Nov 03, 2014

Outlets are the places, where we go, when we want to buy good pieces for better prices, right? Well, just as not everything that glitters is gold, not everything you can buy in an outlet is the best buy! In this article we will look closer at the outlet merchandise and the discounts you think you are getting… Are they real? 

What is sold in outlets?

Generally speaking, outlets offer either overstock merchandise, poorly made pieces or past season. Very often brand new merchandise is also available, BUT it’s often of lower quality than similar items found in regular retail stores. 

Merchandise made for outlets – current trend

You might have realized that some “factory outlets” are selling items you wouldn’t in other stores. According to SmartMoney, “82% of all products sold in an outlet store are made to be sold there and they may not represent the same quality as the items sold by third party sellers.” As a result of this – the perceived discount is not always a discount at all!

Read more on psychology of outlet shopping.

Even some designers make items specifically for outlets; sometimes popular styles from a previous season may be re-issued using materials the designer already has. Together with cheaper prices might go poorer quality or quickly made products that aren’t as representative as the original items of the same brand!

How to decide what was made for outlet?

When there is a discount, there has to be a reason to it! And if you want to make sure you are getting the best buy, you have to find the reason.

Few tips: 

  • When you are buying designer pieces, look at the stitching and hang tags. Many designer brands have a certain color they use and they usually have tags that are hard to duplicate. 
  • If you are not sure, ask! The seller is there for you. “Are you selling overstock, or do you make your own merchandise for the outlet store?” They might not answer directly, but you might guess the truth from how openly they reply.  

More tips: How to get the best prices…

Buying pieces that were made for outlet might not be a big problem; it still looks the same, right? Well, we leave this decision up to you… What do you think about items made for outlet stores? Let us know in comments! 


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