As of 2014, there were more than 12,796 outlet shopping locations in the United States. There are even more now. That’s a lot of sales.
Some are unsure about whether they can save money at outlet shopping centers. Retail news says their products by an average of 38%. There is a range of discounts that varies between 3% and 72% though.
Is outlet shopping worth the time of the average shopper? Continue reading and find out.
What Is a Shopping Outlet?
Sometimes it is hard to distinguish between a retail outlet and a wholesale outlet. The difference is in the function of the store.
Outlet stores originally started as places where retailers could sell damaged products. Items that had errors in production were also sold there. This is rarely the case now.
It is not uncommon for people buying new clothes to shop at outlet centers today. Most outlet shopping centers focus on selling products that are of good quality. You can even find a lot of name-brand clothing at outlet shopping centers.
Types of Outlet Shopping Stores
There is a lot of variety in shopping outlets. The difference shows in the discounts and the type of clothing. If you want to find cheap clothes, it is important to know what type of outlet stores are best.
It is not uncommon to find retail stores in outlet shopping centers. They want to take advantage of the space and the shoppers that are looking for deals. If in doubt about whether the store is a retail store or a true outlet store, ask an employee.
Many retailers that want to reach outlet shoppers have factory stores purely for outlet malls. They carry the name of the retailer and their brand. The clothing at a factory outlet store may not include the same features or quality as that sold in their full-price retail store.
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Finally, there are true outlet stores. They make stock for their full-priced retail store and discount it when it is no longer in season. Look for irregularities in clothing because these stores may also carry damaged items.
Tips to Find Cheap Clothes When Outlet Shopping
Outlet shopping can be a lot of fun if you plan it right. If you’re not prepared, you may end up leaving bored and frustrated. You might even leave empty-handed!
Prepare for Your Trip to Outlet Shopping Centers
One of the best ways you can prepare for a trip to an is to learn what stores are available. Once you are aware of the stores, you can research them online.
Find out what kind of store they are and what products are available. The more familiar you are with their products, the more likely you are to spot the great deals
Next, you should download some. Apps for smartphones, like RedLaser and ShopSavvy, allow you to scan the barcode of an item and compare the price to other stores that sell it.
Get a hold of a map of the shopping outlet center, if you can. You can get a feel for the location of the stores you want to go to. Also, you won’t have to waste time finding the mall map to get to your next store.
Timing is Everything
Most shoppers are hitting the malls between noon and mid-afternoon. If you want to get the good deals be waiting at the doors when they open. Not only are items less picked through but it’s also neat and easy to find things.
If you’re traveling to go outlet shopping, make sure you leave early enough to get there before everyone else. Many people who are buying new clothes at outlet centers will travel 100 miles or more to get great deals.
Finally, try not to shop on weekends or holidays. It may be most convenient to his an outlet shopping center when you’re already on vacation but the crowds may drive you out. Shop mid-week whenever possible.
Start with the Sales Racks
Sales racks in shopping outlets are no different than the sales rack in a regular store. This is where all the best deals will be.
When you are trying to find cheap clothes, make sure that the quality is good. You may find clothing with irregularities. Try clothing on before you buy to see how it fits in the mirror.
Get your phone out and check the apps you’ve installed. Sometimes the discounts on sales items aren’t that great. You may be able to find a better deal somewhere else.
If you’re familiar with the clothing of the outlet store you are shopping at, you may be able to find items with less detail. These items are almost indistinguishable from the items sold in the main stores.
The quality of clothing with different features is still very good. The buttons may be different, the material may thinner, or other small features. You can still clothe your family in the latest fashions!
Set a Budget
At outlet shopping centers, there are many deals to be found. It is easy to get carried away and spend a lot more than what you planned on spending. Shopping with cash and leaving your credit cards at home can help you stick to your budget.
Loyalty is Rewarded
Outlet stores often offer reward programs to loyal shoppers. You might get free gift cards or coupon books once you hit a specific spending level. Shoppers that subscribe to mailing lists can get exclusive offers as well.
Outlet Shopping is Fun and Budget Friendly
Although saving money when buying clothes may be your first priority, outlet shopping can be a lot of fun. When you shop as a group, with friends or family, it can be a challenge to see who gets the best deals.
Outlet shopping lets you buy items and clothing that you need anyway. At the same time, you can find the latest styles and keep you and your family looking great.
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