How to Save Big at a Going Out of Business Sale

There are few shopping events that beat a Going Out of Business sale. Even Black Friday and Cyber Monday often pale in comparison to the deals bargain hunters can score from a failed retailer.

However, to maximize savings during a Going Out of Business sale, you have to be vigilant. Shoppers can get out of hand trying to grab all the good deals and end up buying items they wouldn't normally purchase. If you stumble onto a closing sale, keep these five factors in mind.

Double check prices first

Ask an employee about any confusing or potentially outdated sales. Also, pay careful attention to the prices that pop up on the cash register as you make the purchase. There is a small chance that new sale prices haven't been updated yet or the item you picked up was in the wrong sale section. Either way, you don't want to end up paying more than expected.

If you do notice a potential price discrepancy, address the matter with a staffer. In store closure sales, all sales are often final. So if you check your receipt later and are unhappy with how much you paid, you might not be able to return anything for a refund.

Don't assume it's the best deal

A common misconception is that the store is looking to get the items off the shelf as rapidly as possible to save money on overhead costs. In many cases, these sales aren't actually run by the failed company. Instead, liquidation organizations run the sales. In order to maximize their profits, they often plan for the liquidation sale to last months.

This sales strategy means that the initial days and weeks of a store closure sale may only offer around 10 percent off. The store also tends to eliminate any sales that had been set in place to ensure competitive pricing. Check your smartphone or other stores to see if the prices are actually competitive before you start grabbing things off the shelves. (See also: Save Money in 5 Seconds or Less With These 29 Easy Tricks)

Beware of misleading add-on discounts

Closing sales often try to entice customers to purchase specific items by offering an additional 10 percent off the sale price. With a base sale of 20 percent off and an additional 10 percent off, you might think this adds up to 30 percent off your bill. In reality, the extra 10 percent is deducted after the base sale of 20 percent is calculated.

So if an item is $20, 30 percent off would make it $14. But with this tricky additional 10 percent off after the base sale, the item would be 10 percent off $16, which is $14.40. The difference seems small, but it can make a significant impact on bulk purchases or more expensive items.

Don't waste your time arguing over prices

When it comes to Going Out of Business sales, the customer is not always right. The company isn't concerned with retaining customers at this point. The owner or liquidator's only goal is to maximize profits.

This means that tactics like complaining to employees or haggling won't lead to lower prices or special privileges. Giving exceptions to price policies is out of the manager's hands at this point. If you go down that road, you'll be wasting your own time and the time of everyone behind you in line.

Just view these sales as take-it-or-leave-it propositions on as-is merchandise. If you don't like it, move on.

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