If you didn’t learn your lesson when Circuit City went out of business, here’s a reminder. When companies go out of business, they usually sell their remaining stock to an outside auction company. That company sets the sale prices. Don’t be fooled by 80% off advertisements. Wait a little longer before you go shopping for a great bargain.

80% Off Is a Great Deal

When you see a popular product marked at 80% off, you should immediately question that. Book lovers are getting the chance to raid the Borders inventory for great deals, but just like Circuit City, those drastic mark-downs probably won’t be as good as you think. When auction companies buy a failing business and begin to liquidate the stock, they look of the MSRP on each item. That price is always the highest price possible. In a competitive world, no one is selling for MSRP. Therefore, 80% off MSRP might not be any better than the sale price at another store.

If you want the kind of deal you can brag about, you have to know when to buy, and that’s about six weeks after the liquidation sale starts. In the meantime, you’ll do better just to shop elsewhere for normal sales or refurbished products.

Look for Company Liquidation Sales

If an office or organization goes out of business in your town, you may be able to find some great technology deals there. Once again, the prices will be high at first, and then they’ll go down. Also, companies that specialize in refurbished products may buy everything in bulk, refurbish it, and re-sell it at a great price.

Timing is everything, so be patient, and the deal will come to you.