Outlet USA: is it still worth shopping in America?

Missing just over a month to our departure for California and we are thinking about shopping.

It often happens to us. When we talk about going to the United States, one of the many things they tell us is: “bring the empty trolley, then buy there.” It is undeniable that there are excellent opportunities in the USA, we ourselves have witnessed them, but it is no longer the same as before.


At the beginning of the 2000s, we participated with great devotion to free shopping outings. We remember well 2005, it was the first time in the States, it was New York and in short, seriously, it is not possible to avoid getting caught up in the heat of the purchase in NYC. 5th and 6th Avenue on all offer everything you can expect from a metropolis like NY. Then you move to Brooklyn or Chelsea, and even there you can’t help but enter shops and boutiques with unique pieces that you can only find there.

But not even a few years later we didn’t save ourselves. We are in 2009 in Miami. We get up one morning, cloudy weather. What’s now? The typical day for shopping. Let’s go to the Dolphin Mall, by taxi. Our Cuban driver smiles as he hears us plan our day. We get out of the cab in front of the entrance, and our eyes already shine when we see all the signs in front of us. We take a map of the outlet to the information box, and we are given a carnet of coupons to use during the visit. Discounts up to 80%. It is a blast!

We enter the first store we see. We are from Ralph Lauren and nothing we have purchased an irresponsible number of leaders. (19) We crawl and go out. Then they literally “rob” Tommy Hilfiger before passing Guess, Timberland, Tiffany and Calvin Klein. And then you don’t want to take a look at Adidas, Nike, and Skechers? Come on, let’s go, we’re already here. In short, after three hours, we were exhausted, full of bags with whatever we thought could be a “huge deal.”

Shoes, sweaters, trousers, jewels, sunglasses, in short, everything we thought could be a too high value at ridiculous prices. The problem was how to get all those envelopes into the taxi first and then into the trolleys. In short, an impossible mission that we had to make up for there on the spot: we bought a backpack and a new travel bag that we would carry as hand luggage during the return journey. Done. A solution for every problem. That’s where we realized we were a great problem solver ver

How we are healed

We are in love with the United States, and we love shopping, but we didn’t recognize each other in that compulsive behavior. We are not particularly attracted to shopping days. When we are at home, we rarely do it. Who knows what was going on in our mind. With time we have improved, fortunately. We understand that it is stupid to stone our savings by buying clothes and shoes that we will never have been able to consume. And then, in short, this is not the spirit of our trip to the USA. The ideal for us would be to make a nice slow trip, following the itinerary calmly without any frenzy.

But then comes 2011 and it’s off to Seattle and Vancouver, and while you’re listening to ball music you see a sign on the interstate that signals an OUTLET just 2 miles away, and the question is “Do we stop an hour?”. I believe that almost no one on two feet would answer “NO.”

You have to think and decide in just 5 minutes. Otherwise, the exit passes, and then you can’t go back. Well in Seattle we said “yes” twice. One on the way and one on the way back. But we didn’t buy compulsively just for us, and we also bought for friends and relatives. In a sense, in a sense, a “ responsible journey ” stage 🙂

Then we were in NYC again, in 2012 and 2015, and this time we were at Woodbury Premium Outlet. But we were great. We focused our purchases only on the clothes that we needed. This led to an optimization of economic resources and the planning of our needs, made before arriving in NYC. The savings were on the individual item, and we appreciated our purchases much more.

Last year in Miami, we avoided the outlet. Maybe because we came from a massive year and we needed rest, sun, sea and snorkeling, but in the end, we didn’t even think about shopping. We crawled into some local stores, but nothing too much. And then, Miami is not a “convenient” city, so we thought about doing something else. When we returned to Italy, we felt like we were “detoxified” from a practice that has become customary for many Italians who choose the USA as a destination for shopping and who had transformed us too.

And during our next on the road?

It is undeniable that in the USA there are the best outlets and in California, the best American outlets and shopping in Los Angeles is the dream of many, but we would like to avoid crawling the paper for anything. In short, we do not want to fall back into the abyss of compulsive shopping. When you enter Levi’s outlet, it is almost impossible not to try even a pair of jeans. Ditto when coming from Mango or Guess.

In short, shopping in California could make us regain bad habits, or it could consolidate our way of buying a little more prudent, but it certainly depends on where and if it is worth buying. For now, we draw up a map of the best California outlets. We will decide where to stop.

The dream is still an afternoon of shopping at Rodeo Drive a bit like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, but not having Richard Gere’s wallet, we’ll do our best elsewhere.

We will never lose sight of our BUDGET and avoid unnecessary crazy expenses. We will not bring an empty trolley if anything semi-empty. We will try to optimize the space to avoid buying additional carts or travel bags that would not only be inconvenient to carry but could increase the prices of the airline – so where is the economic advantage?

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