Everyone loves a bargain, and retail stores promise name-brand goods at deep discounts. Intended initially to sell jammed items or items with minor defects, outlet stores have been transformed into shopping destinations, and now they can be found online as well.
Many brands, from high-end designers like Coach to shoe retailer Sperry, have online stores. deals and quality can vary though, with some brands now manufacturing custom items for their own outlet and factory stores. If you're looking for a bargain, here are 10 online outlet stores that represent a range of product options:
Best for: The largest selection of merchandise
Like Amazon itself, the Amazon Outlet sells items across many categories from clothing to groceries and books. The website offers multiple ways to browse for deals, including sorting items by category, Amazon brands, or premium brands. Not everything is affordable, but there are deals to be found. Recent discounts include 57% off Keen shoes and 49% off nursery furniture.
J. Crew Factory
Suitable for: clothing for the whole family
J. Crew clothing store is known for classic fashion for the whole family. In her online store, you'll find coats, pajamas, sweaters, and shoes for men, women, boys, and girls, in women's sizes ranging from 00 to 3X.
Head to the clearance section of the site to find items as low as 70% off, although 40%-60% off is more common. For even more savings, J. Crew Factory allows shoppers to use coupon codes that offer up to an additional 50% off. Outside of the clearance department, factory deals include, for example, khaki pants that retail for $39.95 compared to the regular price of $79.50.
Best buy outlet
Best for: electronics
Items for sale at Best Buy Outlet fall into four categories: open-box, refurbished, pre-owned, and clearance. Open-box merchandise may be in perfect condition or have minor cosmetic damage, major damage, or missing accessories. However, the condition of the items is clearly stated, and the pricing reflects the condition. For example, the 10.2-inch Apple iPad with 256GB of memory is currently selling for a regular price of $479.99. An open box item in excellent condition is listed for $383.99 while one in good condition is listed for $368.99.
Best for: shoes
DSW is a popular shoe destination for the whole family. While the store doesn't have a dedicated online outlet, its clearance section is pretty good. "Even if you have a DSW located nearby, their website has many style and size options to choose from, so it often makes more sense to buy online," says money-saving expert and American News contributor Andrea Woroch. "The trick is to wait until a coupon is issued and browse the sale patterns."
Find DSW deals in the Clearance section, where you can save up to 60% off. For example, the men's Seven 91 Fucci shoe was recently reduced from $64.99 to $19.98. Sign up for the DSW VIP program for additional savings and free shipping.
Saks off fifth
Best for designer goods
For designer suits, dresses, shoes, and accessories, head to Saks Off Fifth. As an outlet of Saks Fifth Avenue, it caters to those who want high-end clothing at affordable prices. "Saks Off Fifth doesn't always have a huge size range in their items, but I often find hidden gems and incredible deals," says personal stylist Daisy Tinsley Barnett, who caters through her website The Daisy Edit.
You'll find designers like Brooks Brothers, Missoni, Burberry, and Prada. Products can be up to 75% off, and deals include items like the Veronica Beard maxi dress that's reduced from $698 to $179.99.
Website: REI Outlet
Best for outdoor gear
For those who love the great outdoors, the REI Outlet offers deals on lockout items and models from previous years. The site has clothing and footwear as well as special equipment for activities such as camping, climbing, and snow sports. Featured brands include Patagonia, Smartwool, and Marmot, and discounts can be up to 50% off. Keep an eye out for online coupon codes that can provide additional savings on already discounted-priced items.
Best for jewelry
Zales describes itself as "The Diamond Store," and the company's online outlet offers diamonds and other jewelry at closing prices of up to 70% off. Customers can shop by categories that include engagement, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings. The outlet features collections like Vera Wang LOVE, Endless Brilliance, and Enchanted Disney, but not everything seems to be on sale, so don't assume all items in the outlet are a bargain. Returns can be made within 30 days of the purchase date of shipment.
Best for activewear
"By far the best store is the Nike Outlet," says Carrie Winans, vice president of public relations firm Hill + Knowlton Strategies in New York City. "The brand's classic athletic items, leggings, sports bras, socks, and running shoes, have store-bought quality at a fraction of the price."
While Winans have seen lines out the door at their local Nike Outlet, you don't have to shop in person for deals. The company has a limited selection of factory items on its website. But for even more options, head to our online sale section for a much larger inventory of Nike products all discounted by up to 40%.