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    Dishonesty in Outlet Stores

    Went to Vaughan Mills Outlet today just outside of Toronto to check out if there were any "deals" on a new suit. Having recently seen a documentary on Outlets I was curious to see how it would play out in real life.

    First stop was to Hugo Boss. I asked the male helper if all the garments were specifically made for the outlet or if they received overflow/out of season merchandise from the regular stores. He assured me it was all the latter. Secondly I asked if Hugo Boss suits are fully glued or half canvassed and he said half canvassed. I left and went to a few other stores and then came back to Hugo Boss and asked a female attendant the same two questions. She said only the very high end Hugo Boss stuff is half canvassed but most suits are fused (even in the main stores). She then said that most of the merchandise is Hugo Boss made specifically for the outlet (cheaper fabrics, not as nice stitching etc). When I asked her which garments are overflowing and which are not she said she has no idea...I didn't think this was entirely truthful since I know some stores have an internal system to differentiate between quality (such as a dot on the label).

    Has anyone else witnessed this sketchy behavior? Witnessing this stuff myself it makes me want to avoid outlets altogether and save up a bit more money for Suit Supply or Spier and Mackay.

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    #2
    I find better deals on the internet, no need to go visit the outlets to get sub par products.

    As far as product quality, it kind of comes down to educating yourself on the relative worth of the products that you are looking at.

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      #3
      I have no empirical data to prove it, but I strongly suspect that all of the stock at outlet malls is made with inferior materials and construction specifically for the outlets. Indeed, some brands even do it at their main stores. I had a friend that worked at Saks in Minneapolis (before it closed). She said much the inventory at her store used lower quality fabrics to what was sold in the flagship store in New York. She said that management cynically believed that Minneapolitans wouldn’t know the difference. Mass-market retail is a shell-game played by bean counters—which is why I prefer patronizing small(-ish) businesses.

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        #4
        Originally posted by theplayerking View Post
        I have no empirical data to prove it, but I strongly suspect that all of the stock at outlet malls is made with inferior materials and construction specifically for the outlets. Indeed, some brands even do it at their main stores. I had a friend that worked at Saks in Minneapolis (before it closed). She said much the inventory at her store used lower quality fabrics to what was sold in the flagship store in New York. She said that management cynically believed that Minneapolitans wouldn’t know the difference. Mass-market retail is a shell-game played by bean counters—which is why I prefer patronizing small(-ish) businesses.
        You're probably correct. There have been numerous studies done on this. One thing I despise is dishonesty.

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          #5
          I think you need to manage your expectations for the outlets. They typically don't have the same hiring and training standards as the mainline store. I wouldn't call it dishonesty. It more like the sales people just don't know the answer to your questions. Its an outlet not Barneys.

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            #6
            Originally posted by Geo View Post
            I think you need to manage your expectations for the outlets. They typically don't have the same hiring and training standards as the mainline store. I wouldn't call it dishonesty. It more like the sales people just don't know the answer to your questions. Its an outlet not Barneys.
            I think it is a combination of misinformation and dishonesty. They're in sales and need to hustle.

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              #7
              Vaughan Mills by nature is cheap, i.e. low(er) quality. I try to avoid it because 99% of the time I leave there feeling like I wasted my time. Try and understand the game; if you're looking for authentic quality, chances are you will not find it at an outlet mall. I have no confidence in anything a retail sales person says to me at an outlet store, or practically any store for that matter.

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                #8
                I think it depends store to store. JCF near me they have some random mainline stuff in the clearance. Almost always, when asking if I need any help near the clearance, they mention that some mainline stuff is in there. They don't hide that factory is different stuff.

                I don't venture in many other stores. Brooks Brothers outlet I can't tell anymore. Used to be 346 was outlet line, but I think that's gone so you don't know what you are getting.

                I'm always curious to know about the Barbour outlet.

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                  #9
                  I think you're being a bit harsh on the employees calling them sketchy and such. Likely what you have are simply poorly trained employees. Likely, in these outlet stores, margins are thinnest and the store has to get by on the bare minimum which means low associate pay (thus lower quality work force and high turnover rate) and lower overall quality of operations. Add to that the hodge-podge nature of some of these outlet stores. Give them a break, if you really need a reliable answer I'd contact customer service. I rarely trust the word of a sales associate when it comes to the details of an item, outlet store or not, I find my own research and direct contact with the company to be more reliable.
                  Last edited by fasteddie911; July 4, 2017, 08:08 AM.

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                    #10
                    Outlets for mens wear is mostly quality junk and lot of them are ugly. When I go usually I never buy nothing, as I can find better deals on the main stores/online.

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                      #11
                      I saw a documentary on Outlets and what thy determined is that most of the items sold at the stores are made of inferior quality. So while buys might think they are getting a higher end suit/purse/pair of shoes at a discount rate, they in fact are not getting the same quality. I have really curtailed my purchases from outlet stores. For wear items (like running shoes, shorts, etc.) I don't mind purchasing from outlets. I don't expect long quality and the technical material will die of stink from running anyway. So why spend big bucks on it?

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by DocDave View Post
                        I saw a documentary on Outlets and what thy determined is that most of the items sold at the stores are made of inferior quality. So while buys might think they are getting a higher end suit/purse/pair of shoes at a discount rate, they in fact are not getting the same quality. I have really curtailed my purchases from outlet stores. For wear items (like running shoes, shorts, etc.) I don't mind purchasing from outlets. I don't expect long quality and the technical material will die of stink from running anyway. So why spend big bucks on it?
                        Totally agreed. My issue is when a store is not forthright with what they are selling or if their staff lie about it. I have no issue if someone doesn't know the answer to my questions but they should say that instead of spreading misinformation. From now on I don't buy from outlets unless it is for gym shorts and shoes.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by wooltie View Post
                          Totally agreed. My issue is when a store is not forthright with what they are selling or if their staff lie about it. I have no issue if someone doesn't know the answer to my questions but they should say that instead of spreading misinformation. From now on I don't buy from outlets unless it is for gym shorts and shoes.
                          I'm a little confused. In other threads you've talked about how you're buying mainline Hugo Boss at great prices at the outlet. You said that you verified that the suits are definitely the same. Now you're offended that the staff doesn't seem to know if the merchandise they stock is overflow. If you know which items are overflow and you're happy with the price and quality, then why do you care if the outlet employees don't know which items come from where? Did your suits stop being high quality or well priced just because some employee doesn't know what he's talking about?

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by dpark View Post
                            I'm a little confused. In other threads you've talked about how you're buying mainline Hugo Boss at great prices at the outlet. You said that you verified that the suits are definitely the same. Now you're offended that the staff doesn't seem to know if the merchandise they stock is overflow. If you know which items are overflow and you're happy with the price and quality, then why do you care if the outlet employees don't know which items come from where? Did your suits stop being high quality or well priced just because some employee doesn't know what he's talking about?
                            Correct. I was lucky to have gotten legit garments for less but I'm sure the majority of their clientele have not been as lucky. I believe the consumer trade commission is trying to outlaw this practices at outlets.

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                              #15
                              I always assume outlet stores these days are outlets for crap merchandise. I think it was different a couple decades ago, but I may have just been a lot more naïve back then.

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