The Bottom Line
The designer outlet buyer suggests that the best way to snag a deal is to head to the department stores or designer retailers at the end of each season (March and August) when merchandise is all marked down. “It will only get marked down a little bit more, maybe 10 percent, before it gets transferred to the outlet.” This way you have a nicer shopping environment and know you’re getting real, full-price merchandise for a real deal.
Otherwise, if you head to the outlets, be armed with this knowledge: The best defense is to look at the selling price, check quality, ask whether it’s worth it, and consider nothing else. If it’s not worth it, walk away. There’s always the food court.