Sunday, January 18, 2009

Don't be a Sucker for Circuit City while Drinking Your Juice in da Hood

Circuit City made the news this weekend since they're going into liquidation, but here's some news that you won't hear too much. Liquidations sales are for suckers. Check out this video.

If your attention span is shorter than a chicken's the main gist is this.
Liquidation sales are run by liquidators, not the actual stores, so they jack up prices first to think you're getting a great discount when in fact, you may be paying more than what the items was priced just a week ago.

If, however, you are still bent on shopping at the zoo they used to call Circuit City, here's some tips courtesy of a stingy investigator fapri over on Slickdeals who watched the evolution of sales as his Circuit City closed in Phoenix earlier.

The first 2 weeks are crap sales. Better leave it alone. What you can consider buying the first 2 weeks are NEWLY released items because they aren't discounted in other stores anyway. Especially those from premium brands.

Don't expect to buy a computer/laptop. they won't ever be priced reasonably. Even in its final days, it was only down to like 30% from regular inflated price.

They tend to drop prices weekly. It's an exercise of restraint. "Should i get this now?" "Will it still be here next week?" These are the questions you're gonna find yourself asking if you see something you like.
One of the first items to get discounted heavily is the entire networking division. If you have a need, look out for these guys, they drop them steep early.

Other notables:
- Lookout for home theater equipment deals such as receivers and speakers. They tend to go 50% off about midway through.
- In the market for a headset? There's a plantronic headset(key feature: the mic swivels up to a hiding spot/has a dolby digital decoder) which retails for $100 elsewhere and will go down to about $50 or less(depending on who snaps it up quickly) about 2/3 through the sale. This headset in particular doesn't get discounted heavily(if at all) anywhere else. This is your best bet to get it discounted.
- Hard drives! for like the first 3/4 of the "sale", ignore them. They won't get any discount at all(10-15% only, from regular price, which is too high even for other store's regular price). They start falling after that. in particular, look for portable hard drives. You can get 50% or more off towards its last days.
- Cds! tops off around 60% off towards the end. Also, rap/jazz/country/blues are the ones that get discounted first.
- Look out for logitech harmony remotes. This is a tricky one since most stores aren't well-stocked with these anyway.

Yeah, you can tell I went to my CC every week before they finally closed.

Points to remember:
- Don't ever buy anything on your first trip there. Go home, look up the prices and compare. Don't get carried away. Don't feel bad for the company, they didn't feel bad taking more money than they should from you anyway. So you're just returning the favor.
- If there are still 3 of them on the shelf, and its not a particularly hot item(say home theater speakers), wait a week, there's a big chance it will still be there with a bigger discount.
- Scout out neighboring stores for items you missed out on. By this time there's no more point in asking for inventory checks to neighboring stores.
- Consider buying open box/display items. You get a teeny-weeny bit more discount getting them. But not much. Good only if its the absolute last item everywhere.
- REMEMBER ALL DISCOUNTS ARE TAKEN OFF OF REGULAR PRICE!!! And their regular price can be very very tricky to find at times. Most items won't have a tag saying how much they really were. Most of the time, there would just be a sign overhead saying "X% OFF".
- DOUBLE CHECK YOUR DISCOUNTS BEFORE FINALIZING PAYMENT!!! A lot of times, their system doesn't reflect the discounts in the tags. You have to ask them specifically how much the item rang up(they will only tell you your total). Then they will tell you how much it rang up. Then (be calm) explain to them its supposed to be X% off. If you've had pleasant experience with CC before, now's the time they ruin it for you. Depending on the cashier, they can be annoying to really rude. Prepare to do battle. I was actually asked one time "can you prove it?" so i walked back and took the tag from the shelf. That silenced them up. Now if you ask nicely, or you're a likable enough person, they might volunteer looking it up in the website for you(which they can do, but most of them are just too pissed off with their corporate office to do it).

Save gas, save money, save your wits - don't go to these things because you think you're going to get a great deal. You'll more than likely come back empty handed, or worse, a sucker.

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