One of the fallouts from a bad economy is store closings.

Circuit City, KB Toys and Boscov's department stores are a few of the companies that have announced they were closing some of their doors in this area.

But as stores disappear, don't get caught up in the going-out-of-business sales, experts say. The deals aren't always as good as they appear.

Liquidation sales often are run by firms specializing in sales and not the retailers themselves, said Tony Gao, a marketing professor and retail expert at Northeastern University's business school.

Liquidators want to make a profit and are more concerned about selling items at the highest price than making sure that you, the consumer, get the best deal.

Liquidators can often make a better profit by selling to off-price retailers such as Marshalls, Burlington Coat Factory or TJ Maxx. They're also turning to foreign markets to sell their goods, Gao said.

If you do decide to take a look, do your homework and comparison shop. Don't assume the price is low because the store is closing. Don't be afraid to haggle.

And make sure whatever you buy is in good condition before you hand over your money. If it's an electronics item, ask about the manufacturer's warranty.

Remember that once you walk out of the store, you aren't likely to be able to return what you bought.


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