I’m going to cover one of my secrets with flipping and that’s to resell new clothes you get off the rack or shelf from outlet stores. For most of you reading this, i’m sure you have been to outlet malls before. But for those who haven’t let me explain. An outlet mall is essentially a mall full of retail stores. They look very similar to the normal ones with the same brand names you usually see such as Nike, Gap, Coach, 5th Ave. The difference is the stores within an outlet mall generally sells brand name clothes at a steep discount compare to their normal retail counter part. Best of all on top of the steep discount, many of the outlet stores also carries clearance items and accept coupons for even greater savings. Continue on and learn how to resell clothes from outlet malls.
Types of Outlet Stores
Before we get started, you need to learn the types of outlet stores you’ll encounter at an outlet mall. There are three types of stores and brands will try very hard to trick you into believing they are all the same. Let’s take a look at the three types of outlet stores.
Real Outlet Stores
Real outlet stores carry items that was originally stocked in regular retail stores and has been discontinued or phased out due to the shopping season, resulting in steep discounts. These stores also often carry defective, damaged or returned items. Some examples of real outlet stores include:
- Lands’ End
- Old Navy
- Eddie Bauer
- Nine West
- Children’s Place
- Motherhood Maternity
Factory stores sell goods that were specifically produced for outlet malls. While these items may look like those in regular retail stores and bear the same name, they’re usually made with cheaper fabrics or fewer features than their full-price counterparts. Some examples of factory stores include:
- J. Crew
- Polo Ralph Lauren
- Calvin Klein
- Banana Republic
- Coldwater Creek
- Ann Taylor
Retailers that want to take advantage of the foot traffic in outlet malls sometimes purchase store space there without actually offering outlet products. Some examples of retail stores include
- Famous Footwear
- American Eagle
- Charlotte Russe
- Columbia Sportswear
- Sunglass Hut
From the three types of outlet stores, the most profitable items will be from the real outlet stores. Next will be factory stores. You won’t make as much but you can still net a profit by flipping factory store items. Retail stores hiding in outlet malls will not make you any money so skip them.
Do Your Homework
I hammer this basically with all my blog posts and this one is no different. Don’t go rushing into things without doing your homework first. Some examples in this case would be to locate the outlet malls, find out about promotions and download coupons before visiting.
Every outlet mall has some sort of website these days and the mall advertises not only store listings and maps but also seasonal promotions and coupons. Before you visit any outlet mall, always check out their website first. Find out which hours/days the mall open and close especially during holiday weekends or special shopping days such as black friday. Also see which stores are offering promotions and it goes without saying, print out any coupons listed. After you get yourself familiar with some of the outlet stores you can also join their email list for coupons.
What To Look For
Like with any flip what you’re looking for is a profit margin. You want to buy items that can net you a profit when you resell it online or locally. How you might ask? First step is to take advantage of seasons.
This goes without saying, a heavy dawn jacket won’t sell well in an outlet store when its 120 degrees out. Stores in outlet malls discounts clothes according to season just like regular retail stores. Long sleeve shirts, sweaters and jackets are discounted during the summer months and short sleeve shirts, shorts and tank tops are discounted during the winter months.
Just because you live in an area that experiences -20 degrees in the winter and 120 degrees in the summer doesn’t mean other parts of the country does. There are parts of the the country that never see snow and some that gets feets of snow. Because each region of the country experience different seasons, there are opportunities for you to take advantage. If you happen to live in a warmer environment location like Florida or Arizona, winter clothes will be discounted year round. If you happen to be way north in Alaska, summer clothes will be discounted year round.
Second step is take advantage of the clearance section. Almost every store within an outlet mall has a designated clearance section. Take advantage of them. On top of the regular discount that’s already applied, clothes can be discounted another 10-90% off! The longer the clothes stays within the clearance section, the bigger the discount gets applied. What’s even better is during holidays and/or just promotional times, many stores offer an additional discount on top of the clearance discounted price. Talk about crazy savings.
Third step is to take advantage of coupons. Many outlet stores often list coupons the outlet mall’s website or email them if you are on their list. Coupons can be $10 dollars off $30 dollar purchase or something more drastic like 30% off $100 dollar purchase. There are no restrictions on those coupons. You can use them on anything within the store including clearance items. My recommendation is to create new email addresses to give out to outlet stores. That way when you need to, you can check them for coupons. And this way, your regular email box won’t get bombarded with emails.
(Optional) Four step is not something I recommend everyone to do. But with some stores, you can sign up for a credit card and get 10-25% discount on your purchase for that day. If you plan on buying a lot of things in bulk, it wouldn’t be a bad idea. But remember signing up for a credit card is not something everyone should be doing since it hurts credit ratings and not everyone gets the same credit limits.
Putting It All Together
So the best case example of getting new brand new clothes as cheap as possible would be to stack a coupon on top of an additional discount on clearance items promotion within a real outlet store. If you do, you can get great things for very cheap and make some serious money like this. Of course you don’t always find the perfect storm of discounts like this. Most of the time your buys will be thru a mix of coupons and clearance items or just buys based on additional discount on clearance items itself. And remember you don’t have to seclude yourself to real outlet stores either; factory stores will also do the trick.
Here are some examples of buys and flips I’ve done this last year:
- Various color Polo Ralph Lauren T-shirts. Retail price $39.99. Bought for $6 dollars each.. Flipped them on eBay for $15 each.
- (a couple of times) Coach handbag. Retail price $400 dollars. Bought for $150. Sold on eBay for $275.
- North Face Jacket. Retail price $250. Bought for $100 dollars. Sold on Amazon for $200.
- Nike Lebron Sneakers. Retail price $225. Bought for $100 dollars. Sold on Craigslist for $150.
- Banana Republic Suit and Pants. Retail price $400. Bought for $150 dollars. Sold to a friend for $200.
- (numerous times) Various Carter’s Baby Clothes. Retail price $100 dollars. Bought for $15 dollars. Sold as sets on Craigslist for $50 dollars.
Now you know how to resell clothes from outlet malls! With a little homework, perseverance and creativity, you can make great money flipping clothes from outlet mall stores. Flips like the ones I’ve listed above is just a tip of the iceberg and you can achieve similar results or even better. Good Luck!