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  • Feb 10th, 2010 6:34 pm
Deal Addict
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Dec 3, 2009
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I hate outlet stores

I'm sure many of you already know the outlet malls and stores play with distorted perceptions but it still might be worth a discussion. Obviously 30% off isnt a "sale" in an outlet store.

I went to the Reebok outlet store last week. I looked at the low quality apparel with the price and just laughed. It is January so there was no clearance (real sale) stuff. The store was empty during a weekday afternoon...I didnt understand why they were so overstaffed.

I guess the idea comes from a traditional factory store where true discounts could be made buying more direct. Even in the 90s I remember outlet stores were still like the factory outlets. These days its like they build brand new outlet stores and make it look as if its a warehouse with dim lighting or a store that they just found an empty location and set up shop the day before.

I don't know how many more years these sales strategies will work for but I can see them coming to an end as consumers are currently getting smarter. Probably around the time when stores stop pushing their extended warranties and come up with some new tactics.

Outlet stores arent that bad. I agree there are true deals to be had if you browse around. They aren't good stores when looking for something more specific.
19 replies
Deal Guru
Jun 30, 2006
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I remember that Reebok had an outlet store on Dundas Street in the factorydirect plaza. The place had decent prices but closed after 6 months.
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Oct 1, 2008
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Maybe it depends on the type of outlet store? I like them primarily because they have a larger selection than I might otherwise find in a mall store. They also have refurbished and clearout goods.

My last trip to the Waterloo outlet mall in NY state, I picked up a Black and Decker stick vacuum for $40 (including the use of a 20% off outlet mall coupon). This vacuum retails for $80-90 in other American shops and isn't available in Canada that I've seen (competing products in the category also cost $80-100). They also had a Dustbuster vac for $40 that I see at Home Depot here for $69.
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Sep 13, 2009
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If you're talking about the outlets in Toronto like Vaughan Mills, then yes I would probably agree. They are more fake outlet stores that really just carry older merchandise and/or sizes that couldn't sell.

It doesn't compare with the better outlets over in the states. But I have to agree that outlets nowadays just don't compare to how they were back then...
Deal Guru
Jun 30, 2006
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whiteflame wrote:
Jan 26th, 2010 4:03 pm
If you're talking about the outlets in Toronto like Vaughan Mills, then yes I would probably agree. They are more fake outlet stores that really just carry older merchandise and/or sizes that couldn't sell.

It doesn't compare with the better outlets over in the states. But I have to agree that outlets nowadays just don't compare to how they were back then...
+1. Vaughan Mills is a completely fake outlet store. Everything is overpriced and the sales are off the regular price.
[OP]
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Dec 3, 2009
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whiteflame wrote:
Jan 26th, 2010 4:03 pm
If you're talking about the outlets in Toronto like Vaughan Mills, then yes I would probably agree. They are more fake outlet stores that really just carry older merchandise and/or sizes that couldn't sell.

It doesn't compare with the better outlets over in the states. But I have to agree that outlets nowadays just don't compare to how they were back then...
Vaughan Mills is the worst that I have seen although ironically it is my favourite mall to browse around drinking a coffee. :lol: There are some stores that carry last years models and samples, Tommy Bahama in VM will even tell you this. Those are ok. However some outlet stores have genuine designer items but many have most of the items that were specifically made for outlet stores. Therefore there is an illusion you are getting a good deal on a designer brand when you are really paying full retail for a lower quality (material) product.

As long as one can distinguish what was made for the retail market and what for the outlet market doing the research they should be fine.

I agree that there are still some genuine outlet stores in the states. Its almost like some stores are a grey area and you dont know if they are an outlet store or not.
Newbie
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Jan 9, 2010
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Toronto Canada
Yea most outlet stores now are carrying the same products as standard stores. I think overstock clearance and damaged/refurbished goods stores are the new outlets.

For Vaughn mills, Designer Depot seems like a legit overstock place and you can get some good deals but there's a lot of hideous stuff to sort through first.

I like the warehouse sales now since pretty much every main brand has them so it just takes patience. for the GTA there's the Wicked Overstock Warehouse Sale on valentines day weekend. If you go to the page first they email you a 10% off coupon too.

A good GTA outlet type store is the brick's clearance store off Kennedy North of Eglington for furniture. They have all of the show furniture from the stores so most of them are completely fine but I bought two $600 couches last week and got them 1/2 price!
[OP]
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pickycanadian wrote:
Jan 27th, 2010 12:07 am

For Vaughn mills, Designer Depot seems like a legit overstock place and you can get some good deals but there's a lot of hideous stuff to sort through first.
That designer depot I dont understand...I guess because many of the products I never seen before so I start analyzing them. In the mens department they sell a lot of immigrant dress shirts....lol The only thing I got from them that was really good is a wool scarf, made in Italy for 12 bucks....after 2 seasons it still didnt pill excessively on me. I also seen some nice puma shoes for a good value there but I have enough of those types of shoes.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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I was Tulalip Outlet near Seattle a while back.

Long story short, their sizes in stock were XL/XXL/Tent
This was mostly sport type stores too.
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Oct 30, 2008
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I used to love to go to Cookstown outlet mall. Loved the nike store. Not like the "nike outlet" in vaughan mills.
:D
[OP]
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Dec 3, 2009
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I heard UK legislation requires shops to say where a non-discounted price was charged and when. I dont know how true that is or if its valid anymore or if it applies to an original price point.
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Mar 23, 2004
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No Frills wrote:
Jan 27th, 2010 12:12 am
In the mens department they sell a lot of immigrant dress shirts....lol
"Immigrant dress shirt"? Usually people are referred to as immigrants, products from other countries are usually called "imports", no?

I agree with the thread sentiment. My take was always just that Canadian "outlet stores" just ripped off the idea from US outlet stores which are usually outlet stores. However due to the Canadian Screwjob effect, the ones here aren't really outlet stores, they just call them that and sell things at full price :rolleyes:
[OP]
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ES_Revenge wrote:
Feb 10th, 2010 12:52 pm
"Immigrant dress shirt"? Usually people are referred to as immigrants, products from other countries are usually called "imports", no?
Well for imports, many of the shirts are made in the far east and few are made in Canada.

The "immigrant dress shirt" I coined when I noticed many people from the middle east, central asia, and india wearing them. They are the shirts that are usually a dark base and have a somewhat loud stripe pattern on it or some frilly silver stitching in it.

I started that term when I went to the mall with my Indian friend and every store he seemed to go right for them and I made fun of him. Today they seem like the brown man's version of a guido shirt.
Newbie
Feb 9, 2010
14 posts
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Toronto
Vaughan Mills is more of a retail mall than anything. At most it's considered a "high end" outlet which in a sense just means it's a typical mall. Plus most locals know that people know that it's more of a tourist attraction rather than a place for everyday shoppers.

On the other hand finding the right outlet depends on what you are looking for. In terms of clothing and fashion, prices have gone up everywhere including outlets. But some particular items (home goods, appliances, some electronics, furniture, etc) can be found at great pricing outside the the typical mall. And by that I also mean warehouses which are usually off the main road. Those type of stores sell the exact same thing or very comparble products at retail places for half the price. People just need to know where to look. Most don't because most consumers are not educated shoppers.
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