Top 5 Secrets That You Didn’t Know About Shopping At Outlet Malls

by Hank Coleman

Outlet malls may not be as great a dealEveryone loves to save money and receive a good deal on the items they purchase. That phenomenon has given rise to the popularity of outlet malls across America. Outlet malls are big business now with over 200 malls spread across the country. That works out to about 300 different merchants operating approximately 13,000 stores.

I can remember when my mother and I had to drive over two hours from our home to reach an outlet store to rack up cheap clothing from retailers such as Tommy Hilfiger, The Gap, Ralph Lauren, and many others. It was an adventure to go to the outlets. It was a special trip which turned into a special day for me and my mother.

Now, there are outlet malls on the outskirts of many large cities around the country. Their growth continues to thrive, but sometimes there is more than meets the eye. In fact, sometimes the outlet malls are not all that they are cracked up to be. Here are a few things that you may want to keep in mind before your next trip.

You Spend More Money At Outlet Malls

Because going to an outlet mall is more of an event than just a shopping trip, many people find themselves spending more at an outlet mall than they normally would at a retail store. A study recently found that shoppers spend 79% more on their total shopping bills at an outlet mall than they would at ordinary mall.

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There is a perceived notion that you are saving a lot of money on these items, and therefore you should stock up on them. After all, it may be quite a while before you make it back to an outlet mall. They put them on the outskirts of towns for a reason.

Some Goods Are Only Made For Outlet Malls

Some of the great designer items that you can purchase at an outlet mall are made strictly for the outlets. You won’t be able to find those items in the retailers’ regular mall stores.

In fact, 82% of all products at outlet malls are made only for the outlet malls and cannot be found anywhere else. You may not be purchasing the same quality of an item from the outlets that you would normally have received at a retailer’s traditional store.

Stores At Outlet Malls May Not Actually Be An Outlet

Sometimes, store owners can be a little sneaky. There is nothing stopping a retail location from opening up a retail store in an outlet mall.

There is no legal requirement for outlet malls to only have outlet stores on their grounds. Many have as little as 50% of their total stores that are actually outlet stores. The rest are full retail stores hidden within the other stores.

Your Favorite Store May Never Come To The Outlets

There are certain stores that Americans have grown accustom to seeing at outlet malls. Many companies such as Coach, Ralph Lauren, Adidas, Nike, and others have had a strong existence in outlet malls for many years.

But, other stores have found it hard to break into the outlet arena. And, some stores and brands may never make an appearance at the outlet malls.

Refurbished Items May Not Be Worth Your Hassle

It is one thing to buy a coat that has a problem with its zipper. It is a completely other matter entirely when you start buying large, expensive appliances and electronics at outlet stores.

You may find yourself having to deal with returning items that have been refurbished, or you may find those items needing more repairs that you normally wouldn’t have seen if you had bought the item brand new. These hassles may ultimately wind up costing you time and money and simply may not be worth the hassle in the long run.

Everyone loves a good deal, and often times the outlet shopping malls seem to provide that with their unique shopping experience. It is important to remember though that things may not always be quite what they seem.

The deals at outlet malls may not be as good as you once thought. There are always a few tricks up the retailers’ sleeves that you may not have been aware of.

What about you? Do you like shopping at outlet malls? Did you know that they used these tricks there?

Top 5 Things That You Don't Know About Shopping At Outlet Malls
Secrets Shoppers Do Not Know About Shopping At Outlet Malls

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About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and a graduate certificate in personal financial planning. Email him directly at Hank[at]MoneyQandA.com.


Hank Coleman has written 591 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Tommy Hilfiger Laarzen

Malls definitely make you spend more money. More and more do people see it as a short trip you take just for the fun of it. We often go to the mall just to sip on a cappuccino, and nine out of ten times we end up buying something. 🙂

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Susan

I never new some of the products sold at outlet malls were inferior to the ones the retailer normally produces. Interesting!

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Wende Moran

There is the Niagara Falls Outlet Mall in Niagara Falls NY, and to tell you the truth, they are not cheaper then going to the regular malls, I find that it’s more expensive at that outlet mall. Oh you can find a few inexpensive things, but mostly the things are not as less then the regular mall things.

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