Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

REI Garage Sale

I feel like I shouldn't be posting about it. That the REI Garage Sale should not be written about, so that the less people who know about it, the less people there are at the sale.... I mean, if you are a dedicated REI member, you already know what I am talking about. But I feel like I need to share my experience this time around because it was such a memorable one.

My preparation for the San Diego REI Garage Sale started five days before the actual sale. As I was browsing my junk email, I came across one from REI, their monthly events calendar. I usually just skim it, because usually nothing catches my interest, but the one thing that always catches my eye on those calendars are the garage sales, and, yes! There was a garage sale listed for the upcoming weekend (Turns out there were actually 2 garage sales last weekend, the one in Chula Vista was Saturday, and the San Diego one was Sunday.)

So first things first, check Tizzy's work calendar (she sends me a screenshot once a month), to see if she has the day off, and then promptly text her that there is an REI Garage Sale Sunday. In which, sends us into a texting frenzy because she has to work Saturday night and doesn't get off till 7:30 am that Sunday, which the sale start at 8 am, so the earliest she could show up is 7:45 am. We eventually come up with a game plan, me going to REI by myself at 4 in the morning to stake out a spot in line for us.

Hardcore outdoor enthusiasts will go and camp out the night before for these sales and pitch tents to sleep in at the door. That is how intense it is. The first people in line apparently showed up at 10 pm Saturday and did just that. When I got there around 4:10 am that Sunday, there were about 10-15 people in line already. If you have never been to the San Diego REI sale, do not make the mistake I made and get in line on the wrong side, the front of the line campers will get very aggressive and angry with you. If you are staring at REI's front door, the line goes to the left of it. After talking to the people who were awake in line, and realizing I was waiting on the wrong side of it, I quickly moved my chair and blanket to the other side. The people on the other side were nicer anyways.

I was planning on sleeping for a little while waiting, but I ended up chatting with the guys I was sitting with. The great thing about waiting in line for an REI garage sale is that most people have the same interests as you, and so you end up sharing your outdoor experiences with each other and learning about cool new spots to go explore. Like I never knew about the wind caves and slot canyons called Domelands in San Diego, which I will be checking out soon. I got an amazing vibe from the group of people I was waiting in line with.

As the time ticked away, it was getting closer and closer to opening time for the sale. REI employees slowly started to filter in around 6:00 am. The sale actually happens on the outside of the store, on the side of the parking lot. They slowly start taking out inventory and laying it out on the pavement. At this point around 7:30 am, everyone is taking a peak of the inventory over the fence and scoping out what they want. At exactly 8:00 am, they open the line and it's a mad dash for everything. People tend to run in there, grab 5-6 of the same items, like backpacks, and move on to the next item, do the same thing, then they stand on the side and filter through all the stuff they grabbed later. It truly does suck for the people at the end of the line, but as the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm! Tizzy and I both walked away with great deals and a handful of new friends. My favorite part of the whole sale was meeting new people and making new friends:)

In conclusion...

What is the REI Garage Sale? It is where REI takes all the returns they get and resell it at a fraction of the MSRP price, usually 50-80% off.

How often does it happen? I think 2-3 times a year. Each store varies when they do it.

Until next time REI!

What it looks like at 4:13 am morning of an REI Garage Sale
The Goods

What I scored on & the deals I got:
 Missing the front detachable pack, but besides that in good condition, got this Osprey carry on for $72 (originally $300)
 Lightly used Brook trail runners, $26 (originally $100)
Nothing is wrong with it! Mammut Jacket, $48 (originally $200)