What Is Outlet Furniture?

A furniture outlet store is a great way to find high quality, designer items for a fraction of the price. The items that are sent to these clearance stores are generally NOT brand new or in perfect condition. In my experience, the items that qualify as outlet eligible are usually one of four categories: Damaged, Defective, Returned, or Overstock.

  • Damaged Goods- Examples of damaged items I have personally seen 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 its original buyers.
  • Defective Goods- Some examples of defective items I have personally seen 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.
  • Returned Goods- 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 toward an outlet location upon return.

  • Overstock Goods- I have seen brand new items at the outlets before, but it is generally not the norm. This happens when a retailer has a surplus of inventory.

For all of the reasons mentioned above, it is not realistic to assume you can get any item at any outlet at any time. Inventory is limited, generally, to what falls into these categories.

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. I highly suggest checking out my Furniture Outlet Shopping Tips to increase your chance of success!

What other reasons do you know of for an item to be at an outlet? Have any questions? Comment and I’ll do my best to answer based on my own experiences!

Find an outlet near you! Click here: US Outlet-By-State Directory

Can’t get enough of outlet talk? Join the community over on my FREE private Facebook group!

12 thoughts on “What Is Outlet Furniture?

  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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