We are not implying that outlets are a bad thing, or you should stop shopping there. Outdoor outlets are an exciting way to enjoy a day with great weather. All we are doing is making you aware of the fact that outlets are a $17B industry that is based on the idea that shoppers are looking to save money. They make most of their money by convincing consumers that they are getting a bargain.
If you plan to head to the outlets, remember all of this advice while you are there.
– Understand the value of a reduced cost. Even if you have taken a pretty long drive to get to an outlet, feel free to leave if you don’t find anything you like. There is no reason to waste money just to justify the road trip you have taken.
– Do not pay any attention to the “full price,” which is often fake. The only thing you need to worry about is whether each item is truly worth the asking price.
– Check the quality of each item thoroughly. Inspect the stitching and construction while keeping an eye out for any damages. Read the labels so you know the fabric content and the country of origin. A study in Consumer Reports revealed the fact that more than 75% of people do not know the difference between regular merchandise and that found at outlets.
Do not allow that to be you. If you have a favorite designer, make sure that you are aware of the usual quality and price. This will make it easier for you to spot the differences.
– Do your research. For example, if you would like some Nike sneakers, check out the price at other places before you head to the outlets. While they may be cheaper at the outlet, the quality might reflect that.
– Take a look at the rankings from consumer Reports. Top-rated stores include Lenox, L.L. Bean and Mikasa. (Here is a copy of the report, which subscribers can access on the official website).
– Watch out for regular retail stores. There no legal definition for the term “outlet,” so many times regular stores will add the word in order to appear like they offer bargains.