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Considering the tough economic times, I have had to be patient and keep my eyes out for astounding deals on outdoor gear.
This post is intended to be a PSA for Trailspace folks:
IF YOU HAVE A ROSS STORE, MARSHALL'S, OR TJMAXX, THEN START SHOPPING THERE FOR OUTDOOR APPAREL AND EQUIPMENT.
What?!? Excuse me, you say? Blasphemy! Hear me out though:
These stores buy surplus from just about anywhere, and subsequently stumble across some great product for the outdoor enthusiast. SEE MY GEAR REVIEWS FOR SOME OF THE LAUGHABLE PRICES I'VE PAID FOR STUFF.
I have found, in my size, MONTRAIL, pRana, COLUMBIA (TITANIUM TOO), TNF, MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR, PATAGONIA, MARMOT, TEVA, JANSPORT, CLOUDVEIL, SPYDER, MARKER, SMARTWOOL, ICEBREAKER, MERRELL, COLEMAN (even X-ponent!), VOELKL, LOWE, AND OTHERS. Equipment ranging from headlamps to chalkbags to multitools-every type of apparel imaginable. Being in a low pressure environment, I can try on as I please and rest assured that the warranties are intact. The stores also have a 30 day return policy.
As an example, I found a Patagonia Gritty mountaineering backpack at Marshall's for $39 (retail $169.00). A brilliant pack, but one I didn't need. I sold it NWT's for $90, which was still less than anywhere online (I checked before posting it for sale).
It is hit or miss, but 5 minutes could save more than 80% off retail! I also love Steep and Cheap and Sierra Trading Post.
I firmly believe in supporting my local neighbors in business when I can, but sometimes the budget doesn't allow for those retail prices.
Any other creative places for buying on the cheap?