Sep 012011


Bargains, bargains, bargains

I love a good bargain as much as anyone, and I count Thriftown, the flea market and Grocery Outlet as part of my perennial haunts.  However, I just discovered that there are places where you can get even better bargains: liquidators.  I actually came across this particular liquidator last year, they were selling children’s pajama sets for $2 (really! and I think they still are!) and a friend made a collection to buy a lot and donate them to a local charity.  I decided to check out the place and was able to find some amazing, beautiful children’s winter coats for about $10 each (things that would sell for at least $60 at a department store).  Mike was also able to find a travel wireless router (an older model, but a very good one  that still sells for over $100) for $5.  Needless to say, when we found out that this place had a warehouse sale again we had to check out.  We walked out with a keyboard, a mouse and a wireless microphone (to get better audio during those community meetings) for pennies on the dollar.

The guy who runs this place is getting out of the liquidator business so everything is for sale, and he’s willing to bargain.  They have clothing (for kids and adults), some very cute baby coats, lots of pajamas, framed prints, art (including some massive pieces), chairs, desks and lots of assorted electronics.  They also have computers, Timbuktu bags, candles, lotion sets, etc.  Basically, come here to treasure hunt.

The warehouse is located at 3018 Alvarado, Suite A, near a furniture store.  From the outside it looks like an empty office. It has dark glass windows/doors and the only signage is a piece of paper.  Knock on the side door, however, and they’ll open up for you.  Their hours are 9 am to 5 pm and they should be there for the next 3 – 4 weeks.

If you remember to say you read about this on San Leandro Talk (or Facebook), they’ll give you a free mouse pad with a cute frog (pictured).

Update: I went back to the liquidator today because I was looking for some speakers for my laptop ($5).  I took another look at the stuff they have, and I was amazed.

He has many signed, limited edition prints and even large paintings ranging from $50 to $1,000. These include framed, autographed jerseys from Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, as well as a framed photo from the cast of Goodfellas (autographed by the main actors/director), and signed prints from other movies (Shrek, the Aviator, etc.)  A framed Michael jordan signed jersey is going for $2900 on e-bay, so these are incredible deals. He also has posters by Peter Max, who apparently is a big deal and a framed/signed Michael Jordan Wings poster for $800 (I found it online for $1500).  You can see some pictures of these stuff below.

The Timbuk2 messenger bags are hand-made in San Francisco, and he has them for $15 to $40 depending on size. They retail for at least twice as much on sale.

He has full computer systems, including the monitor, for $150. He has a couple of Herman Miller Aeron chairs, which retail for $680 at for $300.  Lots of cheap computer chairs for $20-30.  He also has a lot of A’s jerseys and hats, but I didn’t ask the price. I’m sure they’re dirt cheap.

Also I found a lot of beautiful boxed candles and glass-bottled foam bath for a couple of dollars. These would be ideal as Christmas gifts. There are also some kitchen things and snow gloves.

Among the electronics ($5-10) I saw a lot of home security cameras, cordless phones, laptop chargers, calculators, headphones and stuff like that. He has quite a lot of Radio Shack things.

He’ll be open this Saturday from 10 AM on, and as they’re bringing in more inventory from the warehouse we may just stop again.

Pictures of some of the stuff available:

  12 Responses to “Liquidator comes to San Leandro – for 3 weeks”

  1. Marga, I am surprised that a progressive like you would support a business model that exists only by means of the demise of a failed business. The low price paid by liquidator ensures that the bankruptcy will never pay off the investors, employees and others shattered by the loss of the business.

    Those products not acquired through the fraud of bankruptcy are many time the result of theft, pure and simple. That is what you find in flea markets and many other organized ‘rummage sales.’

    Not such a good business, if you care about the ethics of sales and retail. On the other hand, if you want to go for lowest price, do not knock China, Malaysia, India, Walmart and the other parasites of American business.

    • Perhaps you should explain to me exactly what part is unethical. A person opens a business, takes out a loan to pay for inventory, etc. The business doesn’t work out, so he has to close it and cannot pay the loan back. The bank does takes the inventory and sells it through a liquidator. Or am I missing something?

  2. I’m also not sure what the problem is Thomas — the liquidators didn’t cause the business failure, they’re just making the best of a bad situation. Or do you subscribe to the thought that nothing is better than something?

  3. Liquidators are the vultures of the retail system. They pay very little for the product, are generally unregulated, and work with their factors to ensure that virtually nothing ever pays back the original creditors. They are not honorable people who exalt in the tragedy of failure.

    The folks who are not liquidators but are often the ones who regularly sell at flea markets are a part of the thief and fence system in the community. The Bunco units in the PD can fill you in if care.

    Walmart is just a feeble step above these bottom feeders. Supporting these types of business is a part of what is wrong with America. Those who support these business are disengenuous at best and scavengers at worst. Say no to support for these folks.

    • Thomas, that doesn’t make sense. If there is a free market – and I have no reason to believe there isn’t one – you’d expect that the banks that end up with all the inventory of failed businesses would want to get the most money possible for that inventory. So they would sell it to the liquidator that can give them the best deal. The liquidator, meanwhile, also wants to make as much money as possible on the items, so they will sell them for as much as they think they can get.

      With respect to the flea market, definitely some of the vendors sell stolen merchandise, but clearly not all. I very much doubt that the used toys I buy my kids for a couple of dollars were stolen.

      Walmart is another matter, but still, you can’t expect people who can barely make ends meet to pay more for their necessities out of ethical concerns.

  4. David, I think that there should be greater regulation by the bankruptcy court. These businesses are as criminal as the bankers and mortgage companies that helped us get where we are today.

  5. Marga, remember that my issue is with your support and popularizing of liquidators, flea markets and their ilk. The current bankruptcy court systems and liquidator assignment process is hardly freemarket and definitely does not select for the largest return on the dollar for creditors. Most liquidators are not local, they represent shady capital at best and in some cases are outright crooks. My comments are directed at you and your endorsement of a business that preys on the system. I actually expected more from you.

    As to the flea markets, these too should be regulated and controlled. Support for the enterprise of the flea market really supports domestic and neighborhood robbery and larceny, which in San Leandro is actually the top source of crime. I am no fan of the police but eliminating the ability of thieves to find ready fences is a basic part of good security for a community. I would expect you to support limiting these types of free market economy, not talking about getting the deal.

    You are right about Walmart. It is something else. Some day there will be local politcians who will speak out against companies that undermine local economies and support nations that are truly awful. Put the People’s Republic of China up there on top.

  6. But Thomas, where else will you find a brand new autoclave for under $100? (Thanks for the tip,Marga.)

  7. Marga, the woman let us cruise the warehouse.
    Most of the stuff is from overseas, and at least a few years old. Did get an emergency radio/flashlight for $5. Mentioned SLTalk, so………

    • Very cool! It makes me happy to have helped several people get good deals via this liquidator. Some other friend bought thousands of dollars worth of art for hundreds.

      I’ll have to stop by again before he closes and find out if he got many referrals from me. I’m just curious 🙂

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