If Bedlam Means “Accidental” Sale, I’m All For It

c|net: Bedlam breaks out at Circuit City After Best – Buy mega-stored Circuit City to oblivion, the hapless retailer has quickly gone to pieces. On Friday, Circuit City said it was liquidating all of its stores. Then, on Saturday, there was a big liquidation sale at my local Circuit City–up to 30 percent off. The checkout line was almost as long as the lines you encounter on a typical Saturday at Fry’s–the mostly California- and Texas-based sprawling electronics warehouse. (The line actually snaked to the back of the store.)

I was witness to something similar: Jolene and I leeringly went to the Circuit City in Bellevue and poked our heads in, seeing as I’ve been lurking around for a new camera and she for a new TV. The line for the front registers went straight to the back and people were everywhere yet not a “SALE” sign in sight. I asked a guy in line: what’s the sale like? “20% off games and movies; 10% off everything else.” Based on that, the TV’s and cameras were actually more expensive than most other stores: regular price – 10% = more than an average online or sale price for electronics.

On a whim, we wandered into the computer section… number of notebooks were still in stock. Including some Lenovo S10; their in stock model sells for $399 online and they had over ten of them in stock… I’ve been thinking about getting a netbook – and Jolene has been dying for one – so I said “ah, it’s still pricy, but no sales tax… I’ll get one and see what Windows 7 does on it.” Looked in a few corners to find a guy to help out – he brings it to a register in the back, so I didn’t have to wait in line. Asked him to tell me the price before swiping the Visa – he puts in $269.

I had to go find Jolene after seeing this, but first I had to push my eyes back in. I found them rolling around near the KVM switches, popped them back in, and ended up with each of us getting our own. Seems that the kid thought the regular price was $299 – even 30% off $399 isn’t $269… 10% off $299 is. So, after getting screwed by Circuit City for so many years – including many stabs in the spleen by a 10% restocking fee on unopened box returns (damned buyer’s remorse from my late teens) – I’m feeling rather satisfied that I finally got a sale priced item from them.

Damn shame their best sale is their last – I would have started shopping there again.


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