We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What Is a Bargain Bin?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated: Feb 02, 2024

A bargain bin is a type of selling tool that allows retailers to move products that have not sold well at reduced prices, making it possible to recoup at least some of the investment in those products and clear space on the store floor. This approach is sometimes used to clear out the last of the inventory or items related to a holiday that has passed. At other times, the bargain bin is home to goods that are being sold as second quality, either by virtue of having some small flaw or having been used as a floor model for display purposes in times past. Typically, any item that finds its way to the bin is sold at a deep discount off the regular price, an attribute that attracts budget-conscious consumers.

The concept of the bargain bin has to do with the creation of an actual bin in which deeply discounted items are placed. This approach can be used in any type of brick and mortar retail establishment, and will work equally well with just about any type of good. For example, the bin may include various articles of clothing, be the repository for CDs or DVDs that have been marked down for quick sale, or even grocery items that are being discontinued or cans of food that are dented. Typically, the quality or demand for the goods has diminished in some manner, making it unlikely that the goods can be sold at full retail price.

While the idea of a bargain bin conjures up images of an actual bin, the general idea can take on other forms. For example, the bin may actually be a clothing rack loaded with discounted items, or even be an entire section of the store that is set aside only for discounted items. During the heyday of the large department stores, many of these retailers made use of what is known as the bargain basement, essentially an entire floor that contained second quality or slightly dented and scratched items collected from every other department.

Thanks to the Internet, the concept of the bargain bin is no longer limited to brick and mortar retail establishments. Companies can create virtual bins on their web sites, allowing browsers to look through the collection of discounted items and place them in virtual shopping carts. This innovation means that even people who do not like to go shopping can enjoy the thrill of finding a bargain by shopping online from the comfort of his or her home.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Related Articles

Discussion Comments
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.