I live 30 minutes from what Wikipedia says is the sixth-largest shopping mall in the country, one that has a lot of discount and outlet stores. But I only go there a few times each year.
For one, I'm not a big-on-brands shopaholic. But the main reason is because I don't think the "bargains" are that great.
There are deals. No question there. Consumer Reports says the average savings at outlet stores is 38 percent. But there are downsides too. Outlet malls are often a long drive, and the "deals" you find there sometimes aren't deals at all because the products aren't just less expensive, they could be lower-quality. According to this article on MSN, 82 percent of outlet products are made specifically to be sold there.
Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson explains more in the video below. Check it out, and then read on for details about how to save.
Between marked-up markdowns and the risk of lower-quality goods, I'll just stick to hitting the clearance racks at Target. But for those spirited shoppers who'll continue to brave the outlets, here are some ways to get the bargain you're looking for…
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