May 28, 2005

Top Ten Outlet Tips

This weekend is Memorial Weekend! And since I slept through the post Thanksgiving sales (I didn't KNOW!!) I am not about to miss this one. Things are going to be at an all time low, and where to go then to an outlet right? Here are a few tips I picked up the last (and first!!) time I went to the outlets.

Top Ten Tips for outlet shoppers:
  1. Outlets are very far and you want to know someone with a car-otherwise the time needed to get there can be very dampening on the spirit
  2. Outlets are usually outdoors, even though they're called an Outlet mall and in any normal people would inspire an image of an indoor mall. So bring a lightweight jacket (lightweight so as to not get in the way of shopping)
  3. Outlets are rather big and require walking. And people tend to buy a lot of things, so minimize amount of carry on to your keys and wallet-maybe some water (but there's always the foodcourt. . ) so as to maximise the shopping bags you can hold at one time and wear comfortable slides (so you can try on shoes quicker!
  4. Not all shops in outlets malls are outlets and sell items cheaper then normal. You must look carefully at prices and make you own judgement. Most of the times they have tags saying price before and "our price" so you know its cheaper, but sometimes your not so lucky. An example of this would be the PacSun and the Miss Sixty/Energie shop.
  5. In outlet stores, when you see something you like, you must grab and hold onto them, even if your not sure if you want to buy them or not. Because there are competitive shoppers around who has the eye of an eagle, and before you know it, its gone! This also applies to places like Filene's Basement as well. . . . . esp when your a size small. In the event of undecision, ask and see if they can hold it for you for an hour or two
  6. In the event of a huge confused queuing system, you are not supposed to ask people around if they're in the line or not. Just barge right in as if you were always there, and hope no one noticed.
  7. Do not wear expensive branded items to outlet shopping. They will just appear incomparable against the super cheap items on sale and make you miss out on a super bargain like a pair of $40 Guess Jeans, which you can wear anywhere, mess around in, get dirty and you wouldn't feel too sad about it when they expire.
  8. Classical pieces like v necked sweaters and turtlenecks are timeless. Go for it, buy loads! They are easy to match with, warm, never out of style and will last for ages (esp those from Gap). And you can just stick it into the washing machine without a second thought.
  9. Allocate a whole day to shop, so as to ensure that you have the chance to do a double check around and time to think all that you've seen to ensure that you have no regrets and have not missed out on a great bargain-esp since getting there without a car is so difficult, you'd want to maximise this shopping experience.
  10. The price marked on the item in a shop is not always the actual cost of the item. And here are 3 reasons why:
  • In America there is always the stupid sales tax designed to dampen your aggregate demand to cool down the overheating economy. And this applies to outlet malls as well despite it being in the middle of nowhere (although the tax rates are usually lower), so mark the price about 10% up.i.e. a 30% off sale is in fact only a 20% off sale.(this is all except for Philly which is tax free for both food and cloting-as it should be)
  • Some shops are just not bothered to label everything, especially outlet shops. So you just have to read the signs hanging around the store that gives additional sales sometimes. Like the red labelled items being an extra 20% off or some shit like that. OR they just shout it out, so keep eyes AND ears open.
  • Lastly, its so messed up around there that some things are simply labelled incorrectly. So you'll just have to ask around and test your luck. Like my adorable sky blue adidas track pants, which I loved so much I was willing to pay $32 for, but was lucky enough at the cashier to get them for $19.

Happy Memorial Weekend everyone!

18 Comments:

Blogger Harrods Girl said...

Good tips! Although I usually get too annoyed at how messy the stores are and how there is basically no customer service to actually buy much from outlet stores, I still appreciate the low prices. Have fun shopping people! I will be thinking of all the wonderful sales in my little dorm room.

5/29/2005 1:43 AM  
Anonymous The Southern Vixen said...

Darlin', I can't believe you said anything Gap will last for ages and will never go out of style. Timeless does not describe the Gap. It's called a gap for a reason. You know, like, a hole, a crevice, someplace dark and dirty is what I envision. Surely you know better than this? Here's hoping.

5/29/2005 11:51 AM  
Anonymous clozac, yes i'm back said...

I shudder when we drive past an outlet mall, having been imprisoned at a few with no means of escape, no jacket, and most of a day until my "chauffeur" was scheduled to return. "Outlet" is a misnomer; I always thought it implied you would be offered top products at a reduced price due to lower overhead, or something like that, when it actually means you are stuck looking at reject stuff they are still trying to squeeze every last penny out of. I can get better deals on the sale rack at any retail. And beware, some of the merchandise is defective, and since I have only visited these establishments while traveling, returns are almost impossible. Which is why I find many outlet items at my local thrift shops. So don't feel bad Harrod's Girl, you aren't missing any fun at the outlet mall !!!

5/30/2005 3:07 AM  
Blogger Barneys Girl said...

I agree, most of the stuff at the outlets are not exactly presented very well. What I had in mind are mostly classical stuff like v necked gap sweaters and boring stuff like that. But what I'm missing MOST from the outlet is the $20 skinny polo's from Ralph Lauren in a huge array of colors. And it is only $20 this weekend due to memorial day! My friend who went yesterday told me about it, and I'm SO mad that he hadn't called me and bought me a few! They're around $60 at store, $40 usually at outlet and $20 on special outlet days!

5/30/2005 4:37 AM  
Blogger Fashion Style Chic said...

Great list :) The allure of the outlet is too tempting for me. I go time and time again and sometimes I score big but most of the time I leave empty handed. You are right about wearing slides. I wore heels one time and didn't last an hour into shopping!

5/30/2005 7:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, please don't advise readers to be as rude, pushy and selfish as possible for the sake of being in line for one less minute! The last thing anyone needs, especially when marathon shopping, is a mean, hostile atmosphere, which can be so draining and ultimately pointless. Why not try being polite, courteous, and patient with your fellow shoppers?

5/30/2005 10:16 AM  
Blogger Liz J said...

fyi: there are a few other locations where there is no sales tax. Oregon, most of Alaska, to name a few. I am not fortunate enough to live there, but whatever, I guess.

5/31/2005 1:06 PM  
Blogger Barneys Girl said...

Liz J, thanks for the tip! I'm not very acquainted with US geography and its taxing system, so its great to know that its not only philly (and i think jersey is the same too).

5/31/2005 2:18 PM  
Blogger Harrods Girl said...

To be fair, I've only ever been to outlet malls in California and the UK. The ones in California are terrible. The malls are in the middle of no where, and really really hot and dry. Once you arrive, the adrenaline to shop evaporates together with your sweat and annoyance. By the time you leave, the car basically feels like an oven when you go back in.
The malls in the UK are more pleasant but that's another story.

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