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5 Things You Need to Know About Outlet Shopping

5 Things You Need to Know About Outlet Shopping


By: Oana Schneider

5 Things You Need to Know About Outlet Shopping

Saving money can sometimes mean that people will turn their attention to outlet shopping. Your BBB® would like you to know 5 important things before shopping at an outlet store:

1. Are you really getting a bargain?

If you are not sure how to answer this question, take a few minutes of your time to research that product. That way, you’ll know for sure if it’s a good investment or not.

2. Why is the price so low?

Be aware of the fact that some items could feature a tempting price tag due to a flaw, so take the time to inspect everything before buying. Also, look for things that are easy to miss: different colored buttons on a blazer, discolored lining on a dress, shoes made out of low-quality materials and so on. Also, don’t forget to try all the buttons and zippers if you are buying clothing and ask the seller to test any electronics for you.

3. What kind of item is this?

Where did your item come from? While many outlet stores feature retail items on discount, some of them have merchandise made especially for them, which means there could be a slight change in quality to make up for the low prices. If you want to make sure that what you are buying was destined for retail and not outlet shopping exclusively, you can ask the staff.

4. What’s the return policy?

Most outlet stores will let you return your items at any time as long as the tags are still attached and you have the receipts. Others have a 30 to 90-day policy, while a few of them don’t allow any returns. It’s very important that you know this little detail in case your item doesn’t fit or you just reconsider your purchase.

5. Can I return my item to the retail store instead of the outlet store?

This is another thing you may want to ask the staff. Items that were made for outlet shopping exclusively will probably have to be returned to the outlet store only. But this is no guarantee that everything else will be accepted by a retail store. Ask the staff: What is your return policy? Where can I return this item and what steps do I need to follow?

Outlet shopping can save you a lot of money and offer you items that you wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise. However, make sure to have all your answers before swiping your card.

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Oana Schneider is our Director of Media Services. She writes consumer and business oriented articles and is in charge of our community outreach program.