Though there's been much more exposure on outlet malls and factory outlets over the past few years, retailers have still remained successful in convincing the vast majority of the public that products at outlets and factory stores are premium quality and exceptional deals when usually the opposite is true. However, if you look carefully and know what to look for, you can find some real values.
Here are some specifics to take note of.
The Factory Store Charade
Factory stores generally contain the lowest true discounts that one can come across - by that I mean a product that was originally meant to be priced at a certain point and subsequently discounted after it didn't sell well. Almost everything at any factory store is made for the factory store. You will occasionally hear stories about RL Black Label found at a Ralph Lauren Factory store or a Golden Fleece suit found at a Brooks Brothers Factory - don't expect to find anything like that yourself unless you go very frequently and get very lucky. The basic tenet of factory stores is that they make lower quality clothes and hope you will think they are the same - basically preying upon the ignorance of the masses, and it works. Look closely at the labels and you'll see they don't match mainline labels. BR uses three stars to denote factory lines, Brooks Brothers 346, etc. Those are all lower lines with lower build quality and cheaper materials.