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Old Feb 5, 2009, 11:03 PM   #1
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I am just back from my regular Cicuit City visit.

Really it is the liquidator's store, but we still call it "Circuit City".

Discounts are 20-50% storewide. But those discounts vary from product line to product line.

So let's break it down for the things which might be important to us.

CAMERAS are 30%.

Oh, wow, 30%. Is that a good discount? Maybe, maybe not.

MY local Circuit City has exactly ONE Sony A700 NIB(New in box) with kit lens. Price is $979.30. Today I can buy the same Sony A700 direct from Sony, again NIB with the Kit lens, for $1099.99.

(same prices from major storefront legit dealers like B&H)

The $979.30 is a good deal, but is not a great deal, especially considering risk of having to deal with Sony on repairing the NIB cameradoes not work versus returing the DOA (dead on arrival) camera with a normal store.

In addition we can buy the A700 direct from Sony and others WITHOUT the kit lens for $999.99. Most camera nuts already have a kit lens, why would we need another kit lens.... thus why buy the kit?

IF, big IF, IF the liquidators increase the discounts next week to 40% on cameras then the A700 in stock might be a good deal. Two-Three weeks from now it might be an even better deal (if that price level is ever reached). Today, it is onlysemi-good.

Other Sony dSLR's in stock? NONE. Absolutely NONE which are NIB.

Canon 40D and 50D are getting interesting. Didn't copy prices, but if I am correct I think the CC price for the 40 & 50D arenow cheaper than the B&H etc price. This is actually very important as my local CC store has exactly 2 50D's in stock and FOUR of the 40D's in stock. Three weeks ago the store may have had the same exact inventory of 50 and 40D's instock. In otherwords my localCC store is not moving their inventory of Canon cameras.

(Maybe not moving inventory ... see later comment.)

Think the discount might increase next week? How about the following week? I said it before, I will say it again, somebody is going to get a steal of a deal on the 40D if they wait long enough.

(which is in many ways might beabetter camera than the 50D)

Damn, I might have to switch from Minolta/Sony to Canon if the price gets right.

But there is a risk of the stores closing down (see later comment)

Other brands of dSLR's are getting way picked over. I think there was still a couple Olympics NIB but did not record the model numbers or prices. Saw zero Nikons or other models of Canon NIB. Absolutely Zero.

Of course there are the "floor models". Oh get real.Even50% is NOT going to get me to buy a camera body which has been dropped and handled by 10,000 people for the past month. OK, maybe yes. Buy it. Find a fault. Send it back to the manufacturer for repairs. Nah, too much work... and it still might not work correctly after being "repaired".

Accessories, such as lenses and flash units, are 40% off. There is a floor model of the Sony SAL70-300G. That is it. No NIB unit (cause I got it last week at 30% off). A couple cheap Nikon lenses and one Nikon Flash left as floor models only. The floor models and boxed Canon lenses and flash units are gone as far as I can tell.

Point and Shoot Cameras are major picked over. The floor models are selling. Fools. Yo, people, the price ain't that good to cause you to buy a floor model covered with baby snot and chocolate goo.

BUT there are deals starting to be had. Panny TZ4, after 30% discount is 195.99. B&H price is $206. TZ5 is $230.99 verus B&H price of 250. Oh sure, for the average astute internet buyer the B&H price may not be the absolute best price... but it is a consistent price found at many other vendors. Since the CC price is now below the B&H price... people that don't buy online and prefer to buy local should seriously look at the CC sale.

My store has ONE of the TZ5 (in black) New in Box in stock. ONE. The store has NINE copies of the TZ4 (silver only) New in Box in stock.

Next week, one can assume the discount will increase. I would suspect my local CC store will still have some of theTZ4 left in stock in one week. Hmmmm, take the risk and save $28.... hmmmmm. Oh yea, I will wait. And next week if the store still has NINE in stock I might wait another week.

This is a waiting game. Some things, like the single copy of TZ5 might not be worth taking a risk if you want that particular model over the TZ4 and must have black as your camera color, butNINE copies of the TZ4 isworth taking a risk and waiting.

Canon Point and Shoots are major picked over. But the models they have in stock (three differentSD PowerShots) they have LOTS of copies. Same with a Nikon CoolPix (it looked like 20 copies of a single modelin the storage bin). Might be a reason why that specific CoolPix is being avoided... but in a week or two the price might be right for a throw away camera or to stick in the glovebox of the car.

One Olympus camera still had 2copies in the lock bin. NO Sony or Pentax Point and Shoots. Not even anydisplay models.

Camera bags. Tamrac TMC 5546 for $52.46. B&H for the same bag is $70.00. Good enough, but when the closeout sale started the storehad 4 of the Tamrac bags in stock. Today is 3. See, it really is a waitinggame. For non-internet buyer, this is a great price. Or waiting two weeks and pick the bag up for $38. Nice Risk-Reward decision process.

I have mentioned Locked Bins. Below the camera displays are locking bins. Those bins hold the inventory.The back room traditionally held extra inventory, IF any extra inventory existed. TODAY the locked bins hold the inventory. Period. There is nocamera inventory left in the back room according to every localCC employee. (There are some TV's and stereo speakers type stuff in the back room.... nothing else.)

I have beenmonitoring the Locked Bins. I have seen NOTHING increase in inventory in the Locked Bins. That said, I learned something today. My store is still receiving stuff. There were a couple stock employees moving in some printers and stuff like that. One of the adult managers (a real adult versus young guy thinking he was the manager) said the liquidators were moving product from store to store based upon sales rates.... he said his store (my local store) was being depleted of computers to move to a store which sold computers very well while thelocal store was receiving everything from a store the liquidator has closed early because of poor sales.... and they might be getting another store inventory real soon.

IF the liquidators are really moving inventory around then is possible to see an oddball camera body etc to pop up in your stock. Watch the locked bins.

Also note the liquidators have started closing stores per the local employee. Not a good sign. Means product has been depleted as far as they think it will go in that market and they will not increase the discounts further in that market in hopes of achieving more sales. This is important. We may not see enough increases, fast enough, to get prices down to the "OMG I gotta buy stage" of buying three camera bodies just because the price is so stupidly cheap.

BTW, display shelving is being marked for sale. Three weeks ago the local store had 7 or 8' shelves around the perimeter of the store with stock sitting on the top shelves of those perimeter shelves. Not today. NO stock on top of perimeter shelves. NONE. This means all that excess inventory has been moved DOWN or SOLD. And the display shelving has a price tag on the unit.

Display shelves can't be sold until the stock on the shelves is gone ... and the stock seems to begoing fast. More importantly the store must have display shelves to display inventory.... no shelves means no more inventory.

I suspect we may never see 50% off the camera bodies we all desire. At this rate we might not even see 40% off the camera bodies.

It is a waiting game.

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Old Feb 6, 2009, 6:58 AM   #2
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I've been in two CC's and seen different situations. In one the 30% on DSLR's came last week and stock levels were very low. A few low end Nikon's, and a few olympus e-420/520's and that's about it for DLSR's. Not really many lenses, but the lenses that were there were way over priced even with discount. The other, just moved to 30% off yesterday, and still has 40d's, 50d's, a D80, several e420's, and 520's. I picked up a new in box, e510 for to have as a lightweight kit (my d300 is too big to carry everywhere, and my D80 has the grip installed), and honetly just to try out the Olympus products...the price was too hard to resist...under $335. (I got the FL36 flash from the other store for $82...another good deal). Early in the week there were many sony's (300's, and 350's) and even a few Pentax K10d's. I think the second CC had been the recipient of some old wharehouse inventory, with all the older DSLR's.

I'm waiting on a good price on the Canon G10, which now at 30% off comes in at $350, which is better than online. The problem is I'm not in that area today or tomorrow, and it looks like stock levels really went down this past week. I don't think the nicer cameras are going to last past this weekend. When you start seeing the fixtures for sale sign's, that means things are winding down.
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Old Feb 6, 2009, 5:58 PM   #3
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Well, I got into another CC, and picked up the G10, $349. This circuit city had 5 or 6 Sony A350's, and another few A300's, plus a few each of the Olympus e420-e520. Not many Canon's and no Nikon's. They did have a Nikon N75 slr with the 28-80 lens, for only $55 new in box...about $15 bucks cheaper than the body only used at KEH. I almost got it and still may go back and get it for nostalgic purposes.

All three stores are seriously starting to consolidate, and I think most of the good camera stock will be gone by monday, although there seems to be an abundance of Olympus e420-520 bodies out there...they may make it to the next pricing markdown, which will probably be in another 10 days or so.
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Old Feb 7, 2009, 1:07 PM   #4
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I tried to go late last night.... but the store had already closed.

Went back at Noon today.



The Sony A700 Camera NIB is Gone.

Every copy of the Canon 40D and 50D (NIB) are gone.

The Olympus (NIB) are gone.

Absolutely NO NIB inventory of anything.

Point & Shoot land:

Panny TZ4 is down to 8 NIBunits in the locked bin. I will keep counting down. Maybe there will still be some in stock on Thursday with the discounts improve.

Panny TZ5 is gone.

Canon is down to 5 copies of the SD790is at $174.99 (some online vendors are still slightly cheaper) and NO other Canon's NIB.

Nikon CoolPix P50 (still a bunch)

Found a couple new cameras in the P&S bin.

Sony W120 there were 4 copies NIB, and a couple Sammy's have been added.

Looks like they (the local CC store) received that other store inventory... the couple new P&S cameras plus some batteries and filters.

And a bunch of Guitar Hero Games taking up showroom floor space.

The TamracTMC 5546 is still 3 units.

Everything from the store room has been moved to the sales floor. Everything. The old stereo room has been emptied of real equipment and converted to a storeroom of TV stands and the like.

Give the store another week and it looks like it will be down to just floor models and gross overstocks (and enough DVD's to fill an 18-wheeler).
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Old Feb 7, 2009, 1:17 PM   #5
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That sounds about right...30% off puts many of the camera's at below street price. I'm pretty happy with the deals I got on the E510 and G10...I'm pretty set for the next year or so. I'll keep dropping by, and checking things out. If any DSLR kit's are left and can be had at 40% off or so, I may pick another body up.
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Old Feb 7, 2009, 10:17 PM   #6
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Had to go back to CC.


Actually I have beendiscussing the purchase of display and warehouse shelving from the store, so I have been shopping the fixtures, trying to meet up with the selling dude etc. Gives me a reason to visit frequently and besides CC is no more than 5 minutesfrom my home or work.

In just 8 hours the same store has farless inventory:

Point & Shoot land:

Panny TZ4 is down to 6 NIBunits in the locked bin.

Just 2 copies of theCanonSD790isremain.

I would guess about 1/4 of the Nikon CoolPix P50 were sold.

The newly discovered Sony W120's? Don't worry, they are gone.

So are the Sammys

I didn't trip over as many Guitar Hero Games as I did earlier today.

The TamracTMC 5546 is still 3 units deep.

Thursday is the day for improving the discounts. Just when the prices will get obnoxiously good therewill only be display models left in stock.
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Old Feb 9, 2009, 10:39 PM   #7
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Monday Night Update:

Point & Shoot land:

Panny TZ4 is down to4 NIBunits in the locked bin.

Exactly 12 copies of theNikon CoolPixP50left in stock. There must have been a LOT of those P50's in stock. 12 copies counted in an area which was previously packed full.

(yep that is pretty much a dud camera)

Maybe 5-6 demo models of various P&S cameras remain.

That's it.

(well there are still the demos of the dSLR's.... fewer on every visit).

Speaking of the Demos. I was in the back warehouse unit and did not seeany empty product boxes. IF the demo models have supporting manuals, lens caps, manufacturer boxes etc.... they are not stored in the warehouse. Also not stored in the locked bins. Pretty safe to say the Demos are being sold as-is without the nice extras.

Walk away from a demo. Don't bite.

Guitar Hero Games are now in just a couple stacks. Only one stack on the sales floor and the other stacks are on the gondola shelving.

The TamracTMC 5546 is still 3 units deep. TheP&S camera bags arehanging on at recentinventory levels.

I have been watching a particular laser printer. Counting down from7 units. Now only 1 unit left in stock.The office supply stores sell the same model for $30 less that the current CC sale price. I washoping to suck one up for less than the price of the refill cartridge. Doesn't look like it is going to happen.

Of course this is just one store, and one store does not make a trend nor can be used to forecast the results ofother stores. But it isfun to watch, especially since I have been able to count down the inventory fairly accurately.

To-date my purchases at the CC close out saleconsists of the Sony SAL70-300G at 30% off as well asa handful of DVD's which I could not resist at $5 per.

Equipment wise the only camera I MIGHT buy is the Panny TZ4.... if there are any left when the price hits below $175. The Nikon P50 might be a great camera at $50.

Think the P50 at $50 is impossible?

Voice of experience (actually more of seen it before). Once the inventory gets picked over to a certain level the customers stop coming. No need to visit if you know the store is already out of black ink for your printer for example. This means the yellow ink sits on the shelves. And gets cheaper over time.

Since camera land has reached this particular level the average consumer will pause before making a purchase. The Panny TZ4 is a good camera. But it is the only decent camera left and the average consumer will hesitate to purchase as they may think there is some thing wrong with the camera. The Nikon P50 is a dud. Not a bad camera per se, just lost in a sea of cameras which were slightly better, cheaper, faster, sleeker etc. When the Panny is gone, the sales of the P50 will really die. And the discounts will get better. We run the risk of some ebayer running in and buying the entire stock hoping to make a quick buck scamming others. But that is the risk we take. I am patient. I will wait. AndI have a US Grant in my wallet waiting.

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Old Feb 11, 2009, 10:43 AM   #8
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I'm pissed CC has no online presence, was going to buy online for there sales as theres no CC here... the SourceCC prices are pathetic despite being a sister store
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Old Feb 11, 2009, 11:28 AM   #9
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Mysterious wrote:
I'm angry CC has no online presence, was going to buy online for there sales as theres no CC here... the SourceCC prices are pathetic despite being a sister store
The online store was shut down after the decision to liquidate. Online sales were small compared to brick and mortar sales, and this also allowed the liquidator to eliminate all the positions associated with the online store. Remember, it's Circuit City in name only...it is owned and operated by the liquidators. Their focus is to move the merch as quickly as possible at the best prices for them.
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Old Feb 14, 2009, 8:18 PM   #10
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Continuing CC update:

Thursday 2/12 went by tosnag a couple more (even cheaper) DVDs.

No real changes in the camera count

Panny TZ4 hanging on at4 NIBunits in the locked bin.

Down to 10copies of theNikon CoolPixP50left in stock.

And theTamracTMC 5546 wasstill 3 units deep. TheP&S camera bags just about all gone.

Went back on Saturday (2/14)at noon hoping to grap a specific DVD justbecause it was V-Day.

The DEMO version of the Panny TZ4 had been sold.

Somebody is an IDIOT, especially because there were still 2 of the NIB TZ4 laying in the locked bin.

The Nikon P50 was down to 7 units.

One of the Tamrac bags had been sold as well.

Saturday 2/14 NIght.

Just returned from my Saturday night ice cream run. Ice cream store is rightnext to the CC Zoo so I did a quick look. Thestore is now out of the TZ4 and the P50 is down to 4 units... and still another hour or two until closing for the day.

Between Thursday and Tonight there have several sections of store fixtures removed.

In addition the printer section has literally been gutted. Inventory was never that deep out on the floor. Over the past week or so the entire inventory was shifted into one location.Seemed like 2-3 copies of most printers with a few more of some. Thursday night I could tell some printers had been sold/removed. At Noon today it was obvious that 85% or better of the inventory has been sold/removed. Tonight there was 2 copies of one printer left on the shelf.

Logically, if I was buying a bunch of printers, I would want the printers to be the same brand/type so as to save on ink costs,operating learning curves and ease of maintenance. No logical person, at least in my mind, would buy 4 different brands of printers in relatively small quantities.

But it is obvious either CC is moving selective printers from this store (no logical to move some and not all) or somebody decided to buy up the printers. Can't imagine that many customers all suddenly wanting a printer.... not when there are 3 office supply stores all within a mile (with as good of prices or better if you watch their sales).

Most likely next week there will be a glut of printers trying to besold on eBay.
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