Outlet malls often have great bargains. If you're lucky you can find brand name goods for 50 to 70 per cent off the normal retail price.
I've had some really good bargains over the years - especially from Max, Bendon, Pumpkin Patch and JK Kids.
The best known outlet mall in Auckland is Dress Smart in Onehunga. However, it's not the only one.
Dress Smart Te Rapa (Hamilton) is huge. There are other malls such as the somewhat sparse Fox Outlet in Northcote, Westgate in Massey, and individual outlet shops all over Auckland, such as Jockey Holeproof, and Citta Design outlets.
These shops usually stock last season's ranges, although sometimes there will be excess stock from the current season. Often the choice of colours and sizes is limited.
With a bit of perseverance it is possible to stock your wardrobe and other parts of the house at a fraction of what the Joneses pay for exactly the same items.
Smart customers can buy almost all they need at outlet malls by getting to know their favourite stores' modus operandi.
The Bendon Outlet stores at East Tamaki, Westgate and Airport Oaks have a variety of different sales during the year on the already reduced prices.
I always keep an eye out for the nothing-over-$20 sales. It is possible to pick up $90 bras for $20 at that time and the selection is pretty good.
The "regular" prices at outlet malls are often good anyway. For example, items that may have been discounted by 20 per cent to 30 per cent in Working Style's five stores are then moved to the outlet shops where they will be 30 per cent to 50 per cent off normal retail price, says director Andrew Cole.
Like many outlet stores, Working Style aims to clear last season's stock from its Dress Smart stores in Onehunga and Tawa.
Consequently, when there is only a handful of items left of any one design they will be reduced even more heavily - sometimes below cost, says Cole.
There are some issues to be aware of when outlet mall shopping. The first is the "sunk cost" of shopping there.
You've jumped in the car, spent petrol and time and you feel the need to buy something to justify the trip.
Yet not every week is a good week to go.
I know that outlet shopping can be very hit and miss.
To get the best out of the outlet malls, it is worth asking the staff for information such as when the next deliveries are due.
You can also check Dress Smart's website for details about the week's best specials at its retailers.
Adidas has "a further 40 per cent off storewide" on stock today.
And at Overland/Mi Piaci in Te Rapa, summer peep-toe sandals that were priced at $149 (down from $249 in the high street) when they first arrived are marked down to $49 until Wednesday.
Or smart customers can buy two pairs for $89 or take 40 per cent off a second unrelated item.
"These are crazy prices," says Overland's outlet regional manager Kelly Lamont-Bennett.
Cole says that Working Style's most regular Dress Smart customers know there are two huge influxes of stock each year - at the end of the summer and winter sales at its high street stores.
• Bond + Bond is closing and the folk at parent company Noel Leeming tell me that they want to clear all the stock by Easter Monday and that many products will be discounted below cost price this week.
• Non-surgical skin tightening treatment. $99.
• Dickies gear from $15. Warehouse Red Alert tomorrow.