Sears' prices are going up during a liquidation sale — and it's a common practice at closing stores across the US

  • Sears’ price for a Craftsman riding mower jumped $US390 to $US1,889 at the start of a liquidation sale in a Minnesota store last week.
  • The price increases might come as a shock to customers, but it’s actually a common occurrence during liquidation sales.
  • Typically, liquidators will raise the prices of remaining inventory to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, then offer a discount off that price.

Sears‘ prices increased – in one case by as much as nearly $US400 – during a liquidation sale for one of its closing stores.

The retailer’s price for a Craftsman riding mower jumped $US390 to $US1,889 at the start of a liquidation sale in a Minnesota store last week, CBS affiliate WCCO reported. Similarly, the price of a Craftsman push mower rose $US51 to $US450, according to the report.

The price increases might come as a shock to customers who expect to find record-low prices at liquidation sales.

But it’s actually a common practice during these sales. (In fact, this just happened in April at closing Farm Fresh stores).

Sears said a liquidator was responsible for the increases at the Minnesota store.

“Pricing is determined by the liquidator of the store, which is true for any retailer closing a store,” a Sears spokesman told Business Insider.

Liquidators are outside companies that are hired to get rid of closing stores’ remaining inventory. They often earn a percentage of the profits from what sells.

Typically, liquidators raise prices of remaining inventory to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, then offer a discount off that price.

Sometimes, these deals aren’t as low as what the store was previously advertising when it was trying to get rid of unsold inventory without the help of a liquidator.

“By nature, liquidation sales don’t translate to awesome deals,” Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at personal finance site DealNews.com, told MarketWatch in March.

The good news for shoppers is that liquidation sales get better with time.

The smallest discounts are often offered at the beginning of a liquidation sale, and as the closing date of the store approaches, the discounts get steeper.

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