The store closing signs are up at 46 Sears stores closing this fall. Sales have now begun at many of them.
But will you find real deals — or just duds? We went to one liquidating Sears in Florence, Kentucky, in early September to find out.
Shoppers like Jack Morrison found some good buys in clothing.
"It was great, the deals are great in there," he said, after buying some Lands End items.
Faye Reeves, however, walked out empty handed. Deals? She said, "not really."
How to make sure you're getting a deal
If you want to check out the sales, but don't want to overpay, bring your phone. Double-check prices online and make sure that markdown is a really a good deal compared with other stores.
We went inside and found signs throughout the store advertising 10 percent to 40 percent off, and some very good deals on clothing.
So we compared some prices.
Wolverine waterproof boots -- regularly $135 -- were marked down 30 percent to $95 lower than anywhere else we checked (including Wolverine's website).
But appliances were just 15 percent off list price, which was not much of a sale in many cases. (Everyday prices in many stores are 15 percent off "list.")
A $174 Ninja Professional blender was marked down to $148, still higher than several similar Ninja Professional blenders on Amazon.
A Nordic Track GX 4.7 recumbent exercise bike was marked down from $599 to $449, which looked like a nice deal. But on Sears' own website it was marked down from $599 to $399, $50 less than at the closing sale.
And a Craftsman model #2588 riding mower looked like a good deal in the store, marked down from $2,099 to $1,889. But on Sears.com we found it $300 cheaper, marked down from the same $2,099 to a much better $1,539.
(NOTE that these prices were in effect on Sept. 10, 2018, but may have changed since our in-store price check. Other closing stores may have different prices)
Shop, but be careful
Bottom line: You should find great deals on shoes, clothing and tools, but be careful buying appliances and lawn mowers — at least until they drop prices to around 50 percent off list.
Also, remember that the Sears chain remains in business. That means if you want to order a washing machine or microwave in the store, you will have to pay regular price.
The only items on final markdowns are what you see inside the closing store.
That way, you don't waste your money.
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