It’s time to branch out to save money. It’s time to stop going to the same old big box stores and gigantic Internet retailers. They may be popular, but that doesn’t mean they’ll have what you want or need every time. If you look around a bit, there are some under-the-radar options that let you both save money and get quality products in return.
If you see a pawn shop in a movie, it’s likely because a character is trying to make a quick buck by, for instance, selling the engagement ring their now-former fiance bought for them before cheating with the character’s best friend. But that’s a limited view that doesn’t cover the wide range of products pawn shops typically carry nowadays. Want a gently used stereo system for your car? Check your local pawn shop. If you and your buddies are looking to start a band but aren’t quite sure how committed you are, buy your instruments at a pawn shop for serious savings. Pawn shops can also be a great place for hunters to buy guns and gear before they go on their annual pilgrimage to the woods for deer season. It may surprise you to know that some pawn shops even have the widest jewelry selection in town, with far more variety than any store you’d find at the local mall. You can find a perfectly elegant ring or necklace for the special person in your life (just please don’t cheat on her with her best friend; this isn’t the movies). In general, pawn shops have a reputation that doesn’t quite line up with the reality of the modern pawn shop experience. There are good eggs and bad eggs, but that’s true of almost every type of retailer around.
You’ve probably heard the term “liquidation” thrown around a lot on local TV commercials, but you may not know exactly what it means. If a company is liquidating its stock, that means it’s selling stuff off in a final attempt to pay its debts. It’s common for companies to decide they have no viable path forward, but before they close, they’re going to have an enormous sale. Those ‘Everything Must Go!” banners are there for a reason, since everything from the inventory to the wall fixtures is usually up for grabs.
Usually such companies will have a hard deadline for when they must vacate their retail space. If everything isn’t sold by then, the merchandise may go to other companies that specialize in liquidated merchandise. Then other places can buy the liquidated merchandise in bulk and sell it at a major discount. It’s not uncommon to see people hauling off entire truckloads of merchandise.
There are other cases where items can be liquidated. Sometimes a company decides to stop making a certain product and liquidate all remaining inventory just to be rid of it. Merchandise returned by customers may also be liquidated. Typically, though, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with merchandise of this sort. Their only problem is likely that they were being sold by a company that decided it shouldn’t exist anymore. Electronics, housewares, toys, apparel and more can all be liquidated.
If you’re browsing a store that’s going out of business, though, make sure to be especially nice to the employees who may be losing their jobs. They want to get rid of everything they can, and so there may be a few cases where you can haggle with them for a lower price. Don’t push it, though. If a sign says “Final price,” then you should decide if that’s a price you’re willing to pay. If you aren’t, then leave it there for someone else to purchase. There will probably be plenty of takers.