Let’s face it, the economy isn’t quite back on it’s feet yet. This is apparent with Blockbuster announcing bankruptcy last year, Borders closing 30% of their stores this year and Ultimate Electronics also closing it’s doors (among many others).  While the deal getter inside me has a certain excitement when I see the signs on the side of the street screaming at me 40-60% all merchandise, I know better and you should too.

Like I had mentioned in a prior post regarding the Circuit City liquidation extravaganza, I have had first hand experience on how the internal workings of store closing sales really go.  From the start, the prices get risen to quite exuberant levels, usually well above the typical retail price. The frugal blogger in me just wants to run into this stores and yell, “STOP!” I don’t, and I see zombies walking out of the store with piles of merchandise that they easily could have gotten cheaper if they would have looked elsewhere.  Now, it’s not to say you can’t find a good deal, you certainly won’t find anything of value until at least a few weeks into the inventory purge.

Here are some tips when shopping at store closing sales:

  1. Know the price of the item you are looking to buy.  If you have an item in mind, make sure you know what the going rate is elsewhere.  Ask yourself if this is the type of item would you find on sale frequently in a Sunday store flyer.  Good things come to those who wait, especially with technology.  So think twice, because…
  2. Stores often will not allow any returns. The sign is inevitably there, ALL SALES FINAL.  You pay for it, it’s yours.  The store is closing and because they are giving you these ‘great deals’, why would you ever want to return something working or not working? Who knows, especially with electronics, that what you purchased may not work. And if it really doesn’t work within hours of purchasing? Well, you may have more trouble, because…
  3. It is not unheard of that the product may no longer carry a warranty. Manufacturers are known to be picky when it comes to trying to put a claim on a broken product, especially since there is no store to back you up on your issue. (Although there are credit cards that allow for additional coverage, but well, good luck with that.) Please take it back to the store, wait, what store?  To prevent this from happening…
  4. Try the item out in the store first. Most employees are pretty flexible if you ask them if you can try something out before purchasing it.  They are not really trying to pawn off broken items in a store closing sale and at the end of the day, the item will have to moved at some point open or unopened and at 40% or 60% off. But most importantly…
  5. Avoid the impulse buy. See step 1 and start the cycle over.  At the end of the day, you should only be lured into a store liquidation sale if you really have your eye on something and are curious if there is a deal you really can’t pass up, but don’t hold your breath.

Have you found any great deals or do you feel like it’s always a waste shopping at store closing sales? Please share!

 

Stupidly Yours,

Matt