Outlet Malls and Outrageous Prices

Why Outlet Mall Stores Aren’t Always the Best Place for Bargains

Everyone loves a bargain and savvy deal hunters get an adrenaline rush the moment they spot an outlet mall. However, shopping at outlet malls is not always the best way to go when you want to get a great deal.

Check out The Clearance Rack at Your Favorite Department Store

If you take the prices found in the stores at the outlet malls and compare them to the prices charged for the merchandise on the clearance racks in department stores, you’ll often find that the department stores offer a much better savings than the outlet malls – especially at the end of a season. Sometimes the clearance prices at department stores will be eighty or ninety percent off the retail price, while the outlet mall may only offer fifty to sixty percent off. In addition, many department stores offer coupons (often printed in local newspapers) that offer an additional 10% or 15% off your purchase, and while these coupons can sometimes be redeemed on clearance merchandise, they can almost never be redeemed at the outlet store.

If you don’t have a local newspaper subscription or you forget to pick a copy up at the newsstand, many department stores will have the coupons available at the checkout counters so you can still get the discount. Remember to ask first before making any purchases to see what specials the store is currently offering.

Why Outlet Mall Coupons Aren’t Really a Bargain

Sometimes outlet malls offer coupons for their merchandise as well. The main office or customer service booth can be a source of these coupons. Beware, though, because oftentimes the coupons at outlet malls cost money. I’m sure by now you’ve seen the vending machines that look like soda or snack machines but dispense coupon booklets. In many cases the coupons require large purchases such as “Buy $100 in merchandise and get 10% off.” Remember that often this offer will be for one single store, not all your day’s purchases at the outlet stores. If the coupon book costs $10 and you only save $5 or $10, it really hasn’t saved you any money at all.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is this… While there are definitely some deals to be had when it comes to shopping at outlet malls, make sure you know the true value of an item before shopping at an outlet store. This way, when you see the outlet store’s discounted price, you’ll know how much of a discount you’re really getting. If the deal isn’t that great, wait for it to go on sale at your local department store.