Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
REI used-gear sales and what to expect
Display Avatars Sort By:
gunther kirsch
(goonch92) - F

Locale: Northern California
REI used-gear sales and what to expect on 03/08/2012 20:12:48 MST Print View

So there is an REI used gear sale coming up this weekend Saturday the 10th... don't know if i'm going to this one (I want to wait until i get my divided check on the 14th). I've been to only one gear sale and showed up too late to even try to get in line. the last thing for me to purchase on my ultralight gear outfit is a light-weight sleeping bag (and maybe pad) synthetic or down fill i'm not sure yet (20-35 degree). anyway thats beside the point. what i'm looking for is some testimonials when it comes to deals (specifically those on sleeping bags). what kinda of discount did you get? how good of condition was the bag in? what was the bag? any advice (other than getting there EARLY)?...??? I don't know what else to ask. Thanks


Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: REI used-gear sales and what to expect on 03/08/2012 20:22:05 MST Print View

It completely depends. You can get some good deals at the REI garage sale, but its always a crap shoot.

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: Re: REI used-gear sales and what to expect on 03/08/2012 20:31:33 MST Print View

Total crapshoot, get there early. Don't go with a shopping list, just grab what piques your interest. It's impulse buying at its purest.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: REI used-gear sales and what to expect on 03/08/2012 20:32:50 MST Print View

The Flagship store in Seattle has a permanent Garage Sale area and you never know what you will find. Some returns are what I call "whiners," where the customer didn't like it or wanted something to use for a single trip and then returned it (that happens). Some are lucky finds, where a new pack is missing a buckle that is easily replaced . You will see the same sleeping bags, with one marked, "too warm" and another marked "not warm enough." And you will see lots of broken zippers and such. Half the trekking poles have nothing wrong with them. Pricing is all over the map, just to make it interesting.

Imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger working the customer service desk at REI: "Vat? You vant to return ziss?" SLAP SLAP "You cannot be zee girlie man undt climb zee mountains!" SLAP

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: REI used-gear sales and what to expect on 03/08/2012 20:34:56 MST Print View

Yes, grab early and grab quick, as Ben mentioned. Better to pick something up that you realize you don't really need and put it back later than contemplate it while it gets whisked away by another person.

Edited by T.L. on 03/08/2012 20:35:27 MST.

gunther kirsch
(goonch92) - F

Locale: Northern California
crap-shootin' on 03/08/2012 20:59:51 MST Print View

Is looking for a sleeping bag to specific or ambitious or should there be something in there around what im looking for?

also its just rei sold items correct?

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: crap-shootin' on 03/08/2012 21:17:31 MST Print View

No, there will be lots of sleeping bags, they just might not be what you're looking for. I scored a Marmot Atom once for 120 bucks, just needed to be washed. Not just REI brands, but they'll be well-represented in the sleeping bag section. The other thing to go for is sleeping pads. I've scored countless pads that just needed a patch. So my NeoAir and BA Insulated Air Core both came from the REI sale, cost me I think 40 bucks for both. The Neoair I got for 20, Thermarest sent me a brand-new one under warranty. The Aircore just needed a patch and it's good to go. Backpacks can often be had cheap too. Clothing is almost always a miss for me.

gunther kirsch
(goonch92) - F

Locale: Northern California
So close yet so far! on 03/08/2012 21:49:59 MST Print View

Good, good! hoping for a sub 3lbs bag praying for a sub 2lbs; 20-35 degree and under.... $100??? hopefully i can pull that off and if i see an aircore i will be tempted but in the end my weight weininess will prevail and ill probably get a foam pad for 8 dollars. THATS THE PLAN! aw im so anxcious and nervous to finally get my loadout together. JMT 2012 here i come!

Travis Butler
have fun, good luck on 03/09/2012 09:14:20 MST Print View

I've spent way too much money at those sales, but my all time best are:
REI Sub-Kilo: 35 bucks
Garmin CSX: 35 bucks (it was hidden in a paper bag and was the end of the day on Sunday, the cashier gave me an extra 50% off the already marked off price).

Happy hunting!

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: REI used-gear sales and what to expect on 03/09/2012 11:15:19 MST Print View

Some history:

I lived in Seattle in the mid-1970's. The annual REI sale at the original Capitol Hill store was infamous. People would line up days ahead, the record probably being one guy who set up his tent in the below street level parking lot a full week ahead (they wrote about him in the newspapers). I think they allowed him in the store alone for a few minutes before letting everyone else in.

They sold lots of rental, returned and defective gear at fabulous prices, and the best stuff disappeared fairly quickly. If you got in early you could fully outfit yourself with great gear for a fraction of the retail cost.

I got lucky once and found an REI Crestline double A-frame mountaineering tent for less than half the normal price. The floor was sewn in upside-down (coating down instead of up), but I figured that wasn't a big deal and I could recoat it if necessary. I used that tent for years, four seasons, until dome tents arrived (I got sick of dealing with all the required stakes in snow or on hard ground).

Edited by ewolin on 03/09/2012 11:16:19 MST.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: crap-shootin' on 03/09/2012 11:25:07 MST Print View

" The Neoair I got for 20, Thermarest sent me a brand-new one under warranty. "

Thermarest sent you a new Neoair because the one you got for 20 dollars was under warranty?

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: Re: Re: crap-shootin' on 03/09/2012 16:47:30 MST Print View

Yeppers. Just because you don't have REI's return policy doesn't mean you don't have a manufacturer's warranty. I checked pretty carefully for a leak, couldn't find it, expected to get charged the 20 bucks they charge to fix it, thinking I'd still come out ahead with a 40 dollar Neoair. Instead they sent me a brand new one. The pad and the stuff sack had REI's X on it, wasn't trying to hide anything.

Angus A.
(mangus7175) - F

REI Used Gear Sale on 03/09/2012 18:48:46 MST Print View

The local REI near me changed the way they have the sale. It's no longer a first come first serve scenario. Get there exactly at 9AM and pick a numbered bracelet from a bucket and fall in line based on the number you have...all luck of the draw.

Got really lucky on the last one, got a pair of the REI Safari convertible pants for $ read that right and the only issue with the pants was the zipper which was easily mended.

Edited by mangus7175 on 03/09/2012 18:49:40 MST.

(aloo1) - F
rei on 03/12/2012 13:41:32 MDT Print View

i've been to countless scratch and dents. best advice i can give is if you don't find what you are looking for right away...roam around the groups with tons of stuff they are sorting through and take all the stuff they throw back. Also find something else wrong with the items that aren't listed on the return slip and ask for more of a mark down. then just keep going back to the rack for stuff that either gets added or put back. shoot, i can easlly kill 3-4 hours at a scratch and dent.
got my brand new osprey aether 70 for 40 bucks b/c it was too heavy for original owner. got a arcteryx theta for $47 b/c it was too small. Almost all my gear has an x on it but it's all quality stuff. just rememebr just because it's cheap there doesn't mean it's worth buying. some of their stuff really isn't even worth the %90 discount they ahve it at.
just my $.02.
good luck!!!!

Laramie Leavitt
(laramiel) - F
Some deals, some misses. on 03/19/2012 00:55:25 MDT Print View

I've picked quite a few deals, but it is pretty hit and miss. Some stores have been known to bring stuff out all morning, just so there are interesting things for those who weren't the first in line.

Some wins:
* A NeoAir (with a small tear) for $30; took it over to the factory and they repaired it as good as new.
* CopperSpur UL 2 for $99.
* Shoes, boots, etc.

Rod Wolfy
(rodwolfy) - F - MLife
REI Garage sale on 03/21/2012 18:32:57 MDT Print View

A buddy got a new pair of $90 REI Rain pants b/c they didn't fit the last owner for $15!

Daniel Micelotta

Locale: PNW
Half the fun is the return tags... on 03/22/2012 01:00:04 MDT Print View

Given REI's overly generous return policy people return stuff for the most ridiculous reasons...I bought a Columbia River knife for 65% off of retail because "it was rusting" 3 years later I've yet to find a bit of rust on the stainless steel blade or handle.

I also scored an REI Half Dome 2-Plus tent ($200.00 retail)for $99.00 because a 2.00 shock-cord was broken. Upon getting the shock-cord the salesperson marked it down to $60.00...I know it's not ultra-light, but when REI put the Quarter Dome 2 on closeout I was able to sell the Half Dome for my cost to a buddy that needed a car camping tent and used a 20% outlet coupon and a modest dividend to trade up to the Quarter Dome 2, a solid 2 person backpacking tent, for next to nothing.

But, do beware of buying something you don't really want or really need...there is always another sale, another bargain. I've got a silly Swiss Army knife that rides around in my car, where I am unlikely to open a beer, a tin of tuna or need an awl. I might just need a screwdriver or 2, yet somehow I don't think the Swiss Army Knife is going to cut it in automotive maintenance.

In ending, my favorite return tag excuse to date obviously written by a jaded REI employee..."Customer believes REI stands for Rent Every Item."

Daniel Cox
(COHiker) - F

Locale: San Isabel NF
Steals. on 03/22/2012 10:07:05 MDT Print View

I went to the CoS store Garage sale last September and found a pair of Columbia Silver Ridge pants that were missing a leg zip-off zipper *PULL TAB* not even the whole zipper, for $14 (normally 60) and a pair of Vasque Bitterroot boots that were returned -wait for it- because they squeaked when walking. MSRP on the boots is 200, I paid $37 and the squeak went away after about an hour on the trail. I use them for snowshoeing, and general winter footwear.
Someone's gonna get a pristine REI brand Mars 85L pack I got from that's seen 1 overnight because I just couldn't make it sit right on my hips, and also it weighs 6lb empty.

That said, there's also utter junk at the sale. Broken electronics, clothes with tears, you name it. It's a good place to get parts for that reason. Pay $25 for that trashed Half-Dome tent, cannibalize the fly, any decent pole sections, and junk the rest.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: REI Garage sale on 03/22/2012 20:54:22 MDT Print View

hehe half of my gear is from garage sales.

best so far is probably MSR Evo Tour snowshoes for like 50 bucks. msrp over 200. they had a strap missing that MSR sent me 2.

original jetboil for 8 bucks.

gf got me a MSR pocket rocket for 10 bucks

BD mercury mitts for 15 bucks

icebreaker 200 long sleeve for 8 bucks.

have definitely stuck out before too..