market.When Circuit City sold store contents to liquidators, CC did not raise the prices the liquidators did. The “sales” price of most of the LCD TV’s were still higher than a negotiated price at BB.Be very wary of liquidation sale!


I’ve been in the liquidation business going on 20 years.My company works with the mom and pop stores in this country and we help them to pay off debt and /or retire.The owners retain ownership and are advised not to mark their goods up the way other liquidation companies do after they buy business’s out of bankruptcy courts. Our services are true to the merchant and the community

Posted by kevin | Report as abusive

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