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Old 12-29-10, 12:46 PM   #1
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Marketing terms + REI used gear sale = score

I just came from an REI used gear sale. I scored a Novara Stratos cycling jacket, regularly $149, for $44.83. The return tag had it marked "wasn't breathable." I also picked up a pair of Sugoi Resistor booties, regularly $50, for $4.83. Their return tag said "was not waterproof."

I've previously owned two pairs of the Resistors, and I will admit that in a heavy downpour some water does get through, but they're very nice in a cold rain. As for the jacket, I've been wanting to try something like this, but I'm always skeptical of anything claiming to be both waterproof and breathable. I haven't been ready to shell out $100+ to find out where the line is, but for $45 I figured I'd give it a shot.
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Old 12-29-10, 12:54 PM   #2
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Was this their every day used stuff, or some kind of special event? The Seattle REI has a room in the corner of their basement where they sell returns ( heavily discounted, but with no return policy whatsoever ). On the other hand, they have occasional "scratch and dent" sales, which is how I got my commuter bike.
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Old 12-29-10, 12:56 PM   #3
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This was the quarterly event. I don't think the stores around here sell returned items every day.
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Old 12-29-10, 02:47 PM   #4
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Interesting. I learn something new every day...
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Old 12-29-10, 02:53 PM   #5
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No REI around here, but I love finding used or clearance items. My local salvation army can be a real treasure chest of items. Also places like TJ Maxx I find some real winners.
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Old 12-29-10, 04:23 PM   #6
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Half our camping/biking/skiing gear has come from REI "scratch & dent" sales. Usually the last day is price day and I've found them to also take offers on the last day. I imagine Seattle is one of the few with a dedicated returns section
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Old 12-29-10, 04:48 PM   #7
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You remind me I need to get to this event more often. My local REI has their "garage sale" the first Saturday of every month. Some incredible deals due to REI's generous return policy.
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Old 12-29-10, 09:00 PM   #8
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You remind me I need to get to this event more often. My local REI has their "garage sale" the first Saturday of every month. Some incredible deals due to REI's generous return policy.
Our's in this week too.
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Old 12-29-10, 10:11 PM   #9
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No REI's in my state. I even contacted them about the possibility and they said they had "no plans at this time". That was like 3 years ago. I'd gladly trade my Sun & Ski and Bass Pro for an REI.
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Old 12-29-10, 11:19 PM   #10
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I've done one REI garage sale. I think I told my wife we needed to hurry up and get there. She insisted we would be there 2+hours in advance and be fine. Ha. Line from the door wrapping around to the back corner of the store. Once we got into the actual sale, pretty much everything was wiped out. I did get a great 30 degree down bag for something like 35 bucks.

They're great, but I'm only going to bother if I have two or three specific things and mind and can waste a night partying in front of the store.
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Old 12-30-10, 12:53 AM   #11
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I've had some luck in the past showing up well after opening, but then I've generally just gotten things like cheap gloves, chamois cream that was missing a lid or a backpack with a broken buckle (which I still use regularly). Today I was in line 20 minutes before opening (and, yes, that put me around the corner and outside the REI parking lot), but I had the jacket in hand within a minutes of opening.
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Old 12-30-10, 09:19 AM   #12
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Well, I imagine you have a lot more sales that come back as returns in Oregon than we do here in Texas. Texas is strange like that. There certainly is a backpacking, cycling and outdoors market, but it seems to be a smaller, more concentrated group. All the screaming deals you guys find like wool pantogonia sweaters for 5 bucks at thrift stores would be straight up unheard of here in Texas. At the sale I went to in the Dallas store, it was maybe 5-10 minutes into the sale and all that was left were the worst of the worst. Watches with broken straps, shoes with soles coming apart, etc.
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Old 12-30-10, 09:36 AM   #13
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Ive managed to get my local REI to let me return used items, that is the one reason i love REI you can return anything (just about) for just about any reason.
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Old 12-30-10, 10:00 AM   #14
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I have done quite well at their sales. 2 sets of transfer panniers, one set for $50 the other for $40 at two different sales, my SPD shoes for $35, set of Octalinks cranks with BB for $20 off a damaged in shipping Raleigh. I also got the Dirtdrops, stem, levers with 9 speed bar ends and Brooks bar tape for $$80 off the same bike. Topeak Roadmorph complaint didnt fit the valve. You could see that they were trying to jam a shrader into it when it was set up for presta. This was a RTFM issue. (Read the F'in Manual).
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Old 12-30-10, 12:47 PM   #15
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Yeah, the REI broad return policy does make for some real crap in the used gear sale, but you can find some gems because people either didn't know how to use the equipment or had unrealistic expectations. What I can't understand is why things like my "not breathable" jacket make their way into the "damaged" bin and not just back on the rack.
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Old 12-30-10, 12:55 PM   #16
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My local REI is having a garage sale tomorrow. I'll sure be at the door before it opens.

Last time they did this, there was a used Novara Randonee for $300. Sadly, it wasn't my size.
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Old 12-30-10, 01:03 PM   #17
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My local REI is having a garage sale tomorrow. I'll sure be at the door before it opens.

Last time they did this, there was a used Novara Randonee for $300. Sadly, it wasn't my size.
Year you might want to be there a couple HOURS before it opens.
The good thing is bike gear has a much smaller crowd then the rest of their stuff. I got here hours after the sales start and got bike stuff.
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Old 12-30-10, 07:52 PM   #18
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Half of my bike gear and most of my camping gear has an X on it from those garage sales. I seldom shop regular store prices, or even the sales. I like the super clearance sales, but I mostly wait for the garage sales. I certainly don't *need* any more gear. But if I find something cool for a few (very few) bucks I'll buy it.

We have the smallest REI store walking distance from my house.

They usually have a garage sale every 3 months or so.

They usually have one around Jan 1 but I was told by one of the staff that they won't have the next one until March or so and they are going to change the way they do things too. I haven't heard any details on that yet.

MY commuter bike is a Randonee frame that I got new in the box for $15. (Got 3 other NOS steel mtn frames for $15ea, sold on ebay.) The Delta rack on it was $2. Have another Delta rack for $2. My Shimano SPD commuter shoes were $5. Pearl Izumi shoes $11. A few years ago my friend got a NOS K2 road bike with Ultegra STIs for $200. We have 2 older REI Taj tents that we love, for $30-$40 each. A Delta bike hanging rack in the bike room (leans against wall, holds two bikes stacked) for $11. And tons of other stuff....
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Old 12-30-10, 07:58 PM   #19
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Oh at the last garage sale a few months ago I got a like-new Tilley hat for $7. I get mega-compliments on it when I wear it. haha
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Old 12-30-10, 08:20 PM   #20
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The last time I was in the used-gear room at REI, they had a Garmin Edge for $100. Sometimes people return these things because they got the upgraded version. Other times there's something wrong with it ... you never know, but they'll let you play with it before you make up your mind.
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Old 12-30-10, 08:52 PM   #21
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I also picked up a pair of Sugoi Resistor booties, regularly $50, for $4.83.
.
I got a pair of PI booties for $3. Later I got a pair of Sidetrak booties (that I like better) at a yard sale (not an REI one) for $1.
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Old 12-30-10, 09:19 PM   #22
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The last time I was in the used-gear room at REI, they had a Garmin Edge for $100. Sometimes people return these things because they got the upgraded version. Other times there's something wrong with it ... you never know, but they'll let you play with it before you make up your mind.
They had a Cateye Adventure computer for $35. It was returned because of "wheel sensor failure." I seriously considered that, because I'd love to have an altimeter, but that seemed close enough to a real defect to not be worth an impulse buy.
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Old 12-30-10, 09:24 PM   #23
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They had a Cateye Adventure computer for $35. It was returned because of "wheel sensor failure." I seriously considered that, because I'd love to have an altimeter, but that seemed close enough to a real defect to not be worth an impulse buy.
A friend got a bike computer for a few bucks at that had a tag that said "defective." Turned out it was just set to km instead of miles. He takes a wheel magnet to REI garage sales to check to see if a bike computer works or not.
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Old 12-30-10, 11:46 PM   #24
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OP,
Are you talking about the garage sale or a "used gear" sale that I'm not familiar with?

Anyway, here's my garage sale story: our sale is held in this little back room. it gets really crowded. I get there and am about 30-40 people behind the first guy there. I spot one of their primo novara commuter bikes; only $200. I'm excited. I take it out of the room so I can get a closer look at it. Too bad. it's 1-2 sizes too big.

I think the return reason was 'faulty gear shifting.' I look at the rear indicator arrow (IGH bike) and find out it doesn't line up on the 4 gear. Easy fix, but this bike is not for me. I leave it there (outside of the sale room).

Oh well. I go to the regular store and take about 30 minutes trying out some wool baselayers. I decide on one. Something makes me think about my brother who lives out of town and think the bike could work for him. I go back and the bike is still there! I probably should have taken the bike into the little sale room, but it was so crowded with people I just leaned it against some canoes. People probably thought it was a regular non-garage sale bike and ignored it.

I get it and make my brother really happy. All I did was turn the barrel adjuster. Didn't even remove the wheel. Runs great, more than 50% off MSRP, with no scratches.
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Old 12-31-10, 01:11 AM   #25
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A friend got a bike computer for a few bucks at that had a tag that said "defective." Turned out it was just set to km instead of miles. He takes a wheel magnet to REI garage sales to check to see if a bike computer works or not.
so the bike computer is sure to be cool stuff.
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