If you are a bargain hunter, and you are looking for clothing at good prices, you should take note of the following warning: beware, clothing factory shops are not always a bargain.
Clothing as a rising expense
Almost any women, and many men, will tell you that shopping for new clothing is one of the most exciting things to do. For many people, there is not enough money coming in monthly for brand new clothes regularly, and so a shopping trip is a rare treat. Clothes can be incredibly expensive, depending on where you shop. Well known, high quality chain stores like Edgars, Truworths and Woolworths will charge you up to several hundred for one t-shirt, and more for a pair of smart trousers. Jackets might come up to just under a thousand rand and even scarves, hats, gloves and bags will be over R100.
If you were to shop for a winter wardrobe at one of these stores you would probably hope to buy the following: a few warm tops, a jersey or two, some warm trousers, a coat or jacket, a comfortable pair of boots and perhaps a beanie, pair of gloves and a scarf. This could easily cost you R3 000 or more.
If you have seriously expensive taste, you might prefer shopping at designer stores. There are many popular brand name stores including surfing labels like Billabong, Lizard, Hurley and many more. Items from these stores will range from several hundred to a thousand or two rand. Unless they are very well off, most people will purchase one or two items every now and then from a shop like this.
Other designer stores, obviously aimed at people who are very rich, include names like Gucci, Fendi, Dolce and Gabana, Jenny Button and more. These stores will charge up to nearly a thousand for something as small as a belt buckle, and several thousand for items like shoes and jackets. Shopping for clothing at these stores will be sure to cost you a small fortune, especially if you do it regularly.
Factory stores have long been considered cheaper alternatives to chain and designer stores that charge high rates for small items. Many people hold the opinion that with expensive items, you are not so much paying for high quality as for the label. Wearing expensive clothes from well known brands gives many people a sense of superiority and self worth. Factory stores sell designer and chain labels at much lower prices.
The reason they can do this is because stores like Edgars, Billabong and most others will often have batches of clothing that have factory errors and will sell them at very cheap rates to factory stores. Some items will have a slightly skew seam, others will have the pocket sewn on the wrong side. Some items are simply out of fashion and are sold on cheaply to aid in product clearance to make way for newer products. These small errors do not matter to most people who will happily wear these flawed items and flaunt the label.
Are factory items really a bargain?
However, many factory stores offer products that are very low quality. It is important to remember, when looking for items of a certain quality, that while bargains do exist, if something is worth having you will generally pay the price for it. More serious factory errors on clothing items, like one sleeve being shorter than the other or a pants leg being sewn shut by accident, will be more of a loss even if you pay a low price.
Some factory stores sell clothing that is made from cheap material, sewn with weak thread and is therefore more likely to break, tear or rip after only a few uses. There are also factory stores that sell ‘fake’ brand names, where the clothing has not really been made in the designer label factory with good quality material. These items will have a fake brand name sewn on skew, usually with incorrect spelling. Sometimes, factory items will be only slightly lower priced than the clothing from the actual label and will have many errors and faults.