Outlet Malls, Are They Worth Your Time?

The Christmas season is in full swing, which means everyone is out searching for bargains, deals and the items they just can’t live without.

Many people will head to Outlet Malls.  Here in the Portland, Oregon area, many people will head to the Woodburn Company Store.  Funny facts about this “Outlet Mall”

  • It’s one of the top attractions in Oregon and it sees more visitors a year than Multnomah Falls.
  • Personally, it’s just wrong, but nonetheless, tour buses come from all over, and I mean all over.  Some will even come down from Canada.

Is it that great you ask?  It can be.  Just don’t get suckered into a deal that’s not really a deal.  For instance one store is notorious for giving away a free Teddy bear if you purchase either $50 or $100.  This time of year, people eat up that kind of offer.

One thing you need to do whenever you go to any outlet mall across the nation is head straight for the office and ask for a coupon book.  Sometimes they will say they only give them to those that are AAA members, but ask anyways.  Often times they will give them to just about anyone.

Think through why outlet malls came to be.  They are a place for items that didn’t sell well at the main store or they are defects.  Check each and every item carefully and ask about return policies.

I have scored some great deals at Outlet malls.  I think the biggest misconception is people think the prices are so much lower, when really they aren’t.  Like any other store, including the main store it came from, they jack up the prices, then add a 50% off sign.

These are my thoughts, and how I tend to think through my shopping trips when I go there.  I am not the only one onto the tricks of Outlet Malls, check out what MSN has to say about them.

What do you think?  Do you frequent them?  Do you have a secret for scoring that great deal at them?  Let me know, I always love a bargain.