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Re: 8 Tips for Shopping Success at REI Garage Sales

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avatar 8 Tips for Shopping Success at REI Garage Sales
June 22, 2009 05:44PM
Re: 8 Tips for Shopping Success at REI Garage Sales
June 22, 2009 06:22PM
I've been to these sales and they are a crap shoot. If you're in the right place at the right time you might save a lot of money. Otherwise, forget it. And that's most of the time. Let's face it. If you're buying one important item like a sleeping bag, it's best to spend an extra hundred dollars to get it right. After all, it can mean life or death in the backcountry. When it's not in the garage sale, you get to think about it, ask questions and go online for advice. You can even return it if you don't like it. At the garage sale, you don't have time to think, it's "as is" and if you make a mistake and don't see the rip in the shell until you get home, too bad.
avatar Re: 8 Tips for Shopping Success at REI Garage Sales
June 22, 2009 06:30PM
I've only been to one of these. Did not realize Open at 10AM meant stand in line at 8AM. After a 1-hour wait with #129 in hand saw lots of nice stuff (especially hiking boots and shoes) but nothing I really needed. Will not do it again.

Jim
avatar Re: 8 Tips for Shopping Success at REI Garage Sales
June 22, 2009 06:30PM
Quote
rightstar76
I've been to these sales and they are a crap shoot. If you're in the right place at the right time you might save a lot of money. Otherwise, forget it. And that's most of the time. Let's face it. If you're buying one important item like a sleeping bag, it's best to spend an extra hundred dollars to get it right. After all, it can mean life or death in the backcountry. When it's not in the garage sale, you get to think about it, ask questions and go online for advice. You can even return it if you don't like it. At the garage sale, you don't have time to think, it's "as is" and if you make a mistake and don't see the rip in the shell until you get home, too bad.

In a strange twist of marketing brillance, I think the main value of the garage sale is to demonstrate what REI will take back and a pro-customer attitude. I have seen some very, very used items in the "garage sale" in Missoula-- stuff that I would have thought was just plain worn out. Second perhaps to Nordstroms----I heard that Nordstroms once took back a set of tires that an old guy (probably my age) insisted that he had purchased at Nordstroms (they have never sold tires) but I have never seen tires at REI.
Like any garage sale, you pays your money and takes your chances.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: 8 Tips for Shopping Success at REI Garage Sales
June 22, 2009 09:05PM
Quote
Frank Furter
Quote
rightstar76
I've been to these sales and they are a crap shoot. If you're in the right place at the right time you might save a lot of money. Otherwise, forget it. And that's most of the time. Let's face it. If you're buying one important item like a sleeping bag, it's best to spend an extra hundred dollars to get it right. After all, it can mean life or death in the backcountry. When it's not in the garage sale, you get to think about it, ask questions and go online for advice. You can even return it if you don't like it. At the garage sale, you don't have time to think, it's "as is" and if you make a mistake and don't see the rip in the shell until you get home, too bad.

In a strange twist of marketing brillance, I think the main value of the garage sale is to demonstrate what REI will take back and a pro-customer attitude. I have seen some very, very used items in the "garage sale" in Missoula-- stuff that I would have thought was just plain worn out. Second perhaps to Nordstroms----I heard that Nordstroms once took back a set of tires that an old guy (probably my age) insisted that he had purchased at Nordstroms (they have never sold tires) but I have never seen tires at REI.
Like any garage sale, you pays your money and takes your chances.

I'm going to see if I can return a certain National Geographic Trails Illustrated map that was "tested" for tear resistance by a family member. I can tell everyone that for the most part it is difficult to tear, although mine was successfully dismantled (and painstakingly taped together by myself). It can tear cleanly if done quickly, but torn slowly the plastic material stretches first like a thick plastic bag.

I bought it at an REI store years ago, and I believe they should still have the purchase on file.
avatar Re: 8 Tips for Shopping Success at REI Garage Sales
June 22, 2009 10:58PM
Quote
Frank Furter
In a strange twist of marketing brillance, I think the main value of the garage sale is to demonstrate what REI will take back and a pro-customer attitude.


I once overheard a sales clerk tell a customer that REI really stands for "Return Every Item."
Re: 8 Tips for Shopping Success at REI Garage Sales
June 22, 2009 08:48PM
I've actually done quite well at garage sales at the REI in Berkeley. You have to do your research first though, and know what you are looking for. I got a nice tent, sleeping bag, walking poles, bear cannister and mattress for about 1/3 what I would pay brand new, and all were in great shape. The trick was to grab what you were interested in (read the return labels -if it says "wrong color" it probably in good condition) then try everything out in the store - really try it out, set up the tent, get in the bag, make sure it works! before buying it.
Re: 8 Tips for Shopping Success at REI Garage Sales
June 22, 2009 10:59PM
Fresno REI garage sale Saturday the 27th. Doors open at 9am smiling smiley

@YPW If you bought the map within the last 5 years, it should still be on record. If you live near the Fresno REI, if you go to the really cute girl cashier with the funny hair (you can tell it's her by her really bad singing, but overly perky closing announcement), if she can find it on your membership, I'm sure she'll take it back.

In the garage sales there are items that have only been used for catalogue shoots, so they are close to brand new. And dobber is right, try out everything- set up the tents, try the stuff on, the staff will let you. The tags list the reason why the item was returned.
avatar Re: 8 Tips for Shopping Success at REI Garage Sales
June 23, 2009 09:02AM
Quote
Yvette
Fresno REI garage sale Saturday the 27th. Doors open at 9am smiling smiley

@YPW If you bought the map within the last 5 years, it should still be on record. If you live near the Fresno REI, if you go to the really cute girl cashier with the funny hair (you can tell it's her by her really bad singing, but overly perky closing announcement), if she can find it on your membership, I'm sure she'll take it back.

I'm sure my wife will appreciate that. grinning smiley

Really though - I pass by the Berkeley store on the way to work, although it depends on which way I decide to take.
avatar Re: 8 Tips for Shopping Success at REI Garage Sales
June 23, 2009 01:58PM
Quote
y_p_w
Quote
Yvette
Fresno REI garage sale Saturday the 27th. Doors open at 9am smiling smiley

@YPW If you bought the map within the last 5 years, it should still be on record. If you live near the Fresno REI, if you go to the really cute girl cashier with the funny hair (you can tell it's her by her really bad singing, but overly perky closing announcement), if she can find it on your membership, I'm sure she'll take it back.

I'm sure my wife will appreciate that. grinning smiley

Really though - I pass by the Berkeley store on the way to work, although it depends on which way I decide to take.

Went there today. At the front a sticker was placed on the map and I was instructed to take it back to customer service to see if the return would be approved. They kind of looked at this carefully taped map that was clearly once torn to pieces and marveled at how all the pieces were there. I explained that it was intentionally disassembled. After a little talking by the employee to a manager over a phone (and given that I was a "member in good standing") the return was approved. They looked up my purchase (May 2006) and found the item. I actually got the purchase price (including sales tax) returned, minus the dividend portion I received. Since I paid in cash, it was returned in cash. So I had approximately $10 that I partially applied to getting lunch at Chipotle next door.

If anyone wants a meticulously reassembled National Geographic Trails Illustrated map of Yellowstone (circa 2006), there might be one available at the next REI garage sale in Berkeley, California. B)
Re: 8 Tips for Shopping Success at REI Garage Sales
August 17, 2010 10:38AM
I am the author of the post noted in this forum thread. I wanted to let you know that I've redirected my site off of Wordpress, so you can now find the article about REI shopping tips at: http://kaleidoscopicwandering.com/2009/06/20/8-tips-for-shopping-success-at-rei-garage-sales/
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