What is a fire sale?

Point of Sale (POS) Glossary

A fire sale is the selling of goods at extremely low prices, possibly way below wholesale and their actual value. Fire sales may be due to the retailer facing dire financial circumstances or another reason the business is closing or forced to reduce inventory drastically. The term originated from a store being damaged by fire and having to liquidate their stock. Fire sales are generally a last resort for a merchant.

A point of sale system might be programmed with specific rules in a fire sale, such as cash only with refunds disabled or other constraints the business might not have had during regular operations. A liquidation company may bring in a POS system to handle sales versus using the merchant’s system to accommodate their specific rules.

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