Are factory outlets worth it? Here’s what Dave Ramsey thinks

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Don’t go outlet shopping until you read this.


Key points

  • Outlet stores claim to sell items at a discount and many consumers visit them hoping to save money.
  • Financial expert Dave Ramsey explains whether these stores actually offer savings.
  • Although outlet stores may offer discounts, you should stick to a budget and avoid impulse buying.

Factory outlets are everywhere, and they all offer consumers a similar promise. These stores advertise themselves as a place to buy branded or premium products at a bargain price.

But before you head to an outlet ready to take advantage of all the discounts on offer, it’s worth considering what financial expert Dave Ramsey says about whether they’re worth it.

Dave Ramsey has some tips for deciding to shop at outlets

Dave Ramsey is renowned for his fight against debt and urges people to avoid credit cards and borrowing money in almost all cases, with the possible exception of a mortgage. But when it comes to outlet shopping, he takes a much more nuanced approach. He doesn’t overlook the benefits of buying discounted items from these types of stores, but there are a few caveats.

“Usually consumers get a discount at factory outlets,” said the Ramsey’s solution says the blog. “If you don’t want to pay the highest retail price for items, outlets might be worth it.” However, Ramsey warns that since you’re in a physical store, it’s difficult to compare prices to gauge whether a given purchase is truly a bargain.

He also warns of the danger of impulse buying, which could prove to be a costly mistake. “Buying things you don’t need just because they’re on sale isn’t saving money. It’s wasting money.”

Besides the possibility that you end up buying things you don’t need, Ramsey also warns that in some cases brands make cheaper products specifically for outlets, so you might only get not the same product quality as if you paid full price in a traditional store.

And he warned that driving too far just to get to a factory outlet could end up costing you so much in gas that you won’t end up with any savings. “After such a long drive, you might feel compelled to buy more because, after all, you’ve put in a lot of effort to get there!”

While Ramsey has pointed out some pitfalls of shopping at outlets, the fact remains that discounts are available – and he offers some tips to make sure you’re actually saving real money at an outlet. .

Specifically, it offers:

  • Check the price on your phone before buying anything
  • Make a shopping list before you go and stick to it
  • Set a strict limit on the amount you allow yourself to spend at the store.

“Decide in advance and on purpose how much you will spend on all purchases for the day. When you reach the limit, stop buying. In fact, stop shopping! Don’t even walk through the doors.”

This advice is rock solid, and if you’re hoping to find any outlets in the coming months, it’s well worth following. If you stick to visiting outlets near you and only spend the amount you can comfortably fit into your budget, there’s no reason not to take advantage of cheaper prices – especially if you have checked your phone and confirmed the item you are purchasing is truly discounted and you are not simply falling for a marketing gimmick.

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