Clothes (Some of Them, Anyway)
Wisnefski says clothes are frequently cheaper in stores because of a simple reality of bricks-and-mortar retail: Inventory is hard to manage. And when management screws up and winds up with a back room full of clothes it can’t sell, that’s when you see big discounts rarely offered online.
“Clothing seems to be one area where it’s cheaper in stores,” he says. “A lot of that inventory has already been shipped to the location, and if they have excess merchandise, you’ll find that stores are more apt to cut prices.”
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That isn’t to say you should never buy clothes online, but when you factor in these inventory-driven sales, shipping costs and the fact that you can’t try the clothes on before you buy them, buying clothes in stores starts to look a lot more attractive.
The benefits of shopping for clothes in stores are amplified at outlet stores, where prices are slashed much lower than anything you’re likely to find online.
“There are high-end designer clothes that you can’t get online at as much of a reduction as in an outlet store,” Gault says. “But you have to go out of your way to get it – so they don’t compete with regular retailers, they can only put outlet stores way out in certain places.”