Because Everybody Loves a Bargain

falling prices bargain store

It’s been funny to watch people’s eyes light up. Mention this new store out in Carmichael, Falling Prices, and they wait to hear the rest: On Tuesday, everything costs $6. On Wednesday, everything’s $4. On Thursday, $2. Friday, $1. On Saturday, everything in the store is 25 cents. Then their eyes really light up.

We headed over on Saturday around 4 p.m. Falling Prices is open 10 a.m. till 6 p.m. When we got there, though, the door was locked, and a handwritten sign said, “Out of inventory, 2 p.m.” As we peeked in the windows to see a vast store space peppered with particle-board bins, more and more people convened behind us.

“Wow,” said one guy. “Hella people must have shown up.”

Apparently hella people did show up, because on our next visit, just after 10 a.m. on a Thursday ($2), handwritten signs hastily posted on sawhorses warned drivers away from parking spaces. “Salon parking only.” “Parking for restraunt (sic) only.” “NO PARKING HERE!!!” We circled the lot and found a spot, and with bargain-hunters’ glee boiling up, charged toward the front doors of Falling Prices.

A liquidation outlet for companies including Amazon and Target, it teemed with people—midmorning weekday types, so lots of retirees and mothers with very young children (many who were noisily tired of shopping). Lines for the four cashiers stretched toward the back of the store, 15 or so carts deep. Throughout the space—barebones with a concrete floor, fluorescent lighting and 20-plus bins heaped with merchandise—people rifled through piles of clothing, toys, boxed foodstuffs, drinks, holiday detritus, paper goods, books, laundry soap, household cleaners . . . the list could go on and on. We saw recognizable brand names (Ocean Spray, A Taste of Thai, Victoria Beckham, Up&Up, Enfamil, Colgate, Nespresso) and some generics. Everything appeared new, although some boxes had damage.

Falling Prices is a bit like a garage sale: no merchandising—the bins look a teenager’s bedroom floor—and no way to know what’s there beforehand. If you can find something worthwhile, you can pick it up at a steep bargain. The thrill is in the hunt. 6456 Fair Oaks Blvd., Carmichael