Bargain Hunt bulks up after yet another recall
(WMC TV) - A liquidator chain's marketing director pledged more accountability and stricter inventory controls after The Action News 5 Investigators found yet another recalled baby product on the shelf of one of its stores.
This time, we found a Fisher-Price Rock 'N Play Infant Sleeper. Its box was even conspicuously marked "Recalled."
Despite the box's markings and the Consumer Product Safety Commission's confirmation of the voluntary recall, employees still placed it for sale at Bargain Hunt's Southaven, MS, store, 550 Stateline Rd.
"This product should have never gotten on the shelf," said Bargain Hunt's Marketing Director Randall Chambers. "It was kind of sitting on trucks for a while and got put out by mistake."
It's the second time we've found a recalled baby product at a Bargain Hunt location. Le Bonheur Children's Hospital's Safe Kids Mid-South Director Susan Helms and we found a infant car seat carrier on the shelf at its Berclair location, 5124 Summer Ave. The CPSC confirmed the seat had been recalled for a choking hazard (for that Investigators story, please click here).
Essex Bargain Hunt is a Nashville-based liquidator. It buys truckloads of refurbished items, boxed customer returns and overstock from six major retailers, including Amazon.com and Walmart.
"Once a product has been in our store for 30 days, it starts an automatic mark down," explained Chambers. "Every ten days, an additional ten percent (off), up to 90 percent off."
Chambers said 70 percent of Bargain Hunt's customers are women.
Myranda Alsaadi of the Nutbush community in East Memphis is a Bargain Hunt customer. She's also a contributor to several Facebook "moms groups" who track bargains and bargain-shopping.
She said many of the women love Bargain Hunt. Their posts include comments like "It was worth the $50 I saved," "...not a scratch anywhere" and "30 days they give you a refund no questions."
Others have posted comments that reflect some of the merchandise we have found: "missing parts," "...the bad outweighs the good" and "defective and recalled" merchandise.
"You put products like that on the shelf, it's not good business," said Alsaadi.
Chambers said that's not how Bargain Hunt runs its business.
He said tens of thousands of products are now processed, priced and flagged with recall lists.
"We touch every product that comes through," he said. "We provide our managers information, websites, all the recall information so that this does not get on once it gets to the stores.
"We've tightened up those, especially since you ran your last story."
Shoppers can certainly find good deals at Bargain Hunt, but as with shopping any liquidator, you are your best advocate. Inspect the conditions of the products and their boxes. Check the products against the public recall databases of the CPSC and SaferProducts.gov.
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