Moneysaving Tip: Bad Deals at Liquidation Sales

By Jason Holland

Going out of business/ liquidation/ clearance sales can be opportunities to get great deals. But don't be tricked. Not all of these so-called "sales" will save you money.

For example, that stereo system might be labeled "50 percent off" - but 50 percent off what? It might be off the manufacturer's suggested retail price, not the last price it actually sold for - especially if it's last year's model. There's a good chance you'll be able to get it for less somewhere else.

There are several ways you can find out instantly if the same item is being sold cheaper online.

  • If your cellphone has Internet access, go to the mobile version of Google Product Search: Then enter the product name or model number.

  • If you are without Internet access but can text message, you can text the product's ISBN or UPC (the number under the bar code) The MobSaver service will send you a list of prices for the same item on Amazon and eBay. Find out more

But don't think you'll always find lower prices online. I recently found a light fixture online - marked down from $180 to the "clearance" price of $135. The same exact one cost me $118 at a store less than a mile from my home. And I didn't have to pay "shipping and handling."

So before you buy, do a little research. Find out what similar items are going for online and at other retailers. That way you'll know if you really are getting the best deal.

(Source: Consumerist and Lifehacker)

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By Carlin Comm posted on 2009-02-14 19:22:18