Yesterday my husband and I decided to head over to Circuit City after meeting some friends for brunch. Since we had heard they were going out of business, we decided to look around for any liquidation deals. While the place was crowded; the deals were few and far between. Most items were 10% off and I noticed car stereo equipment was 30% off . Circuit City has liquidators handling the inventory for these final sales.

Checking Out HDTVs at Circuit City

We looked at a few things, including  flat screen TVs, and I was surprised to see how expensive these ‘out of the box’ deals were. We were looking at a 42″ LCD HDTV that was around $1200 at Circuit City, not quite a deal as Costco’s $1,199.99 for 2 LCD HDTVs (42″ & 32″) or Best Buy’s LG – 42″ 720p Flat-Panel LCD HDTV for $899.99. (Costco sold out of their 46″ LCD HDTVs for $699.99.) Needlessly to say, we left the store without making any purchases.

Consumerist has a Circuit City Death Watch with readers leaving their observation on the sales and prices. I pretty much agree that the prices were not really deals as it look as they were raised and then the discount was taken.

If you think you’re going to get a fantastic deal on a flat screen TV, think again.

All Circuit City locations are scheduled to close by the end of March, and discounts could reach as much as 90% off in the final days, according to Scott Carpenter, executive vice president of Great American Group, one of four liquidators appointed to close out the stores.

But Carpenter said customers would probably not see such hefty deals on big-ticket items such as flat-screen televisions. Those products will likely fly off shelves well before the end of March, he said.

If you have purchased merchandised from Circuit City or are looking for a deal to pop up, please go to their website for more information. I have some FAQs from the site that may be of interest.

Are Circuit City’s extended warranties affected by the liquidation?

  • No.  Circuit City Advantage Protection Plans® (extended warranties) have been backed by third-party independent companies for more than 15 years and as a result, are not impacted by Circuit City’s closing.

Currently, all Circuit City Advantage Protection Plans are fully backed by the Assurant Solutions companies.  Assurant Solutions operates as Federal Warranty Service Corporation, Sureway, Inc., and United Service Protection, Inc.  Assurant Solutions is part of Assurant, Inc. (NYSE: AIZ), and its extended service contacts are backed by an Assurant insurance subsidiary rated A “Excellent” by A.M. Best Co.

When will the liquidation sales begin?

  • Liquidation sales begin as early as Saturday, January 17, 2009, and will last as long as it takes to sell through the merchandise at each of the stores.  We expect the sales to wrap up by the end of March 2009.

How much will merchandise be marked down, and can customers negotiate prices for the merchandise?

  • There will be clearance pricing, but specific discounts are not being announced.  All sale prices are at the discretion of the liquidator.  Prices are non-negotiable and all adjustments must be approved by the liquidator’s on-site managers.

What payment types will be accepted at the liquidation stores?

  • Stores in liquidation will accept cash, Circuit City gift cards and most credit cards.  Personal checks will not be accepted.  All sales are final.

Will Circuit City’s price matching policy or the One Price PromiseSM apply during the liquidation sale?

  • Because the liquidation company is in charge of the sales at the closing stores, their policies are in force.  So, One Price Promise does not apply during liquidation events, nor does the company’s Unbeatable Price Guarantee.  All sales are final.

What about returns and refunds?

  • Customers can return products they purchased prior to January 16 for a 14-day period for exchange or refunds.  All other terms of return policy are in force.
  • When closing sales begin on or around January 17, 2009, all sales will be final.

My advice? Before you step into a Circuit City find out what is the price for the electronic you’re looking for so you don’t lose money on this liquidation sale. If they are raising prices, then it’s not a good deal.

Your Take

If you’ve been to a Circuit City in your area, what have you noticed about the liquidation sale? Are there any good deals to be had yet?

Photo Credit: qnr

Laura Martinez

Laura Martinez