liquidation sales suck cock.

31 07 2011

as you may have heard about town, borders is going out of business.

i don’t think anyone was surprised about it. it’s been on those “businesses about to go extinct” list for years with blockbuster and reader’s digest and all the other dinosaur brands. and so with the announcement of the closing, comes the immediate materialization of the telltale fluorescent signs flashing 40% off, and the kind of parking lot gridlock that makes a girl want to start slashing tires or throwing punches, or possibly both at the same time.

now the signs all say 40% OFF real big, but the fine print is always up to. opening weekend at borders, pretty much everything was a pitiful 10% off. yet for some reason, the line was out the fucking door.  10% off things that are full retail (and in some cases grossly inflated prices) is NOT A GOOD DEAL PEOPLE!  WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?

i’m not entirely sure what kind of crazy discount juju possesses people when it comes to liquidation sales, but although the signs are big and flashy, and EVERYTHING MUST GO…  a quick rule of thumb: if the store was still open and you saw 10% off sign, would you bother to buy something that you didn’t really need (and that you could likely get somewhere else for cheaper)? probably not. THEN BACK THE FUCK AWAY FROM THE BORDERS. EVERYTHING MUST NOT GO. (just try to dodge that crazy bitch slashing tires and throwing punches in the parking lot).

foolishly, i went back again today (with more promises of 40% off), and was doubly disappointed. 20% is still NOT 40%, and shit was pretty much cleaned out anyway. there were a lot of dvds on sale for 40% off, but it’s not exactly a bargain when the dvds in question are $20-$60 each. didn’t i just say that my cut off for new dvds was $3? again, i hit the bricks with nothing.

but then, i went to bullmoose.

in case you didn’t know, the bullmoose in scarborough has added a book section in the last year. this = awesome. sure, it’s not borders in size and selection, but it’s still pretty big, and alongside a selection of gently used books for low low prices, all of their new books are 35% off retail EVERY GODDAMN DAY. that’s right. beloved, local bullmoose is already doing better than the borders liquidation sale. i mean, F U BORDERS.

for example, i wanted to pick a copy of  a game of thrones. at borders, they only had large copies for $17.99.  $14.39… at 20% off, still not bargainy enough for me.  i go to bullmoose, they have the smaller copies ($8.99 retail) on sale for $5.19! and then when i get to the register, i have enough bullmoose points to get it for 50% off. i’m no math genius, but i’m pretty sure that $2.92 is a better deal than $14.39.

as a bonus, i found a copy of party girl (a glorious monument to parker posey and  nineties fashion) at marden’s for $1.50.

so the moral of this story is: DON’T BE A CHUMP. i mean, be careful not to be seduced by liquidation sales. the discounts aren’t usually that great, and if you look around a little (especially if you live near a bullmoose or a marden’s, but even amazon.com is usually better),  you’re probably gonna get a better deal anyway.

or maybe i’m just tainted by bad experiences. has anyone out there made an incredible liquidation score worth noting? or is it just better to wait for the runoff to turn up at marden’s?

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21 responses

31 07 2011
Miss Catherine

You are absolutely correct on all counts. Especially about Party Girl.

1 08 2011
bessmarvin

hell yeah party girl! you should come over and we should get drunk and watch it. you live so close, why don’t we hang out ever?

31 07 2011
Sondi Caserio

I was ranting about the exact same thing. I went in to flip the pages in some of the art books I’ve had on my “someday I’ll buy these” list on amazon. I wrote down in a notebook the ones that I was really grooving over but the shabby 10% was just SAD. Even with a borders discount card, it was sadddd. While flipping through the books, (barely possible with all the crazy people in there buying up all the expensive stuff!) I go tot chatting with a fellow art lover. I instructed her to get herself to a computer and order the books she wanted on amazon. So she did the same thing as me, wrote down the stuff she wanted, thanked me, and shuffled off. I felt like I rescued at least one person from the mob madness. I DID however clean up on some art magazines that I ADORE but can never afford. They were one of the few things in the store that really WERE 40%. I also bought some of the goofy plastic-y stuff that they sell which wasn’t a terribly good price but I know that I’ll never see them again (Umbrella and some pens). I still spent too much but didn’t feel stupid about it. Borders is rightfully going down the drain. Stupid store.

1 08 2011
bessmarvin

apparently i missed out on the magazines! they were all spent by saturday. the only good art magazines that were left were kind of jacked up. i love that your rescued a poor lost soul from the fray! you should totally get a girl scout badge for that. borders can suck it. HARD.

31 07 2011
Bobbi

I am so waiting until right before the doors close for good. THEN I AM GOING IN AND BUYING ALL THE WEIRD BOOKS I LIKE THAT NOBODY ELSE DOES. I also love Bullmoose and all of the local bookstores, because guess what, they are way better than stupid ol’ Borders. I also couldn’t believe how many people were at Borders for 10% off. It was crazy. I did buy some magazines for 40% off the first week of the sale.

1 08 2011
bessmarvin

i’ve said this before, and i’ll say it again bobbi… i like your style. what kind of weirdo books are you dreaming of? 40% off fancy magazines is pretty good. they were all kinds of picked over by the time i got there this weekend.

1 08 2011
Bobbi

I got some good ones, you know Harvard Business Review and then Elle and Allure… I am hoping that there will be some good psychology books left or some adventure books. I love Mount Everest! I love crazy psychological disorders! Also, I feel like just picking through whatever is left will turn up something that I never even would have thought of reading, but at such a good deal how could I not want to learn about whatever it is?! (i like your style too)

1 08 2011
Kimberly

My husband was one of those chimps. He came home with $40 worth of books for our three year old raving he got 40 percent off. I asked of he was sure bc it didn’t look like a lot for that much. Well, I found the receipt and it was only ten! :(. And it was too late to return bc son already got into them. So chumps like my dh are the reason they have those crazy signs!

1 08 2011
bessmarvin

for shame! it definitely looked like things would be 40% off from the outside, but you would pretty much have to be completely blind (or possibly stoned) not to see all the 10% off signs! maybe he just got bargain induced tunnel vision? on the upside, your son got some sweet new books!

1 08 2011
Corey Templeton

The moral to this story is one that we should all take to heart. I’m surprised Borders lasted this long. I plan on steering clear of Borders and will continue to look to Bull Moose and Amazon for my bargain book purchases.

1 08 2011
bessmarvin

weirdly, barnes & noble is still around. i wonder if they’ll just erupt where borders head used to be? either way, i’m pledging my allegiance to bull moose from here on out. i bet they’ll order us shit if we ask them to.

1 08 2011
Cyndel

A Borders close to me closed about a year ago, and I was able to stock up on greeting cards for 25 cents each. It was awesome because they were those Papyrus cards that are normally $5-8. I send cards to my friends and family pretty regularly, but I still have some left to send! I didn’t buy any books though.

1 08 2011
bessmarvin

that seems to be the story i’m hearing. skip the books and dvds, and load up on fancy magazines and greeting cards. i won’t lie, i’ll probably go back for the dregs of the dregs this weekend, just to check. those papyrus cards are hot! maybe i can score some of my own.

1 08 2011
Sondi Caserio

Just wanted to give a bit of a heads-up. Marden’s in Scarborough….pretty much across the street a bit from BullMoose is selling books by the pound at the moment. I got some really awesome books…..17 pounds worth! For 17 bucks!

14 08 2011
bessmarvin

BOOKS BY THE POUND? anything good? i like classics and big glossy coffee table books about art and fashion. what did you get?

2 08 2011
Patrick

I’m with you on almost all points but one… it doesn’t seem fair to slam one business for using asterisks, but not another.

Bull Moose clearly states, “ALL BOOKS ARE 35% OR MORE OFF COVER PRICE*” and then in a smaller typeface, “* Some exceptions will be priced as marked.”

14 08 2011
bessmarvin

i get it. although you’d be hard pressed to find any sale anywhere that doesn’t have a asterisk of some sort. i don’t mind it if it’s the exception, not the rule. literally every single thing i picked up at bull moose was 35% off. i’m sure there were exceptions, but i didn’t see them. that’s a hell of a lot different than having window high signs that say “40% OFF!” with the “up to” in tiny print, and then having virtually everything in the store only 10% off. if i’m gonna call scumbag on anyone, it’s borders.

7 08 2011
Ashley

i thought the same thing. i still couldn’t afford the books i wanted and the new books are at the same discount price at target all the time. i did find some good magazines. and i really cant wait for things like greeting cards to be dirt cheap. i agree that going elsewhere is better. the discounts just don’t add up.

14 08 2011
bessmarvin

i wonder where all of their leftover stock will go when they finally close the doors? mardens? let’s hope!

15 08 2011
Sondi Caserio

mostly art books and giant coffee table books. They had a little of everything.

28 08 2011
Elsa

VP Jones and I went over a coupla weeks ago to see if there were any bargains to be had. We noticed, as you did, that the Closing! Blowout! was more like a slight sale than a serious closeout…

… and I also noticed that even a 25-40% discount on the absurdly overpriced DVDs would mean the prices were, on average, still more than you’d pay ordering a DVD at Videoport. And at Videoport, you get a free rental with every purchase as well as the warm glow of buying locally. Beat that, Big Box Store!

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