I’ve heard about Direct Factory Outlets or DFO’s, as those in the know say, for years but never been tempted. But the lure of fabulously affordable gear and just a relatively short trundle down the road to Homebush got me curious. Were there really sell-out bargains? Would I pick up a once-in-a-lifetime label I loved? I had to find out.
So, one Saturday I moseyed on down. I knew I was too late. At 11am parking already looked like Bethlehem at Christmas time.
Wow, this place must be really good I thought. There must be plenty of bargains to be had and lots of fabulous new season clothes. Wrong on all counts. So wrong.
The shops, once I put my periscope up to see above the throng, were full of last season’s leftover summer gear at not particularly knock-down prices. The deals were no better than those anyone would have found in March in their local mall. There was a nod to new season stuff with about $10 off the price they would normally be. I bought some boots and saved $10, so was ahead for 2 minutes until I had a weird-tasting sushi and drink. Bingo – $10 gone.
After that I’d nearly lost the will to live, so joined the people wandering around in a giant circle, and I hoped I would bump into the exit sign on the way. What disturbed me the most about DFO, was not the obvious rip-off, not the windscreen washers in the carpark, not the scary sushi but the amount of people there who, not only thought this was a good place to spend a sunny Saturday, but that they were getting good deals. They were laughing and enjoying themselves and as I left the carpark cars were banked up waiting to get into the place.
I wanted to yell: turn around and get a life people. But some people need to find out the hard way. I know I did.