Buying a new home in TRACE means living just minutes from premier San Marcos dining, entertainment and shopping destinations, including Tanger Outlets and San Marcos Premium Outlets! While outlet malls are known for offering deep discounts, there are still plenty of ways to step up your bargain hunting game when shopping at San Marcos outlets malls.
These seven tips will help you find the bargains and pass up on the things that aren’t.
- Know Your Shopping Terms
The first rule is to accept that not every item in an outlet store is a bargain. The second is to know the difference between outlet store types:
- Outlet store: Carries items that have been discontinued or phased out. They also sell damaged items.
- Factory store: Sells products that use cheaper material and contain fewer features than their full-price counterparts.
- Retail store: Some stores may set up shop in an outlet mall that aren’t an outlet or factory store. Typically, an outlet or factory store has the designation on their store sign.
Another term to know is refurbished. Some online retailers sell refurbished products, which are typically electronics. Outlet and factory stores may also carry refurbished items. These are items that may have been returned for a number of reasons, including buyer’s remorse or fixable flaws. The manufacturer tested and recertified the used item for resale as refurbished.
- Plan Your Trip
Before going outlet mall shopping, make a list of what you need. Like a grocery store list, this will help you cut down on impulse buys. Visit the store’s website for coupons, information about sales, maps, and coupon books. (Here’s the Tanger Outlets San Marcos website and San Marcos Premium Outlets website)
- Join the Rewards Program
Typically, you’ll need to complete a form or join a rewards program to get the coupon book. Save yourself time and take care of that online before you go, if possible. Signing up may also include notifications of upcoming sales by email or text message. Tanger Outlets has a one-time fee for its rewards program that can earn you free gift cards, exclusive offers, and coupon books accessible from a mobile device. San Marcos Premium Outlets also has a free VIP program with access to exclusive online offers not available to the public.
- Ask About Other Discounts
Former military? AARP member? Reach golden age of 50 or 65? College student? You may be able to get additional discounts. Check the stores’ websites for special discounts or ask the sales person.
- Head to the Clearance Section
Clearance racks tend to be in the back of an outlet store. As you browse the rack, check the stitching, buttons, zippers, and anything that is attached like decals and patches. Remember to refer to your list of things you need.
- Download Shopping Comparison Apps
With a comparison app, you scan the barcode on an item to find out the price of the item from nearby local stores, online, or both.
- Go Outlet Mall Shopping in Off-Hours
Yes, there are deals to be had on Black Friday and on holidays. You may find a better selection by going during the week and earlier in the day. There are fewer shoppers and more options. If you live in TRACE in San Marcos, you’re right next door to Tanger Outlets and San Marcos Premium Outlets, so you can easily make a quick trip to a store or two.
It’s easy to fall in the trap of buying something because of its attractive price tag, however, a low price tag doesn’t guarantee you’re getting a deal. It could simply be a knock off or a product made with cheaper materials. Keep these tips in mind before your next trip to the San Marcos outlet malls to get a good deal and pass on those that aren’t a steal!