Borders Liquidation: When to Buy
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Borders Liquidation: When to Buy

Posted on Friday, July 22nd, 2011 at 8:42 am
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The Borders bookstore chain is scheduled to begin liquidation of its 399 remaining store locations as soon as this Friday. So, what does this mean for savvy shoppers and bargain hunters? First of all, if you have Borders gift cards or “Borders Bucks” (part of the Borders rewards program), be sure to use them right away. All stores are speculated to be closed by September, but your local store could close sooner. If you don’t have time to visit a store, I highly recommend you spend your store credit online before it’s too late. Now would also be a good time to take advantage of any remaining Borders coupons. If you are just looking for great deals on bookstore merchandise, here are some tips for when to buy (and when not to buy) during Borders’ liquidation process.

When’s the Best Time to Buy?

It has been speculated that the time to find the best deals will be in the early days of liquidation. “The bookseller will be looking to sell as much of its merchandise now to help pay off creditors” writes Jessica Mintz of MSNBC.

I was unable to get any further information from my local Borders staff. My recommendation is to keep a close eye on the items you want. Based on the speculations made, it sounds like it will be a good idea to snatch these items up when they first go on sale. If you have a Smartphone, you can download a price comparison app to scan bar codes. Then you can compare Borders sale prices to ensure they are actually a good bargain. Don’t assume that liquidation prices are going to be the lowest, because there might still be better prices elsewhere.

When’s the Worst Time to Buy?

Following the initial liquidation process, the control will be handed back to the individual stores at which time sales will either plateau or even return to full price.  Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for market research at NPD Group told MSNBC that “once the store-closing process begins, the liquidators will raise prices back to full price before starting to offer discounts. Unsold merchandise will typically get moved to another store — not sold for pennies.” So, don’t wait for better sales because they just might not happen in this case.

In Other News…

If you bought a Kobo e-reader from Borders, you’ll want to transfer your Borders library to a Kobo eBook library as possible. The transfer process is quick and easy, just visit Kobo’s website here. If you are using Borders apps to access your eBook library from a computer, tablet, or Smartphone, visit to download a free Kobo app.

While the closing of Borders will eventually leave more business for Barnes & Noble, the increasing interest in e-readers and eBooks remains a threat to all large-scale bookstores. Ultimately, the closing of Borders reveals a drastic technological shift in the book industry. While Barnes & Noble took a more prominent stand in the e-reader hype, Borders fell behind, and ultimately off the grid.

At this time, many details regarding the store’s closing remain up in the air. The closing of the Borders bookstore chain has raised some unanswered questions about what is to become of, the Borders rewards program, and extended warranties on Borders e-readers. I will keep you posted as more information on these issues becomes available. In the meantime, keep an eye out for those sales and bargains!


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