Skip to main content

Bold-colored dramatic sign that says Going Out of Business in capital letters

Going out of business sales may seem like golden opportunities to grab great deals. But before you head to one, here are a few things to keep in mind.  

How can you tell if you’re getting a good deal?

Comparison shopping is your best bet. Check to see if someone is selling the same, or similar, products somewhere else for less. If you’re at the store, use your smart phone to compare prices online.

Who’s handling the sale?

Most large retailers sell off their merchandise to third party liquidators, who hold the sale.

Liquidators may base discounts on the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, which often is higher than what stores typically charge. That means items can end up costing more than they did before the sale began.

Liquidators generally don’t honor coupons or store credits. They probably also have a “no refunds or returns” policy. So, look things over carefully before you buy them.

If you have a gift card for a store that’s going out of business, use it right away. There may be a deadline to use it. After that, your card will be worthless.

When can a company advertise a going out of business sale?

The short answer is: only when a store is going out of business. It’s against the law to advertise a going out of business sale when a store isn’t, well, going out of business. If a store in your area is advertising what looks to be a bogus going out of business sale, tell your state Attorney General’s office.


For more tips to help you save money, check out Shopping & Saving.



It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

about saving
December 04, 2019
Thank you, I wasn’t aware of this.
December 04, 2019
check the merchandise very carefully. There are generally "no returns."
December 04, 2019
What about businesses who say they are going out of business, only to find that they just changed the business name. I've seen that a few times here in FL. I've seen the same employees.
December 05, 2019
this is really good