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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Payless ShoeSource Closes 400 Stores: Time For Liquidation Bargains?

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We now have the list of all 400-odd Payless Shoes Stores that will be closing in 2017 as part of the chain's bankruptcy filing.

You can go here to see the complete list, or I've listed the San Antonio stores below for local readers:

Thanks to Consumerist for this compilation!
However, 'store closing' sales don't automatically equal crazy good buys.  Here's how to shop the Payless going out of business sale and really save money.

Know what a good price really is. These store closing sales will often jack up the retail prices on items, even higher than what the store originally charged for them.  

So a pair of shoes that might originally have cost $10 at Payless, for example, might now be on 'sale' for 25% off a new retail price of $19.98 -- which means you could be paying $14.99 for that pair instead.

I saw this phenomenon first hand back when Borders went out of business.  The liquidation sales attracted customers who typically didn't shop the store, and therefore thought 10% off books or Blu-rays was a steal.  
Regular customers, on the other hand, were used to snagging new releases for 30% or 40% off list price.  

I will never forget talking to a cashier at that sale who said, "If these new customers had been this excited to shop us before, we never would be going out of business!"

Stick to your list. Decide in advance what sort of items you're interested in, and stick to browsing those sections. 

This tip works whether you're a shopper who gets carried away by the thrill of the hunt, or you're a shopper who gets easily overwhelmed by too many choices.  

As always, the impulse shopper is the one that spends too much money.

Don't expect assistance from staff personnel.  In fact, often those people working the cash registers in a store closing didn't work there before.  

Frequently, a company will lay off long-term employees early in a liquidation process, and then hire a cheaper team of employees just to make it through the closing of the doors.  

That means those folks have NO idea where the items you want are, and honestly don't have a lot of motivation to help you out, either. 

Don't cut up your gift cards. At least, not yet.  Since Payless isn't closing all stores, obviously those gift cards will be good at other locations.  

You should also be able to use Payless gift cards online, since the company says they will be trying to improve and expand their online presence.

Get creative.  As the Payless ShoeSource store closing sales progress, stores will sell fixtures, furniture, shelving, and basically anything that isn't nailed down.

Now might be the time to score some storage for your stockpile, or other household organizers!

What other advice do you have about shopping store closings or liquidation sales?  Leave your tip in the comments section!

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