Here's the inside scoop on Circuit City's liquidation sale and an explanation of why going-out-of-business sales usually aren't that great.

From cameras to TVs, every item we saw at the store was marked as 10% to 40% off. However, of all the items we looked at, only one (the 32" Sharp LCD) was cheaper at Circuit City than it was online. Even so, we've seen other Sharp TVs with similar specs for less. ...

As expected, Circuit City's liquidation sale was atrocious. Even though the store had a Black Friday vibe, there were no sales to be found. But we were surprised to find that the stores beating Circuit City aren't just online-only stores like Amazon and Buy.com. Even Toys "R" Us and Sears undercut Circuit City. It bears repeating: Liquidation sales aren't synonymous with discounts, and consumers should remember that as more merchants file for bankruptcy.

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