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Common Factory Outlet Terms
Factory outlet stores are popular with customers because of their low prices. If you are looking for name brand products at more affordable prices, shopping at an outlet store is a good option. Below are five terms to be familiar with when shopping at factory outlets.
Factory Outlet - A store attached to factory or warehouse that sells items directly to customers at discounted prices. The term factory outlet may also refer to a manufacturer operated store that sells items at a discount. Typically, factory outlets carry name brand products that were not sold in regular retail stores for a variety of reasons.
Outlet Mall - A mall composed of outlet stores. Outlet malls are often outdoor shopping areas, located outside major cities.
Designer Outlet - A store that sells designer clothing, shoes, or handbags at reduced prices. The selection at a designer outlet is often composed of items from the previous few seasons that did not sell. Some designers sell their out of season clothes on online outlet stores.
Overstock - Items that a manufacturer produced too many or a distributor ordered in too large a quantity. Overstock items are frequently sold online or at retail outlet stores at lowered prices to decrease inventory.
Blemished Items - Items that were made with errors. Frequently, retailers will sell their blemished items at outlet stores. Blemished items are often damaged in ways that are barely noticeable. For instance, clothing may be labeled blemished because it is slightly off color or a few stitches are not straight.
Factory outlets offer customers the opportunity to pay less than retail price on their favorite labels. Run by clothing or merchandise manufacturers themselves, they may offer first or second quality items from their main line brands. Savvy shoppers will be able to find everything they need at leading outlet malls, from designer clothing to deeply discounted furniture.
Traditionally called warehouse or wholesale stores, outlets were once primarily attached to the factories at which these goods were produced. Now, however, their availability has spread, with malls and online shops dedicated to selling premium overstock goods becoming common for almost every brand name. The discounts that are available on this merchandise vary. However, as they are being sold directly to the consumer, they are often in line with the wholesale pricing that is available to commercial buyers. In some cases, the selection at these stores will be limited to season old items and may not include the newest electronic items or clothing styles.
Often, manufacturers themselves will provide their customers with online information about the outlet malls at which they maintain a storefront. Others may sell their goods through larger overstock distributors who are not directly affiliated with the manufacturers. This is often the case for items such as appliances, jewelry or auto parts, which are typically carried through department or specialty stores, but not through storefronts that are maintained by their manufacturer.
Factory outlet malls have long been the shopping destination of choice for those who are looking for bargains on name-brand merchandise. Many travel long distances to shop through at these storefronts, as the discounts can be as high as 80% off MSRP.