I’m not much of a shopper, probably because I’m inherently frugal and I get depressed when I can’t immediately find stuff in my size.
That aversion to shopping didn’t apply when my family and I dropped by the Woodburn Premium Outlets in Woodburn, Oregon on our drive back to Washington State from California during our US vacation.
Oregon currently enjoys a 0% sales tax statewide, a blessed trait it shares with only four other states: Alaska, Delaware, Montana and New Hampshire.
Little wonder, then, that Oregon is one of the US’ prime shopping destinations.
Woodburn Premium Outlets, in particular, is conveniently located off Interstate 5 between Portland and Salem. It is the largest tax-free outlet mall in the western part of the US, with over 100 stores which include premium brands such as Adidas, American Eagle Outfitters, Ann Taylor, Calvin Klein, Coach, Cole Haan, Forever 21, Michael Kors, Nike, and more. Aside from the 0% sales tax, shoppers can enjoy additional discounts from clearance sales and in-store promos. Shopaholics and even us frugal shoppers will definitely find great deals and savings here.
As with most destinations and especially if you’re a budget traveller like me, it’s best to have a plan when shopping at Woodburn Premium Outlets. Here are some tips that served our family well in maximizing our Oregon shopping opportunity.
One: Do your homework.
Check out Woodburn Premium Outlets website – www.premiumoutlets.com – to scope out available merchandise and ongoing promos. You can also consult the site for a map of the outlets as well as dining options within the mall.
Two: Arrive early.
The fam discovered that it’s actually best to arrive as soon as the mall opens. The items are freshly and neatly arranged in their racks or shelves and you can easily spot and check out on limited-stock items.
Also, you will have more time to check in with your family and friends from back home on their bilins. Take advantage of the free Wi-fi in most stores to send your nears-and-dears pictures of their requested item in the store before you buy it for them.
Three: Divide and conquer.
One hundred plus stores are a lot to cover. So split up: those with kids can go straight to Disney Outlet Store or Osh Kosh B’gosh; those shopping for clothes can head on to Calvin Klein, Forever 21 or American Eagle Outfitters; the ones on the lookout for bags and shoes can look no farther than Naturalizer or Coach; while those looking for housewares can hie off to Corelle. This way, your group can cover more ground in less time.
Four: Dress comfortably.
With over 380,000 square feet of retail space to cover, you might want to make sure to wear comfortable shoes.
Plus, expect to do a lot of fittings so wear something you can fit clothes over or can easily be taken off in the fitting room.
Five: Be on the lookout for in-store deals.
The 0% sales tax already affords you with great savings but guess what, you can take advantage of in-store promos (such as buy one, get one at 50% off, etc.) for additional discounts of up to 65% off.
Don’t forget to scour the clearance racks! I scored a couple of hard-to-look-for boot-cut jeans at American Eagle Outfitters for USD19.99 (Php1,053) which would have cost me close to Php2,000 back home. And to think I was originally looking at a pair of jeans priced at USD59!
Also, upon checkout, the cashier may ask you for your email address or US phone number in exchange for additional discounts. I’m generally with this as I already have an email address dedicated to sales promotions.
Woodburn Premium Outlets is located at 1001 Arney Road, Woodburn, OR 97071-8447, open Mondays to Saturdays from 10am to 9pm and Sundays from 10am to 7pm. Special mall hours may apply during holidays.
For more details, visit its website.