Outlets become a really popular phenomenon in the
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.