A shopaholic's guide to saving at the outlet mall

July 28, 2015

Discount and factory outlet stores can offer big savings on name-brand clothes and items. Here's how to shop til you drop and save by going to the outlet.

A shopaholic's guide to saving at the outlet mall

Shopping without dropping

  • To save on travelling, look for outlets that are anchored by well-known stores and brands, and have at least three stores you're interested in.
  • Always phone factory and outlet malls first to ensure they're still open for business.
  • Check for flaws that may have caused a piece's rejection. Sometimes garments are manufactured specifically for factory outlets and the quality isn't as good.
  • Avoid impulse buys by being clear about what you want. Don't be seduced by the low price if an item is out-of-date, or just not for you.
  • Always double-check the return policy. Many factory outlets are final sale, or will only offer an exchange or store credit.
  • With a group, you can divide the travel and even food costs among more people and save a bit of money.

Track down stores for extra savings

  • There are hundreds of designer and brand-name outlets throughout Canada.
  • If you're interested in a particular label, check the company website for a list of store and outlet locations.
  • Alternatively, call the retail store nearest to you and ask where their outlet store is located, or stop in and ask if you pass by one in the mall.
  • Some stores ship their end-of-season items to bigger stores, where they're deeply discounted.
  • If you want a wider selection and don't know where the nearest outlet mall is, you'll easily find them online. Just type in "factory outlet" or "outlet mall" and then the name of your province or city.

Extra savings

  • Outlet malls and individual outlet stores often have websites that advertise special sales events, with prices reduced beyond the usual discounts. It pays to check these out first before you make the trip.
  • Make sure you know what you want to buy, and where it can be found. There's no point in going anywhere only to come back home with an empty trunk.

Factory outlets and discount malls can offer unbeatable savings on your favourite brands, all it takes it a little know-how. By doing a little research beforehand, and taking your friends with you, your day at the outlet can be a lot of fun and save you some money.

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