How to Shop Outlet

October 10, 2019

With our new Outlet by revolve now open in CrossIron Mills, in addition to our Clearance Centre down South we thought it would be an excellent time to talk about the ins and outs of outlet shopping. Outlet shopping can be fun and extremely satisfying if you are forearmed with a little extra knowledge.

First of all, not all outlet stores are created equal. Some even fill their stores with lesser quality product specially bought for their outlet location. A true outlet store carries merchandise that was originally stocked in a regular retail store and has been discontinued, damaged, or overstocked.

Here are few terms that will help you out:

Discontinued Product:

We like to call them Disco and watch them dance out of the store. These are products that the retailer has decided not to carry any longer or that their supplier no longer makes. They have a few pieces left over and want to clean out their inventory. Warning: The selection will be limited and parts will be hard to come by. So if you're buying a set of, let's say dining chairs, additional pieces or replacements will not be available. Bonus: You'll be getting pieces that other people had to pay full price for.


This may be an item that for some reason sold well in one colour or style, but not in another so the retailer would like to blow out the less popular item. Or it could be that the retailer has a ton of new, exciting product coming in and needs to make room in their warehouse by selling older stock. Warning: You may not like the colour or style either. Bonus: You're creative and you can make it work or it may be just what you've been searching for.

Floor Models:

As the name suggests, these are products that have been used for display at the store's regular retail space. They may have minimal to moderate damage due to wear and remerchandising. Warning: Check the condition very carefully: front, back sides. If it's a sofa or a recliner, make sure it's still comfy and that everything works. If it's a table, check for scratches, wobbly legs, extra leafs, and the pull out mechanism if it's an extendible table. Bonus: The more issues, the lower the price. It may be totally worth it to get a solid walnut table and only have to replace the screws in the legs or put a table runner over a small scratch.

Show Home Returns:

They are basically the same as Floor Models, but generally have less wear. They would have been displayed in a Show Home, but not necessary sat on or tried out. But they may have been there for a few months to a year. Warning: Check the condition very carefully for fading, especially upholstery. Bonus: You'll get very gently used furniture for way less than it's currently selling in the regular showroom.

Special Buys:

A true outlet rarely has Special Buys, but it's magical when it happens. This is when the store gets a great deal on a whole container of a certain product from their supplier and then passes the savings on to you. It could be a item the store regularly carries or an item that the supplier has over-produced. Either way: magic. Warning: If it's a leather sofa, check the label to make sure leather is full leather and not split leather. Bonus: If it is split leather, no one who comes to visit you will be able to tell and you still got it at a great price.

'As Is' Items:

Also known as 'Scratch and Dent' these items may be more obviously damaged, but will be greatly reduced. They are what they are and will have no warranty, returns, touch-up or repairs. Warning: This is definitely the Buyer Beware section. Check everything carefully and be prepared to live with your decision if it doesn't work out. Bonus: If you are creative and handy this is heaven for you. You can fix it up or re-purpose it and have fun doing it.


So, now that you have this knowledge, it's all up to you. The big thing you have to do is weigh the lower price against the condition, style or colour of the product.  And, if you walk away, will it still be there tomorrow? Some find that stressful, others find it exciting. Either way, money will be saved!

The new Outlet by revolve in CrossIron Mills is NOW OPEN! and is located right beside the Food Hall. See you there!

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