Fire sale

Fire sale

A fire sale is the sale of goods at extremely discounted prices, typically when the seller faces bankruptcy or other impending distress. The term may originally have been based on the sale of goods at a heavy discount due to fire damage. A fire sale may or may not be a closeout, the final sale of goods to zero inventory.

The sports term is derived from this term.


According to, the term originated in 1890-95 in New Zealand. The fire at Whitcombe and Tombs in Dunedin resulted in a "Fire Sale."Failed verification|date=September 2008

In popular culture

"Arrested Development"

In the "Arrested Development" episode "Top Banana", Tobias auditions for a commercial advertising a fire sale, but fails to land the part when he "made the fire too real" and "probably failed to highlight the sale."

"Live Free or Die Hard"

In the film "Live Free or Die Hard", fire sale was used as a fictional hacker term meaning a crippling cyber-warfare attack on the infrastructure of the United States that would disrupt all power, public utilities, water, traffic, and other computer-controlled systems. The term is used because "everything must go".

ee also

*Suggested retail price

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • fire sale — ➔ sale * * * fire sale UK US noun [C] ► COMMERCE a sale of goods at a reduced price, because the store has been damaged by fire: »The store had burned down and I bought the computer at the fire sale. ► COMMERCE a sale of goods at a reduced price …   Financial and business terms

  • fire sale — fire sales 1) N COUNT A fire sale is an event in which goods are sold cheaply because the shop or storeroom they were in has been damaged by fire. 2) N COUNT: oft N n If you describe a sale of goods or other assets as a fire sale, you mean that… …   English dictionary

  • fire sale — n. 1. a sale of objects damaged by fire, usually at much reduced prices. [PJC] 2. A sale of objects or assets at much reduced prices, often performed to raise money rapidly. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fire sale — fire′ sale n. a special sale of merchandise actually or supposedly damaged by fire • Etymology: 1890–95, amer. fire′ sale , adj …   From formal English to slang

  • fire sale — fire sale, adj. 1. a special sale of merchandise actually or supposedly damaged by fire. 2. a sale, as of assets, at reduced prices, in order to raise money quickly. [1890 95, Amer.] * * * …   Universalium

  • fire sale — ☆ fire sale n. 1. a sale at reduced prices of goods damaged in a fire 2. a sale of something, as property or stocks, at very low prices …   English World dictionary

  • fire sale — n a sale of goods at a lower price because they have been slightly damaged by a fire, or of goods that cannot be stored because of a fire …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • fire sale — n. A sale of merchandise at reduced prices, usually done after an emergency such as a fire or flood that destroys or damages the commercial premises. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney… …   Law dictionary

  • fire sale — fire ,sale noun count an occasion when goods are sold at low prices because a shop or factory has been damaged by fire a. an occasion when something is sold for a very low price …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Fire Sale — Selling goods or assets at heavily discounted prices. Fire sale originally referred to the discount sale of goods that were damaged by fire; it may now refer to any sale where the seller is in financial distress. In the context of the financial… …   Investment dictionary

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