Think you are getting a good deal when a store goes out of business? What secrets are liquidators not telling me?

Lately we have seen some Circuit City stores and Linen’s n Things stores go bankrupt.  Once a store goes out of business many people flock to the store thinking they are going to get a steal of a deal, but are they really? What are the things you may want to know…about liquidators?

They change price tags – Most liquidators change price tags on all the inventory.  They raise the price on the items and then offer you 10%, 20%, etc. off those prices.  Sometimes they just put a new price tag over the old price tag, so if you peel back the price tag you may see that the original price maybe lower than the liquidators price.

Out to make a buck – Yes, liquidators just like any other business are out to make a profit, yet many people seem to think otherwise.

Discounts – Always start out small and then gradually increase closer to the date the store is actually closing. 

Bring in other stock – Liquidators may bring in leftover stock they have on hand and price it with that stores price tags.  You maybe purchasing items that were never originally sold in that store and are of lesser quality.

Gift Cards – Once the store is turned over to the liquidators gift cards are no longer honored. If you have a gift card and hear that particular store is having financial problems redeem your gift card as quickly as possible before the liquidators takeover. 

Exchanges/refunds – Liquidators do not offer any exchanges or refunds. Period!

Sold as is – Buyer beware. Liquidators do not take damaged/faulty items off the floor. All items are sold as is too.  Make sure you check that the item is working properly, not flawed, is the right size, not falling apart, broken, stained, etc. before you purchase it and walk out the door.


A going out of business sign doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting a screaming deal.  Shop around.  

Know your prices and be on the lookout for items re-priced higher, peel back price tags, watch for prices cut out of the shelf tags, etc. 

Phone the store to find out when they are actually closing.  You will get a bigger discount closer to the actual store closing date.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. coconews
    Dec 01, 2008 @ 13:46:04

    In September I was reading a blog that a bankrupt store’s employees were chatting on. A lot of them were saying how stupid people were flocking in droves to the store because the liquidator raised the prices so high.

    Have you ever been attracted to the sale signs, going out of business signs, etc. only to be disappointed?

    Sometimes, I noticed stores put up going out of business signs even though they are not going out of business. Are we that easily taken?

  2. coconews
    Dec 01, 2008 @ 13:58:59

    FYI – Linen’s n things in BC is shutting down mid January. I have not been to the store yet, so I have no idea how the liquidators are pricing things and whether you are getting a good deal or not.

  3. M-
    Dec 01, 2008 @ 21:43:19

    I visited the LNT in Richmond shortly after the liquidation was announced. Basically 10% off their always-too-high pricing. People buying things just for the sake of buying.

    Went there again today, more of less 25% off the store, with a few things at a better discount. Almost bought a roasting pan for 50% off (reg $70), then I thought better and held off on buying– LNT had lots of stock. Regular price at Superstore ($25) is a better deal than 50% off at LNT. So I didn’t buy one at all!

  4. diana
    Dec 02, 2008 @ 07:01:49

    I too have had the experience with liquidators changing price tags. A leather coat store went out of business and the prices of all the coats were raised $200.00 to $400.00 more by the liquidators.

    I waited until the liquidators offered 70% off and picked up a high quality leather coat for $169.00.

  5. jl
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 16:08:30

    LNT is doing just that! I was in there last weekend and happened to see a frying pan I liked.. noted that previous price tags had been removed (but not very well) – old tag $49.99, new tag $59.99… Turned me right off buying anything – all the stuff looked overpriced even with the 30% discount!

  6. coconews
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 17:24:43

    I noticed the same thing. A mini fake orchid originally priced at $6.49 was re-priced by the liquidators at $24.99 minus 30% off. Although, the original price tag in this case was still intact.

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