Inside The Mind Of A Liquidator

Interesting facts from a Boston Globe article profiling a member of the Tweeter liquidation team, David “The Junkyard Dog” Spehar:

  • At the beginning of a liquidation sale, it’s very typical that they reset the price back to original and begin discounts from there
  • The discounts get bigger week by week, or faster if merch isn’t moving
  • Employee theft is a big problem
  • One liquidator helps make nice with the old employees working through the liquidation sale by giving more sales bonuses than they got before
  • Also, by buying everyone donuts

As retailers reel, a call for the liquidators [The Boston Globe] (Thanks to peetah!) (Photo: Josh Reynolds)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Sandtiger says:

    I’d be curious to see what this liquidator has to say about all the customers that prepaid for products/warranties and didn’t get anything for their money. Have they made any kind of a statement yet about that?

    • jadenton says:

      @Sandtiger: Sadly, warranties are probably not part of a liquidators responsibilities. Usually, the a liquidator has purchased either the inventory outright and is subleasing the building, or otherwise has a contract to sell the merchandise. Other obligations, including for products already sold but not delivered, still belong to the original company.

      Remember, by the time you see the liquidation sign go up, the original retailer has left the scene.

    • drdom says:

      Warranties, gift card redemptions, lawaways, deposits etc are the responsibility of the company that is out of business. The liquidator purchases and sells off assets, period. They are cleaning up the mess created by someone else.

    • bdgbill says:

      @Sandtiger: You should ask that question to Tweeters upper managment who thought they were going to take over the world by building an overpriced electronics store on every corner.

      Stores like Tweeter should never be within 100 miles of each other. Their customers are people who enjoy spending extra money so the broke ass sales guy will act all impressed and tell them they are buying “The Best”. There just are not that many of those people.

      Tweeter died because they were mismanaged pure and simple. I’m sure their top people are enjoying spending the money customers spent on warranties and gift cards. The liquidators got none of it.

  2. bohemian says:

    He forgot the carnie like meth fueled atmosphere. The people running the local LNT liquidation are pretty sketch looking. I don’t think I would buy anything with a credit card there.

    • downwithmonstercable says:

      @bohemian: LOL.. I think “carnie” is the perfect description for those guys running these types of things. Man.. that is spot on.

  3. midwestkel says:

    I was really surprised to walk into a closing CC and see an employee standing at the door instead of a hired security company because of employee theft.

  4. grandzu says:

    Oh no, Boot Town is going out of business too!?

  5. eh_remraf says:

    The liquidator running my Circuit City buys us donuts. Kind of sad.

  6. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    i’ve never been into a Tweeter store…
    why is there a bed in the store?

  7. thewriteguy says:

    Perhaps the bed was part of a bedroom set that was meant to demonstrate to customers how a sound/entertainment system performs in a bedroom.

  8. Killians1978 says:

    So glad I could be recognized in the past for making THESE EXACT POINTS, over four posts, when everyone was screaming that liquidators are shrewd, callous S.O.B.’s that are only in it to ruin the consumer’s day.

    It’s methodical, it’s cold and harsh, sure. I mean, you’re closing down a store. Your only concern is reducing shrink and making sure the liquidation company doesn’t end up owing more than it earns in the process. But they’re not freakin’ animals out to rip you off. That’s usually why the store ends up closing in the first place.


    • Daveinva says:

      Good article. It’s nice to see some empathy with essential folks like these guys.

      Like funeral homes and car repossesors, nobody likes these guys, but together they make the world run.

      Some are shady, I’m sure– and that’s a shame when they are. But the honest ones? They provide a valuable service.

  9. smallestmills says:

    I had to work in a store that liquidated and it sucked. It wasn’t the liquidator, it was the customers that sucked because they didn’t understand how exactly what happens and why the prices fluctuate. The actual agents I worked with were freelance contracted out through Tiger. They’re cut throat because they make a sweet commission off the whole deal. Our liquidator worked one or two liquidations a year (2-6 months) and lived the rest of the time in Spain. It seemed like a pretty sweet job.