Last Saturday, Kyle and I, dragged ourselves out of bed to hit the line for the REI: Annual, Members Only, Scratch & Dent sale.
We just became members of REI (a sporting goods/outdoorsy retail place) this past winter. It's a $20 member fee that lasts forever. You get lots of 20% coupons in the mail, special events (such as the scratch & dent sale) and you get a dividend of what you purchase back at the end of each year.
-Okay, sorry if this sounds a little commercial-ish... I'm just a huge fan-
One of the best things about REI is their return policy, and being a member just helps speed that process along. Since anything you purchase when your member card is swiped is recorded on that so when you go to return something without a coupon you don't have to wait forever for it to get looked up in their system. So they take back ANYTHING and everything... thus resulting in the scratch & dent sale. One example: when we first moved up to Minne-snow-ta I was wanting fingerless gloves, some fun colorful wool ones. Well Kyle found me some at REI our first Christmas... which was... um... 2007, yes. Well this past winter when I took them out of their summer hiding place I noticed the knitted thumb hole was starting to come unraveled. But luckily since Kyle bought them at REI two years ago, I was able to return them and get a brand new pair!!!!!!!!! Sweet huh?
So the annual scratch and dent sale is just this garage sale type environment, where members can come and rummage through their returns and score some pretty great deals. The catch was this....
They started handing out tickets at 8:00am. The store didn't open until 10. So you go stand in line to get a ticket to find out when you can enter. They had all the S&D items in a back room. We arrived at 7:30am.
There were people that camped at the front of the line... this is a big deal, obviously. Not sure if you can see because they begin taking them down, but at the very front of the line stood about 10 tents. This picture was taken a little after 8, you can kinda see the guy in the green vest going down the line handing out tickets. Luckily our ticket read: 10:25am! Turns out they allowed 80 people in at a time, for a 20 minute interval. Sweet we were the second group! It's important to get their early so you have a better picking at the items. So we got our ticket at 8 and heading home to shower and relax until 10:15ish. Of course we left the house about 9:50... and there was a line formed to get in at our designated time, but that was okay. It was hilarious hearing the 'ooooh's and 'aaahhh's as the first group left the room in preparation for the second (our group!) to be allowed to enter. We saw a fancy running stroller, lots of tents, sleeping bags... all walk out the room before we even had a chance to get our grubby little paws on them. LOL. Oh I forgot to mention that there was also a 5 item limit. But shoes were unlimited, which from my 365 picture last week (which you haven't seen yet because I'm a little behind at posting that) you will see I got a pair of S&D hiking boots at their other store. They have some S&D items sitting out year round, shoes especially, this is just the big sale when it's all together and big stuff like tents, cloths, sleeping backs, bikes, etc. okay, okay I'll keep going so you can hear what we got.
We didn't really have anything in particular to get, a few backpacking items we were hoping to score, but not setting our hearts on it like the kid behind us in line that had been looking at this tent for the past two years and was hoping to get it today...
Kyle got some hiking boots
I got a tank top and a cute little hand bag
I also got a head light for hiking
Kyle got a saw/pocket knife
And our best score was a HRM (heart rate monitor) for Kyle!! Now we can both keep track of our HR and calories burned while working out.
They were pretty good deals about 75% off regular price. Each item had a tag on it that read what was wrong or why it was returned. The HRM just stated "customer said it did not work with his equipment". His shoes said "fabric pulls up in right heel" which we couldn't get it to pull up so that was fine. My shirt said "too small, we now make talls" and the head light "customer says it doesn't work, it does" and it did I put batteries in it and it worked just fine. My bag just had a missing magnet on the outside cover, where there are two magnets there's only one.
Anywho that was our exciting Saturday morning!
PS: All three of those pictures were taken with my new Canon Point and Shoot :-)