What Does Outlet Mean in Sales? What’s The Deal With Shopping in Outlet Malls?

Outlet stores (the actual, physical, brick structures) were once popular among shoppers. Some tourist towns have even been established on the revenue generated by rows and rows of massive outlet stores. But we have to wonder if they truly are the greatest deal. Is it worth the effort spent going there, swiping through hanger after hanging, and getting elbowed in the face by zealous bargain hunters? Are outlet stores ultimately less expensive?

It’s time to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of outlet stores and determine whether you’re truly saving money when you shop. For all your questions, trust Teeanime!

Retail outlet

A retail outlet or store is a retail sales establishment that engages in legitimate retail activities and so has a sales area.

As a result, ancillary establishments such as warehouses or the offices of commercial firms without their own turnover are excluded.

Do Consumers Really Save?

So, are outlet stores truly less expensive? Let’s look at some advantages and disadvantages:

Pro: Most shoppers get a discount at outlet stores. (Cha-ching.) Sometimes it’s right on the tag—a retail price followed by a pleasurable cut through and reduced price. So, if you don’t want to pay full retail price for things, the outlets may be worthwhile.

Cons: You can’t price compare an item at a physical outlet store to other sale prices in other stores. Perhaps the markdown is so good that it appears to be the best offer. However, this is not guaranteed.

When shopping online, you can open numerous browser windows at the same time to see if the cheap, low price on one site is lower, lower on another. It’s so simple to ensure you’re getting the greatest value possible.

Also, let’s be honest: in the excitement of the moment in an outlet store, it’s easy to get caught up in all those lowered prices. And occasionally you walk out with a double-decker toaster oven, three off-white sweaters, and a cat Halloween costume… when you don’t even have a cat.

This is the epitome of impulse buying. (Or should that be the worst case scenario?) Listen. Buying products you don’t need just because they’re on sale isn’t a good way to save money. It’s a waste of money.

Is the Quality the Same?

Let’s go on to what you’re paying for. Because inexpensive can signify both cost and quality at times.

Pro: Some outlet stores provide the same products, brands, and quality as full-priced stores. Perhaps there was an overstock scenario. Perhaps the item is now out of season. In these circumstances, you can obtain a low-cost, high-quality item!

Cons: On the other hand, huge firms are sometimes cranking out product lines expressly for their less expensive locales. They know you’re not going to pay full price here, therefore they sometimes don’t stock the highest quality product.

Furthermore, the things may be at the outlet store because they are defective in some way. This could be a wonderful offer for you if you can identify the issue, correct it, and know you’ll still save money in the end.

But we included this in the con section because it is something you should be aware of and can mean extra work.

Is It Worth the Drive?

Let’s round out our list of advantages and disadvantages by discussing transportation.

Pro: The appeal of outlet malls has waned. It used to be that you had to drive almost to the middle of nowhere to find one. They then relocated to more popular, lively city areas. They’re starting to die off again.

If an outlet mall is close to where you’re heading, an extra five minutes to that parking lot isn’t a big concern.

Cons: Taking a five-hour drive to visit a bunch of outlet malls? Not the best way to save money.

For starters, petrol is pricey. So any savings you make at the store may be a wash (or a loss) after you factor in the time you spent driving there.

For two, after such a lengthy travel, you may feel compelled to purchase more because, after all, you worked hard to get there!

Either of these disadvantages can result in you spending significantly more money than you save.

How to ReallySave at Outlets

So, after weighing the benefits and drawbacks of outlet shopping, if you’ve concluded it’s a sensible money-saving option for you, follow these three recommendations to ensure you’re saving:

1. Price Check

Even if you’re in a real store, pull out your phone and perform some price comparisons to determine if you’re getting the best value.

2. Make a Shopping Plan

Don’t go from store to store in search of a deal—any deal. That’s how you end up spending too much money on items you don’t even need.

Have a plan or a list of what you’re looking for before going to an outlet store (or really, before going to any store). And keep it up! Don’t be seduced into the comfort of shopping therapy. Maintain your commitment to your plan.

3. Set a Spending Limit

Setting a spending limit is one of the best strategies to ensure you don’t overspend at stores. Decide ahead of time and on purpose how much you will spend on all of your outlet shopping for the day.

When you’ve reached your limit, stop buying. In fact, put an end to your shopping! Do not even enter the building.

You can still stay on track if part of the enjoyment for you is buying random sale products and you don’t want to develop a shopping list. Simply make a budget line for how much you intend to spend. And don’t overdo it!

When it comes to conserving money, a budget is your best friend. That is true at outlet stores, supermarket stores, and any other place you spend your money. Because a budget is a plan for all of your money, including what you earn, give, save, and spend. Each and every month.

When it comes to budgeting, you should check out EveryDollar. It’s completely free! And you don’t even have to drive for hours or sift through a million racks to find it. Download it to your phone immediately, create a budget, and develop a financial plan. That’s the kind of bargain we can always support.

Start your free EveryDollar budget right away!