The next time the words ‘going out of business’ start giving you a mega-sale arrhythmia, stop for a second and take a breath. Then maybe skip the trip altogether. We just stumbled upon this ABC News story on store liquidation “sales” with even higher prices than the stores had before. The Dec. ’08 exposé (some caveats are timeless) featured now-closed Linens ‘n Things and Circuit City stores at the ends of their lives, under the ownership of liquidation companies there to get rid of all the merch. But the liquidators are profit-seekers too—they come in, charge what they want and still call the thing a blow-out.
The ABC footage, much through hidden camera, shows reporters peeling back liquidation price-tag after price-tag to reveal older, lower sale prices beneath. Calphalon sauce pan at Linens? $124.99 on liquidation, $109.99 before. The liquidators take over, jack the item back up to its full, original, pre-any-sale price, and start the “sale” from there. So that 30, 40, 50 percent off is all true—from the msrp, maybe—but not from what you could have paid before.
And there are plenty more tricks to watch out for (like outside items brought in and sold with the store’s label, just to piggy-back on all the close-out hype). Here’s the video with the full story to keep in mind.