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Old 03-30-06, 10:50 AM   #1
Peek the Geek
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Any Cyclists here REI Members?

I've haven't yet purchased a membership from REI, mainly because the closest one is a couple hours away, so I rarely shop there. But I know they have pretty good member benefits and sales from time to time, and I'm considering buying a Chariot bike trailer there. It'd be nice to get a decent discount on such a large purchase.

Right now, REI has a 20% coupon for new and existing members, but it expires April 2, and I don't think I can make it over there by then. So I'm wondering, how often does REI offer a discount like this? Is there some sort of first purchase discount for new members?

Thanks.
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Old 03-30-06, 11:06 AM   #2
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Once a year for the 20%. There are other member only sales that come up, and the dividend is approx. 10% back on full price purchases, 8% if you use a non-REI credit card. Keep in mind that your online purchases earn dividends, too. I used to work there (great company) and most people got their membership along with a purchase that pays for it (i.e. $150 or so).
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Old 03-30-06, 11:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legot73
Once a year for the 20%.(i.e. $150 or so).
So if I don't buy this thing by Sunday, I'm S.O.L. until next year for the 20%?
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Old 03-30-06, 12:05 PM   #4
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You can order online at rei.com anytime and get the same discounts.
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Old 03-30-06, 12:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Peek the Geek
So if I don't buy this thing by Sunday, I'm S.O.L. until next year for the 20%?
Give them a call and tell them you're considering this purchase. They're pretty flexible and I'd be surprised if they didn't let you do it.

I've been an REI member for many years. As a matter of fact, I became a member to get the 20% discount on my first "real" bike, a Novara Strada. It was a great value as an entry level road bike, maybe on par with a Bianchi Brava or Trek 1500. I still have the Shimano RSX 8-speed group in a box in my garage. It's bombproof.

As far as the Chariot, I highly recommend that too. I probably use ours every weekend, either as a trailer or jogger. The kids love it and we have a great time as a family in the outdoors. One of the best moments of my Dad-hood was one Saturday morning when I was in the garage and my daughter came in, put on her helmet, climbed in the Chariot, and said "Daddy! Ride? Ride?"

Priceless.
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Old 03-30-06, 12:09 PM   #6
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You can always join online and make the 20% off purchase there.

They do tend to be a bit spendy and a few cyclists despise REI for whatever reason. Personally, I am quite happy with them. I purchased a hybrid 6 months ago and when it started falling apart I was able to return it for a full refund. Stores with this type of return policy are far and few in between.
I used the 20% off coupon, refund, and dividend to purchase a touring bike for about $300.

Plus, for whatever reason I can not seem to find a decent selection of bike clothing at my LBS. REI usually has whatever I am looking for. I would rather pay a little more than spend all my time hunting around the denver metro area. REI's denver flagship store is a nice convenient location for my commute or weekend rides.
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Old 03-30-06, 12:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caloso
One of the best moments of my Dad-hood was one Saturday morning when I was in the garage and my daughter came in, put on her helmet, climbed in the Chariot, and said "Daddy! Ride? Ride?"

Priceless.

My 2 year old son does the same thing. Periodically, he asks to bike. "bike bike?"
He also runs in the garage puts his helmet on and sits in the bike trailer.
Now I feel guilty. Due to a bathroom remodel and the weather I have not taken him riding in several months. Going to make some time this weekend before my tiling project begins.
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Old 03-30-06, 12:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supcom
You can order online at rei.com anytime and get the same discounts.
Yeah, I actually found out about the 20% from their web site. Unfortunately:

1. I wanted to check out the trailer---hands on---before making the final decision.
2. Extra shipping charges for an item that size would negate much of the coupon discount.
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Old 03-30-06, 12:14 PM   #9
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I'll give them a call and see what they say. If nothing else, I could see if they'll sell it and hold it for pickup.
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Old 03-30-06, 12:20 PM   #10
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Obviously, it varies by store, but the bike shop at my local REI is very good. I've been very happy there.

Coincidentally, I'm riding over to REI at lunch today to buy some discounted lift tickets. Another membership perk.
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Old 03-30-06, 12:28 PM   #11
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One of the best shopping is at REI's outlet site. (www.rei-outlet.com). I've found huge bargains on the pricey stuff like hiking boots, snowboard helmets, jerseys, etc. We're talking 50% or more off. And you don't have to be a member to shop on that website. Even if you were, you wouldn't get the dividends anyhow. For those who live reasonably close to an REI, you can avoid shipping charges if you have it sent to a store. I have an REI on my way home from work so I always have it shipped there. Plus if you decide to make a return, you can do it at an REI store. So I always open the box there and check out the merchandise and make a return then and there if I don't like it. Their customer service is so accomodating that they don't mind if you open the box, hold up the item and decide to return it. At least they don't seem to mind.
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Old 03-30-06, 02:02 PM   #12
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I've been a longtime REI member. It's been awhile since I've used the card though. Whenever I shop an REI store, I usually buy what's on sale, and that does not qualify for the dividend. The 20% is handy, and REI stores are very helpful, no matter which one I've used. Denver (huge megastore, sweet!), Framingham, Reading, Durham, it's all good! And if you go in at the right time, you can get some incredible closeout deals!
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Old 03-30-06, 03:53 PM   #13
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It's of little value to me. They have higher prices and limited interesting bike gear. Only things of value I found are: mini light to hold in teeth for emergency repair, balacava, and a cateye light. Denver main and Boulder ee's have a horrible customer service attitude. I'll go to performance or bicycle village for my needs.
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Old 03-30-06, 04:43 PM   #14
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The REI store that recently opened in Pittsburgh rocks. Definately worth the hour drive to do some shopping. I just ordered a Cycleops $45 mat for under my trainer, and with the 20% coupon, plus using my dividend, I got it for $10. I shipped it to the store, and saved the shipping charge also. Being a member is really worth it in my eyes.
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Old 03-30-06, 05:01 PM   #15
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Guess I'm lucky that the local REI is only 25 miles away. A couple times when I got permission from the SO (or nearly got permission) I've made a half-century day of it. They have a couple things you can't get seem to find at the main LBS (performance) (e.g. Cat Crap, Mini U-locks, Take-a-look mirrors, TimBuk2 bags)

Keep in mind that the REI membership is $15 (or was) for lifetime membership -- unlike Performance with the $20/year thing.

About trailers, if possible you might try to borrow one first. My daughter didn't really take to the Burley we got. Had to wait until her language skills improved. Turned out she was lonely back there, .
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Old 03-30-06, 05:07 PM   #16
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I always make REI a shopping stop when I'm in Atlanta. I also bought a Novara Strada there some years ago and it's still going strong - now in the UK.
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Old 03-30-06, 05:07 PM   #17
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About trailers, if possible you might try to borrow one first. My daughter didn't really take to the Burley we got. Had to wait until her language skills improved. Turned out she was lonely back there, .
If I'm spending over $400 on this thing, my boy better like it. Otherwise he can stay home while I ride around town pulling an empty trailer.
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Old 03-30-06, 05:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peek the Geek
Yeah, I actually found out about the 20% from their web site. Unfortunately:

1. I wanted to check out the trailer---hands on---before making the final decision.
2. Extra shipping charges for an item that size would negate much of the coupon discount.
buy it online with the coupon but have it for pickup at the store... no shipping... if you get there and don't like it.. get a refund back to your card!

i'm an REI member and the closest one is 2-3 hours! (depending on traffic).... i don't use them a lot... but the membership was only.. what.. 10 bucks?
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Old 03-30-06, 05:26 PM   #19
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Yes, you can cash in the 20% coupon on online orders, until April 2nd. You can also get free shipping by having the order shipped to your nearest REI store, and then going to pick it up from there. Perhaps the cost to drive there would be less than the cost of shipping to your home.

I have been a member since 1975. I cashed in my 20% coupon on a new Yakima HookUp bike rack, and saved $ 71 off the purchase. My nearest REI store is 8 miles from my home, and the Redmond and downtown flagship stores are about 25 miles away. My pet peeve with the actual REI stores is how often they are out of stock of what I am looking for. In view of the 10% dividend especially, they are reasonably price competitive with many of my local LBS.
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Old 03-30-06, 05:51 PM   #20
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joined REI in the late 70s when i lived in SF... it was overpriced then, and is overpriced now, but you can find some good deals (lost my original card, had to re-join a few years ago)...

the coop idea has been long lost in REI - now it's run by suits... but i do go for the discounts (am waiting on a delivery at this time)...

the rebates idea blows as REI screws you on varying purchases instead of rebating you on your total expenditure - this action alone indicates that REI is nothing more than a corporate machine and no longer has any care for its 'members'

RIP REI... i'll use you when it helps me, but the coop idea is looooonnnnnnngggg gone!
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Old 03-30-06, 06:06 PM   #21
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I am. And I fricken live there.

BTW, that coupon is online and at the store. But its ONLY for things that are not on sale. If there is a sale tag no discount.

I reccomend buying a membership. Its a very nice thing. Espcially when there is a garage sale near you. Also dividend is a happy plus!

Oh and I am also putting in my app at the end of the week.
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Old 03-30-06, 06:43 PM   #22
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Also my local REI has an (at least) annual returns sale with discounts of 30-40-60-% on some items. Someone used it once and returned it so it gets saved for the returns sale. Get there early.
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Old 03-30-06, 07:45 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
It's of little value to me. They have higher prices and limited interesting bike gear. Only things of value I found are: mini light to hold in teeth for emergency repair, balacava, and a cateye light. Denver main and Boulder ee's have a horrible customer service attitude. I'll go to performance or bicycle village for my needs.
Were as I can't stand performance. Limited selection and crappy quality. At least at the DTC performance shop.
That and bicycle village is nowhere near me.

REI is right along my main commute and another location is near my work off of orchard (well 4 miles away).

Location location. If it is difficult to ride there I most likely won't.
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Old 03-30-06, 08:03 PM   #24
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Ive been a member for about thirty years now. They used to be mail order only. I haven't bought anything there in a long time, but I still enjoy browsing there. The store in Berkeley has a pretty decent bike department. I used to get special treatment (I don't remember what that entailed) because of my low member number when I rented equipment.
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Old 03-30-06, 08:43 PM   #25
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Also my local REI has an (at least) annual returns sale with discounts of 30-40-60-% on some items. Someone used it once and returned it so it gets saved for the returns sale. Get there early.
I got a $200 pair of Italian hiking boots for $12.50 at one of these sales.
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