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REI 20/20 Discounts on...Junk?

Old 05-22-18, 12:02 PM
  #26  
GailT
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I joined at the Berkeley REI in 1987 and still frequently visit the Boulder and Denver stores. Hiking boots, back packs, snow shoes, bike seats, tools and supplies. It's great to be able to see and touch products in the store, test them out at home, and return them for no cost if they don't work out. I almost always wait for sales/coupons rather than paying full price. They are obviously going to make compromises to compete with online stores, but It's impressive that they are still in business as a brick & mortar store. I'm glad they are an advocate for preserving public lands. Escalante/Grand Stair Case was recently reduced by almost 50% and opened up to coal mining and oil and gas drilling. I expect that the vast majority of their potential customers will support their conservation advocacy. In any case, it's the right thing to do whether or not it offends some people.
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Old 05-22-18, 12:08 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
I shop at both. Sure as heck not getting my boating and fishing gear at REI, and I'm not getting my Ortliebs or Brooks saddle at Cabelas or Bass Pro. They serve different needs. What is quoted above, however, is the attitude that drives customers away, that it should cater to people of a certain political persuasion and mindset.

If that's the way they want to go, fine, but it is an incredibly stupid business decision to alienate on the order of half the population with such ridiculous statements. Especially so in a day of brick and mortar shops dying out in favor of online shops.
The bit about Dick Cheney wasn't so much about politics, but had more to do with fat older guys who drive as close as they can to "hunt" or camp while thinking there's anything sporting about what they're doing. There's a definite market for both groups, and I'm not the only one that prefers to shop with the group that manages to avoid showing up on gunfail.
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Old 05-22-18, 12:21 PM
  #28  
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I used to shop at the Denver store when I lived there, and picked up some decent all-weather camping gear as well as random bike parts.

For the past seven years, I've lived in places in which the closest REI is over 150 miles away, and it's been a few years since I've ordered anything online from them. For cycling equipment, the LBS seems to have better quality merchandise at the same price level, and there are other online retailers that offer more competitive pricing. There's nothing that special about REI stuff that will motivate me to spend more money or drive 300 miles round trip.

The end of their "guaranteed for life" policy on REI branded equipment is kind of a turn-off, too - I understand why they needed to change the policy, but it's also lame when expensive equipment falls apart without heavy use.
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Old 05-22-18, 11:35 PM
  #29  
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I went to rei the other day , first time , they have better bike stuff than all 3 of my lbs . they had best price on cassettes and brake pads cables . i was pretty impressed . they have a nice shop way better than dicks .
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Old 05-23-18, 02:11 PM
  #30  
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The stuff in their revamped bike sections is better than it has been in years. The general outdoor/active stuff is constrained by what North Face/Patagonia/Arcteryx makes and sells. Their own brand stuff is decent and cheaper than the other stuff. No, it isn't all cotton, save for things like the cotton/poly button up shirts that are advertised as such. The merino base layers are merino. The down puffer stuff is down. Their REI brand socks are still really good.

What on earth are some of you people expecting? Better made stuff than Patagonia and Arcteryx for less money? REI can barely move their own-label stuff as it is (which is why they must carry so much of the other stuff). Same goes for sleeping pads, bags, tents, etc.

Their prices are fair and their customer service is top notch; the member dividends at the end of the year are pretty cool.

My only gripe is the nearest physical store to me is two hours away, but that's because I live in the sticks.
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Old 05-23-18, 04:19 PM
  #31  
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I bought my Novara Randonee there on sale for $959. All other equivalent touring bikes started at $1399 and up.

I've been a member since 1979 (Berkeley store).

I always felt that the stuff they sell is good quality but somewhat expensive. Buying on sales and using dividend makes for some decent bargains.
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Old 05-23-18, 07:48 PM
  #32  
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I very rarely go to ours, but it is always busy. Prices are outrageous, which is why looking there is my last resort. Recently saw there a bike that the manufacture website shows for $414, marked as $550.

They seem to cater to wanna-be people (no offense) that need different socks for running, for biking, and walking.
Very small selection. i recently went to a Cabela's... yeah, no one serious goes to REI once you saw Cabela's. Just the 20 times floorspace difference makes a difference.
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Old 05-23-18, 08:03 PM
  #33  
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I'm not sure I've been cheered up much. I still thinking the organization is a little lost direction-wise. I'll add that my family's experience was getting at job at REI was no easy feat, the attrition rate through the interview and testing process was remarkable. So, I always expect customer service and enthusiasm level at REI will be positive, though it is a shame it's gone more towards the sales side.

But I am amused at the number of posters who joined through the Berkeley store. Is there a big alumni culture here in the BF or it is what people did when visiting the Bay Area in the 80's?

Just thinking out loud. .
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Old 05-23-18, 08:12 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
They seem to cater to wanna-be people (no offense) that need different socks for running, for biking, and walking.
Right, that isnt at all offensive.***
In fact, it should be viewed as downright complimentary! Who doesnt want to be told they shop at a store that caters to wannabes?


i love seeing that disclaimer used, as if it magically negates the clearly demeaning or offensive comment. Good stuff.
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Old 05-24-18, 02:22 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
People use the outdoors in many ways, and not all outdoor groups care to take that into account in their advocacy. The Sierra Club, which REI is partnered with, objects to ORVs on public lands. Even if I am behind their principal of protecting public lands, their views on land use do not align with mine and they try to prohibit a recreation I enjoy, why would I support that?

Now, I personally keep my buying purchases politics free, but I doubt most do. If you have a product I need at a price I'll pay, I'm buying it (which, is the bigger problem with me with REI pulling Bell and Giro over politics). It is not great for any business to get into politics, you will alienate people. They've already lost a helmet and likely a bike shoes sale from me over that political stance. Not because I am agreeing or disagreeing with their stance, but because I am not changing preferred brands because of other's politics.
Given that a very quick google showed that Cabela's (and Bass Pro) have openly supported the NRA since Cabela's was founded I think what is probably a more accurate statement is that you try to keep your purchases politics free. It appears to that it isn't just an issue of the late founder being an ardent supporter (at which point you could maybe argue "well he can do what he wants with his own money and on his own time), but they partnered with the NRA as well.

It's easy to boycott a business who is taking a political stance when their doing so is very much out in the open due in part to news coverage. It's much harder when no one writes about it or when it isn't headline news.
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Old 05-24-18, 05:32 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Right, that isnt at all offensive.***
In fact, it should be viewed as downright complimentary! Who doesnt want to be told they shop at a store that caters to wannabes?


i love seeing that disclaimer used, as if it magically negates the clearly demeaning or offensive comment. Good stuff.
I meant to say REI targets wanna-be. That is what their marketing is and their products (above department store, but below real outdoor stores). I didn't mean to say everyone who shops there is a wanna-be.
I apologize for not phrasing this correctly.
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Old 05-24-18, 05:56 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
I meant to say REI targets wanna-be.
oh, well that is way better.
Haha, I appreciate the clarification, but please understand I was also joking a little with my post as I get the idea of what you are saying it was just funny to me so I rolled with that in my response.
As for REI marketing to wannabes, I get that such an approach is ripped on, but if I want to be a camper then I should go to REI that makes sense. Or if I want to be a Backpacker I should go to REI. Etc etc etc.
If I want to be a fisherman I would go to Bass Pro Shops.

in all fairness, I completely understand what your original post was intended to say. I do agree with it in some way too. My local REI is in the most upscale section of our Metro and is quite often filled with a lot of people who i would guess want to feel like they are outdoors more than actually be outdoors.
thing is, I fall into that category sometimes as well. The idea of going camping with my kids for a random weekend is sometimes more appealing than actually going camping.
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Old 05-24-18, 06:30 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by knitguy View Post
Given that a very quick google showed that Cabela's (and Bass Pro) have openly supported the NRA since Cabela's was founded I think what is probably a more accurate statement is that you try to keep your purchases politics free. It appears to that it isn't just an issue of the late founder being an ardent supporter (at which point you could maybe argue "well he can do what he wants with his own money and on his own time), but they partnered with the NRA as well.
Yep, they certainly do, and I do disagree with it in that direction as well. Cabelas and Bass Pro kinda rub me in the wrong way with their in-your-face spectacle of patriotism, the having to show everyone how good of an American you are, that just comes off as manufactured and disingenuous to me and makes them support quite a bit I don't agree with either.

However, I learned long ago that if I only support businesses that agree 100% with me, I'm living a very boxed in life and not buying much of anything.
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Old 05-24-18, 08:57 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
However, I learned long ago that if I only support businesses that agree 100% with me, I'm living a very boxed in life and not buying much of anything.
I was thinking more or less the same thing earlier this week when someone was asking me to sign XYZ petition. There's no way I can reasonably go through life and only buy from companies that act in ways I 100% agree with. Sure there are companies that I won't buy from for ideological reasons, but for better or not that's not most companies.
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Old 05-24-18, 11:05 AM
  #40  
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Local REI? Singular? There are two in the Philly 'burbs that are not all that far from each other.
Never been to the newer/larger one because it's father away and not bikeable. The one I do go to is often quite busy. Bought a new pair of Keen light hikers/walkers for the members' sale. Have bought several pairs of PI bib over the years. A couple of Big Agnes tents. Got a great Sea to Summit sleeping pad last year. I have their MasterCard and usually have over a $200 dividend every year.

Want top quality running shoes? Go to a running specialty shop. Want great jerseys and other cycling clothes, you got Rapha.
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Old 05-24-18, 11:18 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
I meant to say REI targets wanna-be. That is what their marketing is and their products (above department store, but below real outdoor stores). I didn't mean to say everyone who shops there is a wanna-be.
I apologize for not phrasing this correctly.

Cabela's has an entire section for "hunting clothing" - where they sell hunting socks.

If you think Cabela's doesn't sell an image just as much as you claim REI does you aren't paying very close attention.
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Old 05-24-18, 11:28 AM
  #42  
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I have an REI membership because I got it free with a purchase a couple years ago.

Now I typically buy something there once or twice a year when I can use the 20% off coupon that drives a price on something lower than Amazon.

Without the coupon there's just no reason to shop there. Although they are having a huge sale this week that I found a solid deal on a pair of sneakers in. So there's that...but on a normal day without substantial discounts or sales, they have 3 star products at 5 star prices.

AS far as employees, the local REI has a shoes guy that has forgotten more about shoes and running and hiking that I will know in two lifetimes. Everyone else in the store, EVERYONE else....is parroting corporate sales pitchy details about products and can't answer follow up questions to save their lives. Just saying marketing details without actually understanding them.
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Old 05-24-18, 11:30 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by ph0rk View Post
Cabela's has an entire section for "hunting clothing" - where they sell hunting socks.

If you think Cabela's doesn't sell an image just as much as you claim REI does you aren't paying very close attention.
Dude...hunting socks are camouflage. Makes them huntier....or something

Disclosure, I love Cabela's / Bass Pro Shops. What a super store for anything you could imaging doing in the woods. I'm annoyed that there isn't one near me. It's like a little amusement part of outdoor shopping. But yeah....'hunting socks'.....okay....
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Old 05-24-18, 12:22 PM
  #44  
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I was in REI last week and had an exceptional experience. I was looking for 4 bike boxes for an upcoming trip, and to replace some gear. The time spent on me by the bike mechanic, and his great attitude was "beyond the call of duty".

About 4 years ago, before REI changed their return policy, I had another amazing experience. My wife and I had just returned from a tour where we broke one of our tent's lightweight carbon fiber poles. I bought the tent from REI, so I stopped in to see if I could buy a replacement pole. The called the tent maker and asked about replacement poles, and found out that they had switched over to light weight aluminum poles because of the problem with the carbon fiber poles. I asked if I could buy a set of the aluminum pole. They checked, and the aluminum pole set was not sold separately. The REI employee asked me if I had the tent with me, which I did, and could he look at it. I went out and and returned with our 5-year old, well used tent. He looked at the broken pole and said he'd just replace the tent with a new one. After checking the computer, he saw that when I purchased the original tent I paid full price for it. The same model of tent was currently on sale at this time, so he also gave a me voucher for $75 cash. I left the store with a new tent and $75! Do I still shop there, you bet!
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Old 05-24-18, 12:31 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
Is there a big alumni culture here in the BF or it is what people did when visiting the Bay Area in the 80's?
I was in grad school there from 1986-1992. It always amazes me how many people have been through that place.

My wife went there a couple of days ago to shop the sale and blew away $670, and still found time to yell at me for getting new bike tires (much cheaper, on-line).

Last edited by wgscott; 05-24-18 at 12:38 PM. Reason: Added yet more absolutely essential information
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Old 05-24-18, 03:06 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
But I am amused at the number of posters who joined through the Berkeley store. Is there a big alumni culture here in the BF or it is what people did when visiting the Bay Area in the 80's?

Just thinking out loud. .
I'm not sure how many stores they had when I joined in the early '70's, but there weren't any within a couple day drive on me in the midwest.
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Old 05-24-18, 05:13 PM
  #47  
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I'm done with REI. Dumping Camelback brand just because their parent company wouldn't issue a statement they wanted is the equivalent of corporate bullying. REI is like the typical liberal who preaches tolerance but has zero tolerance if you don't agree with their social and political opinions.
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Old 05-24-18, 06:31 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by tnburban View Post
I'm done with REI. Dumping Camelback brand just because their parent company wouldn't issue a statement they wanted is the equivalent of corporate bullying. REI is like the typical liberal who preaches tolerance but has zero tolerance if you don't agree with their social and political opinions.
Well, according to Ben Shapiro, it's not liberals, it's "The Left". Ben's, rhetoric seems to change depending on which audience he's preaching to and whether he's podding to his base....
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Old 05-24-18, 07:16 PM
  #49  
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The casual outdoor look is generally how I dress so I buy a fair amount of my clothes there as well as at Columbia Sportswear - though there's a Columbia outlet not even 5 minutes away from my house. I also tend to buy my Chacos there. In terms of non-clothes related things, the only things I'll buy there are are chain lube, sometimes tires, anything from Garmin, and sometimes gels if I'm already there. I also got my Wahoo Kickr Snap there.

For anything else bike specific I'll go to an LBS or get from Clever Training.

I will say, the two REI stores that I go to in the Portland metro area are generally not hurting for sales. I tend to avoid them on weekends because they're packed on any given weekend, membership sale or not. That said, it's Portland and they have very few competitors here that aren't sport specific.
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Old 05-24-18, 11:04 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
I'm not sure how many stores they had when I joined in the early '70's, but there weren't any within a couple day drive on me in the midwest.
there was only one store when I joined, and it was in Seattle
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