|Yesterday, I heard a commercial on the radio for an event at the Metrolina Expo Center in Charlotte, NC called "Sale of the Century". The ad made a short pitch about "millions of dollars" of items being "liquidated". The ad advertised unheard of deals such as subwoofers for $10, Radios for $20, alarm systems for $30, etc. Even if said items were of low quality, these would be GREAT prices. The way the ad was phrased and presented, it gave me the impression that someone was clearning out the remaining inventory of a large chain store that had closed, or similar. Popular car electronics brands were also mentioned, such as Kicker, Rockford Fosgate, and Kenwood. My friend and I left for Charlotte thinking I'd be headed to a great sale, and BOY was I wrong.|
After traveling ~60 miles to Charlotte to check this deal out, we walked into the only building that was for this "millions of dollars" sellout, which was not very big at all. This was the first red flag that was thrown in my mind, but my friend and I went in anyhow. A lady at a table at the entrance hastily took my $7 entry fee, and we were ushered towards a table with forms to fill out for "door prizes". From what we had already seen, we decided against this since it was probably someone fishing for contact information to sell with no real "door prizes" to speak of.
Once we walked in, the layout was the same as an indoor building at a trade lot, or a flea market. Normally I wouldn't mind this, but as I said, the way it was advertised made it look like it would be an extravagant sellout of merchandise that needed to be moved. Instead, we were greeted with fake cologne, "gold" chains, Chinese made toys, and shoes. If you've never been, this is generally what you'll encounter at a flea market.
Being interested in none of this, we scoped out the car audio section to browse the supposed selection of extravagant "deals" advertised on the radio. Upon arrival, we were quickly ushered in by a salesman who was pushy in trying to sell us something. After we finally got him convinced that we were just browsing, he finally left us alone.
After browsing for a while, I noticed that nothing was priced. After inquiring, I was told that the items with marked prices had already been bought, since they were obviously such a "great deal". I saw on one amplifier a price of $189, a very low end amplifier. I brushed this off, and went on.
My friend saw a set of brand name car speakers that he was interested in. The salesman took them down and let them look at them. My friend wasn't impressed, but decided to ask how much they were anyways, because it was a "liquidation". The speakers were only $129.99, and after showing disinterest, the price was lowered to $109.99. What's the kicker? These speakers are readily avaliable online at many popular outlets such as Crutchfield.com, SonicElectronix.com, and Amazon.com for a price of around $65, give or take. Liquidation? I don't think so.
After this, I bravely decided to ask about the $10 subwoofer advertised on the radio. I was told that that was only for the first 100 people, and included great brands such as Alpine and Kicker. It was obvious that the salesman took joy in the fact that I had missed the deal that had supposedly taken place. It is to be noted that this mini shop only had around 200 to 300 total items...taking such a hit compared to their normal prices would forced them to take a big hit, especially compared to the volume of sales that were taking place at the time, which was none from what I saw.
My beef with the "sale of the sentury" is false advertising. There was no mention of limited quantities, limited promotional sales, or anything of the sort on the radio. I honestly doubt that the deals advertised were ever given, and I guess I'll never know since I didn't arrive at the very beginning of the sale. The way it was advertised, it was to be an extravagant clearance of brand name goods at clearout prices. This was as far from the truth as possible. The next time I want to buy fake cologne, cheap toys, and overpriced audio products, I'll save my time and money by going to the flea market instead. Do not waste your time or money going to the Sale of the Sentury at Metrolina expo, unless one of your favorite hobbies is being wasteful!