“Bin stores” – aka “liquidation stores” – are moving to the front of the pecking order for conscientious shoppers.
They’ve become such a hit that major retailers like Amazon, Home Depot, and Target are unloading their unsold, overstocked, or returned merchandise to these stores in hopes of making a little money before the company bean counters completely write the items off as a loss.
And who wins? You – the consumer!
It’s catch-as-catch-can, though. There are no “official,” dedicated online websites operated by these big brands, just small physical stores usually in strip malls. The inventory in these stores is constantly changing, and the shopping experience is often characterized by the thrill of the hunt, as customers search through bins to find valuable items at low prices.
This isn’t a scratch-and-dent can of veggies type thing like liquidation stores used to be, either. Just watch…
Know what to expect and plan accordingly
For starters, you’ll first want to locate one of these liquidation stores in your area. James recommends a quick Google or Facebook search to find one close to you.
Once you have your sights set, it’s important to know what to expect when you get there. At his local liquidation store, each day of the week has different deals, with prices getting lower and lower throughout the week before the store is restocked again.
James explained that prices will start at $12 on Thursday, getting lower each day, and by Monday, items are marked down 2 for $1. His best advice: work quickly and plan strategically.
“For the best deals, you’ll want to find out what day your store gets their new merchandise, and plan on shopping when the store opens on that day,” James said. “If you miss that day, things will get picked over quickly. There will still be deals, but things like microwaves, small refrigerators, and nice home decor will be gone quickly.”
James explained that “new merchandise day” can get claustrophobic and chaotic, as shoppers eagerly try to get into the store as early as possible to score the best deals.
Another of his tips: use the Amazon app to your advantage.
“Have the Amazon app ready on your phone to scan the barcode of items quickly to see how much money you’ll be saving, and make buying decisions that way,” James said. “Shoot for at least 50% off the Amazon price.”
All sales are final
What can you expect to find in an Amazon liquidation store? Well, that’s subject to change depending on the day, the week, and the location.
However, James said he’s seen popular brands like Disney, Sony, Adidas, and Samsung, among several others, and goods ranging from patio furniture, clothes, tools, toys – the list goes on.
The one big caveat: all sales are final. This also means that quality can sometimes be compromised, and no returning anything may not function properly. When the price tag is so low, though, James says that “the risk is mitigated.”
Timing is everything
A final tip to making the most of your trip to an Amazon liquidation store: timing can impact the inventory at your local store.
“A few weeks after Christmas is by far the best time to go, because of the millions of returns that Amazon handles after the holidays,” James explained. “The selection is going to be the best late January through the middle of February. After that, it’s a little more hit or miss, but it’s safe to assume you can always find deals.”
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