My first experience with outlet shopping should have set the tone and kept me from every going back. However, I'm just as vulnerable as the next person and have returned on several occasions to several different places all resulting in disappointment and annoyance.
The first trip dates back quite a few years back when living in NY. My friend Glen and his wife (can't remember if they were spouses at the time, but they were together) along with her family were heading down to an outlet mall near the Delaware Water Gap (not anywhere near Delaware, rather between NJ and PA). Considering that the drive was 80 miles each way and they were all gung-ho on going, I expected bargains galore - but there were few, very few bargains to be found to warrant a 160 mile round trip in a mini van stuffed with someone else's family.
Some time later, I drove with my then girlfriend in MA to the Outlets in Kittery, Maine. Coincidentally, another 80 mile trek and yet another disappointment. Kittery is basically a town that has two things, the outlet center, and the restaurant across from it. Once again, 160 miles of driving, on me this time, and not a single bargain to be had.
Yet again, sometime after that, I visited the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets, in Wrentham, MA; a mere 30 mile or so drive. Not only was it another disappointment, but I've actually returned there, like three or four times - all with the same disappointing results.
I'll follow up this post with my most recent disappointment but for now, please let me know if you have any outlet shopping stories to tell...good or bad.