My first REI attic sale

March 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

This past Sunday I experienced my very first REI attic sale. I have various friends who have been going to these sales for years. Basically, an attic sale is REI’s scratch and dent sale. They sell used, returned or damaged goods at ridiculously low prices. I went there for two reasons:

1. I wanted a BOB Revolution stroller. I am a jogger/runner, and I have convinced myself that having a BOB would enable me to run with my son more often (I have a cheaper jogging stroller, but it has developed a pull to the right, so I can’t run with it for more than 3 miles before my knees start hurting due to my efforts in compensating for the pull). These strollers usually cost $420 new, and sometimes they are on craigslist for $250-$300…and have been used for 5+ years. At an attic sale, I have known people who paid $150 or less for these strollers in great condition.

2. I had heard often there are tons of shoes. I decided if I was unable to get my hands on a stroller, I would take a consolation prize of new running shoes.

At the REI store in Fairfax, Virginia, they let people into the sale in waves. They give out tickets at 8 a.m., and whatever number you get is the wave you get in to the sale. The sale starts at 10 a.m. From what I heard from my research online and conversations with my friends, you need to arrive there a few hours to stand in line before they hand out tickets. I got there at 5:30 a.m., and there were about 20-25 people already in front of me. There were tents, cots, sleeping bags, chairs…these people don’t mess around.

I checked out the people in line in front of me. Mostly they were young guys. Not the kind that would automatically scream “I’m here for a stroller.” So, I start feeling pretty optimistic. Right at 7 a.m. a cute pregnant girl walks up looking well-rested and chipper…her husband was directly in front of me in line.  We started small talk, and she volunteered the news I was afraid to hear: “We’re here for a BOB stroller!” I shared that I, in fact, was also hoping to get a stroller. “Let’s hope they have more than one!” I said optimistically.

8 a.m. rolled around and the tickets were handed out. The couple in front of me made wave 1. I was the first in wave 2. Once I got into the sale I found out there had only been one stroller. They got it, so I am happy for them, and they probably don’t have a stroller at all for their baby who is due next month. I actually have 2 strollers (one jogging [that has a pull so it can’t really be used] and one regular), so I can to wait. There’s always next time!

I checked, and there were no running shoes in my size, only hiking shoes. I dejectedly looked through the jackets when my hand touched a down Northface ski jacket. I needed a practical, super warm winter coat. I checked the size. My size! I checked the price…$31! I bought it. I thought I would have to wait until next year for it be cold enough to wear. But then yesterday, against all DC weather odds, it snowed a bit. So I got to wear my new jacket!

My first REI attic sale wasn’t a total loss. But Johnny might be the one to stay in line dark and early next time. He said he would. Now it’s in writing.

What a steal.

The back.

A spot for my iPhone and earbuds.

Goggle pocket.

I like the zippered cuffs to make it easy for gloves.

Even though it didn’t turn out the way I had hoped, I was able to get something useful at an unbelievable price. Success!

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