Don't Be Fooled by Borders Liquidation Sales
Everything must go! No reasonable offer refused! Final markdowns taken! You've probably seen signs like these at various going out of business sales. But are the promises too good to be true? Take Border's for instance-- the second largest book retail chain, is now in liquidation. What equated to the final chapter in Border's story could have been a fairytale for bargain hunters as liquidators unloaded millions of merchandise at 399 retail stores. But that's not exactly what shoppers are discovering.
Borders Promises Deep Discounts
In a pre-sale email to Borders loyalty program members, Borders President Mike Edwards tried to drum up business for the final sale. "I encourage you to take advantage of this one-time opportunity to find exceptional discounts on your favorite books, and other great merchandise," Edwards wrote. Customers were told prices would be marked down by up to 40%. But in reality, very few items were actually discounted by 40%.
BBB Reports Liquidation Sale Scams
The Better Business Bureau says it's important for consumers to remember that liquidation sales are handled by third-party companies, so their customer service standards may be different. For bargain-hungry shoppers, a going-out-of-business sale can seem like a source for great deals, but sometimes prices go up before they come down. "Some stores will mark up the merchandise before they mark it down – making the discount appear to be larger than it really is," according to the Better Business Bureau website. "Even though the retailer is going out of business, it still needs to get as much cash for its inventory as possible. Be careful of “bait and switch” tactics. This entails a store advertising hefty discounts only to substitute inferior brands for existing products at sale time." The BBB says when shopping bankruptcy sales, be cautious. It's important to do research and make careful comparisons to avoid being taken advantage of.
Shoppers Discover Borders' Liquidation Prices Still Beat By Internet Retailers
The demise of Borders was likely due to discount online retailers. And investigative shoppers from DealNews.com found that even during their liquidation sale, many of their prices could still be beat by online retailers. DealNews.com found that 19 of the 25 products they tracked at the Borders liquidation sale were actually more expensive during the sale's second week.
Prices at liquidation sales typically drop as time goes by. You may lose some of the selection that existed when the liquidation sale first started, but you'll get a better deal. Keep in mind that you can negotiate prices at most going-out-of-business sales. So don't simply pay the sticker price. Another thing to keep in mind when shopping these types of sales is that if anything goes wrong with the product-- you won't be able to return it. Final sales mean the sale is final, so make sure you are happy with your purchase. According to reports, Borders' liquidation sales will continue until the merchandise is snatched up, but they won't last through September.