Tips for bargain-hunting at closeout sales

6:51 PM, Apr 16, 2012   |    comments
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By Grant Bissell

St. Louis (KSDK) - For some shoppers, finding a great deal is like hitting a walk-off homerun.

A local Sears store is tantalizing bargain-hunters with a closeout sale, advertising discounts from 30 to 60 percent.

But not all the deals at the Crestwood Sears store are what they're cracked up to be.

We wanted to know just how much you could save by shopping the closeout sale, so we sent a hidden camera in to find the deals. But, we found in some cases shopping this sale could actually cost you more.

Some of the exact same items were cheaper at another Sears store just down the road.

The Crestwood Sears location is in its final days, so everything's being sold for what may seem like huge discounts.

Shoppers usually hope to save on the big ticket items, so our first stop was the TV department where everything was marked 30 percent off.

We found a Samsung 3D TV marked down by nearly $1,000.

Then there was a Craftsman lawnmower advertising savings of nearly $170, and a Kenmore refrigerator going for just under $1,100, $500 dollars less than originally marked.

To compare these deals, we checked out the same items at the Sears in South County, and what we found was a surprise.

That Samsung TV that seemed deeply discounted at Crestwood was actually going for about $270 less at South County.

And that lawnmower? You can get it at South County for $20 less.

We found out a liquidation company is running the sale at the Crestwood Sears, and that company is in charge of setting prices.

Saint Louis University marketing professor Jim Fisher says that's typical for a store that's closing, and customers should do their homework before hunting for a deal.

"They should not hold onto the naïve assumption that all the items being sold at the liquidation sale are at a deep discount or are even on sale at all," said fisher.

But we did find some savings at Crestwood.

Remember that Kenmore refrigerator? If you buy it at South County you'll pay nearly $80 more.

And if you need men's shirts and ties, Crestwood will save you some cash. Name brands are going for about $5 less at the closeout sale.

Fisher says the bottom line to saving is doing your homework, staying focused on the items you need, and not buying into the sale hype.

"If you believe that now is the time to act and I'm never going to have a sale of this dimension in the future, you're probably wrong. There'll be other opportunities and other savings coming down the road.

The Crestwood store is set to close in early May.

If you head there looking for deals, remember all sales are final, you can't use coupons and if your item isn't working when you leave the store, you're out of luck.

The good news is, all items are being sold with the manufacturer's warranty.

KSDK

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