If you haven’t visited an outlet mall before, allow me to paint a picture for you. Usually found in a strip center-like setting, they feature popular retailers that offer deep discounts from what you would pay in a traditional mall or store. Outlet stores can include past season’s inventory or can even feature its own line of products made specifically for outlet pricing — so they essentially allow you to own authentic pieces from your favorite or desired brands for cheap. With so much good surrounding outlet stores and outlet malls, it’s a wonder why anyone would shop anywhere else, or so you would think. The reality is, visiting an outlet mall can feel like the scene from Mean Girls when everyone’s animalistic instincts wreak havoc on the school. Often times outlet malls can be an exhausting experience that leave you willing to pay more just to not have to deal with the production of it all. As a former outlet mall employee, I can tell you this feeling is mutually shared amongst workers and clientele — which is why shopping online outlet stores is truly the way to go.
What Is Meant By Online Outlet?
Online outlet stores are exactly what their name leads you to believe: a brand’s outlet store or factory outlet that's online and available to shop directly from the manufacturer. They offer the same discounted prices as the brick and mortar version of the outlet shop. The introduction of online outlet stores also represent the shift from shopping in person to more convenient online shopping that often offers better deals and coupons.
Why Are Online Outlets Cheaper Than Department Stores?
Depending on the shop, there are a few ways outlet stores are able to be cheaper than department stores. Many brands that have factory outlets or outlet stores, like Michael Kors for example, offer different tiers of products at different price points. In the case of Michael Kors, customers can shop a special line of products designed specifically for outlet stores that feature a different logo, materials and patterns. These design changes allow Michael Kors outlet stores to sell the Michael Kors brand at a lower price. However, this does not necessarily mean that every outlet product is low quality — rather, different materials used for outlet specific products give customers more options on styles and price points, while still being able to own the brand. On the other hand, some outlet stores operate as an overflow and will carry past season’s inventory at discounted rates. Regardless of how the products arrive, outlet stores are an easy way to save on your favorite brands without doing much work for savings.
Online Outlets You Should Be Shopping
J. Crew Factory
J. Crew is known as a quintessential preppy brand, with classic silhouettes and patterns — but it's also known for being expensive. Now you can score the prepster uniform look for way less thanks to J. Crew Factory, which not only offers customers classic styles, but also features designs for Factory only. When it comes to stacking coupons and taking your savings game to the next level, J. Crew Factory makes it easy by regularly running sales on sale items as well as deep discounts sitewide. J.Crew Factory has clothings and accessories for men, women and children.
Popular for their high quality leather goods, Coach has also ventured into the online outlet store game. With both outlet specific designs and overstock from the regular line, you can really save when it comes to purchasing from Coach Outlet. The store doesn’t just feature discounted purses either — the outlet has a large selection of accessories, shoes, men’s bags and more to choose from. As if featured prices were not low enough already, Coach Outlet regularly runs promotions for sale items for savings on top of savings.
Saks OFF 5TH
Saks Fifth Avenue is among the creme de la creme of high end department stores and yet they have an online outlet. Regardless of however odd this may seem, take a look at featured designers and the accompanying discounted prices and you won’t be questioning Saks much farther than asking for your order tracking information. From shoes to handbags to clothing and more, Saks OFF 5TH has direct from Saks Fifth Avenue products for a fraction of the price.
Speaking of popular high end department stores with online outlets, Nordstrom Rack is definitely not to be missed. Carrying the same brands you’ve come to know, purchase and love from Nordstroms can be found discounted at Nordstrom Rack. Nordstrom Rack carries clothing and shoes for the family plus beauty products, men’s and women’s accessories and even home goods like the internet’s favorite blanket, Barefoot Dreams. Nordstrom Rack also runs regular promotions on sales and offers coupons and cashback offers, so do yourself a favor and sign up for emails.
Banana Republic Factory
Banana Republic is a great one-stop shop for a sophisticated look. Truly, the only downside to most of Banana Republic’s collection is pricing. However, you can still get away with classic Banana Republic style via the store's online outlet, Banana Republic Factory. Banana Republic Factory ranks among the top online outlets to shop not just for their selection but for the combination of low prices and sales routinely offered. Young professionals or those who are returning to the office only to realize none of their pre-2020 work attire fit anymore, Banana Republic Factory should be your stop for smart and affordable clothing.
Best Buy Outlet
Did you know one of the most popular tech and home appliance retailers has an outlet store? Best Buy Outlet features reduced prices on refurbished and open-box items. While you may be (rightfully) apprehensive to the idea of buying refurbished products, you can rest assured that your money is well spent due to Best Buy’s standard of care regarding refurbished and open-box items. Open-box items are simply items such as TVs that have been returned and do not necessarily mean that there were any repairs needed or done to the item. Not only can you find great deals on headphones, cameras, laptops and TVs at Best Buy Outlet, but also discounts on big ticket items like home and kitchen appliances.
If you were surprised to find out that online giant Amazon has an outlet store, you’re not alone. As popular and integrated into everyday shopping as Amazon has become, it’s perplexing that more customers don’t know about Amazon Outlet. That could be due to the additional steps you have to take to find Amazon Outlet — but it’s worth it. Deceptively hidden within the menu icon (the three bar icon located in the left-hand corner) you can find secret savings by navigating to ‘programs & features’ and then selecting ‘see all’ — from here, scroll a bit further down the list and you’ll find a selection for Amazon Outlet. Now that you’ve traveled to the lost city of Atlantis, it’s time to reap the fruits of your labor by saving on Amazon overstock. Take that, Jeff.