Hundreds of bargain hunters lined up outside a nondescript commercial building in west Edmonton Thursday morning, eager to get their hands on a deal.
Krazy Binz Liquidation, a new discount store that has attracted hundreds of customers each day in Calgary and Red Deer, has opened a location in Edmonton.
The store is part of a chain that began in the U.S. but now has six locations in Canada, including four in Ontario and three in Alberta.
The Edmonton location at 11531 160 St. stocks items that have been returned to online retail giant Amazon. Each item is the same price, but the amount varies each day.
Everything from electronics and toys, to household items and tools can be found in long wooden bins that stretch the length of the room.
New items are put out each Thursday (a.k.a. “Prime Day”), when everything is $25.
The bins are also restocked on Friday and Saturday — when prices go down to $10 — and as the supply dwindles throughout the week, the price gradually drops all the way down to $1 on Wednesdays.
No matter the item, it will sell for that day’s price — so shoppers best do their research to know if what they are picking up is really a bargain.
In a effort to prevent shoppers from bargain bin diving all day, customers are allotted 30 minutes to fill a 19-gallon shopping bag with as many items as they want and then have around 15 minutes to settle up at the checkout. If they want to keep shopping, they have to get back in line outside.
“Every adult is allowed one Ikea shopping bag per person,” said a staff member with a megaphone outside the store Thursday morning. “Also, one bulky items that does not fit into the Ikea shopping bag, such as gaming chairs.
“You will also not be allowed to purchase more than one item of the same thing,” the employee said, using massage guns as an example. “That way it makes it fair for everyone in the building.”
While people can just show up, the store encourages shoppers to register in a virtual line-up 12 hours before the store’s opening the following day.
The store is enforcing capacity limits due to COVID-19 and to keep the shopping experience from becoming too chaotic.
Customers will receive a text message when it is their turn to shop, and they have 45 minutes to arrive at the store. A maximum of four people can register together.
Some customers lined up as early as 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, including one who just graduated university and was searching for household items as he prepares to move out. He said he ended up getting a desk, plant grow light, keyboard and some other small odds and ends.
Josh Spencer registered for the event and was number seven in line.
“It was exciting — there’s a a lot of stuff in there,” he said after his shopping trip. “There’s a lot of stuff yet to comb through and pick through, find which you need.”
Spencer picked up some a computer power supply and a graphics card: “If anyone knows about computers, graphics are going for gold right now — so hopefully it works!”
He said for the bargain prices, the risk is worth it. “At $25 on Prime Day, it’s worth a chance.”
A few other rules: no big purses, diaper bags, or tote bags or strollers are allowed inside, and parents are highly encouraged to leave their kids at home on the busy Thursday, Friday and Saturday rush.
And as is the case with most deep discount stores, everything at Krazy Binz is final sale as-is with no returns or exchanges. The store accepts cash, debit and credit cards.
Those who want to see the items inside boxes must get a staff member to open it. If shoppers want to ensure a product works before they buy it, there are employees at testing stations in the store who can assist you. (Maximum 3 items to be checked.)
Amongst all the boxes and bags of items are hidden gold or blue eggs. If found, customers can swap them for an expensive item, such as gaming chairs, televisions, fireplaces, a PlayStation 5, laptops or even a $600 Dyson hair dryer. All they need to do is pay the going rate that day.
— With files from Matthew Conrod, Global News