Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Live cheaply.
As the holiday season approaches, now is a great time to review what we’re really getting in the outlet stores. This is not intended to discourage people from shopping at points of sale; it’s just to advise and make us better buyers.
All in all, you can save money at an outlet store. The same principles that apply to regular purchases apply in an outlet store. You need to know what you are buying and how much it should cost.
Once upon a time, when you went to an outlet store, there were factory overruns, unsold items, off-season items, and damaged merchandise that once hung in the retail store. Shopping at the point of sale was a hit and miss proposition.
The racks sometimes contained only one or two items. All labels were clearly marked, with several price stickers superimposed with increasingly lower prices. Sometimes the clothing tags were cut off to indicate that they were going out items.
Most of the large retailers had a few outlet stores scattered across the country. Many were located far from metropolitan areas, often in almost unmarked and not so glamorous malls.
These outlets were deliberately placed in remote locations so as not to compete with retail stores. Despite the almost run down quality of some of these stores, you really get a $ 60 jacket that once hung from a rack in the retail store for $ 20.
Somewhere along the line that all changed.
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