With large chains such as Borders and home furnishings retailer Robb & Stucky liquidating some stores, savvy shoppers can scoop up some good deals. Here are four tips on getting the most bang for your buck at liquidation sales:
1. Make sure the sale is legitimate. The Associated Press warns that just because a store displays a “Going Out of Business” sign, it doesn’t always mean the store actually plans to shut its doors. Some stores fool shoppers into thinking they’re getting a special deal by permanently appearing to be on the verge of closing.
2. Use your smartphone to research prices. Liquidators sometimes set discounts based on manufacturers’ prices, which can be 10 to 15 percent higher, rather than the price at the store when it closed. By using apps and tools that compare prices online and at other local stores, you can quickly determine just how good a price at a liquidation sale really is.
3. Time your purchases carefully. A liquidation sale typically lasts eight to 10 weeks. Stores start by giving small percentages off, such as 10 percent, and gradually increase the savings depending on what is selling and what’s not. So if you’re looking for something specific, purchase it early on. But if you just want to buy things cheap, hold out until the end of the closeout, when you’ll find discounts of 80 percent or more.
4. Know the retailer. Less-reputable liquidators add in merchandise from other retailers, or include used or outdated items. That’s why it’s important to know what brands and quality are typical at the store you’re buying from, and to be sure what’s on offer is comparable to the usual stock.