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Buyer Beware: Liquidation Sales

Released on September 5, 2017

The marketplace is changing all the time.  When a business shuts down there, tends to be big sales and discounts to clear out old inventory before closing the doors for good.  Consumers should beware of the risks and pitfalls while hunting for deals during liquidation sales.

Consumer complaints following liquidation sales usually fall under five broad categories; deceptive pricing, returns, warranty support, gift cards and non-delivery.  “Sales” with pricing discrepancies/deceptive pricing may violate the unfair practices provisions found in The Consumer Protection and Business Practices Act.

  • Use your phone to price-check similar items listed by other retailers.  Don’t fall for “shopping math.”  Watch out for pricing mark-ups just before a sale that make discounts seem bigger than they actually are.
  • When a business closes, all sales are final.  Ask to check the contents of the box to make sure everything is there before you take it home.
  • Items like appliances may need warranty work.  If a retailer closes, their warranty offerings will likely go with them and it might be difficult to get repairs.
Gift Cards
  • Use your gift cards immediately.  If the business closes, it is unlikely you will get value for the card.
  • If you’re ordering something for delivery, pay with a credit card.  If your goods don’t get delivered you may be able to get a refund from the credit card issuer.

Contact Consumer Protection Division
If consumers have concerns about pricing discrepancies or questions related to liquidation sales, they can contact Consumer Protection Division toll free at 1-877-880-5550 or by email at


For more information, contact:

Matthew Barton
Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority
Phone: 306-787-6067

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