Buzzfeed investigates what you're really getting from outlet stores
After reading articles claiming that outlet stores aren't really giving you a deal -- and are potentially selling lesser quality clothes, Buzzfeed's Westin sought to find out the truth. Traditionally, outlets were created to sell excess goods -- retail items that didn't sell for whatever reason. Now, since outlets are so popular, there are goods that are made for the outlet specifically.
Some feel that the manufacturer's suggested retail price is misleading in that a lot of people believe they're buying retail quality products at a discount when they really aren't.
This idea led four members of Congress to request the federal investigation by the FTC of what they considered as deceptive outlet practices. Not to mention, there is a class action lawsuit against Gap, Banana Republic and Neiman Marcus by a California resident.
Buzzfeed's investigative report helps us find where the deals really are and how to tell the quality of the clothes at an outlet. Colleen Tressler, a consumer education specialist from the FTC, has a few tips. "You can check out with the sales associates," she says. "But specifically ask them, you know, 'Are you selling merchandise from your non-outlet stores?'" You can do comparison shopping with apps to see what an outfit might cost in a non-outlet store, she explains, adding, "When you go, if you like the quality that the outlet is providing, you could save a lot of money." As always, you can check reviews of the stores to see what other shoppers thought of the deals and the quality of its goods.
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