Report: Circuit City liquidator Great American Group boxing and selling broken gear

A couple, from Boston, bought a “television” for $1,100, but it turned out to be a box of shattered glass. They did not realize they were being sold this, because they were told not to open it until they got home. Investigators from a local news channel found that the store won’t allow customers to check merchandise.

A spokesman for the liquidation group, Great American Group said, “We have signs posted indicating all sales are final,” and “Consumers are protected by the manufacturers warranty.”

But Samsung wouldn’t help Gina and Emilio, saying their TV was damaged, not defective, and not their concern.

“No one’s there to help us … we’re out $1,100,” Gina said.

Gina has appealed to her credit card company but so far Citizens Bank has not said whether it will help.

Under federal bankruptcy law, all sales are final even if you are not given what you paid for. On the other hand, this is exactly what chargebacks are for.

Customers Burned In Circuit City Closeout Sale [Boston Channel]

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Email is dead, but you can try your luck at besc...@gmail.com
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26 Responses to Report: Circuit City liquidator Great American Group boxing and selling broken gear

  1. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    Ironically, a TV is one of the things that I advise people to buy locally – because there’s so much risk of damage in shipping and you may need a local retailer for support. Guess that didn’t work out for them.

  2. Chris Tucker says:

    maybe the folks at CC in Boston are just jerks.

    Jerks. Definitely jerks.

    Oh, you mean NOW?

  3. El Stinko says:

    #2: MYPLAMIKE

    Bahahaha! Funniest thing I’ve heard all day.

  4. The Unusual Suspect says:

    “Hanging a sign doesn’t usher anything into law….not even when the sign is laminated.”

    Truer words, Error404.

    Also, many (all?) liquidators will remove all the merchandise with the best discounts from inventory and sell it to competitors, who then resell it to the public at their usual markup.

    The liquidators then add in all the garbage they couldn’t sell at previous liquidations.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This must be a store-specific con. The Circuit City in my town (State College, PA) had a counter set up specifically for people to open their merchandise before they bought it. There were signs up that encouraged people to do so since All Sales Are Final.

  6. jamesey says:

    I think that’s a representation of CC employees rather than the liquidator. At the CC store I went to in AZ, they let me check out the box and inspect the TV’s before I took 2 sweet Samsungs home.

  7. Gutierrez says:

    All in all our local CC is a mess. A lot of the DVDs had been stolen through the cases using razor blades and someone had punched in the monitors of all the display notebooks. We were encouraged to shake and examine our DVD cases before buying by another customer.

    We had went in to look at an ipod nano, the hanging banners boldy proclaiming “EVERYTHING 25% to 50% off!” Ipods are only 10% off.

  8. Maxi Malone says:

    The people at CC in Boston are worse than jerks; they are dishonest thieves. What they are doing to customers is going to come back to haunt them.

  9. dainel says:

    There’s a reason other CC outlets encourage customers to check the items they purchased, whereas CC Boston does not allow customers to open the boxes until they got home. Perhaps the reason might be that they know some of the boxes only contains broken glass.

  10. Maxi Malone says:

    The employees at CC in Boston are worse than jerks, they are dishonest thieves. What they are doing to customers will eventually come back to haunt them.

  11. piglet6427 says:

    Great American just liquidated the company I worked for. They were very good to use. We didn’t mark up one item at all. Do you think employess actually have the time to change the prices on EVERY item all the time? Impossible to do. They came in on a Thursday morning and by Thursday afternoon we had signs up and started. Never touched a price! If lasts years items came in from the warehouses we did take the sale prices off. That was about it. Several of the people who worked for us are now doing CC liquidations. I asked him about this. He told me in his CA stores they are allowing inspections. But some of the GA workers didn’t want to.
    And it is correct. You cannot look at the prices that are marked. Many customers do not read the signs. They have to take the discount off the marked price. I hung ALL signs with the prices after the discount. OMG no one read that at all. No one knows what it is like to work a liquidation! It is the most frustrating this alive!

  12. davedorr9 says:

    Every time I read about the GAG, I think of a slightly skeezy but attractive man sleeping with a high priced hooker for solace from his ruthless, soul-crushing life. Are there no more fairy tales, giant liquidating companies?

  13. spincycle says:

    davedorr9, that was beautiful. I want a framed copy.

  14. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    Bankruptcy law does not cover outright fraud. Their credit card company needs to step up and reverse this charge immediately.

  15. aj says:

    These liquidators are (almost) NEVER a good deal.

  16. nixiebunny says:

    This sounds like a continuation of the disregard for their customers that got CC into this mess in the first place. Why shop there now if they weren’t worth shopping at earlier?

  17. ivan256 says:

    If they won’t let you inspect something you’re buying, and they don’t accept returns, just walk out.

    When the company I worked for during the .com era went under, we hired a liquidation company to sell our equipment auction style. I had the “pleasure” of creating the catalog with the slimebag auctioneer. During the auction, I was watching to see what went for how much, and noticed that he was counting bids that I didn’t see… Even “sold” some things that nobody bid on. Not only unethical, but completely illegal. I asked him about it afterwards, and he was all proud of it. Like I should have been happy that he was getting away with breaking the law to get me more for the items.

    When CompUSA had a similar liquidation a few years back, I went in every day to try and buy a TV. Same deal every day. Negotiate price, ask to see it, walk out when they said no. They finally gave in and let me open the box and plug it in after about two weeks. It’s not worth dropping a pile of cash on something you can’t verify. Especially when you’re dealing with shady people like liquidators.

  18. PolishQ says:

    The real problem here is that even at their liquidation prices, most of their items still aren’t priced lower than on, say, Amazon. A 40% discount looks nice until you notice that they’ve jacked the original price way up.

  19. mypalmike says:

    Same thing happened to me. Except I bought what I was hoping was a box of shattered glass, and when I got it home, it turned out to be a 50″ plasma TV. What a disappointment.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Nerak: True, that. I compared prices at my local CC and BB, and BB had better prices on just about everything.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Wrong, State College PA made me purchase my product before I was allowed to open it. You were allowed to return it if it haden’t left the store first but you have to open it only after paying for it

  22. arcticbluejay says:

    This may be more a “store policy” rather than something enforced by the liquidator. I was buying some stuff at my local CC in Tampa, FL the other day and the staff was encouraging everyone to check their merchandise before leaving. They even had some tables set up just past the register to make it easier. Maybe my locals are just not following policy, or maybe the folks at CC in Boston are just jerks.

  23. Lea Hernandez says:

    Surely someone else(s) has noticed the initials of Great American Group spells GAG?

  24. DarrenD3 says:

    You guys that think the liquidation Sale at CC had bad prices, you all obviously didnt read ANYTHING.

    Circuit City was selling everything discounted off its ORIGINAL PRICE. If the Samsung 650 Was 2799 The day it came out then At the liquidation sale it would be 2799 plus whatever discount.

    This is good for a lot of reasons. If you wait until the end of the liquidation. Like right now YOU CAN GET A PANASONIC 42 inch PZ80U 1080P NICE plama for 770 + tax. Look on Amazon how much they want, 1100. Retail was 1299.

    This type of sale is also good for another reason. Now you know what these electronic stores are marking up and where they are ripping people off.

    Anyone notice how the Laptops are STILL 10% off, Because thats the only thing in the store they actually BARELY make any money. Notice how the cables had the highest markdowns. Etc etc. Now I know the only thing worth buying at Best buy is a laptop anything else you buy their you are getting screwed.

  25. nerak says:

    They’re pretty ridiculous over at CC with the going out of business crap. My roommate and I went on Sunday to see what was left and everything had been marked up like an extra $20-$40 so that when their “sale” price had been applied it either amounted to the items original price or something slightly higher. We saw an mp3 player “marked down” to 29 from 49. We left and went to Best Buy…the same one was $27 at the original price.

  26. error404 says:

    Wow…and this is legal?

    In the UK nothing surpasses consumer law.

    I’ve seen the NO REFUNDS signs and declarations it being STORE POLICY, but you just ignore them and get your refund.

    It is no more legal to post a sign saying no refunds than it would to hang one saying NO WOMEN/BLACKS/CHINESE/WHITES.

    Hanging a sign doesn’t usher anything into law….not even when the sign is laminated.

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