Video store closings

I’ve seen two more video stores go out of business in the last few weeks. My question is what happens to the inventory in these stores when they close up? I know in many cases, there’s a going-out-of-business sale but what happens to the stuff that doesn’t get sold? Is there a business that goes around buying up the inventory from closings like this? Or does everything that doesn’t get sold end up going to the local landfill?

I don’t think there IS much left after the sales. You just keep pricing it lower until someone says “Short Circuit 2 on DVD for forty cents? Sold!” Whatever’s left after that can be safely thrown in the dumpster as worthless.

That’s pretty much what I saw when my local Hollywood Video went tits up. They had a sale for 2 straight weeks, cutting (or halving) prices every couple of days. On the day before the end, there was a total of two folding tables worth of VHS and DVD titles left in the place, none of which you’d think of paying for, even at almost-free rates.

There are liquidation firms who will buy any inventory for pennies on the dollar, including the shelves and fixtures. If you have to get rid of it fast, this may be the way to go.

Maybe. But there are going to be circumstances where there’ll be no sale at all. Maybe the owner died suddenly or lost his lease with no prior notice.

After I started this thread, I did some google searching (which I probably should have done in reverse order). I found a website that will advise people on how to close their video stores as profitably as possible (the website is run by former video store owners who say they learned a lot closing their own video store chain). One thing they mentioned is avoiding the “Close Out Buyers”.


They throw out what’s left or donate it to a library.

The argument seemed to be you could make more money by running a well-planned sale, even above the costs of keeping the business open for such a sale. Of course, this website was offering to sell advice on how to conduct such a sale.

I have no doubt that is true. But liquidators will remove your entire stock, infrastructure and all, immediately, and provide a cash settlement. Sometimes this is the best and certainly quickest solution.

I was told that when a local Blockbuster closed, DVDs could be had for fifteen cents, if not less the next day. Previous days were higher as mentioned above. For buyers, it’s a nice exercise in getting DVDs for the best price vs. getting there too late and all that’s left is movies from the Asylum.

I find old video stock in my local thrift stores, esp. Goodwill, that have rental store labels on them. And frequently multiple copies of the same title, so it’s just not people who bought them and then donated them later.

Note that the company is donating to charity and gets a tax break on the “value” of the videos. Yeah, that Bucky Larson video? That’s $50 retail, and it was never even watched, that’s the ticket.

So the last resort, it seems to me, is Goodwill. Which then tries to charge $5 for all videos regardless of demand.

In most cases the store holds a close-out auction if they have quite a bit left over. Buyers can pay pennies on the dollar for merchandise that is still new. The catch is this: They lump stuff together, so you may end up buying a bunch of boxes of popcorn with your cheap movies. The goal is to save money by having the buyers haul the stuff off and not have to take responsibility for the sto

When our local video store closed, we got a huge number of DVDs very cheap. We had become friends with the owner, and he wanted to get them out the door and to a good home, so a pretty good chunk of very sizable DVD collection has stickers from the store. I really miss that store, as the owner was my source for Bollywood movie recommendations - on the last day, he was tossing in Bollywood films that he really wanted me to see for free.