The Biggest Little Ski Sale in the Southeast

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Ever wonder what happened to those skis you checked at the airport and never saw again? Figure some baggage handler got axed that morning and took them as severance pay? It's more likely your Volants could turn up at Unclaimed Baggage in Scottsboro, Alabama, where the contents of air travelers' lost and never-claimed luggage is sold at half the retail price or less.

Some 7,000 people come daily to Unclaimed Baggage seeking bargains on everything from jewelry and clothes to electronics and sports equipment. On the first Saturday of November, Unclaimed Baggage holds its Annual Ski & Snowboard Sale, an unlikely event purported to be the most massive snow-sports sale in the Southeast. (Probably a safe claim.) Up to 2,000 bargain hunters travel from dozens of states all over the East, generating a buying frenzy on gear and clothing that sees ski-binding combinations selling for as little as $75, Gore-Tex parkas for $100, ski boots for $50, and name-brand goggles for eight bucks.

"This will be our 20th annual ski sale," says Joey Medlen, the store's director of business development. "We not only get people lined up at the door, but some have camped out on Friday night to be first in line."

The one-day sale opens at 8 a.m. on November 3. Get there early with your credit card at the ready. Then hope the airline doesn't lose your new gear on the flight home. Info: 256-259-1525; unclaimedbaggage.com.