Looking for great deals on premium outdoor gear? The REI Garage Sale happens 3 to 4 times per year and offers some of the deepest discounts available on great outdoor gear. Check the event calendar for your local REI store, or sign up for their mailing list to stay informed. (Note- the garage sale on the weekend of Dec 3rd is only going on at some locations, including the Seattle flagship store- check with your local co-op to see if they are participating.)

Some items are slightly damaged, but most gear has simply been returned because someone didn’t like it. You can find pristine gear at 50% off (or more) but it can be a little overwhelming if you aren’t prepared. These tips will helps you make the most of this event.

    1. Get an REI Membership– REI Garage Sales are only open to REI Members. The good news is that an REI Membership only costs $20 for life and gets you into the sales which occur several times a year. Make sure you have your card or membership number ready ahead of time.
    2. Arrive Early– These sales are very popular, and there is often a line outside the store before the doors open. Some people even camp out to get the best deals early in the day. Give yourself a few hours, and be prepared to wait in line. Bring your coffee and a snack, and make sure that you are dressed appropriately to stand outside for a bit. The store usually lets in groups of 30 to 50 people at a time, for a limited amount of time, so the line moves pretty fast once things gets going.
    3. Have A Game Plan– once you get inside, you will be confronted with so many deals that it will make your head spin. You will have limited time, so decide what type of gear you want to focus on before you go in. If you are looking for a backpack, don’t get distracted looking at hiking boots.
    4. Try It On– gear that you buy at the Garage Sale cannot be returned, so make sure it fits! Grab a few items that you like then stake out a less crowded area to try things on.
    5. Check For Damage– keep an eye out for rips, zipper problems, or missing pieces. Many Garage Sale items need simple repairs or a good cleaning (which can be done here at Rainy Pass Repair) but you want to be sure that damaged items are worth the discount.
    6. Slow Down and Keep an Eye Out For Hidden Deals– once you find what you are looking for, take another spin to find deals on gear that you might not have even considered. Slow down, take a breath, and always be considerate of your fellow patrons.
    7. Expect the Unexpected– some people get all their gear at the REI Garage Sales, and it can be a great way to try out something new without paying full price. This can also be a fun opportunity to meet other gear enthusiasts in your area and bond over the great deals that you find.