Last week, we adamantly advised against shopping the Borders liquidation sales, and this week we have proof that the store-closing discounts are woefully underwhelming.
Before liquidation began, we visited the Borders store in the Time Warner Center in New York and noted the price of several books and select movies. Then, we returned on Saturday to note the post-"everything must go" prices — and discovered that 19 out of 25 items were cheaper last week, while five were merely consistent. And, not surprisingly, almost none were actually price lows once we compared online.
Below, we've listed a selection of those items, as well as links to where you can find them at the best price available. (Note that the comparison prices below assume free shipping via Amazon Prime or free Walmart Site-to-Store shipping, as applicable.)
Borders Liquidation Price Check
The Hornet's Nest
$11.88 at Amazon
$4.94 at Amazon
$8.70 at Walmart
$8.15 at Amazon
The Goon Squad
$7.45 at Amazon
Engulfed in Flames
$10.50 at Walmart
$12.24 at Amazon
$13.49 at Amazon
Don't Buy Into the Sale
The Borders store-closing discounts are even worse than we originally imagined; the February liquidation sales took 20% to 40% off, but on Saturday, most popular titles only received a meager 10% off — which is laughably low when you consider that Borders offered a 30% off coupon that applied to the list price of those same items just last week. However, select titles that featured "stickered" discounts last week maintained that price for the store-closing sale. (Taking all those stickers off is probably really tedious.)
But this is all moot, because even when comparing the first week prices to the lowest price available online today, every book was still cheaper elsewhere.
However, there was one lone item that improved in the second week: Easy A on Blu-ray Disc. That's because all Blu-ray items received 40% off during liquidation. Upon seeing this, we noted additional Blu-ray titles on Saturday and price checked them this morning; three out of five were price lows at the Borders sale. So, if you're willing to take a chance, this is perhaps the only category where you'll score a deal.
But even though a low is a low, it should be noted that we listed a Borders coupon for 50% off Blu-ray disc movies last month — once again undercutting the strength of this "one-time opportunity to find exceptional discounts" on bookstore goods.
Shop Online Instead
An interesting bit of secondary information that comes from this research: Nearly every book is available at the lowest price either at Amazon (if you have Amazon Prime or can pad your order over $25) or at Walmart (with free Site-to-Store shipping). So instead of shopping the Borders store-closing sales, we recommend staying put and ordering online.
Photo credit: Maureen Lunn via Flickr