Style for less. Designer for less. We are bombarded on a regular basis with ways to save our money on our journey to be fashionable. Last weekend, the new Toronto Premium Outlets opened near where I live. Normally, I would be super excited and lining up with everyone else to check out all the designer deals. I tried something different instead. I checked their website for the deals, which I will admit, were nothing spectacular. Anywhere from 10% to 40% off, with the site advertising a supposed 25% to 65% off every day.
Guess what? It’s nothing new.
The sad reality about these fabulous outlet malls is that the product sold in the stores is of a lesser quality. The designers and manufacturers specifically make a line of product that is lower quality for these outlet stores. It’s everywhere on the Google verse, the dirty little secrets of outlet malls. The tactics they use to get you to buy more of their irregular, low quality product. They make you travel farther to ensure you’ll buy more; they have fake price tickets and the irregular, low quality goods. As always, buyers beware, do your research!
In my shopping travels in Canada and the US, I’ve had comments from those working right in the stores and in regular retail stores about the lower quality goods.
The most infamous example was at a Macy’s in the US. “You get what you pay for” the sales person told me at the Michael Kors counter. If you really want a true Michael Kors designed and hand manufactured bag, you have to pay the $1600 and buy this purse we have locked up here. She pointed to a unique and select set of handbags that were chained as if they were committing a felony.
The dirt on outlet malls:
Toronto Outlets, thanks for taking up precious farmland in Halton Hills (note my sarcasm), but no thanks. I will not be a shopper. Funny enough, the grand opening weekend caused many traffic problems. I do not like traffic. Lambs to the slaughter they go.
I’ll stick to the department stores when they have their end of season sales thanks!
Financial Wisdom I learned this week, err, the last two weeks:
With my hectic schedule and my frenzy to get ready for volunteering at the Rogers Cup, I realized I missed last Saturday’s Style and Wisdom post. Last week was filled with work emails and trying to prepare for a week off.
This week has been completely different! For the first time in my volunteering experience, I am a Team Captain. I accepted the new challenge as I thought it would be a good opportunity to test out my leadership skills. Let me say, they were 110% tested to the max, or as all the other captains have called it, “Trial by Fire”. So much of a test that I caught a bad cold and ended up missing Friday, but not to worry, there’s still Saturday and Sunday. I am hopeful the cold will go away and I’ll be back in top tennis form today.
My wallet has also been taking a beating in the form of forgetting running shoes, highway toll charges, meals out, and extra gas. I will post about it next week.
On to the super good stuff:
We’re giving away $900! Leave me a comment in the original post and you’ll receive three entries!
Vacation of a lifetime $900 Cash Giveaway
Insider Monkey – 3 Personal Finance Lessons Learned From Detroit’s Bankruptcy
I’m very glad to see that everyone is learning financial lessons from Detroit’s bankruptcy. Maybe some of the Personal Finance blogging community should run Detroit instead. Just a thought. I enjoyed this article for its realism. Too many homeowners do not think of their primary residence as just a place to live, they believe it can make money for them and this is the wrong reality to be living in.
“My home is first and foremost a place for me to live. If my home appreciates greatly in value over time, that’s a bonus. Come to think of it, people depending solely on their home for their retirement nest egg are playing a dangerous game. “
We all have them, the dirty little secrets when it comes to our finances. We have a designer shoe fetish, or we forgot to sign up for the corporate RRSP plan and maybe you find yourself paying late fees, overdraft fees. Take a read about Michelle’s Bad Financial Habits at Making Sense of Cents.
I enjoyed this post from Budgets Are Sexy that highlighted some of the strange behaviours we have towards debt. If you can believe, 72% of Americans would rather keep their debt than gain 25 pounds. To be honest, this is a tough situation. I am a healthy person and exercise regularly. I know what it’s like to be 25 pounds heavier than I am now and I wouldn’t want the weight back ever again.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, cheap ways to stay healthy. Many of us let the everyday rat race consume us to the point we flock to convenience instead of doing things ourselves. We order fast food instead of brining lunch; take the elevator instead of the stairs. If you can believe it, in many of the offices I have worked, I have actually beaten the elevator by taking the stairs. I’m talking seven or more flights of stairs.
Totally unrelated to finances but full of wisdom, I give you Wil Wheaton, Why it’s awesome to be a nerd.
This speech would have helped in my high school years. Ah, memories of school fights, a small group of friends and the thirty-minute walk home because your parents wouldn’t pick you up in the car.
I never fit in and I still don’t. I was always a unique individual, never a follower; I just drummed to my own beat. There were a few points in life where I tried to fit in, as any young adult would try to do, it never worked. I know that’s how I got into debt. I was made fun of so much; I developed the belief that I had to try to please everyone. My existence became living to please everyone else, instead of living for myself. Quite often, it meant “buying” people.