Everything You Need To Know About Furniture Outlet Shopping

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Since you’ve landed on this website, chances are you have an interest in name brand discount furniture. I don’t blame you. Why pay retail price when it is so easy to get your favorite brands for so much less?

One of the cheapest ways to get furniture is by shopping at a furniture outlet. Read on to find out everything there is to know about furniture outlets.

What is a Furniture Outlet? What are Décor Outlets?

A décor and furniture outlet is a store that carries high quality, designer home goods and furniture for a fraction of the retail price. Outlet items are sold as is and are void of a manufacturer warranty.

What is the Difference Between an Outlet and Store?

As described above, a furniture outlet is essentially a clearance furniture store where items have hefty discounts. The items in a home outlet come directly from the return centers or factory warehouses. You can find a wide variety of inventory, including discontinued and off-season products, as merchandise is constantly changing at an outlet store.

A furniture retail store acts as the “face” of the brand and is a showroom for current seasonal products. You typically will not find as much of a variety in products compared to an outlet, as items are specifically curated to their ideal market demographics. You will often find many quantities of one item at a retail store, whereas an outlet typically only has one of each item. At a retail store, you will likely pay more for an item; however, you’ll also get a warranty, which can definitely come in handy if issues arise.

What is Outlet Furniture?

Furniture items at a home outlet are there for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, damage, manufacturing defects, returns, overstock furniture, discontinued designs, photoshoot or floor models, one of a kind samples, or off season products. Although less common at home outlets, some items may also be made-for-outlet merchandise, which typically consists of cheaper materials.

What is Another Name for a Furniture Outlet?

It is important to know that a furniture outlet can be referred to in a variety of ways. When trying to determine if something is a home outlet, look for words like Factory Outlet, Furniture Warehouse, Furniture Clearance Outlet, Open Box Outlet, Sample Sale, Scratch and Dent Store, Warehouse Sale or Pop up sale.

Why is Stuff Cheaper at Outlets?

Given that you can often expect some sort of defect on outlet furniture, it makes sense that the retailer would not expect for you to pay full retail price. Outlet prices are reflective of the level of flaws an item has. Additionally, outlet merchandise is cheaper in order to encourage quick inventory turnaround. Most home outlets receive 1-3 furniture shipments per week, which is a significant amount of outlet furniture. With limited floor space, it is important that prices are competitive enough to encourage customers to buy.

What Do Furniture Outlet Items Cost?

On average, furniture outlets range from discounts of 30-70% off retail prices. The final price is often affected by holiday sales, special promotions, and in some home outlets, how long the merchandise has sat unpurchased on the floor.

How Can I Tell if I Am Getting a Good Deal?

While, on average, shopping outlets will save you significant money compared to shopping retail, it is important to do a quick online price check. I have seen items selling online for similar or better than the outlet price, like the items shown below.

In this situation, ditch the outlet item and purchase online. Not only will the item be void of possible defects, having that manufacturer issued warranty is definitely a bonus.

When are Factory Outlet Prices Lowest?

Factory outlet prices are often lowest around holidays. Typically, home outlet inventory is 10-25% higher in discount in order to draw out larger crowds. You can also score some amazing deals on seasonal items once that season is coming to a close. I found some incredible prices on outdoor furniture at RH Outlet as the months turned cooler.

How can I Increase My Chances of Finding the Very Best Home Outlet Inventory?

Many factors that can play a role in outlet inventory selection, including timing your visit with factory outlets’ shipment and delivery days. Check out 30 amazing tips on how to make the most of your factory outlet visit.

Are Outlet Products Lower Quality?

Outlet quality is going to be very subjective from person to person. For me, outlet products are not lower quality than their retail counterparts. While there might be cosmetic imperfections or flaws, furniture outlets don’t sell items that are not structurally sound.

Outlet furniture found with significant superficial damage is often heavily discounted, making the surface blemishes insignificant (in my opinion). Anything that might be deemed “poor quality” is typically thrown away.

Made-for-outlet merchandise is typically less common in a home outlet (versus a clothing outlet), however, if found, then poorer quality may be applicable. Typically made-for-outlet pieces are made of cheaper materials in order to allow for a cheaper price tag.

What are Some Examples of Outlet Furniture Damage?

Examples of damage I have personally seen at outlet furniture stores include bent legs, wobbly chairs, broken or unravelling rattan, damaged edges, rips in fabric, scratches, dents, doors not being able to close all the way, and other issues likely caused during transport to the original buyers.

What are Some Examples of Outlet Furniture Manufacturing Defects?

Some examples of manufacturing defects I have personally seen at furniture outlet stores include inconsistencies in the wood grain, mismatched wood plank sizes on doors, and fabric flaws. These issues occurred at the time of production and are not considered retail eligible.

Why Do Returned Items Go to a Factory Outlet?

Furniture items that have been opened and returned are considered “open box” quality. For obvious reasons, no one would want to buy a returned product at a retail price. Items that have been returned for any reason often head straight to their factory outlet upon return.

Where Do Overstock Items Come From?

Overstock furniture and home décor typically comes directly from the manufacturing warehouses. If an item is overproduced, under-sold, or is no longer in season, it can result in an excess of inventory. When this happens, these brand new items are sent over to their factory outlet.

What Stores Have Furniture Outlets?

Quite a few of the common luxury home brands have furniture outlets. Examples include Restoration Hardware Outlet, Serena and Lily Outlet, Anthropologie Outlet, Pottery Barn Outlet, Arhaus Outlet, West Elm Outlet, Crate and Barrel Outlet, Ballard Designs Outlet, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Outlet, Williams Sonoma Outlet, Le Creuset Outlet, and more. To find the complete list of outlets, click here.

Where are Outlets Located?

Outlet furniture stores can be found literally all across the country, and even in a few other countries as well. Some states do have considerably more factory outlet options than others. If your state is home outlet light, consider browsing this list of open box outlets. You can order outlet items online from the convenience of your home!

How Can I Find Furniture Outlet Store Reviews?

In addition to helping you locate outlets near you, I have also begun building an extensive list of furniture outlet reviews. Within these reviews, you will get to take a peek see inside your exact outlet store of interest. You will also find updates regarding delivery schedules, inventory examples, store information and more. To view outlet store reviews, select your preferred outlet store from this list.

How Can I Get My Factory Outlet Furniture Home?

Contrary to what many folks believe, you do not need a truck to shop at a furniture outlet. Many times, outlets have some third-party recommendations to offer. Keep in mind, coordinating delivery in this way is typically arranged by the customer. I have found that many furniture delivery apps are often the cheapest way to get furniture home. Check out my favorite third party delivery options.

Are Luxury Outlets Worth It?

Shopping factory furniture outlets is absolutely worth it when purchasing discount furniture, so long as you don’t mind some possible furniture flaws and you aren’t in a hurry to make a purchase. While prices are significantly lower at outlet furniture stores, not every item you see online will be present at the outlet. Inventory is constantly changing, so each visit will hold new surprises. The thrill of the chase is one of my favorite reasons to outlet shop!

I understand that outlet shopping won’t be for everyone. It can take time, persistence, and weeding through lots of damaged items to find the real gems. For some, the offset in price means they are okay with making minor repairs or fixes to the furniture pieces they find. Many retailers even offer repair kits for purchase on their websites! Other people are fine with the manufacturing “defects,” as it adds character to the pieces.

Do you like factory outlet shopping? Let us know in the comments!

Want to find a list of ALL outlets near you?

Check out the US Outlet-By-State Directory or Outlets Abroad outlet directories! No outlets nearby? No problem! Check out the Online Only Outlets here!

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12 Comments

  1. So…I’m kind of new to this whole idea and wonder: do outlet stores ‘ship’ if we see something in the photos you post that we like and want but live on the other side of the country? I could never spend the retail prices on what I see but the discounted prices are very appealing.

    1. Some stores do! You’ll need to inquire with them directly. Serena and a lily does not. There are third party shop and ship options as well, including going through Task Rabbit. Several members over in the Facebook group (click the Join the Community link from the menu) have experience here – as both personal shoppers and shippers. I made a post yesterday for personal shoppers to comment and couple have. I also have a “guide” section over there with a bit more detail I would be happy to tag you in- just message me over there! I’m hoping to have a guest post on the blog soon on the details of doing this!

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