Shopping is like a therapy for many people. That’s why some people tend to go beyond their limits when shopping to get whatever they need. Today, people who love shopping have different options and one of these options is outlet shopping.
Outlet stores allow shoppers to enjoy steep discounts, notable savings, as well as amazing sales and promotions. These are some of the reasons why their popularity is increasing across the world. Even though outlets might seem like the best place to enjoy some great deals, you should always be cautious with the deals that you find in these stores. Some people have ended up with disappointments after realizing that they didn’t get true value for their money after shopping at an outlet.
Below we list down the pros and cons of outlet stores.
You can buy products at a cheaper price
Mostly, outlet malls have manufacturer stalls. That means manufacturers sell their products directly, and you won’t have to deal with distributors or middlemen. As a result, it will cost the manufacturer less when making their products accessible to you.
Typically, the price of merchandise at outlets is at least 15% – 20% less compared to when shopping at a normal retail store. The closer the outlet store is to the factory, the cheaper the merchandise. On average, most people claim they get discounts of up to 40% when they decide to shop at an outlet mall.
Generally, outlet stores do offer more promotions and steep discounts. For instance, you will find seasonal promotions, like summer sales, holiday sales, and winter promotions, among others. In addition to that, you will also find crazy promotions at outlets.
Promotions like buy one, get one free is not rare at outlets since most of the brands are looking to clear their stock that hasn’t moved for a while. Moreover, you will also find discount coupons that can allow you to shop at a much lower price.
Wide variety of products
Typically, major brand names display all their product range at outlet malls. That means you can access all their products at an outlet store, instead of a normal retail mall. Now, assume that 20 brand names display their product ranges at outlets, such as Via Jurmala—you will be spoilt for choice.
It’s not unusual to realize that you have a wider range of shapes, sizes, and colors for you to choose from. Besides, outlets, particularly factory outlet stores are larger than normal retail stores. That means you have all the freedom that you need to walk around and choose whatever product you want without anyone bothering you.
Contrary to the common belief, not everything that’s sold in an outlet store is of poor quality. In fact, some major brand names like Nike have been introducing new products at the outlet before even selling them at ordinary retail stores.
Moreover, designers can manufacture a brand of striped pants and polka-dots tops to be sold at normal retail stores, and then use the same fabric to design a different outfit for outlet stores. That means you can get unique products from major brand names next time you decide to shop at an outlet mall.
Typically, the main idea for outlets is to clear products that haven’t moved for a while. Therefore, you will realize that manufacturers tend to display uncleared stock from the previous season. At times, you will realize that most of these products are not popular. Also, the manufacturer might be selling the products since they were overproduced or outdated. Thus, an outlet mall is not the best place to go if you are searching for modern trends and styles.
Outlets stores also do sell defective products—especially electronic items and factory rejects. Most of these products don’t meet the set standards for them to be sold at a normal retails store. Although most of these products are good for normal use, you will realize that they have some minor details that are not ok.
For instance, you will notice that some clothes have crooked or misaligned stitching in some concealed parts. You might also realize that some electronics have missing screws or chipped areas, but they function normally. Therefore, you must be willing to accept such minor defects before purchasing that product.
At times, you will realize that a brand name is selling certain products at an outlet mall. However, these products are made of cheaper material compared to the products sold at a normal retail store. That means, these are the same products, but of different quality.
While this doesn’t mean that these products are completely defective, you should understand that they are not of the same quality as the products that you can buy at a retailer. However, not ever a major brand does this. Thus, you need to make sure that you need to research more on the products that you want to buy before heading to your favorite outlet mall.
Risk of overspending
Since outlets sell commodities at a cheaper price, there’s always a higher risk of overspending. Yes, you will have a set budget for the amount that you’d like to spend. However, this can be a challenge especially if you have carried with you excess cash or if you are an impulse buyer.
With that said, it doesn’t mean that outlets are a bad place to shop. You can find some amazing deals in these stores, which will give you good value for your money.
Here are two ways that will assist you to get the best deals out of an outlet store.
Study the outlet store
This is one of the best ways to make sure that you get the best deals when going for outlet shopping. Always make sure that you are conversant with the outlet early in advance if you wish to capitalize on the sales. One way to do it is to subscribe to email updates from your favorite outlet mall.
These emails should give you an update on the deals of the month and any other upcoming promotions. Moreover, you should make yourself conversant with how the store operates. You must know the right time to shop, as well as the sale patterns of your favorite outlet mall.
Be vigilant of the return policies offered
You might be surprised, but rarely do outlets offer a return policy. As we said earlier, most of the products sold at outlets were either overstock or discontinued. That means you will have a big challenge when deciding to return the product in the event it turns out defective after purchasing it.
You might also realize that it’s a challenge to return a defective product. At times, you will be needed to return that product to the mall where you bought it, not to the nearest outlet mall—even when the brand name has a stall there. Let’s say the retail mall where you purchased your item is 100 miles away, and the accessibility isn’t that good. You’ll notice that you’ll end discarding that product. Therefore, you should be careful of such policies.