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Everything Must Go! What’s Left in Borders’ Last Days


With just days to go before Borders ends its liquidation sales, consumers might want to make one last shopping trip to the soon-to-be-defunct bookstore.

In an email sent to consumers Monday, Borders said its sales are in their final “10 days and counting.” Everything in the store is at least 60% off, and discounts range as high as 80%. (The fixtures are for sale, too, although those aren’t subject to the same discounts.) But are the pickings too slim, the stores too disorganized to bother? We set out to the Columbus Circle location in New York City to see what’s left.

Our take: It’s worth a trip, provided you’re a voracious reader of select categories and arrive armed with a smartphone to compare prices online. The business section is only slightly more populated than our office’s giveaway table for advance reading copies, and the travel section is only useful if you’re bound for Kansas City or Cleveland, but the politics, history, science fiction, romance and mystery sections are still pretty flush. (Of course, selection is likely to vary widely by store.)

Here’s what we spotted:


Greeting cards

Borders customers must not have gotten the message that it’s trendy to go big for Father’s Day. Even at 80% off, there are racks and racks of greeting cards left — nearly all of them meant for dear old Dad. It’s a step-up from dollar-store quality, but for roughly the same price. Think of it as your chance to pre-prepare for Father’s Day for at least the next decade.

Hardcover bestsellers

If you’re looking for a copy of previously hot-selling books like “Cross Fire” by James Patterson, “Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin” by Frank Bailey or “Broke” by Glenn Beck, the store has them in spades. At 60% off the list price, you’re paying less than at Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble, but easily triple the going rate for a “like new” copy from individual marketplace sellers at either site.


“Twilight” everything

It could be proof that most teens already own every “Twilight”-related item, that the whole brand is overplayed or just that teens don’t shop Borders closing sales. However you choose to look at it, there are a lot of leftovers tied to the popular franchise, including the young adult novels, DVDs, board games and “Team Jacob” and “Team Edward” bags. All are 60% off, resulting in great prices for the movies and games, at least.


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About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.