How to bag an outlet shopping bargain

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OUTLET shopping complexes such as DFO and Harbour Town are widely seen as good places to bag a brand name bargain, and a little planning can stretch your money even further.

These large centres are typically packed with high-end retail outlets and can be found in several capital and regional cities. But before you hit the stores, its wise to hit the web first.

Mike Chalmers, the founder of buying service Buyologists, says the first thing to do is to visit an outlet shopping centres website to see which stores have sales on, and maybe download some online coupons.

Make sure before you go you have a cap on how much you plan to spend beware of impulse purchasing just because you are there, he says.

Before you buy, always try scanning the bar code with a phone shopping app to make sure youre really getting the best deal available.

A quick online search will help you find the outlet stores nearest you or even online outlet stores. Try searching this site

Marie Kargiotis, 40, shops at an outlet at least once a fortnight and says style does not have to have a price tag.

Why pay full price when you dont have to? she says.

Last week I picked up a gorgeous yellow coverlet at Harbour Town reduced from about $400 to $55 and its still selling at full price elsewhere.

Kargiotis recommends signing up to outlet shopping centre blogs and newsletters, joining VIP programs and stocking up on essentials such as bedding, towels and underwear at outlet prices.

Harbour Town Adelaide marketing manager Jenny Schier says many items at outlet shopping centres are reduced by up to 70 per cent.

Do your homework, as current season brands can be on sale at an outlet store at the same time its available in the full price store, she says.

Bigger discounts are often available for those who buy in the off-season, Schier says.

Be on the lookout for exclusive items, as retailers are now designing specific items only for their outlet stores, she says.

Schier says stores social media pages will highlight current sales. Be sure to shop each outlet store in its entirety, as even further discounting can be discovered on clearance racks and tables.