If a store is liquidating, it may mean that someone is selling off some or all of its merchandise and that they may or may not be going out of business. Ask the retailer what its future plans are and what their return policy is. In addition, you may want to ask for a copy of the original receipt as well for your own records."

Never buy a gift certificate or gift card from a seller saying it is liquidating unless you know what it means - the business may not be there tomorrow, and you may be out of luck. For more information about gift cards and store closings, view the Store Closing & Bankruptcy section of this website.

If you contemplate buying something at a "liquidation sale," do your homework first. Compare prices before you buy, as you may not be able to return purchases. A retailer in liquidation can still have any return, refund, or cancellation policy it wants, as long as those policies are disclosed before the purchase is made. While it may not accept defective merchandise from return, if the store is closed, that policy will not be useful to you.