Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Are Going-Out-of-Business Sales Real Deals or Just a Money Grab?

The first time it happened, I thought I was crazy. While flipping through so-called sale merchandise at a going-out-of-business sale for a department store, I thought the prices looked insane or maybe -- I wondered -- there was something wrong with my inner calculator. Had someone doubled the original prices before marking everything down just a tad bit? Are the prices real; are the discounts genuine?

That was during the 1980s in Pittsburgh, when I had rushed to a final sale with hopes of scoring great deals. Instead, I left the store feeling as if I had narrowly avoided a scam.

More recently, I have carted around those same feelings of disbelief as I have sampled other going-out-business sales. Are some final sales just one more money-grab before a store or company closes its doors for good?

As a shopping skeptic, I am not alone. In the last several weeks, I've received validation from other shoppers and the media, who have expressed doubt about the true value of final sales.

So shoppers beware: We have to do our homework; know our prices before walking into a going-out-of-business sale. Here's a roundup of articles and posts related to going-out-of-business sales.

How to Shop a Going Out of Business Sale

Going Out of Business Sales

Researcher: Be wary of going-out-of-business sales

Here's how to buy my new book:

@ Barnes & Noble
@ Borders


Jason Fisher said...

I have to agree, we just visited our local Circuit City and I didn't really see anything I would consider a deal.

It really doesn't matter what they have the "Normal" price as if it isn't a good deal it isn't a good deal and you have know the difference.

kath said...

Circuit City is doing that right now. They raised all of their prices when they announced they were going out of business. Their "clearance" prices were higher than Best Buy's regularly prices.
Unfortunately, I found that out the hard way, after I bought a new battery charger for my camera at Circuit City and then saw it cheaper at Best Buy. Someone later told me about the price thing.