Sharper Image Liquidating All Stores

Sharper Image is closing for good starting today and everything at their remaining 86 is on sale from 20-40%. Fine purveyors of vibrating massage chairs and miniature plastic pinball tables, the liquidation is being handled by Gordon Brothers Retail Partners. These are the same guys who did the CompUSA fire sales, so expect similar awesomeness, like marking up merchandise 50%, then taking 20-40% off that…Farewell, Sharper Image, now men will have to find some other place to play while their female halves are in Victoria’s Secret.

Sharper Image® Store Closing Sale Now Underway at All Locations [Press Release] (Thanks to Justin!)


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  1. Most of me doesn’t care because their stuff was mostly crap, but a little bitty teenaged part of me is like, “But that store was awesome!” and will miss sneaking in while being under 16 without a parent to play with the massage chairs. (Because under 16s weren’t allowed in for just that reason.)

  2. amyschiff says:

    When the CompUSA around here closed, I was disgusted at how awful the “deals” were… a USED keyboard (unboxed and missing the SPACE BAR) was $30. There was absolutely nothing at the store that was reasonably priced.

    It seems like part of the reason Sharper Image is going out of business could be the ridiculously high prices in the first place… so it clearly makes sense to raise the prices even more in order to offer discounts. Awesome.

  3. Just gotta let you know, your female halves aren’t in Victoria’s Secret, they’re in Yankee Candle.

    also, onion article about a mall shooting, man refusing to die in the yankee candle, drags himself as close to the Sharper Image as he could before collapsing…

  4. I think one of the greatest moments in consumer history was when CR told the truth about Ionic Breeze, then Sharper Image sued and was dismissed. It was all downhill from that point.

    This is the kind of stuff that is “pure Consumerist”–we’ll all be better off without that crap.

  5. rpm773 says:

    Are there any of those ionic air cleaners still hanging around? Do they really work?


  6. Underpants Gnome says:

    Ahh Sharper Image, I’ll always remember you as the SkyMall of the real mall…

  7. thewriteguy says:

    Considering the way the U.S. airlines industry is going, SkyMall is probably next to go.

  8. nutrigm says:

    Well CompUSA actually had GREAT deals on books! I picked up loads of techie books for less than a buck! So you never know with sharper image as well!

  9. nutrigm says:

    Oh and I shall certainly miss your free massaging services Sharper Image ;)

  10. auto_exec says:

    I’m guessing I still can’t use my $40 gift card? Or does the “spend twice as much and we’ll let you use it” rule still apply?

  11. ringo00 says:

    Meh, just go to Brookstone. Same crappy stuff, mostly the same crappy prices. And they have the massage chairs too.

  12. B says:

    @alphafemale: That’s exactly why I don’t go into Yankee Candle.

  13. opsomath says:

    Wait, there are guys who don’t like going into Victoria’s Secret?

  14. mariospants says:

    Too bad, but I can’t say I didn’t see this coming. I’m a totally gadget hound and the only reasonably-priced decent item I saw at a Sharper Image recently was a fricking kayak, and I don’t even like kayaks. What’s up with that? Oh, and the increasingly-desperate tone of their e-mail ads selling the same things over and over again… oh, what’s the use? I’ve got nowhere to go when we hit the mall now. Thank God for video game stores!!

  15. Carl3000 says:

    Where can I get a talking astrolabe now?

  16. thekizerman says:

    @auto_exec: It still applies. I worked at SI about 2 years ago, so when I heard the news I figured now was as good of a time as ever to catch up with my old manager. I’m pretty sure they won’t be jacking the prices up on their merchandise though, they already have a ridiculous margin, but no demand. If they do that, no one will buy.

  17. Bladefist says:

    I say good. Way too overpriced. Learned their lessons. I also wont be going to their fire sale.

    Also, they turned the whole place into iPod accessories. Everything hooked into an iPod. So every time I found something in their that I might remotely buy, I realized, its only useful if you have an iPod. It’s an mp3 player people. Don’t build your whole business around an mp3 player.

  18. Trai_Dep says:

    …Because iPods only have a piddly 70-80% of the mp3 player market. Yup, stores aiming for a sweet spot that tiny are idiots!

  19. BrianU says:

    The gadget lover in me will miss them – a little. Considering the enormous mark-up of their slave labor made ChiCom plastic crap, in order to go bankrupt would mean absolutely no one was buying it anymore. Not surprising now that there are several Geek gadget websites and eBay has a multitude of direct from Hong Kong sellers.

  20. Ragman says:

    @opsomath: Yeah, I don’t get that either. Guys that freak out when faced with a group of women, then go hang out with a bunch of guys – and talk about women. Me, I’ve been in VS many times with my better half – that way I get to pick the stuff I would like to see her wear :-)

  21. thekizerman says:

    @Trai_Dep: While that may be true, only about 15% of people that came in my store while I was there were looking for MP3 players/accessories. Granted, around 95% of those people were looking for iPod stuff.

  22. snoop-blog says:

    @B: I sent my wife in Yankee Candle (mistake) with $10 to spend thinking, surely it wouldn’t take long to blow that little of dough. 45 mins later I wonder by the front to see her and another woman smelling every candle in the place like “Ooh smell this one!”

    As far as Sharper Image goes, has anyone ever bought one of those massage chairs? I always wanted to but was afraid they would break down and then who’s going to fix it and how?

  23. “Gordon Brothers Retail Partners”

    Oh Great!


  24. darkryd says:

    Good riddance to overpriced plastic rubbish.

  25. JGB says:

    Screw the massage chairs! I will pay whatever it takes to get a life sized Superman.

    My kids can go to community college, it is just as good.

    How a company offering such things as light sabers that actually make noise can be allowed to go out of business is beyond me. The government needs to do something. They bailed out that company Bear Whatsits, and, as far as I know, they don’t even offer foot massagers.

  26. JGB says:

    I don’t go into Yankee Candle not because of the very high gay factor, but because the place reeks to the point of causing seizures.

  27. PunditGuy says:

    Obviously a demographic problem. The smarter guys — supposedly with the money to pay for SI’s overpriced crap — followed their significant others into Victoria’s Secret.

  28. heintzer says:

    Oh man, I can’t wait to get my hands on some clearance-priced Beamz Music Performance System action:


  29. CPC24 says:

    @heintzer: Wow, that is tacky! The awkwardness of a theremin combined with the crappy tone of a cheap keyboard. At least a theremin sounds cool!

  30. heintzer says:

    @CPC24: Did you watch the entire clip? You haven’t absorbed the full Beamz experience unless you’ve watched ‘Quiet Reverie’ and ‘Jam Session.’

  31. gqcarrick says:

    Cool stuff in their stores but VERY overpriced, probably why I never bought anything in there.

  32. spinachdip says:

    Drats, I passed a Sharper Image today and I was thinking about getting one of them Windefyer umbrellas.

    It’s kinda surprising they’ve lasted this long – the novelty of the Sharper Image gadgets have been completely replaced by the internet, especially tech and gadget blogs. I can’t imagine kids going into the stores waiting to be wowed.

    BTW, without them, where will women get, um, hand-held massagers without the stigma of going to a sex shop?

  33. Bladefist says:

    @Trai_Dep: Seeing as how they are FAILING, maybe I am right? Man you are thick headed. They made everything connect to a friggin iPod. Things you would NEVER want to hook up to an iPod.

    So while iPod’s are the best selling mp3 players, that doesn’t mean there is a market for coffee mugs that dock your iPod. Which is why they are failing.

    Also the iPod thing wasn’t the only thing that was stupid about them. Just one that always annoyed me. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to insult your little iPod gang. How dare I speak ill of an mp3 player. Actually, that is a bit condescending. It’s an iLife.

  34. drjayphd says:

    @spinachdip: Walgreen’s. Sure, they won’t be as GOOD, but what else would you massage with something about the size of a tube of lipstick with various attachments? :P

  35. @spinachdip:
    BTW, without them, where will women get, um, hand-held massagers without the stigma of going to a sex shop?

    Trojan is stepping up to help those gals who can’t get fun time toys over the internet

    + Watch video

  36. @Bladefist – don’t worry about those folks. There’s definitely more to gadgets than just MP3 PLAYERS. I mean, seriously. Every Walgreens and RiteAid has iPod accessories, and you’re right; most of them are indeed crap. Why anyone would want to specialize in them is beyond comprehension. It’s like in the late 90s when people were getting millions in venture capital to open a dotcom selling cat toys. Anyone who helped finance crap like that deserved to permanently say goodbye to their money.

    What I want to know is if they have any of those miniature pinball machines left.

  37. spinachdip says:

    @alphafemale: I’m kinda afraid to play that at work (filters block the Youtube preview screen)

    @drjayphd: I take it back. Walgreen and CVS, not the internet, killed Sharper Image.

  38. Trai_Dep says:

    @Bladefist: Dude, I seem to have to say this every time you address a post I leave. Stop with the personal attacks. Who did you blow to get out of Kindergarten? Because you certainly didn’t pass based on merit.
    (we’re even, btw)
    That said, I’m not saying Sharper Image was smart to have mp3 player accessories. Or, that SI was a good concept (how many bankruptcies have they had in their history, anyway?).
    Just that, if you are going to enter the mp3 accessory retail space, there are probably worse things you can do than aim towards 60-70% of the market.
    Besides, what accessories do the other ones have: batteries and headphone jacks?

  39. BlackFlag55 says:

    Bye Bye Sharper Image. You were cool, but then disco died and so did you.

  40. fdx3k1 says:

    I never really liked going in there…people were WAY to friendly and you couldn’t spend any time looking at their crap. Plus, I like going into VS…lots of hot chicks and the wife never notices that I am staring and drooling.

  41. Bladefist says:

    @Trai_Dep: Your comment was sarcastic and was worded in a way to try and make me look stupid. IE A personal attack. And I blew a lot of people in kindergarten, how should I know which one it was that eventually led to my success?

    So I’ll stop with the personal attacks when you stop saying total nonsense that deserves attacks. Your comments are written in pure arrogance, and you probably hope that makes everyone think you’re smarter.

  42. bellsandasiren says:

    @spinachdip: ahaha, what stigma? I’d take Babeland over Sharper Image any day. Plus, less mark-up.

  43. agency says:

    @alphafemale: The fact that Yankee Candle is still in business is one thing I don’t understand or appreciate about women. How could a f–ing scented candle store in the mall make enough sales to pay the rent?

  44. Howie411 says:

    Whatever happened to the Ionic Breeze Lawsuit? The judge said SI wasn’t giving enough back for the Ionic Breezes not working, then we never heard anything after that. And the website mysteriously disappeared.

  45. elephantattack says:

    @Bladefist: I blew a lot of people in kindergarten, how should I know which one it was that eventually led to my success?

    You should be sterilized.

  46. @agency: Probably that the candles cost about ten cents and they sell them for $13. Also, they pay their employees in candles.

  47. quail says:

    @JGB: SI started when the capitalistic hey day of the 80’s were at it’s peak and executives where trying to out do each other with the crap they could buy for their offices and homes. Toys for grown ups. And for a long while it worked, but they never changed their business model with the times and are now headed to the liquidators.

    I’ll miss SI a bit. It was a part of my youth to browse at stuff I’d like to have but couldn’t afford or see a real use for.

  48. dantsea says:

    I remember, back in the pre-Cambrian age, when Sharper Image was opening its first store in Phoenix. The store manager faced a news camera and described it as “an adult toy store,” then had the most curious look pass over his face before stammering out something less hilarious.

    I’ll miss it a little, it was always fun, though my current useless crap browsing needs are well met by ThinkGeek.

  49. MikeGrenade says:

    Bladefist, as much as I agree that the iPod and it’s “ecosystem” sucks, I can’t get past how caustic you are in every thread. You seem to have two modes: Off and full blast.

  50. LUV2CattleCall says:


    Bought a refurb massage chair online for $900 something…they accidentally shipped one worth $2,000+. They called a few days later and asked when the delivery company could come and pick it up…. I told them it’s on a moving truck on its way to my “aunt” in “Canada”. They, without telling me, billed me for the $2,000+ one. Did a chargeback….I guess the Discover can only do an all/nothing chargeback, not a partial one, when the merchant is uncooperative. Now I have a $2,000 massage chair that I got for free! It works great, holds up well, etc….but to be honest, I don’t think anyone has used it in ages…once the novelty wears off, it’s boring.


    Theremin? Isn’t that an insecticide as well?

  51. Cyclone42 says:

    The CompUSA “liquidation” sales were beyond pathetic. It was like they RAISED their prices for the liquidation! There was one right nearby where I live, and I stopped by several times. There was nothing approaching a reasonable price, let alone a “sale” price. A Pentium II (yes, 2) for $300? A wired mouse (not wireless) for $50?

    Expect the “liquidation” company to gouge customers for as much as they possible can get out of them.

  52. austinchu says:

    I work for a company that manages and tracks gift cards, and I’ve been following this issue for sometime now on initialized a bankruptcy policy for consumers that purchased The Sharper Image gift card on our website. You can email me at and I can check our records to see if your card was purchased through us. If it is, then you’re in luck and you can swap it with any of our other retailers.