It used to be that you had to go to an actual outlet mall to shop at an outlet store, but these days you can shop online outlet stores from the comfort of your own couch. Not all online outlet stores are created equal, however. Here are nine of the best online outlet stores that offer not only a great array of products, but big discounts as well.
6pm.com. 6pm.com is easily one of the best shoe stores online. Many people don't know that 6pm.com is actually the Zappos.com outlet store, which means that you can frequently find this season's most popular footwear styles for less. Like Zappos.com, 6pm.com offers free shipping on all orders and you will also find some clothing on the site as well. Keep an eye out for special promotions because they occasionally offer coupons for an extra 10 to 20 percent off all purchases.
Tommy Hilfiger Company Store Outlet. I don't normally shop at Tommy Hilfiger, so it took me awhile to check out the Tommy Hilfiger Company Store Outlet. Now I am a devoted shopper of this site because not only are the prices amazingly low, but they frequently have coupons available that will take an additional 40 to 50 percent off all purchases. My recommendation is to start in the Outlet Clearance Section, where prices are even cheaper.
The Outnet. If high-end designer fashions for less are what you seek, then The Outnet is your store. The Outnet is the outlet for Net-a-Porter, and you will find more than 250 designer brands on the site.
J. Crew Factory. It used to be that the J. Crew Factory was the first store I would visit anytime I found myself at an outlet mall, and I love that I can now shop this store online. %VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%At this point, most of the items that are sold at J. Crew Factory are made specifically for J. Crew Factory, but you will still find very similar styles to what are available in regular J. Crew stores and you get the benefit of saving a little bit of money.
REI Outlet. The REI Outlet offers amazing discounts on some of the best outdoor brands, including The North Face, Patagonia, Marmot and more. In addition to prices that are generally lower than those available anywhere else, the REI Outlet offers frequent coupons and a deal of the day where one specific item is marked down even lower.
Last Call by Neiman Marcus. Last Call by Neiman Marcus contains a great mix of mid-to-high end designer labels at prices that are well below retail. You can often find the same items at Last Call for less that are being sold for full price at regular Neiman Marcus stores. You will definitely want to register for their email list because they frequently send out coupons that can reduce the cost of your order by as much as 50 percent.
Saks Off Fifth. Saks Off Fifth is the Saks Fifth Avenue outlet and it is another great place to find designer fashions for less, in both plus and traditional sizes. Recently, Saks Off Fifth had a buy one get two free sale, which is easily one of the best sales I have ever seen online. Be sure to check out the Saks Off Fifth clearance section where you will find prices up to 90 percent below retail.
Reebok Outlet. If fitness apparel is on your shopping list, the Reebok Outlet is definitely worth checking out. They have athletic apparel and footwear for men, women, and children at prices up to 50 percent below retail. Like many of these other online outlet stores, it is worth registering for Reebok Outlet emails so that you can find out about special sales and discounts ahead of everyone else.
Amazon Outlet. I only recently learned about the Amazon Outlet, and let me tell you, it is a great way to save. The Amazon Outlet is where you will find markdowns, closeouts and overstock deals on everything from clothing for the whole family to housewares to electronics and jewelry.
Online outlet stores are becoming increasingly popular, which is great news for online shoppers since online outlet stores offer a fantastic way to get the best brands for prices well below retail.
Lisa Koivu is the founder of ShopGirlDaily.com, a shopping blog for women who want to have the best for less.
Interest rates are low, but that's no excuse to accept 0.01 percent interest rates on your savings. Just a little shopping can find you many FDIC-insured savings accounts paying as much as 1 percent in interest, usually with no fees and easy availability to your money through electronic funds transfers. Compared to the near-zero rates that uninsured money-market mutual funds and other alternatives pay, high-interest savings accounts are a much safer way to save.
Banks still try to get customers to pay more for less, with one recent threat to charge fees for basic deposit accounts if the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates further. But many online banks not only offer fee-free options on their checking and savings accounts but also pay interest, and many have extensive fee-free ATM networks or reimbursement arrangements. If your bank follows through on threats to raise fees, taking your business elsewhere is your best move.
Bankrate reports that the average credit card charges around 16 percent in interest. That's a guaranteed money-maker for the banks that issue cards, but a big loser for those who carry balances on their cards. With many cards offering promotional interest rates as low as 0 percent, using them to get rid of high-interest cards is a no-brainer move and can help you pay your debt down faster.
Mistakes on your credit history can keep you from getting a loan that you want to buy your next home or car, but they can also have consequences you'd never imagine. Increasingly, insurance companies, apartment rental agents, and even prospective employers order copies of your credit report to see if you're financially responsible. Be sure to take advantage of your free credit check at the government's annualcreditreport.com website to make sure the three big credit-rating agencies have everything right before mistakes come back to bite you.
Payday loans have gotten more tightly regulated recently, but banks and other financial institutions still offer ways to let you get quicker access at your cash -- for a hefty fee. Resorting to short-term money fixes can land you in even more problematic situations down the road, because those solutions often create debt spirals from which it's hard to emerge unscathed. Set up an emergency fund instead and be prepared in advance for the money woes that life throws your way.
Interest rates have risen during the last half of 2013, with a typical 30-year mortgage carrying a 4.5 percent interest rate. But many homeowners still carry higher-interest mortgages from before the financial crisis. Now that home prices have risen, you might be able to refinance for the first time, and many homeowners have used lower rates to cut hundreds from their mortgage payment or shift to a shorter-term 15-year mortgage to pay off their debt faster.
Too many people never update their insurance coverage to deal with changes in their coverage needs, whether it comes from changes in family status for life insurance, health conditions for health-care or long-term care insurance, or even what types of property you own for homeowners' insurance. Don't wait for disaster to strike; check with your insurer or agent to see if your current coverage meets your needs.
In the past, investors had to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars just to make a simple stock purchase. Now, though, the rise of discount brokers, low-fee index funds and exchange-traded funds, and freely available investment news and advice have made it silly to spend large amounts to get access to the financial markets. If you're still paying your broker too much to invest, look into alternatives that can help you avoid cutting serious money out of your retirement nest egg.
Everyone likes a tax break, and one of the best ones for you to use involves making contributions to a tax-favored retirement account. By putting money in an IRA or 401(k), you can reduce your current taxable income and save on your taxes while also preparing for the future. With 401(k)s, your employer might even chip in a bit on your behalf. Even when times are tough, finding even small amounts to save can put time on your side and make a big difference down the road.
Many investors found out the hard way this year that bonds aren't as safe as they thought, with some major bond funds posting double-digit percentage losses in 2013. Despite those losses, bonds still carry substantial risk in 2014, with many calling for imminent interest-rate hikes that would erode their value further. Even now, bond rates are so low that they don't compensate you much for their risk.
If you pay full price for just about anything these days, you're paying too much. The rise of deep-discount stores has led to falling prices at stores and shopping malls. Moreover, online tools like coupon sites, daily-deal offers, discounted gift cards, and cash-back credit-card deals can cut your costs as well. With all these tools, you won't find many situations in which you have no chance of getting a bargain on the items you want.
In the past, many young adults focused on getting into as strong a college as they could, figuring that their degree would pay them enough to make up for the costs they incurred. With college graduates facing a more challenging job environment than ever, smart students are thinking about college costs before they make a decision on a school. By maximizing financial aid and looking at lower-tuition schools with nearly as strong educational quality, you can avoid creating a big debt hole that you'll struggle with for years into the future.
If you don't have a will, a power of attorney for financial and health-care matters, and an advance directive to tell medical professionals whether you want certain life-preserving measures taken if something happens to you, then you're putting your family at risk. Many people don't have even these basic estate-planning documents, but getting them in place is easier and less expensive than most believe. Get your affairs taken care of in 2014 and save your loved ones some big future hassles.
Resolving to be more financially astute and to avoid common mistakes will help you get your finances in order more quickly. These tips should give you more money to help you meet all your financial goals.