Will Borders’ liquidation offer real deals?

There’s only one word that excites bargain hunters more than the word “clearance.”

“Liquidation.”

So please forgive me if the announcement of Borders going out of business set my heart a-pitter patter. That is, until I read this article from DealNews on Borders’ previous sale patterns.

From the story:

The news was probably not surprising, since Borders filed for bankruptcy in February and swiftly closed approximately 30 percent of its stores. Liquidation sales soon followed, and initially, they took 20 percent to 40 percent off, according to NewsObserver.com. While obviously nothing heart stopping, the discounts still motivated consumers to clear Borders inventory.

However, in the time since Borders declared bankruptcy, dealnews has listed 22 coupons for discounts ranging from 30 percent to 50 percent off. You heard that right: Everyday Borders coupons offered better savings than the merchant’s initial store-closing sales.

Does this mean you should skip the liquidation sale? Depends. It might not be worth driving out of your way, but if you’re in the area, it could be worth a look.

My advice: Enter the store knowing how much the merchandise you want is going for on, say, Amazon. Having a baseline will empower you to snatch up the “rill dills” and leave the rip-offs lying on the shelves.

Will you investigate the Borders liquidation sales? What’s the best deal you’ve ever found at a true going-out-of-business clearance?

– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter

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74 comments Add your comment

mud bone

July 20th, 2011
10:06 am

went to the Borders liquidation sale on Barrett Parkway and got several Sci-Fi paperbacks for over 75% off, just slim pickings!

Shopping Around

July 20th, 2011
10:37 am

I’d check out the sale, but they already have a huge sale at Starship right now.

Kar

July 20th, 2011
10:44 am

I thought all of the Borders in the Atlanta region were already closed.

LISA

July 20th, 2011
10:48 am

the is one in douglasville

Maria

July 20th, 2011
10:53 am

There is still the Borders intown on Ponce, and another one in east Cobb.

I shopped the liquidation at the Buckhead Borders (dearly departed, although, honestly, I still miss Oxford Books most of all). The initial deals weren’t that good — I got 20% off a few paperbacks I’d been wanting during the first week of the sale. But then I went again on the last day, and got a load of 6 or 7 books for around $22. That was when everything was marked down to 75%. However, the Borders employees were on my trail, packing up books to ship elsewhere as quickly as they could, and they had already packed up all the shelves for my favorite genre.

So I’d recommend going during the last week or two of the sale — that’s when you’ll find a decent selection at the rock-bottom prices.

59bulldawg

July 20th, 2011
11:14 am

Good riddance! I quit going to Borders long ago because they didn’t have crap onsite. I always had to order the stuff I really needed. And for that I can stay at home and order from Amazon!

Kay

July 20th, 2011
11:27 am

I’ll miss the staff at the Borders On Ponce, they are friendly and very helpful, but I agree with 59bulldawg when you go they never have what your looking for.

BRW

July 20th, 2011
11:52 am

Good riddance to you to 59bulldawg. No one made you go to the store. The decent employees of Bordwers are going to suffer but they won’t miss you.

dmb

July 20th, 2011
12:24 pm

It’s kinda odd that the idea of people losing their jobs and a business closing should set your “heart a-pitter patter”. One more sign that the economy still isn’t doing as well as people are thinking it is. Glad to see the demise of our society is making you have a good day.

Lauren Davidson

July 20th, 2011
12:27 pm

@DMB: People losing jobs makes me sad. Sales make me happy. This blog is about your opportunities as a consumer, not an employee.

59bulldawg

July 20th, 2011
12:38 pm

A few years back Borders made a corporate decision to carry less onsite inventory and it came back to bite them. They were led by idiots. My heart doesn’t go “pitter-patter” but the market place is all about supply and demand and if you can’t have a needed book on hand or at least a reasonable alternative in some cases, consumers will go elsewhere. And that’s exactly what they did.

Rob

July 20th, 2011
12:46 pm

I love you Lauren!

Kat

July 20th, 2011
12:47 pm

Don’t worry about dmb, Lauren. He/she is just D-U-M-B.

PrincessBoy

July 20th, 2011
1:29 pm

Yeah, I wanna investigate Borders for deals. My local Walden’s shuttered, they had a 60-90% off everything or something like that. I had went there all the time when they were in business and the employees were kinda like friends to me, I guess all the other Walden stores will close as well because they are owned by Borders. Got some books really cheap, they had some good stuff left except that I already owned those titles. At Circuit City I got a really good CD for one dollar being that it was 90% off. The closest Borders is in Ann Arbor about, I wanna go there for the deals despite that it’s so far away and besides it’ll be the last time I can ever go to a Border’s! It’s sad to see a good company like Borders go away forever, o the memories!

ALM

July 20th, 2011
2:42 pm

Borders currently has a coupon for 30% off one item for their Borders Rewards members. Membership to the rewards program is free. I will continue to use their coupons until the liquidation discount surpasses the coupon discount percentage.

Kirk

July 20th, 2011
5:53 pm

Went to Parkway Pointe in Cobb and Buckhead during their closeout found some awesome deals on various obscure subjects. Magazines are usually gone pretty quickly and usually not much of a deal. I liked being able to create my own CD at East Cobb-but that location was like going to Chattanooga from my house so I only made it up there like twice a year.

ugaprof

July 21st, 2011
12:11 pm

59bulldawg: You’re right — the real beginning of the end was a few years ago when they cut back their on-site inventory. Borders’ strength was that they carried specialized books, especially in math, science, and computers, and lots of interesting music (e.g., that’s where I discovered Amici Forever). When they cut that back, they no longer had an edge over Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million. I’ll miss them, but I’ve been missing their old self for several years already.

Barbara Ludlam

July 21st, 2011
12:17 pm

I shopped at Borders yesterday in East Cobb and was told that today is the last day any Borders coupons, BordersBucks or gift cards will be honored as tomorrow a liquidator takes over the store.

Fred

July 21st, 2011
12:31 pm

Borders express at Northlake is still open. Just talked to a guy who said their liquidation starts tomorrow and they may even be open until September.

I’m bummed about them losing their jobs. The employees at that particular location were always very knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. Most had been there a long time as well. One lady worked across the “street” at the Disney Store as well until it moved out. She sold my daughter Princess dresses when she was little and books now that she’s older. I wonder what she will do?

Won’t stop me from going in to look for some deals though………

Fred

July 21st, 2011
12:32 pm

Thanks Barbara. i have a gift card with a little left on it I think. Better head to the mall today……..

Lauren Davidson

July 21st, 2011
12:34 pm

@Barbara: Thanks for the heads-up!

USC83

July 21st, 2011
12:38 pm

Anyone know who will move into the Borders space at East Cobb Avenues. It has been the center’s anchor & our media source for several years. Will be missed. Also a good place to stop, get a coffee, grab a book and chill. We need a good bookstore for area school reading and homework requirements – Barnes & Noble, do you hear us?

PM

July 21st, 2011
12:45 pm

All shoppers at the liquidation sales should realize that it might say Borders on the sign but once Hilco or whomever takes over tomorrow, all bets are off about what the store will actually sell. Hilco and the other companies often ship out any good merchandise (yes they cherry pick -you think they wouldn’t?) and ship IN all manner of goods from clothes to electronics, pet supplies, tools, dollar store inventory, things you would find at a flea market, even surplus food and grocery items -literally anything they think they can sell- along with books they may have acquired over the years. It probably won’t be books anyone wants or else these books would have sold already. It is not uncommon to see the same merhcandise shipped from one “closeout” sale to another. It is never allowed to get so cheap that they give it away. They just keep shipping it around until somebody buys it. That’s what these closeout companies do for a living.

In any case, the inventory Borders used to have may suddenly change or be totally different and the “deals” may not be much of a deal. Expect anything.

If you show up expecting bargains, you could be surprised. If you show up with no brains, you could lose money.

It is also not uncommon for liquidators to bring in their own employees, change every single aspect of the store rules (i.e. no refunds, no checks, no nothing), refuse to accept coupons or giftcards, and generally drop any pretense of customer service. They have no reason to care. Not like you’re going to be a customer for life.

count_schemula

July 21st, 2011
1:07 pm

Sad was Oxford Books and Small Press closing. I’m pretty indifferent to the Borders and Barnes and Noble closings. They had their time. You sow what you reap I guess.

BRW

July 21st, 2011
1:12 pm

“sow what you reap” ???

msay

July 21st, 2011
1:19 pm

USC83: I feel the same way…It was a great place to get coffee, browse through the books and just chill…I am really sad that there will not bea “hands-on” book store is E. Cobb!! Even the E. Cobb Library is gone!!

eastcoastpeach

July 21st, 2011
1:34 pm

They had a drug store named Freddy’s going out of business and they were taking manufacturers coupons times 3. I had lots of dollar coupons and got $350 worth of stuff for $13. it was fun too and this was in the 9o’s, I had soap for two years. :)

Lundy

July 21st, 2011
1:34 pm

I went to the Borders in Douglasville last weekend. They were having a “sale” on CDs. One I liked was $18.99. I pulled out my smartphone and found it online at amazon NEW for $2.99. They just can’t compete with the internet.

Book Lover

July 21st, 2011
1:44 pm

I have to agree that the heart going “pitter patter” remark is in bad taste, even if unintentionally so. Behind these bargains are over 10,000 lost jobs, dozens in our area alone. While I will probably take advantage of the bargains as well, it’s hardly a cause for celebration. I appreciate Ms. Davidson’s guidance on how to navigate the liquidation sales, but wish she had chosen her words more carefully. It’s kind of tacky, actually.

But not as tacky as 59bulldawg’s remarks. Seriously, grow up. Who cares if your remarks were about corporate – 10,000 lost jobs are more important than your occasional inconvenience at their not having every item you were looking for.

beebee

July 21st, 2011
2:03 pm

Crucify the lady will you? She said “please forgive me if the announcement …”

All you Perfect Peace Soldiers of the World, stop acting like you care more than everybody else about 10,000 jobs being lost.

amanda

July 21st, 2011
2:04 pm

I went to a couple of the Borders that have closed while they were under the liquidation people. There was not any flea market garbage there. Just books, obviously picked over of course. The thing that really sucks when you get them at a liquidation sale is that they mark over the barcodes with a sharpie. No big deal on a magazine for me, but they are complete jerks if you ask them to please not mark your book. Someone in front of me ended up not getting the book they had because the person snapped at them over them asking for them not to mark it at the Cobb Parkway store.

roget

July 21st, 2011
2:12 pm

does anyone know of the actual border locations that are still open? i may take a field trip with the kids this weekend

Lauren Davidson

July 21st, 2011
2:12 pm

@Book Lover: Appreciate your thoughtful reply. I think anyone celebrating someone else’s tragedy is in for a long and lonely life. But that doesn’t mean I won’t celebrate the sale.

Nerlman

July 21st, 2011
2:20 pm

It’s all digital now folks. Books are going away just like AM Radio and landline home phones.

MM

July 21st, 2011
2:22 pm

Yeah, Oxford Books in Peachtree Battle. Now there was a bookstore. everything since has been so corporate and so boring.

TuckerGirl

July 21st, 2011
2:31 pm

Fred, thanks for sharing about the Northlake store. I take my little guy there to read stories every week or so. We will miss that store a lot. Makes me blue because it continues that mall’s slow slide down the drain

Book Lover

July 21st, 2011
2:37 pm

Give me a break, beebee. Lay off the hyperbole and argue like a grown-up.

BRW

July 21st, 2011
2:37 pm

Borders Snellville was still open last night.

Stop Comparing Apples to Oranges

July 21st, 2011
2:39 pm

Am I mistaken or is this a blog about BARGAINS?!!!! It really bothers me when people take a statement out of context just to have a response. CLEARLY the “pitter patter” comment was about excitement over the liquidation sale not about the excitement of the store closing or employees losing their jobs. While I understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion, please ensure that your opinion stays on topic.

count_schemula

July 21st, 2011
2:46 pm

Yes, sow what you reap. Borders big boxed Oxford Books (the day Atlanta died in a lot of ways) and now you’ve been big boxed by the internet. C’est la vie. I demise the loss of another “public space” but the stores were not that comfortable anyway. We have a very modern society. Too bad we don’t know what we want from it.

Someone called Lauren a “sorority queen” and now that post is gone. Censorship is never the way.

BRW

July 21st, 2011
2:49 pm

I had always heard it in reverse, “you reap what you sow”. Chicken and egg thingy I suppose…..

Fred

July 21st, 2011
3:12 pm

LOL BRW, I noticed that too.

Tuckergirl: I hear you. It’s like the owners are TRYING to keep people from shopping at that mall. Well at least we still have Sherry’s Produce right? ;)

count_schemula

July 21st, 2011
3:24 pm

grr, I’m dyslexic I guess, lol

BRW

July 21st, 2011
3:34 pm

In this case maybe we can instead say “Karma’s a Bee-atch” …….

tar and feathers party

July 21st, 2011
3:52 pm

I will shop the closings knowing they have no where else to ship the remainders except the trash dumpster. Carmen, are you still into dumpster diving, now that you have lost that extra 200 pounds you should fit in the dumpster ever better than before?

count_schemula

July 21st, 2011
3:55 pm

I still say stupid things like “I’m going to check this cash.” Which in this day and age is not such a bad idea.

mdr

July 21st, 2011
4:06 pm

When Tower Records was going out of business I spent about $300 on discounted cds. I then took the cds to another store which sold used music and made a profit of over $200. :)

59bulldawg

July 21st, 2011
4:39 pm

@Booklover at 1:44 today. I’m sorry if you are simply too ignorant to understand the gist of my point. Corporations exist to make a profit by providing a good or service that consumers will want to purchase . . . not simply provide employment. The fact that they do provide jobs is a good thing . . . but it is secondary to their reason for existing. When corporations try to cut corners to increase profits without maintaining the value or their goods or services, they risk everything . . . marketshare, profits, and eventually even the jobs of loyal and competent employees. I take no pride in anyone losing their job but the best defense against such things is competent and caring corporate leadership. Borders did not offer that(and yes convenience is a service)and consumers went elsewhere. In today’s competitive world, you have to give the consumer compelling reasons to purchase your good or service. Otherwise you end up going out of business and costing people their jobs. It’s a tragedy yes . . . but the real tragedy is that it could have been avoided. If you had taken time to read and think about what I was actually saying instead of being so eager to “gig” me on what you misunderstood, we’d all be the better for it. Seems to me you yourself could benefit by a little maturation . . . as well as a little more education in economics. God only knows . . . in addition to judging others, you probably also never miss an opportunity to vote either . . . thereby subsidizing the ignorance in government with your own.

59bulldawg

July 21st, 2011
4:50 pm

And by the way Booklover it was not simply my “occasional inconvenience at their not having every item you were looking for”! It was pretty much every time I went into a Borders. I would call their section perfect for anyone who had never purchased or read a history book before. But if you had a decent collection already . . . or were anything more than a novice reader . . . it was extremely run of the mill . . . and even no where near the best price available. On more than one occasion I went to a Borders with a 40% coupon determined to spend money . . . on any genre book and ended up giving it away to another shopper.

Book Lover

July 21st, 2011
5:39 pm

Bulldawg, there are a number of market-driven reasons Borders went out of business — they were slow to have an online presence and they never exhibited any real innovation during the advent of the e-reader. Those are two chief reasons, but there are more. They simply lost ground in the marketplace because they didn’t keep up with B&N and Amazon.