The Psychology of “Bankruptcy” Buying
Yesterday, January 16th, Circuit City announced that they were closing all of their stores and liquidating their entire inventory. TFB talked about that in the post about did stores really do that badly. Anyway, the sales supposedly start later today, and will continue until the company decides they’ve been picked clean enough. By the way, they’re only closing the stores in the United States, which will put approximately 35,000 people out of work; the Canadian stores will remain open for the time being.
There will be a bunch of people heading to Circuit City stores across the country tomorrow, looking for big time deals on electronics. Many people will wait and hope that some of those items are still around in a couple of weeks when the discounts start getting bigger. Circuit City has already taken down their online store, though they may put it back up, because I’m betting they don’t want to have to shoulder the expense of sending anything through the mail. As it is, my bet is that from this point on every purchase will be non-refundable and non-returnable.
And that’s my problem with buying electronics from a store going out of business. It was fine when I bought supply items from drug stores or office products stores that were going out of business because I could store that stuff for a long time, and I didn’t have to worry about any of it breaking. When one buys items from an electronics store, often it’s not quite what you want or need, and it’s always nice to be able to take it back and swap it out for what you really needed. When you’re stuck with something you can’t use, when all you wanted to do was swap it for something else, you feel cheated, but hey, you knew the rules going in.
Another thing about going in too soon is that the real sales aren’t there yet. Some people don’t care, feeling that a 10% discount is a big deal, but my mind doesn’t quite work that way. The one thing I’ll be holding out for is a GPS for my wife, but I’m not buying anything that doesn’t have a 50% discount attached to it. At that point, I figure that if it’s damaged or doesn’t work properly, at least I didn’t get taken that badly.
What are your feelings of shopping at stores that have declared bankruptcy, and then what are your feelings when it pertains to technology or electronics? I’ll be interested in seeing what y’all have to say.