Who isn’t interested in learning how to save money shopping ? That’s why outlet malls have become so popular. But when you go to the outlets, do you really save? In most cases, the answer is definitely yes – if you take a few easy steps outlined below. According to Moneyland* you can expect to save 24-30% off your purchase if you shop at an outlet mall. Depending on what you’re shopping for, that’s a pretty decent chunk of change.
However, the savings aren’t necessarily automatic. In order to save money while shopping at outlet stores, you have to be willing to do your research before you shop. After all, not all outlet stores in one mall are created equal, nor do they all get their merchandise for the same price.
Advantages of Shopping at Outlet Malls
• You can find great bargains, especially if you combine coupons.
• Designer clothes, cheap prices – enough said.
• The quality is the same as name brand retailers.
• You can find items from multiple retailers under one roof.
• The thrill of competing for a great bargain can be a lot of fun!
Disadvantages of Shopping at Outlet Malls
• Competition for promotional items can be fierce.
• It can be exhausting trying to find all of the sale items.
• Returns aren’t always accepted.
Neal’s notes – I generally don’t dig the outlet mall scene. I think most people who go these outlets end up spending more because they buy junk they don’t really need. This is a huge problem for lots of people besides me. It’s also one of the main reasons why I think Groupon is dangerous.
Tips for Getting the Best Deals at Outlet Malls
Although finding outlet malls to shop at is relatively straight forward, knowing how to find the best deals isn’t always. Here are a few money saving tips to get you started:
1. Always look for coupons before you leave the house. Although most outlet stores will have a physical catalog listing that you can pick up as you enter, many also hold special online promotions that aren’t available offline. It’s always a good idea to check the company’s website for any printable coupons before you head out to go shopping so that you aren’t leaving money on the table!
2. Know the difference between the types of outlet stores. There are two types of outlet store: retail and factory. When you’re looking to save money on designer clothes and other name brand items, you want to find the retail outlet stores. In the simplest terms, a retail outlet store stocks merchandise from a variety of retailers that were previously on the sales floor of the original store; these items have often been marked down in price several times, which means you will get a better deal once they finally hit the outlet store. On the other hand, a factory outlet store sells its own brand merchandise. While this doesn’t mean you’ll get a bad deal, there’s a higher potential for savings on a greater variety of brands when you go to a retail outlet mall.
3. Don’t forget to ask about special promotions when you get there. Just like online coupons, some in-store promotions aren’t always advertised until you get in the store itself. If you don’t want to ask a sales representative, then try heading to the back of the store first since this is often where the on sale items are grouped.
Neal’s notes – If you are very disciplined, outlet malls can be marvelous and this post tells you how to max out on the opportunity. But I challenge you to take it to the next level. Make sure you don’t just spend all those savings. Open up a CIT Bank account and deposit those savings into that account rather than allow that cash to sit around.
Final Thoughts on Saving Money by Shopping at Outlet Malls
On a final note, it’s important to remember that just because you’re shopping at an outlet mall doesn’t mean that you’re going to walk home with the best deal – it’s still imperative to shop around first to see what kind of prices are available. Additionally, even though outlet malls really do have the potential to save you money, they can also be a nightmare if the store you’re shopping at doesn’t have a return policy. In this respect, you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration if you ask about returns before you walk out of the store.