Lululemon Outlet Review and Outlet Shopping Tips
I’m not one to buy into hype. But a little over two years ago I decided to see what all the Lululemon excitement was about and I bought myself a pair of pants for Mother’s Day. More than two years later my first and only pair of Wunder Unders are still holding up beautifully with only some minor pilling.
Then when we were in Orlando the winter before last, I heard there was a Lululemon Outlet so I decided to brave the crowds to check it out. (That place was crazy on a weekday I can’t imagine a weekend.) As luck would have it I got three pairs of pants for around a $100. If you are familiar with Lululemon prices then you know a $100 for three pairs of pants is a STEAL and sheer luck.
Luck is the keyword when it comes to outlet shopping. There may be great deals to be had or there may nothing more than the weird cuts and colors of last season at barely reduced prices. You just never know.
While I could of left Orlando with hundreds of dollars worth of workout clothes, this wasn’t the case when I went to the Lululemon Outlet in Burlington, Washington a few weeks ago. It was a “miss” sort of day. The selections in my size were slim and the prices weren’t much less than the regular store and everything was final sale.
Both Lululemon outlets were nice. I didn’t see any damaged clothing (like you find at some outlets), the staff was friendly and helpful, and the stores were clean. However, I wouldn’t go out my way to get to a Lululemon Outlet. I’d save on gas on shop online or go to the store nearest you. You’ll find just as good of deals on the sale rack at your regular store.
Hit or miss. That’s the nature of outlet shopping.
As is spending more than we intend. (Or is that just me?) There is something about the word “outlet” that makes me feel like every purchase is a screaming deal even when it isn’t.
We are a single income family without a lot of space so I’ve developed some mostly mental shopping strageties over the last few years on the road to make outlet shopping, or any shopping for that matter, less of a miss and more of a hit.
Outlet Shopping Tips
Set a budget beforehand.
This is pretty much common sense. Life is a lot easier when we live and shop within our means. In my opinion and experience, there really isn’t any item that is worth the stress that consumer debt incurs. Before I go shopping I decide how much I can spend. Of course, there are occasions (very rare) that I go over but for the most part setting a budget ahead helps me to think more rationally when I’m in a room filled with pretty things under brain numbing fluorescent lights. It also helps to leave the credit card (if you have one) at home and only bring cash.
Know what you want (need?) before you go.
Sure there is something to be said to just go shopping and browsing for fun but if you are on a budget like me then it’s not the wisest decision. When I went to Lululemon in Orlando I knew I wanted a pair of pants. When I went to Lululemon in Washington I wanted a headband and/or a pair of tights. It didn’t keep me from trying on a few things but it made the decision to pass on the things I really didn’t need easier. In fact, I left empty handed because I decided beforehand that I wouldn’t buy anything I didn’t need.
Remind yourself that outlets are not always the best deals.
For instance there is a not return policy at Lululemon Outlet in Washington. (I don’t remember the store policy in Orlando.) Unless you are 100% certain it’s an item you love and will wear you might as well pass. Also I didn’t get to use my R&D discount that Lululemon generously offers to certified instructors and trainers. Since most of the prices aren’t deeply discounted it would make more sense for me to shop at the regular retail store. The prices would be about the same and I could return something if I didn’t like it.
I went into the Gap outlet the same day I went into Lululemon outlet in Washington. As I walked around the store I noticed that the prices seemed quite high before the discount (and the tags looked different than the non-outlet stores) so it made me think twice before making any purchase. I don’t want to be fooled into thinking I’m getting a deal when I’m really not, hence, I left emptied handed.
Remember that there will always be another deal.
Really there will be. This is probably the hardest thing for me. I fight this mental battle that says “This is the best deal ever. Must buy.” When in fact, it’s probably not and it most certainly won’t be last deal I’ll ever come across.
Just because it’s a deal doesn’t mean you need it.
Will you really wear/use it? When I purged my closet out of necessity before moving into an RV I was astonished to see the clothes just kept coming. Clothes that I hadn’t worn for five or more years. Shirts and skirts that I bought just because they were a “good deal”. How many black shirts can one person wear in a year! If you don’t use/wear it then it’s really not a deal at all.
Don’t go out of your way to shop at outlets.
As we have traveled across the country I’ve noticed many outlets located near the interstate far away from large towns. If you drive two hours to an out of the way outlet you are likely to spend more money or buy things you don’t need because you want to make the trip “worth it”.
Is it worth X amount of hours of your life.
Most of us trade a portion of our lives for money, i.e., work for a paycheck, so when we buy something we are trading more than money, we are trading minutes or hours of our lives. This is not a bad thing. It’s a thousands of years old fact that most people work for a living. When I’m on the fence about a particular purchase I do some quick math and ask myself is the purchase worth X amount of time of my (or Brent’s) life? Sometimes it is (there is nothing wrong with buying stuff) but often times it helps me to realize I don’t really want (or need) the item in question.
What about you? Have any outlet shopping tips to share? Do you like outlets? What do you think about the recent quality of Lululemon clothes? I keep reading stuff online about how the quality has gone down. I haven’t bought anything in over a year an a half so I can’t speak for recent purchases. I
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Journey with our family on the road at Newschool Nomads as we travel fulltime in RV through the United States.