MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Huge crowds are expected on Thursday, February 20th for the American TV & Appliance's going-out-of-business sale. 11 stores will close their doors as soon as American liquidates its entire inventory. Before you whip out your wallet -- FOX6 News has a word of caution.
Deb Vieau and Kraig Zibolski are about halfway through building their dream home. They ordered appliances from American a couple months ago, and made a down payment that included delivery and installation in the spring.
"We ended up buying a washer, dryer, a couple TVs," Vieau told FOX6 News.
Then, on Monday, February 17th, American announced it will shut down its 11 stores after 60 years.
"The worst case scenario -- we thought that they were gonna close and we were gonna just be out of all our money," Vieau said.
American promised all customers with pending orders either delivery of their goods or a refund. Vieau and Zibolski got the latter.
"They did the exchange and put it back on our credit card," Zibolski said.
On Thursday, American will begin liquidating all of its inventory - and staff is expecting big crowds.
Ahead of the liquidation sale, the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau has advice for bargain hunters:
- Check items you're buying thoroughly, because returns are not usually an option
- Use gift cards as soon as possible, or they will become worthless plastic
- Use a credit card if you can, because it has built-in protection if a liquidator doesn't deliver on promised goods
"We just wanted to make sure we got there in a timely fashion to get our money back," Zibolski said.
Vieau and Zibolski were told it will take a few days for their refund to appear on their credit card. If it doesn't, they can file a dispute with their credit card company.
"We were just hoping to get the appliances and have them do it for us, but in the end, it ended up being okay," Vieau said.
The BBB also says before buying, shop around a bit. Just because a store is having a closing sale doesn't mean you'll find things at their lowest price.
Also - don't expect top-notch customer service, because it will probably be busy.
Finally - don't forget to haggle. It never hurts to ask when something is being sold as-is.
American TV & Appliance says it has 11 retail stores, including seven in Wisconsin, two in Illinois and two in Iowa.
Milwaukee-area locations include:
Brown Deer: 6700 W. Brown Deer Road
Oak Creek: 9191 South 13th Street
Waukesha: W229N1400 Westwood Drive
CLICK HERE to visit American TV & Appliance's website.
CLICK HERE to visit the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau's website.