BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Consumers say a so-called "liquidation sale" being held at the former Office Depot on Elmwood Avenue is a scam.
The sale, held by Central Liquidators, charges customers $5 to get in. And many paid the price, believing that the entry fee would be worth it to get the deals inside. But as News 4 asked people leaving if they were satisfied, we received the same answer, over and over again: "No."
The sale was advertised all over local TV and radio stations. It states "One of the nation's largest retailers have gone bankrupt. Institutions demand that all assets be liquidated."
But the advertisements don't mention the $5 entry fee, which upset many shoppers. And others were fooled by the ad, which insinuates the sale is a bankruptcy liquidation, thinking perhaps it was Office Depot's liquidation sale since it was being held in Office Depot's former location. But that's not the case.
Company spokesman Brenda Dya said they do not feel their ads are misleading.
"That's just a reference point. We do not intend in any form for people to think they're coming to an Office Depot liquidation."
Dye, who works as the Director of Operations, wouldn't tells News 4 which bankrupt retailer the ad is referencing. But she did say where they get some of their merchandise.
"Do ever see a tractor-trailer accident on the side of the road? And you wonder what happened to that merchandise?" she stated.
Better Business Bureau offices across the country have linked the company to several different names, and have given them all an F-rating. They say it's unethical to wrongly use the phrases "emergency sale" or "liquidation sale." Customers say it resembles more of a flea market.
Many prior BBB complaints involve products not working. News 4 found customers in Buffalo with the same problem. We found one person returning an mp3 player and headphones, neither of which worked.
Central Liquidators stands by its claim you can find great deals. Some customers give different advice.
"Don't come here; it's a scam," said one person leaving the sale.
Another added, "Stay at home. Go to a reputable place."
"Do not come and waste your money," said a third.
Central Liquidators will not give you a refund, but will exchange a defective item for store credit. The sale is open on weekends and stays in each location for about a month.
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