Sears may not have been your destination retailer — unless you were buying something for your mother or checking out appliances perhaps—and it still may not be the place to rush to, despite all the hype of its liquidation slash-price mania.
The 65-year-old department store started its liquidations sales last week across Canada, with signs promising 20 to 50 percent off in large print, but often with a proviso in smaller print that exceptions apply.
According to the most recent reports, the exception may be the rule in this liquidation sale, at least at the start-gate. Media headlines with “shoppers underwhelmed by deals at Sears Canada liquidation sales” abound.
The company announced that discounts are available on all Sears’s own brands (i.e., Kenmore), brand name men’s and women’s fashion, as well as home decor, toys, furniture, and major appliances. “Selected fixtures, furnishings and equipment in the closing stores will also be for sale,” said the joint-venture group running the Sears liquidation sales.
However, at Sears in Toronto, customers waiting in long lines to score a deal on big-ticket items may have been sorely disappointed— items such as snow blowers and treadmills were only 10 percent off. And queue-avoiding online bargain hunters may also have been challenged to fill their cart. Although some items are listed for clearance on the Sears Canada website, not everything online has been marked down yet.
“Not yet” is probably the operative phrase when it comes to getting a deal at a Sears liquidation sale—at least based on what a Vancouver-based retail consultant, David Ian Gray says. In an interview with DIG360, a radio station in Vancouver, Gray said that the big discounts don’t usually happen at the beginning of the sale. “Generally, liquidations take place over an extended period of time and it begins with a lot of hype — ads on TV and on social media — but the job of the liquidator is to try and bring as much money back in as possible to cover off debts and expense owing.” So, Gray’s strategy for getting a real deal at a liquidation sale can be summed up in one word: wait.
Of course, there is always a risk with any strategy, and in this case, the risk is that the item you’re hunting for may be sold out later on. But, at least you won’t be herded into buying something that can be purchased at an equivalent price somewhere else, and with that invaluable bonus of return guarantee and warranties.