Going out of Business Sales

Notice how some stores appear to be forever going out of business? Especially furniture stores? It may be a continual "inventory reduction" sale or "lost our lease", and then they remain.

Maryland has laws (Commercial Law §11-1101-1106) that pertain to such "distress" sales. If the signs imply that the store is closing, then there are requirements. It should be obvious that a store going out-of-business really doesn't care about the area or their customers, and will put up all the signs they want. The law specifically says:

A "going out of business sale", "closing out sale", "liquidation sale", "lost our lease sale", or "must vacate sale"; or a sale of goods damaged by fire, smoke, or water.
and also that it means "Any expression that conveys to the public the information or belief that on disposal of the goods, the business will cease, be discontinued, vacated, transferred, or surrendered to a successor in business or a different principal owner and conducted under a new name."

The law requires that:

  • Sale last not more than 60 days
  • May not order and receive any goods for the purpose of selling
  • Make an inventory and provide it to the state at the start of the sale showing the regular price and proposed sale price for each item
  • Only sell goods listed in the inventory

What is really bad is when they get a "liquidator" to do the dirty work. See here for more info.

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Updated 12 Nov 2017 by MAP