Outlets become a really popular phenomenon in the

mid 90's.

Outlet stores started originally as an attempt by

brands and retailers to clear out their merchandise.

They opened these special stores

since they did not want to heavily discount

their merchandise in their regular stores.

They realized that if they discounted

their merchandise in their regular stores

it could turn out to be counterproductive.

If customers got accustomed to seeing

very large sales they would no longer

purchase merchandise at the

full retail price.

If customers started seeing

Coach handbags being

sold frequently at 50% below the

regular price they

would simply stop

buying the Coach

handbags at the

full price.

And since retailers do

have overstock merchandise

they have the need

for running frequent sales.

As a matter of fact that is one

of the reasons why department stores

are currently struggling.

Their shoppers are used to

waiting for big sales since there

seem to be so many of them.

Why should they purchase any

merchandise at the full price

when another sale is quickly 

coming up?

Many retailers, and brands,

sought to avoid this issue

by opening up separate retail

locations where the big

sales would take place.

Now why didn't customers just

visit the outlets instead of the

full priced stores?

Because the full priced stores

where usually located in

very central and easily accessible


But the outlets were usually

reasonably far away from main

shopping centers and retail strips.

For example, Woodbury Common Premium Outlets

is located in Central Valley, New York,

which is about an hour and half drive from


You will also have the Harmony Cove Outlet Center

in Secaucus, New Jersey, and and the Tanger Outlets 

In Long Island, New York.

There are many other outlet centers located throughout

the United States as well.

So if you needed a brand name Calvin Klein

dress for the weekend it would be

easier to simply visit your local

Calvin Klein store.

Visiting an outlet usually

involved a full day trip, since

you had to drive or take

public transportation to get there,

and depending where you were coming

from it could easily take you

an hour or two to get there.

Another reason why people

still frequented full price stores

over outlets was because 

the full price stores

had a wide range of

sizes, colors, and styles.

The outlets had clearance items

which meant that not all the sizes,

colors, or styles, were available.

Yes, you could get amazing

deals at outlets, but it really

was a hit or miss shopping trip.

Today things are very different.

While many retailers and brands still use outlets

to dispose of their clearance items,

merchandise is now being produced

specifically for the outlets.

Outlets become so popular

among shoppers that the brands

decided to maximize their retail sales

through these off price shops.

The brands now manufacture

clothing, shoes, handbags, and other

items, specifically for their off price


I personally believe that the

merchandise being sold in many outlet

stores is not the same quality, or

at least the same styles, as the

products being sold in the full price


What this means is that a Ralph Lauren

polo shirt being sold in an outlet

might not be the exact same polo shirt

being sold in a full priced Ralph Lauren shop.

And while you can still find some really 

good discounts at outlets, the discounts

are not as steep as in the past, since the

merchandise is being produced to be

sold at a profit.

For the most part it's no longer

left over merchandise, but

brand new products being made

specifically for the off price locations.

So can you still find below wholesale

deals at outlet shopping centers?

Yes you can, but you need to be more

discerning and careful. You need to

be discerning in terms of examining the

quality and style of what you are buying.

You need to be careful in ensuring that you

really are paying a below wholesale price.

Just because the shop claims that the

prices of their brand name dresses

are up to 70% off the original retail 

prices does not mean that you are getting

a great deal. 

It is possible that those brand name

dresses are routinely sold at a

discount by all retailers.

You will want to go online and

see what the actual selling 

prices are of those brand name dresses.

Only then will you know if you

are really getting a great deal.

I would recommend visiting outlet centers

when they are running sales, such as

during a holiday, or at the end of

the season.

This way you can take advantage of 

any additional discounts that 

can be available.

If a 200.00 Tahari dress is regularly sold

in the outlet at 50% below its 

retail price, and you do your

shopping when there is an

additional sale of let's say 

50%, then your price will

be only 50.00 for that dress.

If you can resell it for

100.00 or more then you

have found yourself a 

great deal.

When visiting an outlet go the

information booth and ask them

if they have any coupon books.

These coupon books can enable you

to get extra discounts at the stores.

At Woodbury Common you can purchase

a coupon book that can give you

extra discounts.

Many outlets restrict sales to customers

that are looking to resell their merchandise

so you will want to abide by their policies. 

While I still believe that you can

find merchandise at below wholesale

prices, your best route in my opinion

is to visit actual wholesale suppliers and

closeout warehouses.

This way you know that you

are visiting a business that specifically

deals with products at wholesale,

or below wholesale, prices.

It can still make sense to purchase

discounted items at outlets

if you are selling outside of the

United States, since the prices

tend to be higher outside the USA,

and the items might not be 

available in the country in

which you are selling.

I strongly recommend that you

keep the receipts for any items

that you purchase so that you

can always prove that the items

are original and authentic.