Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My take on Outlet Malls

So this past weekend I was blessed to be able to spend to fun filled days with my gal pals.  We all me in Edinburgh, IN for a weekend of shopping, eating and of course gabbing!  We had a great time although it was not near long enough.

Well of course when you visit an outlet mall you have to buy something right?  You expect rock bottom prices with even greater discounts on top of that.  I mean it is an OUTLET MALL right?  You are not supposed to pay retail.  So why is it then that when we visit an Outlet Mall we feel, for the majority of stores, that we are visiting a retail store?  I don't know about you but I get very frustrated at this.  I mean I come with a limited budget and a list of things I NEED for my family.

To tell you the truth I only went in one clothing store that actually had what I consider good prices.  That was the Vanity Fair Outlet.  I purchased a couple of Polos and a Nautica T-shirt for my husband for less than $16. (plus tax).  In the Stride Rite Outlet I returned a pair of shoes that I had purchased on Friday.  The manager tells me I have to buy them back because they were a final sale item even though it wasn't marked on my reciept.  Then after I re-purchase them she tells me she's not going to mark them as final sale, she's doing me a favor she says, so that I can return them if I need too?!  WHAT!?  I really don't get it.  We stood in lines for ages.  Took 20 minutes or more at the actual checkout in a couple of stores.

My take on outlet malls: 
1.  Print out any online coupons you can get your hands on before you get there (in this case there was also a online coupon for a FREE coupon book for the entire outlet mall)
2.  Go when it's not busy,
3.  Window shop at all the stores you think you will purchase from first.
4.  Make a list from those stores of the items you like and the final price you will pay for those items (You can ask if they will hold the items for you, they might until the close of day or possibly longer.)
5.  Sit down with your list at your hotel or someplace quiet and decide what you plan to purchase.
6. Map out your stores and go back for your purchases with a back up plan in case they don't have the size you need when you make it back around.

With exception of the first one these are all thing I WISH I had done this past weekend.  They are definitely all things I will strive to do in the future!

So good luck with your next outlet mall experience.  For that matter these tips could be used on any shopping trip!

Happy Shopping
~The Boss Lady~