As you've hopefully heard by now, Borders is going out of business. Both my husband and I are saddened at the loss of the Borders stores, he because Borders was the only area book store that his favorite authors frequently (or ever) appeared and I because it was one of only two large bookstores in our vicinity. (The other, Books-a-Million, doesn't usually have as wide a selection, at least in my experience.)
Since the liquidation was announced, I've made three visits to my neighborhood Borders to check out the sales. I first went on the very day that the liquidation went into effect. At the time, I declared the sales to be a waste of time and a rip-off. The air conditioning had been turned off in that particular location, so the poor booksellers were slogging through a 100+ degree day in utter misery. The computer system was already off-line, providing no way to check their stock, and the shelves had already become an un-alphabetized chaos, rendering it nearly impossible to look for anything specific. On top of all that, the sales were only about 25% off the list price, meaning that many of the books had been cheaper the previous week than they were during the "Everything must go!" liquidation sale. Yet the line to checkout still snaked halfway around the store, a testament to our weakness for sales and our mistaken belief that something advertised as a "sale" must be a good deal.
My next trip was about a month later. By that point, more of the store's sections (all the sales are based on the genre/category) had reached the realm of decent deals, but still not good enough that I was willing to buy anything unless it was being discounted from a discount or was 50% off the cover price. The two bargain bin sections were 30% and 40% off their sticker prices, which are usually at least 40% off the cover prices, so I snagged several books at fractions of their list prices. I also picked up a few greeting cards (Paperchase items were 50% off list) and magazines (current issues, 50% off their cover prices). The real kicker in getting me to actually purchase items on this trip was that they were offering a 10% off discount (on top of the other discounts) if you bought 6 or more items, and a 15% discount if you bought 8 or more items.
My most recent trip was on Thursday. The stores now bear "Final Weeks! Entire store 60% - 80% off!" signs, which means that even "regular" (non-bargain) products are at least 60% off their cover prices, making everything in the store a relatively good deal. This time I picked up several more books, all at 60% or 70% off their list prices, and a DVD at 60% off. (Sadly, there were no "buying in bulk" discounts anymore.)
Between the two trips, I got a total of 27 items for $102.40, saving $383.29 (79%) off the cover prices.
Click through for more details on the books I purchased.