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Re: Garage Sale Items from the REI Outlet Store may be Damaged Goods

I ordered three items during one of the REI Garage Sales.  Two items were delivered in a compromised condition.

The Sierra Designs puffy has a small puncture in the sleeve that leaks down.  The Merrill hiking shoes came with one shoelace that is too short to be functional.

I took the items into my local REI store.  They offered to sell me another shoelace and invited me to ship the puffy back to the outlet store (within one month of delivery).

I'm disappointed that REI shipped damaged goods and that the local store would not provide the correct sized shoelace or patch the puncture for me.  I guess it's on me.  Buyer beware.

I won't buy any garage sale items from the outlet store.

6 Replies

@canyonRose thanks for reaching out with your concerns about your used gear purchases. It sounds like you may have ordered items from our Used Gear website, so to provide a little clarity about the different kinds of gear we sell:

  • Our "Garage Sale" items are only sold in our stores during Garage Sale events. These are all used items that include a tag and a description of the reason the item was returned; these items are not available for sale through our website, are sold as is, and are not able to be returned.
  • Our "Used Gear" is sold through our website. This gear is all used and has descriptions of the reason the items are no longer in new condition. Used items purchased through this part of our website are sold as is and without warranty, but do have a 30-day Satisfaction Guarantee and need to be returned through the mail.
  • Finally, the REI Outlet is all new gear (as is, should be free from any defect upon purchase, and is covered by our 1-year Satisfaction Guarantee.

For all used gear that we sell, online and in Garage Sales, our store employees are often able to help brainstorm ideas on how to repair the damage to the gear and suggest items that may be helpful with repair (like patches, tape, zipper pulls, etc.).

Hopefully this helps to create some clarity for any future purchases you may make at the co-op.

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Hello @REI-JenK

I bought a Nemo Dagger 2 tent from the REI garage sale in the Northridge outlet. The "Location and Description of Problem" on the tag reports, "did not like the design and was used once". I found a hole in the screen on the top of the tent. What should I do in this case? Will the store I bought it from settle this and make it fair somehow?


Hi @canyonRose .  I just wanted to weigh in on the REI Used site.  I am not, nor ever have been, an REI employee and have no hidden agenda here.

I'm sorry to hear that you had a disappointing experience with your Used Gear purchase.  It sucks when you don't get what you are hoping for and expecting.  

I wanted to weigh in though, because I have made numerous in-store Garage Sale purchases, and online Used Gear purchases, and have had really good luck with them.  I have found that the descriptions have been accurate, if not making the item seem worse than it really is.  An example would be a Grivel ice axe I bought online, which was reported to have scratches.  They turned out be purely cosmetic, and I have seen worse scratches on new items elsewhere, and it was nothing that wouldn't have occurred on a simple day hike.  Another is an Outdoor Research Illuminate hoodie I bought in-store at a Garage Sale.  It had a small hole in the sleeve that leaked down, and some staining.  I stuffed in some loose down I had, and patched the sleeve with Gear Aid Tenacious Tape, then washed it with NikWax.  The patch is barely visible, and other than that, it now looks and performs like new.  

I've also gotten lots of other gear and clothing items for myself and my adult children.  Since the "first scratch always hurts the most", I'm not reluctant to put any of these items right to their intended purpose, and the fact that I've saved money and kept gear out of landfills makes it worthwhile to me.

My recommendations are to read the description thoroughly, and compare the price to make sure that the cost benefit offsets the issue, and whether that makes it worth it to you.  My one critique is that I have found some items not to have a sufficient discount to warrant buying used or damaged as compared to a new item under warranty.

Good luck!


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

IANARE  but  I am a satisfied customer of REI garage sales.  These are in store events, quite popular, and offer good bargains to the judicious customer.  You get to handle the items and check for defects.  These are sometimes referred to as "scratch and dent" sales'

Prices of often extremely reasonable.  For ten bucks, I got a two burner camp stove with a defective (misaligned) piezo lighter that retailed for over $100.  I have used it on field projects for two weeks at a time and it works great,

Sometimes I come up empty handed,but it is always fun to look for the next great bargain.


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Been a member 30yrs. I finally got burned by a garage sale. They sold me an expensive bike light that doesn't work at all. Stole my money for sure. Yes, they cover themselves so they can keep your money and tell you too bad. I suppose REI needs to screw us over so they can allow people to purchase use and return goods. Ha! The manager tells me "I would not have purchased the item". He made my next purchase from a local shop a no brainier. 


@Forester we're sorry to hear you had such a negative experience with an item you purchased at an REI garage sale. Although our teams do look over the items before we resell them at a garage sale, it isn't always apparent when an item isn't fully functioning; were you able to follow up with the store manager soon after the used item was purchased? Although we do note that all used gear purchased at an REI garage sale is a final sale, our store managers are often able to assist in the days following a garage sale, specifically for an unexpected situation like this.

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.