Find out if buying designer goods from high-end outlet stores is worth your money.
Shopping for designer goods is always an experience every shopper looks forward to. Rewarding yourself by buying a bag or two with your hard-earned money is satisfying. Aside from getting satisfaction, luxury goods are also coveted as strategic investments. Outlet shopping is a convenient and adventurous way to feed your luxury appetite. Moreover, it is an easy way of finding archival pieces not available in the retail stores.
Outlet shopping is a way for designer brands to get rid of their older stocks, that’s why they are selling designer goods at a price lower than the original retail value. Well, that was the original plan for outlet stores. However, recent reviews of designer goods coming from the outlet show that the quality isn’t the same as retail. So this now raises the question, is outlet shopping worth it?
The Pros and Cons
One of the main pros of shopping in outlet malls is that you can purchase designer goods at a much lower price. The bag you’ve been eyeing from last season? It’s probably in an outlet store marked down 30% off. You get the satisfaction of buying luxury at a fraction of the original price.
Another advantage of buying in outlet malls is that you’re buying discounted or old luxury goods while maintaining the quality of the brand. Furthermore, buying from high-end outlet malls like Bicester Village in London or La Vallée Village in Paris assures you that what you’re buying are items considered as overstock or from a past collection. It’s luxury on a budget.
Lastly, designer outlet malls are often found in places that are far from the retail malls. They are often found in the countryside—a road trip is needed to reach the place. Surely, it would be a fun and enjoyable experience. Shopping with a view is one of the main advantages of outlet shopping.
When you are buying from outlet stores, you can see the slashed prices, seeing a pair of Prada loafers for 50% off. You would automatically want to buy it—impulse buying is one of the main strategies outlet malls use. One main con is that you cannot compare prices, you can’t see how discounted the item is compared to the original retail price.
In terms of quality, in recent years, brands have purposely made a different batch of items that would be sold in outlets. Moreover, it was found by Vox that these items are significantly made with lower-quality materials. The lower quality materials remove the longevity designer items are known for. It is also found by Luxe Collective that goods from designer brands that are purchased in outlet malls are not valued the same as the ones bought in retail stores.
At the end of the day, it is still your choice if you’re going to shop at retail or outlet. Just keep in mind that if you’re after the convenience and adventure of looking through archival pieces, then outlet shopping might just be for you. A designer bag is still a designer bag, whether retail or outlet, so you decide if it’s worth the try.
Banner photo via Instagram @bicestervillage.