Are you a camper? Like to hike, bike, or run? There’s no better place to get sporty gear than at REI’s used gear sale, which is this Saturday at most REI stores. You have to be a member to get into the sale, but the deals are amazing. A lifetime membership is $20. To find out the exact date and time of a used gear sale near you, first find your local REI, then look for store events (usually a link at the VERY bottom of the site).
Here’s what happened last time I went to an REI used gear sale, a story I shared on the Bargain Hunter blog I wrote for the LA Daily News.
At least twice I’ve written about crazy people who stand in line a *really* long time for a new electronic gadget or some other excuse to spend money and be the envy of your social circle. Saturday morning I found myself being one of those crazy people you roll your eyes at. My ridiculous excuse: the REI used gear sale, when the sporting goods store pawns off returned gear that ranges from barely used to slightly defective.
I woke up at 6:11 a.m. – before the alarm went off – pulled on my jeans and high tailed it over to REI. As I approached the entrance I was amazed to find no one in line. If I am the first person in line I really AM crazy, I told myself. Luckily, around the corner there were about 40 crunchy granola types waiting patiently. The girl in front of me was reading the presidential primary voter info booklet. And it was still dark!
The sale started at 7 a.m. and they let people in about 30 at a time. I was in the second batch and immediately went for the sleeping bags. I’ve been using a lavender one my mom bought me, like, in the 80s, and the thing just doesn’t work anymore. Slim pickings – just 3 bags and one was $199 so I didn’t even consider that one. After close comparison I chose a silver REI Zephyr with orange accents that is warm to 20 degrees, for $59.93 (orig $149, selling new for $115). Not bad considering the only reason it was returned was that the original buyer wanted to zip it to another bag. I’ve already tested it and it’s very warm.
I also grabbed a large KEEN messenger/weekend bag that I’ll use to replace my ailing gym/weekend bag. It was $35 (orig $90, selling new for $65) because the lining in one of the pockets has a two-inch tear. (I know how to sew.) It ain’t a looker, though. When I showed it to Hubby he said, “Keen, they make shoes don’t they? This bag looks like a shoe.”
I’m still glad I made both of these purchases because I use the bag and sleeping bag all the time!