Outlet malls are a collection of several different outlet stores. They are often located on the outskirts of a larger metropolitan area where the land is plentiful and less expensive. The malls usually have some large “anchor” stores like you would find in a regular mall and a collection of other smaller retail outlet stores along with some fast food restaurants. You can usually find factory outlet stores offering clothing, shoes, and other smaller household items at outlet malls. If you want a wide selection of products without having to travel far from store to store, a factory outlet mall is a great choice for you.
A factory outlet store in a free-standing building is not as common as those found in outlet malls, but they offer equally good pricing. A common type of free-standing outlet is a furniture outlet. Often these types of outlets offer furniture from several different manufacturers although you can find some that offer a single manufacturer’s products. Sometimes the furniture offered at a factory outlet is of the “scratch and dent” variety. This means that it may have gotten a small mark during shipping or transporting but that it does not affect the overall performance of the piece in any way. You can also get mattresses at a factory outlet store. They are sometimes just discontinued or mismatched pieces that are in perfect condition.
With the increase in online shopping, it is natural that you would be able to find a factory outlet online. Many times these online outlet malls are connected with hundreds of different retailers so you are able to choose from many different products, styles and price ranges. The disadvantage of shopping at an online factory outlet is that you cannot see the product before you buy it and you have to get it shipped and wait for delivery. You can, however, look for free or inexpensive shipping. Make sure that you understand the return policy and agree with it before you buy anything.
The one thing that you really need to be aware of when you are doing any kind of outlet shopping is the regular retail price of whatever you are looking for. Sometimes the outlets have the best deals and sometimes they do not. It is possible that you can get a better deal at a discount store or even a department store if you shop at clearance sales and other special events.