Tips for Outlet Shopping

Today, spending your day at an outlet store can look outdated—thanks to the recent boom in online shopping. However, this can make you miss out on amazing deals. Moreover, it’s important to note that outlet shopping is cheaper than any other form of shopping—but only if done right.

But, we shouldn’t outplay the popularity of outlet shopping, especially for people who want to save money on their home goods, shoes, as well as clothing. Today, there are still a lot of outlet shopping malls, which present the opportunity for shoppers to save a lot of cash, and also get a good value for their money. Nevertheless, you need to be extra cautious with this kind of shopping, as you can easily overspend or end buying substandard goods. With that said, the following are tips to assist you the next time you go out shopping at an outlet store.

Know the Different Types of Outlet Stores

All outlet stores are unique in their way, and the discounts offered in these stores do vary. Before heading out to do your shopping, take note that there are four types of outlet stores, and each one deals with different types of products. If you don’t know the type of shop you are stepping into, just ask any attendant about the type of products sold there-and this will assist you to know the deals available. The following are the types of outlet stores:

  • Factory stores – these deal with products specifically produced for outlet stores. These products might look the same as those in normal retail stores and also have the same name. However, the products have fewer features or are made with cheaper materials than their full-price equivalents. For instance, you might realize that the clothes sold at an outlet store don’t have the expensive fabrics and lining as those sold in a regular store—yet, they are of the same brand.
  • True outlet stores – these stores sell products with significant discounts. Mostly, true outlet stores sell discontinued products, which were once sold in a normal retail store, and then phased out because of the shopping season. True outlet shops also sell damaged goods—therefore, you need to be careful when shopping to avoid buying defective products.
  • Retail stores – at times, retailers will want to capitalize on the number of people shopping at an outlet store. Thus, they opt to buy store space, but they don’t sell any outlet products. However, the outlet store should notify shoppers with a store sign, to prevent them from mistakenly buying an item at a retail price.
  • Refurbished electronics stores – you will find most electronic dealers selling refurbished items like TVs, computers, and home theaters. These stores are not common, however, if you come across one of the stores, you might end up buying a refurbished product labeled as new. The best thing to do is to make sure that you get a warranty for the product that you buy—this shouldn’t be a problem since it’s common among retailers who sell refurbished products.

All in all, you should understand that the deals you get differ depending on your location, as well as the store. Moreover, understanding the type of outlet store saves you valuable time since you already know the kind of products to find in that store.

Compare Prices Early In Advance

The retailers at outlet stores understand that saving is the main reason why most customers shop at them. What that means, most of the retailers end up making the discounts look as high as possible. At times, outlet shops such as the designer outlet in Riga, Via Jurmala, will show signs indicating that the prices are 70% off. What you don’t know is, these percentages apply to certain products that have not been bought, despite recurrent discounts.

Keep in mind that you should do a price comparison by checking the retailer’s site if you want to know whether you are saving. At times, you will be surprised to realize that the discounts offered at some outlet stores are not as significant as they appear.

Set a Budget

It’s very obvious that going for whatever kind of shopping without a set budget is very dangerous. At the end of the day, you will end up spending more than you expected. All outlet stores have a lot of products to buy, a factor that makes many people to overspend. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have a limit on the amount you want to spend that day.

The best way to make sure that you don’t overspend is to shop with cash. If possible, don’t carry your credit or debit card with you when heading to the outlet store. When the money’s all spent, it’s time to go home.

However, if you are afraid of carrying a lot of cash, just load the amount you’d like to spend on your prepaid debit card. This will allow you to stay within your budget while keeping your money safe.

Get Your Timing Right

Are you searching for a winter jacket or a snow blower? The best time to buy it is during the spring. Or, are you looking for some sunbathing gear? Consider getting it during the fall. When you go for outlet shopping, the retailers understand that you will want to bargain. However, they also want to make a good profit out of the sales. Mostly, you will have a challenge in finding off-season products. Therefore, you should know where to look for these products.

Moreover, it’s important to understand that off-season stores tend to be very busy. Certain times, like holidays and weekends, outlet stores tend to be crowded. This can make it hard for you to search for whatever product you wanted to buy.

However, if you manage to shop during weekdays, then do it as most people are at work. If you opt to go shopping during holidays or weekends, then be ready to spend a couple of hours waiting to be attended to.

Search for Clearance Sales

Just like a normal retail store, outlet stores are designed to make you spend as much as you can. That means, you will find the more expensive merchandise placed at the front, whereas clearance and products with high discounts placed at the back of these stores.

Therefore, it’s important, always take your time when you go for outlet shopping if you want to get the best deals. Don’t be afraid of queueing at the clearance section, and also check for some extra discounts on every product. Moreover, it doesn’t hurt to ask any sales attendant about the deals of the day—they will be willing to direct you in the right direction.

Bottom Line

Outlet stores have become more popular than warehouse stores. This, in turn, presents a new and major challenge to people who love outlet shopping. However, you should never assume that all the products sold in outlet stores are cheaper than the same products in a normal retail store. Therefore, you must understand that due diligence is essential when it comes to outlet shopping. Following these tips when shopping will make sure that you get the best deals, as well as the best products the next time you visit your favorite outlet store.

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