Are outlet malls for suckers?

Read an interesting article on MSN Money about outlet malls, titled “Are Outlet Malls for Suckers?” Hmmmm, it was a thinker, but it confirmed some of my suspicions.  Back in college, I once worked at an outlet store one summer, so I know about it first hand.  There are different types of outlet stores.  Some have damaged or “less desirable” merchandise from the regular stores, some sell lower-end merchandise, and others sell the exact same products as the regular mall stores. In all, prices varied.

It all depends on what you want, and what you want to pay for.  I wasn’t aware of all the psychological and marketing thought that goes into the location of an outlet store, the pricing, the discounting, etc. Maybe I’ll take that with a grain of truth.  In the end, I’d still follow the recommendations the author lists:

  • Pay attention to details.
  • If you don’t know, ask.
  • Research prices before you go.
  • Deepen the discount.
  • Check the clearance racks.

I find that I like Brooks Brothers, and have been shopping for my work clothes there since I starting working out of college back in ’99.  However, I don’t like to pay the outrageous prices at the regular stores.  I find the “346” brand pretty good (or “good enough for me”) quality at more reasonable prices. I bought my first two suits for work back then, and they’ve been great quality.

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