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A new book called Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture is suggesting that outlet malls are deliberately trying to fool consumers. Excerpted on the site AlterNet, the book has some interesting assertions:It says outlet malls’ long distances from metropolitan centers aren’t only a result of developers trying to get cheap real estate. It’s also a psychological maneuver that makes people want to buy more since they’re investing more time. “Because the effort required to reach and shop at them is substantial, even extraordinary, the experience of going to the outlet is elevated in our minds to ‘special occasion’ status.”The author also claims that regular outlet-mall shoppers are akin to gamblers. Instead of loading up on cheap staples, they often go there trying to “beat the house.” ” What these shoppers too often forget is that, just as in Vegas, the house almost always wins.”The article also says that those manufacturer-suggested prices aren’t always what they seem to be and that many manufacturers actually sell items that they specifically made for outlet stores, negating the idea that shoppers are getting a luxury fashion item at a discounted price. “Coach, the Gap, Brooks Brothers, Ann Taylor, and Donna Karan, among others, add to their mix items made explicitly for the outlets. Generally these items are cheaper to produce, have fewer details, and are of lesser quality.”We can’t touch on every point, so we suggest you click here to read the full article.

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