Many people love to combine vacation and shopping. Most cities have outlets nearby so on a trip to Las Vegas, for example, while your husband is golfing, you can do some shopping and then meet up for a romantic dinner and a show. Here are some tips to save even more money, that you can feed to the slot machines later!
1. Visit the Websites
Before you head to the outlet mall, check their website and look for coupons or savings offers from the stores you will be visiting. Often, you will find additional discount codes and coupons that will lower the prices even further. Look for the AAA logo. If you have a membership card you can get free coupon books, and some stores will give 10% discounts when you show the card. Sign up for the mall’s newsletter and get emails with special discounts. Sometimes your favorite stores will also have email lists or membership cards, and you’ll get great offers to get you to return, like 25% off your next purchase. If you have a military ID or AARP card, you may also get discounts.
2. Look For Irregulars
Often, merchandise ends up at the outlets because it has a flaw or has been mislabeled. It may have been returned, or just got wrinkled in the shipping process. These items are usually marked way down because quality control kept it out of retail stores. Always try on and carefully look over any merchandise before you buy it, because often the outlets are out of the way, and it may not be worth another long drive to return something.
3. Avoid New Arrivals
Outlet malls sell new items at full retail, so don’t get too excited by the products that are strategically placed at the entrance to the store. They do this to lure you in with displays showing very current, and seasonal looks and colors. We all go to the outlets expecting discounts on past season items so we get amped up when we see something that looks similar to something we just saw in a current fashion magazine – until we see the price tag!
4. Watch Out For Knock Offs
Outlets started out as a place for big department stores to dump excess inventory but slowly evolved into a different kind of mall. The designers and manufacturers began to see the value in the outlet malls and some even began designing lines specifically for their own outlet stores. So, by knockoffs, I don’t mean black market forgeries. I’m talking about clothing that was never offered at the high end stores of the designers. Companies like Ralph Lauren and Liz Claiborne have clothing like this, it is a cheaper version of their product, created specifically for their outlet stores.
5. Buy Classic Looks
While you may see items that are very current, the best deals are going to be on items from previous seasons. If you are shopping at the outlets to save money while still buying a quality product from a designer you love, look for styles that aren’t too trendy. A well made business suit in classic lines that you plan on wearing to work for years will be a great buy even if is from last year.
Nikki White is a Las Vegas socialite and writer who considers herself an expert on Vegas nightlife. She also fancies herself as a great shopper and loves to share her tips with others.
Photo Credit: Sarah_Ackerman