Saturday, 7 April 2012

Best Times of the Year to Shop At Outlets

Last fall, my wife and I went down to Seattle on a little overnight trip. It was during the Remembrance Day holiday (the Canadian holiday to commemorate our military's involvement in the wars), and we were looking forward to shopping at some of the outlets along the way. Little did we know that it was also a holiday weekend in the States (Veteran's Day, I believe) and the stores were packed! If we had been a little more organized, we would have chosen a different weekend to do our shopping. The shopping experience was terrible with people packed together, items disorganized and flung all over the place. The sales themselves were not great and we left very disappointed. 

After that terrible experience, I got to wondering if there was a good time to go shopping at outlets or whether they were always busy. I contacted several of the outlets and they shared some great advice as to the best times to shop at the outlets to maximize your time and experience.

One of the biggest times would be the middle of January. The Christmas holiday season has just finished and the stores have done their inventory and are starting to get some spring clothing inventory. The stores need to get rid of their excess winter inventory so winter clothing is getting marked down. This is true at other times when there is a change of seasons. Even though merchandise is already discounted, these items can also have additional markdowns when the out-of-season garments hit the outlets forcing the stores to find fast ways to get rid of the stock to keep their stores from getting clogged up with excess merchandise. This can make for excellent deals for shoppers.

During the week, if you go shopping, the best times to go are early in the morning on a weekday. Weekends are usually very busy, making it harder to find the best deals. Give yourself a little more elbow room and breathing space and go before the crowds get there. You'll also probably find the best deals more easily.

One last tip I was told: Check out the website for the outlet you are going to before you go. There is usually some type of newsletter or club you can sign up for that will send you emails of upcoming sales and special offers including coupons which can give you additional savings.

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