REI’s big returned-gear sale is Saturday (March 16), for co-op members only, in plenty of time for spring hiking and camping season.

The rub is that you have to show up to stores in person, and there’s lots of competition for the gently used gear that’s marked way down. That means you need to line up early to score the best deals, as quantities are limited.

The sale begins at 9 a.m. at REI flagship in Seattle. Plan to line up at least an hour early for best selection. The line will form from the corner of John Street and Yale Avenue North. At 8 a.m., tickets will be handed out to those in line, which will designate a 45-minute shopping window.  Once customers have their tickets, they can shop in the store or leave and come back during the designated shopping time. The sale itself will take place on the second floor in the meeting room.

Items are sold as is, and all sales are final.

Not into lines and crowds? REI now sells used gear online at