Menu
Business and Personal Finance
Are You Mature Enough To Buy A Home?
Should Sports Teams Receive Tax Breaks?
Is A Retirement Career Right For You?
Who Benefits From ETFs In 529 Plans?
Why You Shouldn't Die In 2013
How To Determine Your Business' Target Market
Who Does The Current Tax Code Benefit?
Savings Plans That Can Make Good Christmas Gifts For Kids
Varieties Of Brokers And How To Pick The Best One
Why Credit Card Debt Levels Are Rising
Benefits Of Paying Off Your Mortgage
How To Recommend A Stock
Are Distressed Homes Worth Buying?
How To Get A Relocation Allowance
How To Start A Charity
4 Business Partnership Mistakes To Avoid
How To Spot Knockoff Labels And Fake Products
8 Qualities That Make A Good Insurance Agent
Using Social Media To Reach Customer Service Departments
How To Make Money Busking
The Difference Between Being Fired And Resigning
3 Banking Moves You Should Make Before Traveling
What To Do If Your Company Cuts Your 401(k)
Money Saving Tips From Your Grandparents
7 Tips For Outlet Mall Shopping
If you are a seasoned shopper, you already know that outlet mall shopping today is much different from warehouse outlet store shopping of yesteryear. Outlet stores, back in the day, were located in a less glamorous part of town and were typically large, mostly unattractive warehouses filled with defective or second-quality merchandise. Everything was sold at a discount. The less expensive the item, the more that was wrong with it.

While those types of warehouse operations still exist, outlet malls have all but replaced them. Outlet malls look like normal retail malls but are not quite as upscale. They have fewer amenities, are typically built with outside access to all of the stores, and rarely offer movies or standalone restaurants.

Outlet malls do offer a more modern look than a warehouse outlet, many stores and even new merchandise. Off-season, seconds or slightly-defective items are still a draw, but in many cases, brand new merchandise is also available. However, it's often of lower quality than similar items found in regular retail stores. Since everything isn't a bargain, finding a deal in the newer outlet malls requires a little work. Here are seven tips for finding the best deals on outlet mall items.

Know When a Bargain Is a Bargain
Although the sign says 65% off the retail price, it is likely that you would have never paid the retail price anyway. However, you would not know that unless you visit the decked out store in the swanky mall first. Don't have time to go the mall? Smartphone apps like RedLaser or ShopSavvy allow you to compare prices online. The only way to know if it is actually a good deal is to compare prices.

Find out If It Was Made for the Outlet
According to SmartMoney, 82% of all products sold in an outlet store are made to be sold there. This means that the items are new but possibly of lower quality than what you would find in the regular store. That may not be a problem, but keep in mind that if you are buying something that looks new and undamaged, the price is lower for a reason. If top-quality is important, you may want to keep looking.

Head to the Corners
When you walk into an outlet mall store, you will notice great looking displays just like in a traditional retail store. Head to the far corners and there you will likely find the clearance racks. If you are looking for the true bargain basement outlet experience, the corners are probably where you want to start.

Sign up for the Mailing List
Since B-stock or "factory seconds" make up less of the inventory of outlet malls these days, sales are far more common. The only way you are going to know about that sale is to sign up for its mailing list at the mall office or online. While you are at it, join the mall's preferred customer club; it's usually free and includes additional discounts that typically change monthly. Another tip: Set up a separate e-mail address that you only use for mailing lists like this.

Shop off-Season
Need a winter coat? Buy it in the spring. Need some new beach gear? Buy it in the fall. Need a new snow blower? You want to pick that up in the spring. Stores know you are looking for a bargain, but they also want to maximize profit. Off-season merchandise will often not be the first thing you see. So, where should you look?

Shop off-Hours
Outlet malls are very busy. During heavy shopping times such as the holidays, there could be a line just to get into the store. If you are able, shop on the weekdays when others are at work. If you go when everybody else would normally shop, you are going to need an extra dose of patience.

The Bottom Line
Outlet malls have replaced warehouse outlets. The move to a more modern look brings with it new challenges for perceptive shoppers. You cannot assume that everything in an outlet mall store is less expensive than the same item in a regular store. Due diligence is the name of the game. Embrace the new "normal" and play by the rules. You will not find as many scratch and dent items anymore, but stores still offer great bargains.

Print
How Inflation Affects Your Net Worth
Ways To Destroy Your Net Worth
Rebalancing Your Portfolio For The Fiscal Cliff
Why Santa Is The Shrewdest Businessman
Gift-Giving Etiquette
How To Financially Prepare For A Doomsday Scenario
What People Spend On Christmas Around The World
5 Most Financially-Lucrative Toy Fads
Is Free Shipping Worth It?
How Much Your New Year's Partying Could Cost You
The Fiscal Cliff And Your 401(k)
Fiscal Cliff Implications For Year-End Tax Planning
5 Viable Career Options In 2013
Save Early For Retirement If You're A High Earner
Languages That Give You The Best Chance To Broaden Your Career
Top-Paying Contract Positions
A Look Into Proposition 30
The Real Risks Of Entrepreneurship
What New Student Loan Repayment Options Mean
3 Famous People With MBAs
How To Play Dividends During The Fiscal Cliff
The Highest Paying Jobs In 2013
Top Employment Skills For 2013
Don't Judge Your Partner Based On Credit Score
Most Affordable Cups of Coffee
Planning Your Retirement Using The Monte Carlo Simulation
How To Dine Out Without Breaking The Bank
The Real Cost Of Volunteer Tourism
Top 5 Business Alternatives To Facebook
Plethora Of 401(K) And IRA Changes Coming
How To Improve Net Worth By Decreasing Liabilities
6 Top-Paying Freelance Jobs
Should You Poach Clients From Other Advisors?
Gifts For People You Aren't That Close To
How The Fiscal Cliff Could Affect Your Net Worth
Why You Should Know Your Net Worth In Retirement
How Credit Cards Will Change In 2013
Why You Should Know Your Net Worth In Your 20s
Students: Don't Be Afraid Of Your Net Worth
Average Net Worth Of The 1%
6 Tips For Increasing Your Net Worth
Share 0 Disqus Net Worth Of Citizens Around The World
The Cost Of Santa's Trip On Christmas Eve
Why You Should Embrace Online Shopping
How To Advise A Couple Starting A Family
7 Tips For Outlet Mall Shopping
All I Want for Christmas Is A Santa Claus Rally
Social Faux Pas Made By Frugal People
The True Cost Of Pharmaceutical Scandals
Will Your Net Worth Be Affected By A Recession?
Are You On Track To Hit Your Desired Net Worth By Retirement?
Net Worth Throughout Your Life