Retailers across the country are being hit with the declining economy and many businesses are closing doors and liquidating assets in order to pay debtors. To customers ears, a going-out-of-business sale means huge discounts, but Better Business Bureau of the Southwest wants bargain-hunters to be on the alert for false deals when shopping liquidation sales.
In this economy, were all looking for bargains. Unfortunately, at going-out-of business sales the bargains are not always as advertised and some consumers dont realize theyre getting ripped off when theyre supposed to be getting a deal, said Jerry Shipman, BBBSW President.
Before getting into some not-so-good deals at a liquidation sale, BBBSW offers the following advice to consumers:
Confirm that a deal IS a deal. Not only will some liquidators actually mark up prices for going-out-of-business sales, a business competitors will sometimes drop their prices in order to compete with a liquidation sale, so BBBSW strongly advises consumers to beware of the hype and shop around.
Use a credit card. Credit cards include built-in consumer protections if the company does not deliver on promised goods. BBBSW recommends making purchases with a credit card instead of checks or cash.
Dont count on customer service. Customer service is not a liquidators priority and consumers expecting the same level of customer service might be very disappointed. Staff on the floor will be limited and consumers might be on the hook for delivery of large items. Also, since the company will not be around in the future, consumers need to understand that all sales are final and that they do not have many options if they are not satisfied with the purchase.
Know the status on warranties. Warranties are often maintained by a manufacturer or a third-party, which means that the warranty will still apply if the retailer goes out of business. However, the consumer should always confirm the status of the warranty before buying.
Use those gift cards ASAP. Businesses that have entered into the liquidation process will not be around for very long. BBBSW advises that any consumers who are holding gift cards spend them as soon as possible or risk getting stuck with a worthless piece of plastic.
For more advice you can trust from BBBSW on how to be a savvy consumer, go to www.bbbsw.org or call us at 346-0110 in Albuquerque.