Fire sale
A fire sale is the sale
A sale is the act of selling a product or service in return for money or other compensation. It is an act of completion of a commercial activity....

 of goods at extremely discount
Discounts and allowances
Discounts and allowances are reductions to a basic price of goods or services.They can occur anywhere in the distribution channel, modifying either the manufacturer's list price , the retail price , or the list price Discounts and allowances are reductions to a basic price of goods or services.They...

ed prices, typically when the seller faces bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a legal status of an insolvent person or an organisation, that is, one that cannot repay the debts owed to creditors. In most jurisdictions bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor....

 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
Inventory means a list compiled for some formal purpose, such as the details of an estate going to probate, or the contents of a house let furnished. This remains the prime meaning in British English...


Sports usage

In professional sports
Professional sports
Professional sports, as opposed to amateur sports, are sports in which athletes receive payment for their performance. Professional athleticism has come to the fore through a combination of developments. Mass media and increased leisure have brought larger audiences, so that sports organizations...

, a fire sale occurs when a team
Team sport
A team sport includes any sport which involves players working together towards a shared objective. A team sport is an activity in which a group of individuals, on the same team, work together to accomplish an ultimate goal which is usually to win. This can be done in a number of ways such as...

 trades many of its veteran players, especially expensive star players, to other teams for less expensive and usually younger players. Teams usually have a fire sale for financial reasons
Sports marketing
Sport marketing is divided into three sectors. The first is the advertising of sport and sports associations such as the Olympics, Spanish Football league and the NFL. The second concerns the use of sporting events, sporting teams and individual athletes to promote various products. The third is...

. The term is generally thought of as separate from merely "rebuilding" a team, because during a rebuilding process, teams often obtain players who are already in the major leagues
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 or who are close to being major-league-ready, while retaining at least some of their key veterans (such as a franchise player
Franchise player
In professional sports, a franchise player is an athlete who is not simply the best player on their team, but a player that the team can build their "franchise" around for the foreseeable future...

) while also getting players from their minor league system. On the other hand, trades in a fire sale often result in a team receiving draft picks and prospect
Prospect (sports)
In sports, a prospect is any player whose rights are owned by a professional team, but who has yet to play a game for the team, or isn't established with the team yet. Prospects can sometimes be assigned to farm teams...

s who have little to no major-league experience in their sport, in exchange for proven, experienced veterans. The term comes from the perception that the team is trying to get rid of all its players.

The sports usage of the term "fire sale" is most especially used in Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

, where the most infamous fire sale occurred in 1997. There the Florida Marlins
Florida Marlins
The Miami Marlins are a professional baseball team based in Miami, Florida, United States. Established in 1993 as an expansion franchise called the Florida Marlins, the Marlins are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Marlins played their home games at...

 traded away several of its big-money players, including Moisés Alou
Moisés Alou
Moisés Rojas Alou |Spanish:]] ; born July 3, 1966 in Atlanta, Georgia) is a former American outfielder in Major League Baseball who played for 17 seasons in the National League. In 1,942 career games, Alou had a batting average of .303 with 2,134 hits, 421 doubles, 332 home runs, and 1,287 runs...

 and Al Leiter
Al Leiter
Alois Terry "Al" Leiter is a former Major League Baseball left-handed starting pitcher. He is now a studio analyst for MLB Network, and a color commentator for the YES Network.-Early career :Leiter attended Central Regional High School....

, after winning the 1997 World Series
1997 World Series
-Game 1:Saturday, October 18, 1997 at Pro Player Stadium in Miami Gardens, FloridaThe first World Series game in the state of Florida, Game 1 featured a youngster and a veteran facing each other on the mound...

. That team went on to a 54-108 record in 1998, the worst ever by a defending World Series champion.


In Proceedings of the Fitchburg [Mass.] Historical Society and Papers Relating to the History of the Town Read by Some of the Members the following entry is found:

In December, 1856, the account of an extensive fire in the American House mentions the following occupants: E. B. Gee, clothing; T. B. Choate, drugs; J. C. Tenney, boots and shoes; Maraton Upton, dry goods; and M. W. Hayward, groceries. Maraton Upton removed his stock to No. 9 Rollstone block, and advertised "Extraordinary fire sale; customers are invited to call and examine goods which are still warm."

See also

  • Suggested retail price
    Suggested retail price
    The manufacturer's suggested retail price , list price or recommended retail price of a product is the price which the manufacturer recommends that the retailer sell the product. The intention was to help to standardise prices among locations...

  • Singularly used to describe a hypothetical attack by computer hackers on vital networks. Please see disambiguation
    Fire sale (disambiguation)
    Fire sale may refer to:*Fire sale, the sale of goods at extremely discounted prices**Also used in sports to describe the situation where a team trades away many of its veteran players*Fire Sale , a 1977 comedy film starring and directed by Alan Arkin...

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