Converse Outlet Slashes Shoes Cost By Whole Penny After Raising MSRP By $5

New York lawyer Eric spotted a pathetic attempt by a Maryland Converse outlet store to pretend that it was offering a discount on this pair of shoes. One sticker slashes the dubious MSRP by a penny, from $30 to $29.99, but another sticker reveals that the original price was $25.

When you’re shopping at outlets, what do you do to make sure you’re not paying more than you would be at another store?

Summertime [New York Personal Injury Attorney Blog]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. goodfellow_puck says:

    Outlet malls are not really outlets for anything. They’re mostly regular stores with the same prices. I don’t look at the supposed “MSRP/outlet/sale” numbers, I look at the price as it is. Is the quality there? What is my limit on an item before it is no longer a “deal”? Etc.

    • cvt2010 says:

      There are some that carry clothing/accessories which are “out of season” for the regular stores. In this case I like outlet malls because I don’t like to buy my summer dresses in January and my winter coats in August.

    • zandar says:

      there was just a story about this, right? basically they are worthless now that most manufacturing is elsewhere. Just another mechanism to take your money, sorta like the Circuit City zombie.

    • PsiCop says:

      Time was, an “outlet” was factory-owned place where overruns, irregulars, and obsolete inventory was sold off, at discount in order to get rid of it. But over time, outlets became businesses in their own right, operated by third-party companies. They essentially ceased to be any different from any other retailer.

      A long time ago my state of Connecticut had rules about having the word “outlet” in a business name. Among other things, it had to be owned by its claimed corporate parent. That changed when an outlet center was opened in Clinton CT; its developers managed to get those rules changed. If you think there are any true outlet bargains to be had in Clinton CT, guess again … it is a tremendously affluent area (second only to the Greenwich-Darien-Norwalk-Westport “Gold Coast”). I’m no longer fooled by “outlet” in a store’s name.

  2. iParadox{InLove} says:

    Are you sure someone just didn’t slap that on? I mean I’ve been to outlet stores and I’ve seen stickers like this already made up just lying on the shelf because the person putting them out had to go do something else. As for the bottom one, maybe they are a different style/color that actually has a MSRP for $30? I’ve seen converse shoes that vary in price from each other by as much as 20 bucks just because of the color style used on them.

  3. CherieBerry says:

    “Outlets” are a rip-off. You can get the Converses for 14.99-19.99 at a TJMaxx.

  4. Southern says:

    Maybe it was a misprint on the box?

    The Converse site has this shoe (3Q490) @ $30 MSRP.

    http://www.converse.com/#/products/shoes/running/3Q490

    (P.S., that is one ugggggggggggly shoe). lol :-)

  5. Jesse says:

    I can’t stand oulet malls. From my experience, outlet malls are just where manufacturers send their B grade products that fall apart in 6 months. Might as well just spend the money up front and save in the long run or wait for closeout/end of season sales.

    • PLATTWORX says:

      Yes, like Banana Republic (part of Gap) that makes an entire special lower quality line of their products for all outlets so you are NOT getting what you’d get at a regular BR store. In fact, they put a symbol on the tabs (I believe three stars) so they know the cheap stuff from the good stuff if you made a return without receipt.

      • torroze says:

        The last time I shopped at a BR outlet, I ended up with some substandard shirts: poor fit and quality not the same as in the regular stores. Good to know why…

      • CherieBerry says:

        J.Crew uses two diamons on their discount/outlet labels.

        • PLATTWORX says:

          There are bigger problems in the world, but I feel retailers should be forbidden from making second tier version of their products for outlet stores. 90% of the people coming into a BR or J Crew outlet are not aware and believe they are getting items from the regular stores at discount.

          There is no other reason to produce a second outlet version of your product then to deceive the public.

  6. El_Fez says:

    Actually, even with the jacked and inflated prices, 30 bones for Chucks isn’t bad. I usually pay 40-50 at Zappos.

  7. Sparkstalker says:

    It could also be the wrong box for the shoes in it…thus the added price sticker.

  8. duxup says:

    As others have noted outlet stores are often a good deal.

    • Chaosium says:

      “As others have noted outlet stores are often a good deal.”

      If you don’t know the difference between models and think all clothes from the same manufacturer are made from the same materials and same build quality.

      Smart shoppers know better.

  9. Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

    I live right next to a huge outlet mall, and I can never find anything in the stores there that doesn’t look like cheap crap. I used to love JC Penny, but the JC outlet store carries the ugliest stuff. Same goes for the maternity store. Even the Old Navy outlet has a much more limited selection than the regular stores.

    I’d much rather go to a thrift store and find something that’s actually well-made.

    • Buckus says:

      That’s part of the reason it’s an outlet store…out-of-season stuff that nobody wanted to buy, possibly because it was “Ugly.”

      • CherieBerry says:

        That may have been the stock of outlet stores a decade ago, but not anymore. The stores that people head to: Coach, BR, Gap, J.Crew, etc., all make specific discount lines for their outlet stores. You will no longer find items that were once in the retail stores or online.

  10. El Matarife says:

    I use ShopSavvy on my Droid X.

  11. JMILLER says:

    MSRP is not a price. It is Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price. It is a suggested price. If it said MSRP of $50 and they wanted to charge $1000, then can. Kind of like listing a house for sale at 100k and multiple bids takes it to $120 k, or a car that is extemely popular that might have a MSRP of $17000, but the dealership can get $20k

    • ARPRINCE says:

      “MSRP is not a price. It is Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price. It is a suggested price. ”
      So it is a PRICE or NOT?

      • Karita says:

        No. It’s not a price. It’s a suggestion. Hence manufacturers SUGGESTED retail price, as stated in the comment you replied to.

      • JMILLER says:

        LEGALLY, it is not a price. It is a suggestion from the manufacturer. They can not tell anybody what to charge for their product on the open market. Converse can say, we suggest you sell at $5, but if the retailer wants to sell at $500 they can. It also works in reverse. Converse suggests $500, but the retailer chooses $100, and then claim 80% of sales. That is why discounts off of MSRP are meaningless and should be ignored.

        • parliboy says:

          While they may not be able to tell distributors what to charge, they can refuse to honor future orders of those who deviate.

          So it all works out.

          • JMILLER says:

            Yes, because companies are always in the business of refusing orders. Let’s put this in simple terms for you, since you have no clue as to how it works. Ford sells a car to Joe’s Dealer at a certain price (lets say $20000). Joe can sell that for whatever he wants. He can list the price at $100,000. Ford can not legally do ANYTHING to stop him. In fact, if they threatened him to not sell future cars to him, they would be in violation of anti-trust laws and would be sued and lose. Ford already got their $20,000. It isn’t their business what any other INDEPENDENT business chooses to sell it for. Ford can choose a suggested sell price, but it has no relevance. They could suggest they sell the car for $10,000. They are numbers pulled out of their ass. The reason retailers love them, is generally speaking people sell for below MSRP. A retailer can say I took 50% of MSRP, when in reality it is off of an imaginary number that has no value. The value of an item is what somebody is willing to pay.

      • Chaosium says:

        “So it is a PRICE or NOT?”

        No, stores rarely sell at MSRP so it is not a comparable price.

      • smo0 says:

        It’s a suggested price, it’s also advertised on TV in the case of cars… and in the case of cars, dealers rarely stray too far from this price – mostly because they get incentive from financing… so whatever the MSRP is.. also add the cost of financing and any dealership addons like tinted windows, alarm systems, etc – I’ve bought 4 cars in my life, 3 of them new – there’s an MSRP, then an itemized list of addons, docks fees, then finance fees….
        As to a certain comment from CAPTAIN AMERICA below… yes a dealership CAN sell a car as whatever price they want, it’s just not in their best interest to do so – in the case of major cities, there are a few competing dealerships – you will get better deals… for example – out here, the two major ones are DESERT and FINDLAY (there are other smaller ones.. so in the case of SOME brands you have as many as 4 competitor) I usually hear stories of better deals from one dealership per the next from people who actually take the time to shop around….

        So.. come to think of it… I’m replying to the car examples when car examples are shit examples of the article at hand….

        even so.. you can “haggle” the cost of a car as well.. especially if you’re paying cash up front… you may get a manager’s discount – I know people who’ve received discounts in the thousands….

        You generally cannot haggle at retail chain stores…

  12. Skyblacker says:

    I like outlet malls for the selection, not the prices. The prices seem to be the same whether it’s an outlet mall or regular mall. But if you’re really into a brand’s shoes, it’s better to shop at that brand’s outlet store than to go to more general stores that might only carry a few shoes from that brand.

    Near where I live, the Converse outlet store carries sizes baby through adult. If you just want to bask in Converse goodness for a while, that’s the place!

  13. Camstang6907 says:

    It’s not just Converse. The other day I went into the Reebok outlet and they had the Zigs “on sale” for $2.00 off MSRP.

  14. pantheonoutcast says:

    Why is it not surprising that a personal injury attorney would be able to spot a scam so quickly?

  15. Hotscot says:

    I shop at Ross and Mashall’s for out of season or overstock items. Usually get excellent deals.

  16. Outrun1986 says:

    Um I’ve actually gotten really good deals at the converse outlet, on identical shoes that would cost a lot more elsewhere. Especially since converse is one of the few brands of shoes I will actually wear.

  17. 420greg says:

    The Outlet Malls are pretty competitive here in Orlando, the Outlet Mall capitol of the world.

    I have been going to Under Armour and the prices beat their website and Sports Authority by a good margin.

    Long sleeve Heat Gear shirts that are $34.99 elsewhere are $19.99 at the outlet.
    The $56.99 Polo’s are $34.99.

    • Marike says:

      Agreed. The Orlando outlets are good if you know what you’re looking for and how much you’re willing to spend.

      We go to the Crocs outlet in Orlando whenever we’re there. While most of the store is close to regular price, we always find shoes for $9.99 or less for my son. There was one particular style that they stopped making that I really liked and it was the last place I could find them (for $5). The Crocs outlet prices online are NOT the same as the in-store price fwiw.

  18. JANSCHOLL says:

    Borders does this all the time. They put their bar code over the normal UPC with an inflated price. Its usually 5-10 more than their own website. Once was enough. I returned what I had purchased after noticing the discrepancy before I left the store and have never shopped their again.

    • bkc says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed that Borders regularly inflates their prices. Recently, I noticed an item on clearance for $3.98 from $3.99. When I pointed this out to the sales associate, they scanned it and told me the orginal price was $5.99. Apparently, an employee forgot to re-sticker the item with a Borders price tag. I found this discrepancy at more than one store within just a few days! And you wonder why bookstores are struggling to stay afloat.

    • FS1 says:

      That is actually incorrect. The stickers are almost always the same price as what is on the UPC. I spent a few years there, and can tell you that is the case for nearly every book. Same price. Are books on the website cheaper? Sure. Cheaper on Amazon, too. The prices are cheaper so that Borders can at least pretend to try to compte with Amazon.

      Since Borders is mostly a brick-and-mortar collection of stores, however, they can’t compete in price with an online only presence like Amazon. What you get on Amazon is the price reduced. In a Borders store, you are mostly paying the list price for the book – NOT an inflated made-up price. Even then, that is only if you are foolish enough to go to Borders without your 33-40% coupon in hand.

  19. fairandbalanced says:

    There is no such thing as an oultet store in the US anymore.
    Outlet stores just carry cheaper made products with the store logos on them that were made for the outlet store.

    Since all the manufacturing is in china/india all the slightly off manufacturing runs that would normally be sold in outlet stores are now sold on the streets in china/india to foreigners that want to look like Americans.

    • NewsMuncher says:

      References?
      I’ve heard this several times in this thread, but this is the first I’ve heard of outlets selling a different, cheaper brand.

  20. Vinasu says:

    I always buy my kids’ shoes at the Stride Rite Outlet. My little girl is wearing these to school this year: http://www.amazon.com/Stride-Rite-Toddler-Pb-Sneaker/dp/B002GKAAI4/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=shoes&qid=1283001239&sr=1-3 . At the outlet, I paid $12.99 for the pair.

    My son is wearing these http://www.amazon.com/Stride-Rite-Toddler-Chase-Lace-Up/dp/B000H8BOJ6/ref=sr_1_134?ie=UTF8&s=shoes&qid=1283001389&sr=1-134 , which we paid a whopping $17 for.

    We don’t buy much else at the outlets, but it’s always worthwhile to drive the forty minutes and buy the kids’ shoes for the year

  21. Michaela says:

    I don’t trust anything that automatically has the MSRP printed on the same tag as the outlet price. I guess it is because I look for things that used to be in stores, but are now out of season (which is how I got a $10 cashmere sweater).

    I also keep up with what was up for sale the season before (for I only shop at a few places) and pick out what I want to hunt for in the outlets. Even when I find the thing in the outlet, I still feel it out (check seams and fabric quality) and ALWAYS try on the garb (to double check for holes or improper sizing).

    Overall, about 80% of my clothes come from outlets. My home and vacation homes are all three near outlets, so I have never really had the “have to get something for my drive out” mentality.

  22. Dalsnsetters says:

    I have had excellent results at the Ellenton (FL) Outlet Mall. I go there to shop at the Bass Shoe Store and the Izod outlet store. These are true outlet stores (except they carry *all* Bass Shoe styles and have an ample supply at that). I like the Bass Shoe store because their prices really *are* a helluva lot less expensive than buying at a regular store and they will also give you a refund if you buy something one weekend and it goes on sale the next weekend. I’ve gone back with my receipt and they’ve given me money back. Bass Shoes also come with a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects. I’ve taken shoes back 2-3 years after purchase–with no receipt–reminded them of their lifetime warranty, and walked out with an identical, brand new pair of shoes at no cost to me. On one occasion, I purchased a pair of shoes, they went on sale the next weekend so I went in a got my $$ difference refunded. Then, the following week, I received a coupon for an additional percentage off. In the end, they ended up paying me about $12 to purchase those shoes. *AND* I still get the lifetime warranty on the shoe. The Izod store has truly low prices and good quality stuff.

    (But I am going to quantify my remarks by saying I don’t wear trendy clothes. I guess I’m a preppy at heart and wear Levi’s, loafers and polos with either polo players or alligators on them 90% of the time so for me these two stores are awesome for my needs. Now, I won’t go into how crappy the Levi’s outlet store is……I’ve had better luck getting my 501s at the Salvation Army store….$6 a pair for classic cut 501s button fly jeans. Can’t stand these new styles that ride so low on my hips I feel like I’m flashing the world….)

    The rest of the stores in that outlet mall don’t seem to be competitively priced, but I’m not 100% sure about that cuz I rarely shop at them. I had great luck finding my Reebok hi-tops that I couldn’t find at any other stores at the Reebok store. If I remember correctly, the price on the box was roughly the same as the price at a B&M store…..if a B&M store actually carried them. Like any shopping experience, it’s best to go to an outlet mall armed with pricing information to determine if it really *is* a good deal.

    *shrug*

  23. PLATTWORX says:

    I do NOT shop outlet stores. On the brands I am interested in, I find I can save MUCH more waiting for a regular store to run a sale, have a coupon or do a clearance.

    Why I would drive miles out of my way to an outlet just to buy things for a higher price than I could near home escapes me.

    • Michaela says:

      Not everyone has to drive out that far though. There are quite a few around common destinations in FL. Furthermore, some who wear uncommon sizes may have to snag items before they are picked over an on the sale rack (I have a hard time finding xxs workout tops in regular Nike shops, but easily find these smaller sizes in outlets and factory stores).

      • Chaosium says:

        “Furthermore, some who wear uncommon sizes may have to snag items before they are picked over an on the sale rack “

        And uncommon sizes are another thing altogether.

  24. emptyV says:

    The “S” in MSRP is suggested, so it does not have to be that price, only suggested…also , who still wears Chucks? Vans are where its at.

  25. apasserby says:

    Even though the discussion is about outlet store pricing I want to point out that Converse doesn’t have any outlet stores in Maryland. They do have one in Rehoboth, Delaware.

  26. dragonfire81 says:

    OT,

    Is there no consumerist weekend anymore? How come the posts for Saturday and Sunday stopped coming?

    • Cantras says:

      Yarly. I wish maybe they’d move the top posts/open thread thing to late friday so we can all yak at eachother over the weekend if they’re not gonna do weekends anymore.

  27. Travtastic says:

    I live a couple miles down the street from the Rockvale Square outlets in Lancaster, PA.

    I used to get all kinds of awesome deals back in the 90s. Probably from about 2001 to 2007, the only store that was ever worth even going into was the Book Cellar closeout book store. I’d routinely walk out with 5-10 books for like $10.

    After 2007, the book store was bought out by some Christian conglomerate. They converted a sizable chunk of the store to Jesus crap, and easily doubled prices. Once, they had a shirt for sale that said “PrayAtSchool”, made to look like the Playskool logo. It was tagged and sized for 3 year old children.

    I have not gone back to the outlets except to get drunk around midnight on Black Fridays and stand in the middle of doorways talking on my phone.

  28. vastrightwing says:

    So called “outlet” malls, as you know, are not really factory owned outlets that sells overruns or seconds, the way most people think of them. Instead, it’s a simple marketing ploy.

    Here’s how it works: The developer signs up a ton of retailers and they build this mall way out where people have to drive a while. The idea is to make this a destination. So if you are wanting to go to Ralph Lauren or Banana Republic, let’s say, you’ve invested so much time getting there, you are going to browse around at the other stores. Neighborhood malls, on the other hand, tend to be built where a lot of people live in order to attract the casual shopper.

    This same marketing ploy is used at many tourist traps. They purposely make it difficult or time consuming to drive there and then they charge you a ton of money. The reasoning is that you’ll pay what ever because you spent so much effort getting there. A great example of this, is the Grand Canyon overlook. They didn’t pave the road, you are required to take one of their “free” shuttle buses to get to the overlook and then they hit you with over $70 in order to walk on the glass walkway.

    So, outlet malls are not such a great deal overall, but it may be possible to find a deal. I think saving your time and buying online is going to offer much better deals. IMO.