The Irony of REI Attic Sales

Two Saturdays ago, I woke up, turned off my alarm clock, quickly grabbed breakfast and then hopped into the car to drive off to REI for one of its Attic Sales. An Attic Sale is, essentially, the store getting rid of its returned inventory at madly crazy low prices. REI has one of the most liberal return policies on the planet; a customer can return possibly anything, regardless of whether it’s been used, gently or otherwise. The caveat is that Attic Sales are open only to coop members (yes, REI is a coop). But, it turns out that a good number of coop members are bargain hunters, and those attending Attic Sales must have a game plan. I’m not kidding. I’d love to get a “used” Osprey Aura pack, see image at left, but the bags section of the back room was entropy at its worse.

New boots!

So, I went to the racks and racks of shoes, the purchase of which requires more diligence than the purchase of bags. For starters, to get the best selection, one needs to get to the Attic Sale right when it starts: 10AM. But anyone who knows better knows that you’re not really supposed to shop for shoes until the afternoon, when your feet have swollen up. To make a long story short, after trying on at least 8 pairs of shoes, I walked out of REI with a pair of brand new non-Gortex Merrell boots that cost $30. And a pair of new insoles that cost more than $30. Oh, the irony. But hopefully, my feet will be destroyed, like they were on my hike in to Havasu Falls, after my trip to Copper Canyon in Mexico later this month.

Destroyed feet.