Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Factory Outlet Products Vs The Real Deal

Just like any girl out there, I like signature products. I don't buy them. Primarily because I don't have the hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars to pay for them. I can probably use credit card and pay through that BUT no thank you. I'm perfectly happy with what I can afford.

For some, knock offs are good replacements. I did too at one point but I got over it and just didn't think it's worth it. For a lot of people, buying from factorly outlets is a good way to get these branded products at a fraction of the price of the ones sold in regular stores. I've been to a couple of factory outlets more than 10 years ago but that's it. Where I'm at, the nearest outlet is hundreds of miles away. Needless to say, I've never been at that outlet. And I may never go...but who knows. Anyway, it was my understanding before that factory outlet products are just those high end products that just didn't pass quality control to make it to the next level so they are sold at much lower prices. Well, maybe not. Let me elaborate. And for the record, this is just my personal opinion.

A few months ago, I got an email invite to join an exclusive 'member' only pass for a popular company that sells mostly purses. It's for the official online site of their factory outlet. I was very happy to get that email. Now before I got that I email, I already have a purse and a wallet which were both bought from their regular stores months before. Both were gifts because if it were up to me, I won't spend hundreds of dollars for a purse or a wallet. But that's just me. Anyway,after getting the confirmation of membership I eagerly awaited for my first 'email only invite' from the site. I got one a few days later. As soon as I got in, I was already tempted to buy because the prices are really much lower than what they have in a regular store. Sometimes the prices are 70% off the MSRP of the product. So far, I got one purse. Not for me but for a niece as my thank you gift for her for all the favors she did for me when we went back home a few months ago. Other than that, I haven't been tempted to get anything else. Talk about self-control, eh?

So, are the purses/wallets sold in the outlet sites/stores the same as the ones sold at the regular store/site? Yes, but not really. Sorta? Here's what I found from my sleuthing...LOL...not much sleauthing actually...just a little bit of observing.

Aside from the big difference in prices, the products in the outlet site and the real site are also remarkably different. The products in the outlet site are probably made by the same company but they're not exactly the same as the ones found in the real site or the stores. The styles are similar but not the same. The materials used I believe are also different. I did a side by side picture comparison of some of the purses I like. At first glance they look the same but if closely inspected, they ARE indeed different. The designs on materials used to make the purses that seem to be the same are obviously not. One has bigger prints compared to the other. Now,  I have not compared the products in person but judging from the pictures, I think it's safe to say that there is also a big difference in quality of the products.

But I guess it doesn't really matter especially if the price difference is 70%, right? But then again, I pesonally now have to think even more before I shell out some hard earned money for something that is original but may not be as good as the real deal. Then again...that's just me. How about you?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's Autumn...

Almost, anyway. It's only a few days away. It'll be official this coming Saturday.

How time flies, eh? It seems it was only a few days ago when we welcomed this month and now it's almost over. I guess that's what happens when you're busy...which we have been I must say.

My journey to become a citizen was finalized yesterday. I attended an oath taking ceremony along with 90 others from several other countries. This was a long time coming. I was eligible to apply more than 5 years ago but I opted not to rush it. There was no reason to rush it. So what gives this time around? Travel purposes. It's easier to travel once you're a citizen of this country. Also, I want to vote.

When I applied for my residency here some eleven years ago, we spent thousands of dollars. That's mainly because we hired a lawyer to aid us. I have to say it was worth it considering we didn't know the 'ins & outs' of the immigration laws back then. All we had to do was provide our lawyer with needed documents and he did [or his paralegal probably did] the leg work. This time around, we decided to do it all ourselves. With 'all' I mean filing the papers ourselves. That's it! After submitting the documents, I just waited for the immigration office to contact me to let me know the next step. All in all it took about 5 months to finish everything. No sweat at all. And yesterday was the culmination of it all.

I have another journey I have yet to finish....my driving. This one needs a lot more practice on my part. I am not a willing party on this one but it has to be done sooner or later. I have about a year to make sure that's done or I would have to re-apply for another permit...and I would hate for that to happen. Ugh!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


It's been months now since I stopped doing regular exercise. I know that's not a good decision on my part. First because exercise is really good for the health. Second, it is so very hard to get back to it.

I know I need to go back to it but I keep putting it off. Ugh! I just need that one push to do it again but so far...it's not happening. Actually, hubby and I stopped almost at the same time. He re-started a couple of weeks ago...I haven't. Maybe I should start with hula hooping first then slowly go back to the Mobia walking.

Oh well...talks about my lack of exercising is kinda' depressing so I better talk about something else. How about the lack of work? Umm...depressing as well. It only goes to show that theres not much improvement going on, eh?

So let's talk about something else then.

Hubby has been busy looking for some properties in GA. That's basically what catapulted our road trip 2 weeks ago. There's a chance we may move there in the future and by the looks of it, now is the best time to start looking for prospects as far as properties go. He found a lot of properties already. Inquired about some. Got some replies. Some are promising. Some not very. The one that he really liked...was sold last week only. Yep, a bummer to say the least. He found a couple more last night and showed them to me. It's funny how he'd show me what in and around the area as if trying to convince me that it's okay to move there. I already told him I could care less where we move as long as we're together. Isn't that what family is all about? Being together? I guess he still wants to make sure that I will like the area just in case.

Anyway, we MAY take another trip there in the future before making any final decision. Or it may just be him since it will be just 'scouting'. But we may also tag along because that's how likes it. We'll see. I'm just hoping that things work out for the better. In general.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

So Much Action

For a change. And it's only the first week of September.

Let me elaborate.

Over the weekend, our little family went for a little drive...out of the state! That's a first mind you. In 11 years!!! We've always talked about doing something like that. Just packing up for a few days of 'escapades'. We did it and it was fun. So where did we go? We went to North Georgia which is about 8 hours drive from where we are. We didn't have a lot of plans. Hubby wanted to check on a property he saw online which we tried but with no luck. As it turns out, the property was so remore you have to cross a couple of rivers to get there. Aside from that plan, we just played everything by ear. We ended up visiting Amicalola Falls on our first day there then went on a scenic train ride on our second day. On the third day, we drove back home. That's it. Short and sweet I must say.

Today I went if for an interview. For what? Not a job. I finally decided to become 'one of them'. Yep, after a decade of being an alien I decided to be 'un-alien'....LOL. I had a very early appointment which is how we like it. My call time was a few minutes before offices open for business. I was called almost on the dot. I was in and out of the interview itself in about 15 minutes. Short & painless. Now we wait.

We still have about 3 more weeks of this month. I only have one appointment for this month. We don't have any plans whatsoever to go anywhere. But who knows. We might just go crazy and decide to take another trip. Unlikely but possible, eh?