Outlet vs. Store Quality?

  1. Hi fellow Coach lovers!

    As a Chicagoan, I don't have any outlets near me, so I don't really have a standard of comparison, but I wanted to know - is the quality of the outlet merchandise worse than that of the regular stores? By this, I mean when products are made for the outlets; for example, are the multi-colored dot totes in the outlets of worse quality than last year's sold-out store dot totes? :shrugs:
  2. Nah, I dont think they are much worse at all really. There are a few bags that you'll see have been a little banged around, but no real difference. Its all still COACH quality. The thing I dont like about the outlets though is that they dont give dustbags for when you buy a bag, only small items.
  3. usually they might be scratched up or have a minor defect. when i went though i didnt want one that was like that, so i scoured to find the best condition stuff i could find or else i didnt want it. my agenda was in great shape, if you look at it cyou couldnt tell its from the outlet, same with the apple, i couldnt find a defect with it, nor the key fobs. so what i have done is pick up stuff that are there merely because they werent sold the season they were at the actual stores.
  4. I've seen a couple bags at the outlets with dustbags. you just have to peek inside to find out which ones have them! Hehe
  5. ^ Really? Oh man. .I'm going to be so bad now :devil: If I see a bag I want but it doesnt have a dustbag, I'm going to find one in another bag and put it in the one I want :p
  6. its all overstock. not made specially for the outlets. just crap they couldn't sell. bottom line. and sorry bout the crap word.
  7. LOL! That's what I do!!!!! :lol:
  8. I love the word crap (lol). Say it again :p
  9. The Chicago premium outlets are right off I88 in Aurora...there's a great coach outlet.
  10. Actually...I don't think that's true. The Dot bags had sold out in the regular stores (I know because all the SAs were fawning ALL over me whenever I had mine - more than normal). But then they showed up in multitude at the outlets. So those were MADE specifically for the outlets.

    And there are definitely bags that show up at the outlet that were not ever in a regular store.
  11. Coach does the same thing that several outlets do (i.e. Banana Republic). They take a line that did exceptionally well and they use materials that are cheaper to make a similar bag at a lesser price. Not all of the bags are like that, a lot are overstocked bags go to the outlet too. They actually do not sell "banged up" bags for cheaper. If there are bags that are genuinely messed up, they'll put them in clearance and have to tell you that something's wrong. If something looks like it's scratched, then it's probably the material (i.e. leather) and Coach SAs will use the leather moisturizer right then and there to buff out the scratches. It's a higher quality company. Would you expect any less?
  12. Coming from someone who used to work at a COACH store the truth about the outlets is most outlets do not carry unsold things from the regular store. Most are coach bags made wth cheaper material and most outlet stores won't carry their signature print on anything!, usually just leather and suede. I do though know of a few outlets the carry older style and sig. print but not very many. I remember when i worked there when a bag wouldnt sell and the season was over we'd have to cut up the bag!!It was horrible, we couldnt even buy it ourselves or get a discount.
  13. Back in the day, the coach outlets around here used to suck. But they're getting better I guess. I'm not much of an outlet shopper though. I don't believe in them. But when I do go with my girlfriend's I can find a few things that I missed in the store there.
  14. The Coach outlets I frequent carry both the bags made for them, and items sent over from the regular stores. The "regular" stuff is usually found in the clearance section, although as stuff moves through the outlet timeline, the outlet stuff also eventually gets the red ink markdown as "clearance" as well. Some recent examples of this were the Daphne bags (both satchels and top-handle bags), the Legacy leather-trimmed straw totes, and the lilac Bumblebee line (bags, wristlets, and scarves). The red ink markdown Clearance section of the Hagerstown MD outlet has always been great for finding one-off items like this, if you can unearth them from the piles of lesser items. :p

    On the other hand, a good example of the "redoing the popular bags of the past for the outlet" is the recent return of the Chelsea envelope shoulder bags currently at the Leesburg outlet. I bought two of those bags about a year ago when they were still in the retail line at the Tysons Galleria flagship store, and was happy to get them then at the retail price. But I think I would have to actually bring my 2 bags into the outlet and do a stitch-by-stitch comparison to see where the new versions differ significantly.

    Just because it's made specifically for outlet sale does not *necessarily* mean that it is lesser quality in general, IMHO. I've bought and owned a lot of Coach over the years, and again IMHO, the only "outlet versions" of bags that I found to be obviously not as nice as the originals are the reissue versions of the classic Coach baseball leather bags, and that's only within the last 2-3 years, when it appears that they switched to a thinner, lighter version of the leather. I bought a black leather "Legacy Zip" shoulder bag at the Hagerstown MD outlet 6 years ago, 2 years after I'd bought the original black leather Station bag in a regular Coach store, and the leather in both bags was identical. But the ones they have there today are only comparable in overall look, again IMHO.

    All in all, I'd much rather have a made-for-outlet Coach bag than a made-for-retail bag of plenty of other lines. At least I know what I'm getting with that sort of bag, and that, as long as I hang onto my receipt like I always should, I can always return it for a full refund if it doesn't measure up. The no-time-limit-on-returns is one of the best things about Coach, and I hope the eBay resellers don't ruin that for those of us who just want to be sure we get a bag we love.

    Sorry for going off on a rant here, but this is a subject near and dear to my heart. Like you couldn't tell!:lol:

    PS: My unproven theory is that if a bag is at the outlet and it has a dust bag included, it came from a regular store. If not, then it's probably made for the outlet. Every bag I've bought at the outlet (since Coach started including dust bags in their retail line) that I was sure was from the regular store has had a dust bag inside.

    Of course, you gotta wonder where all those Coach dust bags on eBay come from. Maybe they are supposed to be in the outlet bags but they're not making it to their final destination! (joke)
  15. I love the Hagerstown outlet. I'm not into outlet shopping, but I'm willing to take the drive the Hagerstown (We usually go when we are going to go to the slots in WV) strickly for the coach outlet. A lot of that other stuff is crap. But I love my Coach store in Towson so I don't think that the outlet is going to change that, but it definitely adds a lot to my collection.