Discounts on all of my favourite things, all under the one roof…
I am just going to put it out there – I love bargain shopping. This isn’t just some sort of childish puppy love, this is the ‘I want to scream it from the rooftops and tell you at every chance possible’ kind of love (NB: it is slightly bordering on obsession, but I would prefer to play it down a little so as not to appear crazy). I don’t care if you won’t want to hear it, I will manage to find the right time to boast about that new $100.00 Scanpan that I got for a mere $40.00, even if I am interrupting that cute story about what your boyfriend did for you this Valentine’s day. I told you, this is a real love too.
After far too long out of the game, I finally got to sate my craving for a good bargain shop when I called into Watertown last week. I hadn’t been to Watertown since I was in my early 20’s, let alone since Watertown was reborn from Harbour Town. In my teens, I would catch the train all the way from Bunbury to shop the Supre and Alley outlet stores (we didn’t have stores like this in Bunbury in 2004), and in my early 20’s, I was all about the cute Typo stationary and shoes at Betts. Now that I am 25, and feeling a little more mature and grounded, the outlet stores had me scouring the racks for much different things. This time around, I was on the lookout for all sorts of homewares, and some well priced, well made lingerie (#adultinghard).
With my background in bargain buying, I suppose I could consider myself to be quite well versed in the art of outlet shopping. So, in the spirit of giving, I thought I would let you in on some of my top tips to keep in mind when you head to the outlet stores yourself…
Mon’s top tips for shopping the outlet stores at Watertown like a pro:
- Always go in with a plan. You don’t want to get home and realise that instead of the list of vitamins you were supposed to buy from The Pharmacy Outlet, you have 3 pairs of shorts that don’t go with the rest of your wardrobe, another pair of black heels to go with the 5 pairs you already own, and only one of the supplements you were intending on buying… and a large dent in your wallet. Write down everything you were intending to buy from the outlet stores and stick to your list. If anything else creeps into your shopping basket, be sure to ask yourself thrice if the purchase is really necessary.
- Buy all of your undergarments from the outlet stores, because who really cares if you are wearing the latest season knickers or not? I always hit up the Bonds outlet, as well as the Simone Perele and Cotton on Body for my underwear. They have a good range of basics as well as more luxurious pieces, all at a discounted price. I even scour Lorna Jane, Adidas and Jim Kidd for my sports crops while I am there.
- Make sure you bring cash. The carpark at Watertown only accepts cash at the machine, so to save a $2.50 ATM fee (and the frustration at the pay station) make sure you come prepared with cash. You can park for 3 hours for just $5.00, so that leaves plenty of change out of your $10.00 note for essential small purchases at Gelare or Morish Nuts…
- Wear comfortable separates if you plan on trying on clothes. Nobody wants to spend 15 minutes getting in and out of their outfit each time you go to try something on!
- Use the outlet stores to build your basics wardrobe. You can get some beautiful tailored shirts from Esprit and Sportscraft, jeans from Jeanswest or Levi’s, well cut blazers from Sportscraft and Portmans, and a range of cotton tees from Cotton On or Just Jeans – all for a fraction of the price. Basics don’t tend to change too dramatically from season to season either, so you can rest easy knowing you have a good, solid basics wardrobe that will last you through a few seasons.
- Save your homewares purchases for the Sheridan, Adairs and Royal Doulton outlets. Instead of spending $10.00 on a lesser quality bath towel from Target, pocket the $10.00 and take it to Watertown with you. You can find much better quality homewares for around the same price, and you can be guaranteed that you won’t have the same white Kmart faux fur rug that, I assume, every household now has.
- Outlet stores are fantastic for buying in bulk. Obviously outlet stores are where all of the excess stock is sent, so if you are after something in larger quantities, head there before heading into the regular store. Need 50 placemats? Get them all at the outlet rather than calling them in from 5 different stores. Need plain t-shirts for costumes for a school dance troupe? Outlet stores.
Does anyone have their own great tricks for getting the most out of outlet stores? I would love to hear them!
For a full directory of the outlets at Watertown, see here.