Shopping Discussion

Sears 20-50% Off Closeout Sale Starts Today

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 12th, 2017 7:30 pm
Deal Guru
Jan 7, 2002
10824 posts
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Waterloo, ON
Competition Bureau wants answers from Sears liquidators on alleged price mark-ups, says report
The Competition Bureau is investigating allegations that some merchandise was marked up in price for Sears Canada liquidation sales, says a report by the court-appointed monitor for the retailer.

Since Sears liquidation sales began, CBC News has heard complaints from several shoppers who found marked-up price tags. They believe prices were raised to offset advertised discounts.

The Competition Bureau has received similar complaints and on Nov. 8, sent letters to each of the liquidators conducting current sales at closing Sears stores, according to the report.

The letters inquired about allegations involving liquidation pricing, and requested a response by Nov. 17.

"Allegations, amongst others, are that the price of certain merchandise was marked up prior to promoting 20 per cent to 50 per cent savings," said the report...
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Deal Guru
Jan 7, 2002
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Waterloo, ON
repatch wrote:
Nov 23rd, 2017 8:20 am
What waste of time. By the time they decide to do anything, if they do decide, the liquidation will be over!? Your tax dollars at work...
Not necessarily.

If they go after Sears and win, they'll be in the receiver's creditor queue, probably near the head of the line.

If they go after the liquidators, rather than the Sears carcass, and win, then those liquidators will still be in business long after the vultures have picked over the carcass.

And in any case, if they win they'll send a strong message to other stores and liquidators with respect to sleazy sales practices in general.
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Sr. Member
Feb 22, 2016
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bylo wrote:
Nov 23rd, 2017 8:57 am
And in any case, if they win they'll send a strong message to other stores and liquidators with respect to sleazy sales practices in general.
*ahem* Crappy Tire *ahem*
Sr. Member
Feb 22, 2016
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bylo wrote:
Nov 23rd, 2017 8:57 am
If they go after Sears and win, they'll be in the receiver's creditor queue, probably near the head of the line.
If they go after the liquidators, rather than the Sears carcass, and win, then those liquidators will still be in business long after the vultures have picked over the carcass.
Here's the problem. It seems that *SEARS* employees (while still employed by Sears) hiked the prices immediately before Hilco et al took over the business. This strategy (also used at other Hilco-run liquidations like Zellers and Target) might well be their legal loophole to escape prosecution. The bankrupt retailer hikes the prices to MSRP or worse (which any retailer can, whenever they want) and then Hilco conveniently takes over and assumes those prices for the "10% off" sale on Day 1.

Letter-of-the-law legal, but clearly violates the spirit-of-the-law.

There's no way that huge overstock of carry-on spinner luggage I saw at Pickering Town Centre should be selling for $120 and up after 60% off is applied (none of them were TUMI...) If the Bureau wants to give Hilco a well deserved fine that's where to start the investigation. That's shooting fish in a barrel...
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Nov 22, 2017
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USA, Colorado
Quite similar to Target sale, I noticed some items in clothing where ticket price was torn and a new sticker of higher price was placed
The future is bulletproof, the aftermarth is secondary (c)
Jr. Member
Jun 18, 2013
172 posts
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Montreal
They have SO much stock it's so ridiculous that they're still trying to sell things at overpriced rates
Sr. Member
Feb 22, 2016
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Here is where Hilco/Sears should lose. It's very cut and dry...

http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/ ... ml#bargain

In order to claim a price as "regular" for comparison to the sale price, it must meet the (sales) volume test or the time test:

The substantial volume of product requirement will be met if more than 50% of sales are at or above the reference price. The time period to be considered will be the twelve months prior to (or following) the making of the representation. However, this period may be shorter having regard to the nature of the product.

The substantial period of time requirement will be met if the product is offered at or above the reference price for more than 50% of the time period considered. The time period to be considered will be the six months prior to (or following) the making of the representation. However, this period may be shorter having regard to the nature of the product


There's no way Sears sold 50% of that luggage for $300+. Nor is there any way Sears sold that luggage at $300+ for 3 of the last 6 months, unless they jacked up the prices 3 months before the liquidation began. They would fail both tests easily.

But I can also see how Crappy Tire gets away with their sleazy pricing. As long as they sell that power bar at $40 half the time (2 weeks on, 2 weeks off) they satisfy the time test as per the Bureau's rules.
The time test needs to be abolished (volume test would put an end to Crappy Tire's MO), or amended to a stricter proportion, like 80% of the time.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2012
11321 posts
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Toronto
EastGTARedFlagger wrote:
Nov 23rd, 2017 8:26 pm
There's no way Sears sold 50% of that luggage for $300+. Nor is there any way Sears sold that luggage at $300+ for 3 of the last 6 months, unless they jacked up the prices 3 months before the liquidation began. They would fail both tests easily.
Roots 73 luggage at Sears liquidation (was 60% off $300 a few days ago, may be higher for Black Friday?) VS Bently Roots 73 Luggage: https://www.shopbentley.com/en/brands/roots-73.html

Don't trust Sears. Shop around first...
Sr. Member
Mar 5, 2007
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EastGTARedFlagger wrote:
Nov 23rd, 2017 8:26 pm
The time test needs to be abolished (volume test would put an end to Crappy Tire's MO), or amended to a stricter proportion, like 80% of the time.
What needs to be abolished is the goverment babysitting every aspect of our lives, wasting OUR money on trivial matters such as this. If you as a consumer are so lazy that you refuse to do even a basic google search on a price you dessrve to be "taken" IMHO. If this were the 1950s where figuring out competitor pricing meant driving to other stores I'd be more excepting of legislation. As it is I just do a quick search online.

Was at the Sears thing a few weeks ago, saw a price for a pair of kids shoes. I'm not automatically familiar for the price of those things so I typed a search into my phone and found the online price was about the same. Took me 1 minute.

Do people REALLY want goverment to regulate amd legislate every part of our lives?? I dont want my tax dollars wasted "protecting" people too lazy to watch out for themselves. What are we teaching people here? The goverment will protect you in all ways from all things? That sounds vaugly reminiscent of a certain governmental structure.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2012
11321 posts
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Toronto
repatch wrote:
Nov 24th, 2017 8:51 am
Was at the Sears thing a few weeks ago, saw a price for a pair of kids shoes. I'm not automatically familiar for the price of those things so I typed a search into my phone and found the online price was about the same. Took me 1 minute.

Do people REALLY want goverment to regulate amd legislate every part of our lives?? I dont want my tax dollars wasted "protecting" people too lazy to watch out for themselves. What are we teaching people here? The goverment will protect you in all ways from all things? That sounds vaugly reminiscent of a certain governmental structure.
If data were free, I'd agree with you. Some people are lucky to have unlimited data. Not me.
I refuse to switch carriers, and I shouldn't have to.
Government involvement is still good to protect us. That is still good.
It's just a matter of the type of involvement.
We have laws etc for a reason.
Deal Guru
Jan 7, 2002
10824 posts
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Waterloo, ON
repatch wrote:
Nov 24th, 2017 8:51 am
What needs to be abolished is the goverment babysitting every aspect of our lives, wasting OUR money on trivial matters such as this...
The Competition Bureau's investigations are an indication that despite "goverment[sic] babysitting" over such "trivial matters," retailers continue to scam the public using deceptive sales practices. Imagine how much more prevalent and egregious those scams would become if governments were to stop "wasting OUR money" on consumer protection.
I dont want my tax dollars wasted "protecting" people too lazy to watch out for themselves. What are we teaching people here? The goverment will protect you in all ways from all things?
1. Not everyone is as smart as you may think they are. Not everyone is as "lazy" as you may think they are. Many of these scams are very creative and deceptive. Some are outright lies. It's not always easy to identify them, even if one has both the smarts and the ambition to do so.

2. Honest retailers who abstain from playing these scams are at a disadvantage to those who have no sense of ethics or morality. ISTM government has an obligation to make sure the playing field is level for all participants.

3. Consider that "goverment[sic] babysitting" over such "trivial matters" takes place in all developed countries, sometimes far more aggressively than in Canada. Have you ever considered that perhaps the vast majority of people who live in these societies and who vote for governments that enact such legislation, actually want it and appreciate it?
That sounds vaugly reminiscent of a certain governmental structure.
And this is relevant, how?
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Oct 30, 2006
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The CRTC is relatively toothless but if the choice was between having it or relying on citizens to "vote with their wallet", I'd take the government body any day.
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Sr. Member
Feb 22, 2016
836 posts
439 upvotes
repatch wrote:
Nov 24th, 2017 8:51 am
What needs to be abolished is the goverment babysitting every aspect of our lives, wasting OUR money on trivial matters such as this.
You must be a shareholder of Hilco, Rogers, Loblaws, Canadian Tire, Air Canada/WestJet, or Amway. Or you make a living as a salesman for one of many energy resellers/water heater rentals/duct cleaners/timeshares/MLM schemes. Scumbags all. Must be nice sleeping at night knowing you keep a roof over your head by taking roofs away from innocent people you treat as suckers.

Playnicee1, bylo, and Lone_Prodigy pretty much covered what I would have said so I'll just summarize:

Consumer protections against deceptive sales practices, collusion, and outright fraud are NOT "trivial matters" as you so dismiss them to be.
Last edited by EastGTARedFlagger on Nov 24th, 2017 4:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Sr. Member
Feb 22, 2016
836 posts
439 upvotes
playnicee1 wrote:
Nov 24th, 2017 1:03 am
Roots 73 luggage at Sears liquidation (was 60% off $300 a few days ago, may be higher for Black Friday?) VS Bently Roots 73 Luggage: https://www.shopbentley.com/en/brands/roots-73.html

Don't trust Sears. Shop around first...
It's not about trusting Sears. That ended when the company started to wind down operations. It's all about Hilco, and I wouldn't trust them as far as I could punt them. I hope they take a huge loss from 1-(at least in Pickering) poor sales as they keep the prices artifically high and nobody's buying, and 2-a huge fine from the Competition Bureau. The fine should be at least $10 million. What would be even better is if the fine went to the employees to cover the severance pay they got screwed out of.

Here are the fines handed down so far in 2017 (with tabs to see previous years), and what illegal acts led to them. Fun read. I hope Hilco joins this club soon. I find it curious that a high proportion of scams come from Quebec. Why doesn't that surprise me -- the home of the dairy and maple syrup cartels...

http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/ ... 01863.html
Last edited by EastGTARedFlagger on Nov 24th, 2017 4:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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