When a retail store
shuts its doors
and goes bankrupt,
consumers can be left
out in the cold.
Department of Consumer
Affairs tips can help.
reducing risk of loss
canceling charges for
filing a claim to try and get
your money back
redeeming a gift certificate
of Consumer Affairs
Federal Judicial Library
For more information, go to
www.uscourts.gov and select
“U.S. Bankruptcy Courts” or
search for “bankruptcy”
The following consumer
strategies won’t guarantee a
store stays in business. But
keep them in mind if you have
The old sayings “buyer beware” and
“an ounce of prevention is worth a
pound of cure” are still true. If you
plan to purchase a big-ticket item like
a car, appliance or furniture, do your
homework before you shop.
Shop several reputable stores with
good inventories and customer-service
Get references from friends,
neighbors, relatives or co-workers.
Check with your local Better Business
Bureau by phone or online for any
reports on the company.
Search the World Wide Web for news
on the company’s financial health and
Check that the store has any required
a Retail Store
Look for a warranty on the product
that’s independent of the retail store. If
the store goes out of business, the
manufacturer’s warranty may be all
that’s left to back the product. Inspect
warranty documents, fine print and all.
Also, consider the quality track record
of the manufacturer.
Keep all sales records, receipts and
Use a credit card and you’ll be better
protected if a store goes out of
business. If you are billed for
merchandise you haven’t received,
notify your credit card company in