The retailer Urban Outfitters offers a seemingly irresistible combination of edgy but accessible apparel, home goods, and accessories for young adults. But once you step inside any of its stores, it’s clear that this company understands its customer. Everything is so over-the-top and hipster that you can almost smell the artisanal mayo and local microgreens soaking in their own cedar-like scent. In most cases, that kind of overpriced feeling isn’t a good sign for consumers. Here’s why you should think twice before shopping at Urban Outfitters again:
Why Is Urban Outfitters So Expensive?
Urban Outfitters is expensive because of its over-the-top branding and marketing. Urban Outfitters likes to use its brand to target a niche market of young adults with an interest in the artsy and edgy. The problem is that they often price their merchandise so high that it doesn’t make sense for the average person on a budget to pay the price. Of course, there are some items worth buying at Urban Outfitters, but when you compare prices, it becomes clear that most of their stuff is overpriced in relation to other retailers.
Why is Urban Outfitters so expensive?
Urban Outfitters is expensive because it doesn’t offer any real value.
Urban Outfitters has a reputation for being a bit of a snob, so it comes as no surprise that the company also has an expensive vibe. For example, it carries only one size of clothing (the XXL), and the smalls fit like tents.
Urban Outfitters is expensive because its products are overpriced.
The quality of the merchandise leaves something to be desired, but there’s no denying that Urban Outfitters is trying to be upscale and pretentious. This is especially true when you consider that most of its products are made overseas in China or elsewhere in Asia — where many manufacturing companies use low-wage labor and unsafe working environments (and where the workers may not even speak English). Such practices are more common than you might think: In 2010, two Chinese factories were found to have hired children under age 18 to work in hazardous conditions, forcing them to work more than 12 hours a day for less than $2 an hour.
Urban Outfitters is expensive because it’s not cheap.
The company’s products are so overpriced that they’re often considered to be luxury goods. For example, a pair of jeans cost $210 and a t-shirt costs $45, which is three times what non-designer brands charge for similar clothing items. If you shop at Urban Outfitters and don’t have your own money to spend on new clothes, you may end up feeling like a pauper — or like you just bought something from the Salvation Army.
Urban Outfitters is expensive because it doesn’t offer bargains on anything.
If you go into any Urban Outfitters store, you’ll notice that there are no bargains available — even on its own merchandise! For example, if you want to buy a men’s shirt, it will cost you $45, even though you can get the same shirt at a department store for $21. If you want to buy a pair of jeans, you’ll have to pay $210 or more.
Urban Outfitters is expensive because its merchandise isn’t cheap.
Urban Outfitters has been known to use low-quality fabrics in order to increase profits. For example, if you go into any Urban Outfitters store and look around, you’ll notice that the clothing items are made of synthetic fibers and other low-grade materials that won’t hold up well over time. In addition, most of the products are made overseas, so they aren’t necessarily built with high-quality materials — especially those made in China (where many manufacturing companies use low-wage labor and unsafe working environments). All of this adds up to a lot of wasted money and poor quality — which means that it’s not worth paying Urban Outfitters’ high prices.
What you’ll find at Urban Outfitters
If you’re looking for a basic tee or pair of jeans, Urban Outfitters might be a good place to find them. But don’t expect to find anything under $40. You can expect to pay at least double that for any simple T-shirt and likely three times as much for a pair of jeans.
Poor quality basics
Urban Outfitters claims to use high-quality fabrics, but you won’t know this until you try on their clothing and realize that the seams fall apart after the first washing cycle. This is especially true with the company’s tees, which are made from thin, cheap fabric that doesn’t stretch or fade over time.
If you want something unique and quirky, Urban Outfitters has it—but at an exorbitant price point. Their jewelry is made from cheap materials, some of which have been found to contain lead in their finishes. Their scarves are also poorly made and overpriced.
Overpriced home goods
Urban Outfitters offers a variety of home goods, including bookshelves, lamps, and even tables made from reclaimed wood—but you’ll pay an arm and a leg for these items. For example, you can buy the same bookcase that Urban Outfitters sells for $2,000 at Urban Outfitters but you can get the same one at Home Goods for $500.
Overpriced accessories for kids
While Urban Outfitters usually has some cute kids’ clothing on sale (for up to 50% off), their accessories are never discounted—and they’re expensive, to begin with.
Overpriced food items
The foods sold at Urban Outfitters are often extremely overpriced: You can easily find a box of macaroni and cheese for as much as $10 more than what you would pay at your local grocery store.
UO Merch and Accessories
It was All Expensive.
One of the first things you’ll notice when you walk into any UO store is the price tags on everything. The prices are high, and they don’t come cheap. In fact, most of the merchandise is overpriced. And that’s not even including the sales tax! The average retail price of a UO item is $60, and many items are priced higher than $100. That’s a lot of money to spend on clothes that look like they were designed by a third-grader in elementary school.
It’s All Overpriced.
Most of the merchandise at Urban Outfitters seems like it was made for university students who have no idea what “authentic or vintage” means but who want to seem artsy and pretentious anyway because it makes them feel cool and edgy. Most items are overpriced for their quality as well as their design.
It’s All Overpriced.
Most of the merchandise at Urban Outfitters seems like it was made for university students who have no idea what “authentic or vintage” means but who want to seem artsy and pretentious anyway because it makes them feel cool and edgy. Most items are overpriced for their quality as well as their design. Your typical menswear jacket costs $80, and a simple pair of jeans might cost you $90! It’s no wonder so many UO shoppers feel ripped off since most of the merchandise is overpriced, to begin with. The average price for a UO item is $60, which is more than most items at other popular retailers like H&M, Forever 21, and Zara! The average retail price of a UO item is $60, and many items are priced higher than $100. That’s a lot of money to spend on clothes that look like they were designed by a third-grader in elementary school.
UO Home Goods and Furniture
Urban Outfitters’ Home Goods and Furniture
UO’s home goods are overpriced, especially considering the fact that they don’t look or feel like much. Many of the items are made of cheap-feeling plastic, while others just don’t look as good as you would expect from a high-end brand. For example, I purchased a green-and-white checked tablecloth from UO that looked more like something you’d find at Walmart than a store that sells $300 handbags for women.
UO Doesn’t Offer Savings on Its Home Goods and Furniture
The only way to save money on its home goods and furniture is to purchase them in bulk—which means you’ll have to buy many of them at once (or pay for free shipping). And if you do manage to get a discount on your purchases, it will be hard to tell exactly how much you saved because most items only come with a few “sale” prices.
UO Home Goods and Furniture Are Expensive to Ship
Shipping costs are high for UO, especially if you’re buying bulk items such as those in the above section. Shipping costs are about $10-$15 per order, depending on the item and whether or not you’re purchasing free shipping. But what’s worse is that free shipping is only available if you spend over a certain amount—which means that it may not be worth it for you to buy anything from UO at all.
UO Home Goods and Furniture Are Expensive to Return
If you receive something from UO that doesn’t look right, or if there is any sort of damage, don’t expect the company to offer much of a refund (if any). I purchased some clothing items from Urban Outfitters that turned out to be too small (they didn’t fit my daughter). When I returned them to UO, the company refused to give me a refund because I had used the wrong size chart. That’s right: I didn’t use their sizing chart. The company only gave me a credit on the purchase price of the items, even though they didn’t fit.
In the end, Urban Outfitters might have a reputation for being a trendy and edgy clothing, home goods, and accessories retailer, but what’s inside their stores and on their website is often overpriced and of questionable quality. If you’re shopping at Urban Outfitters, keep an eye out for products that are made in Asia. These items are more likely to have major quality control issues than those that are made in the United States or Europe.