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Freedom Walker
06-07-2012, 22:29
While visiting Nashville last Friday I went to the REI store for the first time. While checking out I was talked into joining REI. For a one-time charge of $20 you get a annual rebate of 10% of all your purchases along with other perks such as a 15% off coupon that I just got. Also members are invited to special sale that has returned or damaged items. Since I live 2 hours away, I doubt I will come to these. Time will tell if this was a good deal for me. i think I will use the 15% for a new pair of trail runners. The ones I am looking at cost $135. 15% off is $20.25 so I just recovered the $20.

STICK
06-07-2012, 22:41
Welcome to REI... :)

bwburgin1015
06-07-2012, 23:20
I got a $285 Northface Jacket at the REI garage sale for $5...the only thing wrong with it was a sticky zipper...You can get a new zipper from a tailor for $15. Not a bad investment for a $285 jacket! Awesome store too!

rocketsocks
06-07-2012, 23:29
One of these days i'm gonna have to get on board with a membership,just hate paying for a discounted price(marketing gimmick).Everyone seems to like the program,so it must be working or they have found ways to recoup the cost,and keep goin back.

Pumba
06-07-2012, 23:30
They have the best return policy ever. I've purchased many, many things from them over the last two months. I recently signed up for their Visa card as well, and received a $100 gift card after making my first purchase. That was pretty sweet.

Odd Man Out
06-07-2012, 23:32
I became a member of REI like 30 years ago, but haven't really used it much since then. Suppose they would still have me on file?

canoe
06-07-2012, 23:38
One of these days i'm gonna have to get on board with a membership,just hate paying for a discounted price(marketing gimmick).Everyone seems to like the program,so it must be working or they have found ways to recoup the cost,and keep goin back.

Its not a gimmick. I think its a great store. For someone who is just getting started and dont know much about gear and sizing and weight etc they have a great reurn policy no questions asked. Like Pumba says. The membership is lifetime and can be easily paid for with your first purchase.

STICK
06-08-2012, 00:43
I may be wrong, but I believe that there is a minimum yearly amount in order to keep the membership active, something like $10. I could be wrong though...

I think that it is a great $20 for anyone to spend that enjoys outdoor activities. I will admit that since delving into the backpacking world, I have come to buy less of my "gear" there in favor of the gear at cottage shops, however, there are always somethings that I don't mind getting from them. Esbit tabs, MP1 tabs, Platy soft bottles, etc...heck, I even prefer to get some of the bigger, more mainstream gear from them such as air pads and my Sawyer Squeeze. I also picked up my Marmot Helium from them. As well, I will buy shoes from them simply to get the dividend back, but also to be able to easily swap for a different size if they don't fit me like they should. Even things like socks are great to get from them. Why? Well, mostly for the no question's asked return policy, but also, as I have mentioned, just to get the dividends on them. Or, even better, I can catch them on one of the 20 or 30% off sales...

All in all, I like REI and wish that I lived closer to one so that I could make it to some of the sales. But, oh well...I really have more than I need now anyway... :)

EDIT TO ADD:

Yep, I was right:


Only active members receive annual dividend notices. To maintain your active status as an REI member, you need to make net merchandise or shipping purchases of at least $10 per year, unless you joined that year.

https://www.rei.com/membership/dividend/

But hey, who can't spend $10 a year on something backpacking related...even from REI? :)

Mountain Mojo
06-08-2012, 00:52
They're having a great promo now online~ 20% off the highest item in your cart! Just saved almost $30 bux on a Marmont vest, plus free shipping! I think it lasts til June 12...

WIAPilot
06-08-2012, 03:16
I may be wrong, but I believe that there is a minimum yearly amount in order to keep the membership active, something like $10. I could be wrong though...

I think that it is a great $20 for anyone to spend that enjoys outdoor activities. I will admit that since delving into the backpacking world, I have come to buy less of my "gear" there in favor of the gear at cottage shops, however, there are always somethings that I don't mind getting from them. Esbit tabs, MP1 tabs, Platy soft bottles, etc...heck, I even prefer to get some of the bigger, more mainstream gear from them such as air pads and my Sawyer Squeeze. I also picked up my Marmot Helium from them. As well, I will buy shoes from them simply to get the dividend back, but also to be able to easily swap for a different size if they don't fit me like they should. Even things like socks are great to get from them. Why? Well, mostly for the no question's asked return policy, but also, as I have mentioned, just to get the dividends on them. Or, even better, I can catch them on one of the 20 or 30% off sales...

All in all, I like REI and wish that I lived closer to one so that I could make it to some of the sales. But, oh well...I really have more than I need now anyway... :)

EDIT TO ADD:

Yep, I was right:



https://www.rei.com/membership/dividend/

But hey, who can't spend $10 a year on something backpacking related...even from REI? :)

No, it is a one-time membership fee of $20 to join. No annual membership fees required.

leaftye
06-08-2012, 05:58
That $10 a year is just if you want your dividend. They won't cancel your membership just because you don't buy anything for a year or two. At least that's been the case with my membership.

Mrs Baggins
06-08-2012, 06:19
We've been members since 1993 when we joined at the Tempe AZ store right after moving to AZ. We still have the really great lumbar packs, with 2 water holsters that are easy to use, that we bought that evening. They refuse to wear out and we can't find any others that we love as much as these. In the hiking group I lead I tell the ladies looking for gear for the first time to consider REI because of the return policy. I tell them that yes, it can be pricey, but if you decide that hiking or backpacking is not for you, you can take the gear back and get all of your money back, no questions asked. I returned a pair of my husband's boots after a year and they verified the purchase by looking up our membership record (since I didn't have the receipt).

WIAPilot
06-08-2012, 06:52
That $10 a year is just if you want your dividend. They won't cancel your membership just because you don't buy anything for a year or two. At least that's been the case with my membership.

To be clear, you need to spend at least $10 per year to be considered "active." Your yearly dividend consists of 10% of all eligible items. If you do not buy at least $10 in merchandise each year, your membership is still good, it's just that you will not receive a dividend that year.

Don H
06-08-2012, 07:41
Freedom Walker, go to their website and order online, they have free shipping on orders over $50.

Rain Man
06-08-2012, 09:43
I became a member of REI like 30 years ago, but haven't really used it much since then. Suppose they would still have me on file?

Yes, they will. When they say "lifetime," they mean it. My official join date is 1-1-76. I didn't use it for several years in the 80s after a move, but when I went back, they had no trouble finding me. (Helped that I still remembered my membership number!)


While visiting Nashville last Friday I went to the REI store for the first time. While checking out I was talked into joining REI. For a one-time charge of $20 you get a annual rebate of 10% of all your purchases ....

Not quite true. Not "all" your purchases. Still, a totally sweet deal and an AWESOME return policy.

Doesn't hurt that my middle daughter worked at three REIs (Colorado Springs, Nashville, and Bend, Oregon). :D

Rain:sunMan

.

Feral Bill
06-08-2012, 10:59
I became a member of REI like 30 years ago, but haven't really used it much since then. Suppose they would still have me on file? At some point they had a fire and lost records of at least some older memberships. Also. long ago memberships were on an annual basis. Give them a call, and I'm sure they can check for you.

rocketsocks
06-08-2012, 11:56
Yep,your right,gimmick is not the best(right) word,bad choice,let's call it a marketing strategy.I just meant many stores employ this strategy.I am a member,and receive beneies from Barnes & Noble,Sam's,and many others,just don't have REI yet.Who ever came up with this marketing strategy was spot on,as shown by the market,it responded,and said yes,could have gone the other way,and said No,and then we'd be just regular ol' shoppers/customers,clipping coupon,and shopping the sales.It's all good.:)


Link did not take,this post is a relpy to "Canoe's" post #7

Odd Man Out
06-08-2012, 12:26
Yes, they will. When they say "lifetime," they mean it. My official join date is 1-1-76. I didn't use it for several years in the 80s after a move, but when I went back, they had no trouble finding me. (Helped that I still remembered my membership number!)

I called and they still have me in their system, which is amazing since my join date was in 1978, well before I invented the internet and personal computers.:rolleyes: They are sending me a new card.

Feral Bill
06-08-2012, 13:36
One of these days i'm gonna have to get on board with a membership,just hate paying for a discounted price(marketing gimmick).Everyone seems to like the program,so it must be working or they have found ways to recoup the cost,and keep goin back.
Not a gimmick at all. The members actually own the company. You vote for the board that manages REI. Not at all the same as say, Costco, (which i also like).

rocketsocks
06-08-2012, 13:48
I had no idea Bill thanks.

Chicken Feathers
06-08-2012, 15:55
While visiting Nashville last Friday I went to the REI store for the first time. While checking out I was talked into joining REI. For a one-time charge of $20 you get a annual rebate of 10% of all your purchases along with other perks such as a 15% off coupon that I just got. Also members are invited to special sale that has returned or damaged items. Since I live 2 hours away, I doubt I will come to these. Time will tell if this was a good deal for me. i think I will use the 15% for a new pair of trail runners. The ones I am looking at cost $135. 15% off is $20.25 so I just recovered the $20.
My membership cost $2.50 many moons ago

PennyPincher
06-08-2012, 16:19
I became a member of REI like 30 years ago, but haven't really used it much since then. Suppose they would still have me on file?

Yes.

When they looked us up (because who keeps their cards) the guy at the register said "Wow, that's the lowest number I've ever seen." I've been a member for 25? years.

PennyPincher
06-08-2012, 16:20
My membership cost $2.50 many moons ago


Mine was free. So was the hubbies.

BradMT
06-12-2012, 08:08
Yes.

"Wow, that's the lowest number I've ever seen."

I get that comment once in a while... been a member since 1975.

Rain Man
06-12-2012, 09:43
My membership cost $2.50 many moons ago

My hat's off to you, Chicken Feathers. Cost me $5.00 to join! :)

Rain:sunMan

.

Live_for_hiking
06-13-2012, 09:10
Twenty or so years ago when I became a life time member, it was a whopping $10.00. I'm still in their system. heck, I even got the extra 5% off credit card and pay off after I buy an item.

double d
06-13-2012, 10:01
REI is always rated one of the best companies to work for, most of their employees are folks with a lot of experience in hiking, biking, etc. REI is truly a great company to become a member of.

pheldozer
06-13-2012, 19:57
FYI- items purchased on sale don't count towards your dividend. sometimes it makes more sense to buy the full price item when 10% of that cost outweighs the discount.

1st post. great forum, already gleaned a lot of good info after just 4 days of lurking!

verasch
06-13-2012, 20:42
I love rei. It's even better when you go with friends who are only occassional hikers and they buy stuff on your membership card, so it goes towards your dividend.

The only reason I still shop there despite usually cheaper prices at campmor or amazon is the guarantee. I bought a half dome tent there when I very first went camping ever. That weekend it deluged rain on a biblical level. The tent didn't hold up and I slept for three days in a massive pool inside the tent. It sucked.

I brought it home, and forgot to air it out. Months went by, it sat in storage. I bought a new tent during this time. About a year later I found it while moving and returned it to REI, and they gave me the price paid for it. It was amazing. I buy everything from there now.

rocketsocks
06-13-2012, 22:39
I love rei. It's even better when you go with friends who are only occassional hikers and they buy stuff on your membership card, so it goes towards your dividend.

The only reason I still shop there despite usually cheaper prices at campmor or amazon is the guarantee. I bought a half dome tent there when I very first went camping ever. That weekend it deluged rain on a biblical level. The tent didn't hold up and I slept for three days in a massive pool inside the tent. It sucked.

I brought it home, and forgot to air it out. Months went by, it sat in storage. I bought a new tent during this time. About a year later I found it while moving and returned it to REI, and they gave me the price paid for it. It was amazing. I buy everything from there now.Are you serious:rolleyes:wow,thats some prime A1 thinkin there.

Wise Old Owl
06-13-2012, 22:55
I too love REI and there is angst... The membership runs great for a few years and the dividends will get you "free" equipment... now I get everything on Outlet or 20% off and work hard for it... my dividends are $5 big bucks per year in spite of my wifes complaining that I spend too much each year... I have swapped out all the heavy equipment and clothing. The membership is now moot.

Siestita
06-14-2012, 02:09
"Not a gimmick at all. The members actually own the company. You vote for the board that manages REI. Not at all the same as say, Costco, (which i also like)."

This comment is correct. I joined in 1972 and they've keep records on my membership ever since. In the 70s they still did not have many stores, if any at all. They were just a cooperative that sold otherwise hard to obtain stuff via catalogs. Apparently the cooperative formed in the 1930s when a climber was frustrated that he could not find a place any store in the USA from which to buy a good quality ice axe. In the 70s and 80s it was still difficult for me, and perhaps also for some others, to purchase some backpacking items through any other channel.

glaux
06-14-2012, 08:22
I actually have two memberships, at the recommendation of a REI salesclerk (I already had one membership, and was making two large purchases while they had a 20% off coupon, so it was to get the discount twice). I used the second membership to get double 20% coupons again recently, with the blessing of two other REI employees, so I think it's kosher.

I also recently headed over to REI to shop for trailrunners, after my Vasque boots (which had well over 50 miles worth of muddy day hikes) had proven to give me blisters when worn for several days in a row backpacking. I happened to have the boots in my car. They convinced me to return the boots (thought I kept my superfeet insoles, so I returned them with no insoles, covered in mud and scuffs), for a full refund, so I walked out of there with new trailrunners, other odds and ends, and a handful of cash! They have definitely earned my loyalty. Even if I can find gear online for a bit of a discount, I'll still be buying through REI in case I need to return it. (In these days of internet shopping, that's an excellent marketing strategy on their end.)

Bear Cables
06-16-2012, 22:24
With my annual refund on purchases plus the 100.00 gift card I got through the REI Visa Card. I got my new Thermarest neolite sleeping pad for free :)

Theosus
06-16-2012, 22:32
I joined last year. It cost me $20 and I got a 22$ dividend at the end of the year, so membership paid for itself. I'll probably buy 200$ in shoes for family there this year, so it will pay for itself again. Then they have special members only sales and coupons, and a good return policy.
The only problem is, I have to drive two hours to get to one. But REI is between me and the AT, so it's on the way if I need it.

Rif
06-17-2012, 10:26
REI is 15 minutes away for me and the membership has helped me save a lot on some clothing. Being tall it is hard to find long enough pants and thankfully REI is the only one to still offer a 36" inseam on both their convertable pants and their travel pants.

I use them for little stuff like socks (buy 3pr and get 30% offf) and for big stuff wait for the 15% off sales a few times a year. It is also nice to actually see the gear in person and get to try it on before buying.

Rif

ndwoods
06-19-2012, 11:39
Yep .Love REI! Mine cost $5 to join and I've got the VISA card too....I get lots of yummy stuff at dividend time...I buy all my big ticket items on the visa....I once bought a car on it! Then paid off the card the next week....LOL!

Llama Legs
06-19-2012, 12:02
us geezers refer to it as "REI CO-OP". I bought a set of panniers in 1978 for my college 10-speed that came in kit form, some (OK all) assembly required.

Double Wide
06-20-2012, 04:37
I found the membership to be well worth the $20. I'm not the kind of shopper who returns stuff, and I would never take back an old pair or worn-out boots or some other gear that I feel I've gotten my money's worth out of, but as a beginner to this whole backpacking thing, the return policy is wonderful. For instance, in the past year I bought a tent that I really thought I wanted, but then one night in the backyard with it and I realized that it wasn't for me. About a month later I had an opportunity to get a new Quarterdome T2 on sale, so I took the other one back, applied the credit to my new purchase, and I'm much happier. Also, probably in the next month or two, I'm going to return my mid-level Therma-rest pad that cost less but was much heavier than the Neo-Air. I didn't think any sleeping pad was worth the money they wanted for a Neo-Air, but now that I've got a few nights on the Pro-Lite, I realize the folly of my ways...

So now I can return the Pro-Lite, upgrade to the Neo-Air, and basically only have to cough up the difference. In my mind, I feel like I'm really getting a deal on the Neo-Air, especially if I get it at 20% off, too...