When I was growing up outlet stores or ‘designer villages’ were discount warehouses. These warehouses were far from glam. They tended to be stocked with products that didn’t quite meet standards which were known as seconds. Everything was discounted and the bigger the discount meant the item had more faults. There are still warehouses like this around but they have mainly been replaced by outlet stores. Outlet shopping is completely different. Each store at the outlet more closely resembles the brands store you would find on the high street. While you can still get hold of seconds and items with small faults, most outlet shopping villages stock brand new pieces.
In my quest to help you find designer and high end high street pieces I thought that in my latest post I would discuss what you need to consider before outlet shopping.
Is it really a bargain?
When you check the label and it says 50% off it is quite likely that the item was never the retail price in the first place. Obviously unless you have already visited the high street store or checked out their website you are unlikely to know what the cost originally was. The only way to really know if it is a good deal is to compare the price and there are various apps that will do this online for you.
Was it made for the outlet?
Several years ago there was a documentary about outlet shopping which exposed that the majority of clothes, shoes, jewellery and bags are made to be sold there. To be honest I’m not sure if that is the case with beauty products. If this doesn’t bother you then shop to your hearts content. I would just bear in mind that items may be lower quality than if you were buying them in store. If owning higher quality means more to you then the ‘designer village’ may not be the place for you.
Don’t feel under pressure to buy
Quite often outlet stores take a while to get to and usually mean making a special trip. Because of the extra effort it takes to get there you feel like you need to pick up multiple items to make the visit worth your while. If there isn’t anything that you really like or would pay the RRP on then don’t spend it. It just isn’t worth it and anything you do buy will no longer be a bargain.
Before making a purchase make sure that you check the stitching for lose threads or any other damage. If you know that you are likely to shop from certain brands or designers visit their store first to make sure that you are familiar with the quality.
If you’re looking for a particular bag make sure you know how much it costs before you go. While there is no guarantee certain pieces will be there (it’s always the luck of the draw) it’ll give you a better idea of how much you’re really saving. Especially if you take into account the possibility of it being lower quality.
Shop off peak
Outlet stores can be incredibly busy, as you would expect, during weekends and holidays. The experience will be more enjoyable if you can try and go mid week instead. If you visit on a weekend you’re probably going to need a lot more patience.
Image downloaded from Pixabay