Supposedly every woman likes to shop. Female confession: shopping makes me nervous. I’m always thinking about how much money I’m spending, and I tend to get buyer’s remorse, sometimes even before I’ve made my purchase. That said, I love a good bargain as much as, if not more than, the next guy.
Outlet malls often have good prices, but they don’t always have rock bottom prices. Saving at an outlet mall takes some pre-planning if you want to stretch your dollar as far as possible (and who doesn’t?).
Print out a map (and coupons) ahead of time
Often, just by going to the mall’s website before your shopping trip can give you a wealth of information. You can make a game plan to hit all the stores in the shortest amount of time, and you can often find coupons for each store. Also, try signing up for your favorite stores’ email lists. Some outlet stores send their own coupons or honor their main store’s coupons.
Make a list (and check it twice)
Besides deciding which stores to visit ahead of time, decide what items you want to buy at each store. If you’re buying clothes, know what’s in your closet so that you don’t end up buying another black shirt when you have three at home. If you’re buying gifts, have a general idea of what you’d like to buy for each person, as well as how much you’d like to spend.
Have a bottom price list
Know before you go! How much do you typically pay for a tee shirt or onesie? What’s the best price that you’ve paid for an item after coupons? You may have a “price list” for groceries, but create one for other items as well.
Do your own price matching
Outlet malls don’t always have the best prices, and many brands sold at outlet malls can also be found at retail stores. Could you find the same item for a cheaper price at a department store? What if you found it on sale or used a coupon at a department store?
When you’re at the outlet store, don’t be afraid to do some comparison shopping of your own. Search for the item at other online retailers (some retailers, such as Amazon, have a barcode scanner on their app) to make sure that you’re getting the best price.
Ask each store if they have current coupons or promotions
If you aren’t able to print coupons before you shop, ask the sales clerk. They may have coupons that you weren’t aware of, or they may honor a sister store’s coupons. On my last shopping trip, I was able to save an extra 25% at two different stores, simply by asking!
It is possible to save at an outlet mall. With all your favorite items and stores are within walking distance, outlet malls are a fun, convenient place to shop. Remember that they may not always have the best prices, though. Also, it can be easy to overspend or buy unnecessary items if you don’t stick to a list of desired items and prices that you want to pay. By planning ahead, you can make save at an outlet mall and make your next shopping trip a success!