The Real Deal Behind Outlet Stores

The Real Deal Behind Outlet Stores

It’s never fun when something that seems too good be true proves that it actually is. But as much as the truth can hurt, in the long run, you’re better off knowing it. Discovering that the steals and deals offered at outlet malls are hardly as incredible as they seem is disheartening to say the least.

It’s never fun when something that seems too good be true proves that it actually is. But as much as the truth can hurt, in the long run, you’re better off knowing it. Discovering that the steals and deals offered at outlet malls are hardly as incredible as they seem is disheartening to say the least. However, if you pay attention to these signs at your next outlet excursion, you can be sure your next big save is truly worth it. 

While most of the bargains available at stores like Nordstrom rack are truly excess product from the main department stores, most of the outlets, the ones a good drive away from your home in the middle of nowhere, have been raising some eyebrows. For starters, it’s not just a coincidence that outlet malls are miles away from any major town. Land here is cheap, and outlets have to be sure they are a good distance away from the retailers selling the clothes at full value.

Outlet stores were originally invented over 100 years ago as a way for factories to rid themselves of excess product. While this principle is still the “concept” of outlet stores today, retailers have taken this billion-dollar industry into their own hands; they make the majority of goods available specifically for outlet stores. A luxury buyer who wished to remain anonymous told learnvest.com that they suspect that a mere 10% of clothing and handbags sold in outlet stores are actually overstock from retail stores. These clothes are often made with cheaper quality materials and shoddy stitching and seams, allowing for the cheap “discount.” 

Fortunately, you can still enjoy a day of shopping at the outlets while maintaining your standards by: 

  1. Checking the original price of item online. 

As most of the goods are made specifically for outlet stores, the original sell price is certainly fabricated. Search for the item on the retailer’s website or store to see if the item is there and if the markdown is as true as it seems. 

  1. Checking clothing quality before purchasing. 

Found something cute? If you’re comfortable with the price, give the item a really good once over. Do the buttons look like they may fall off? Is the seam loose? Does the material seem as nice as the retailer’s usual items? Check for holes, rips, loose threads, etc. If even just one already exists and you haven’t even taken the item out of the store yet, chances are after a few wears, your garment you got on sale will fall apart. 

  1. If you don’t find anything, don’t force yourself to buy. 

Outlet stores are well aware that you’ve made a trip out of coming to the outlet mall. They are far away, after all. Don’t buy items just because they appear as a deal and you’ve taken the time and used the gas to get to the shops. If you find some things you love and the quality holds up in your estimation, great. Otherwise, don’t fall for the traps outlet stores have set. 

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