Spring is here. What that means if your an REI member is that you should be receiving shortly ( if you haven’t already) your yearly dividend and your 20% off coupon! WHOO HOO! I love REI and I am planning to use my dividend and 20% off coupon towards a new pair of hiking shoes. If your not an REI member here are a few reasons why you may want to consider becoming one.
1. The Annual Dividend. If you buy outdoor gear and spend a fair amount of money each year doing so, you can get a 10% rebate check. The rebate checks come out in March and can be used towards any purchase and used in conjunction on any sale items or with any other discounts. This is a great one…it’s like getting free money to use towards that new piece of gear you’ve been eyeing.
2. Member only savings coupons and special offers. As a member you get exclusive access to REI’s used gear sale and periodically get 20% off coupons you can use on a full priced item. I love the 20% off coupon and like I said, I’ve been eyeing a new pair of hiking shoes, and the approximately $21 I will save on them makes waiting an extra few weeks worth while. As great as the discount is, the used gear sales are really cool and a great way to purchase high quality used gear at a great price. The used gear ranges from everything REI sells such as tents, snowboards & boots & clothing. The gear is typically in very good shape and has been well maintained. If you have young kids that outgrow gear quickly and your afraid to invest a lot of money, this is a good way to get it. Just be prepared to jump on something if you see it because that’s some of the stuff that goes first at the sales.
3. Gear Rental Discounts. If your someone who wants to try a new activity but don’t want to have to buy all of the equipment first, the gear rental discount is a great benefit. The gear that’s available to rent varies by store location, so check out the one nearest you to see what they have available. Most stores should have mountaineering gear, various camping gear, and a lot of winter sports gear to rent on a daily or weekly basis. Again this varies by location… Mountaineering gear in Minnesota? Nope, but Paddling/Kayaking? they got it. With your membership you not only get helpful knowledgeable staff to explain how to use the equipment your renting, but you get a discount!
4. Shop Service Discounts. If your into biking or skiing and snowboarding, this one is a money saving benefit. REI’s bike shop can do anything from a basic tune up to custom wheel building, and the ski and snowboard shop can fix damaged edges or just give you a great waxing…of course all at a discount!
5. REI Adventures Travel Discounts. I so wish I could say I have taken advantage of this membership benefit, but I haven’t. That doesn’t make it any less cool, and I do someday hope too. In California alone, REI does 2-4 day weekend trips like cycling in Death Valley, or backpacking in Yosemite. One that I have been wanting to do is the 4 day Apostle Islands Kayaking trip in Wisconsin… I just don’t know how I would manage to get to Wisconsin for a 4 day kayaking trip without having to spend several days with my family that lives there… check out all the weekend trips REI has to offer and see if there is one that interests you. http://www.rei.com/adventures/activity/weekend_trips.html If you’ve ever wanted to backpack in Europe, go hiking in South Africa or do some mountain biking in Asia, REI has trips for that too. Aaghhh. It’s so nice to dream…
6. The REI 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. For this benefit you do not have to be a member but if you are a member, and you’ve lost your receipt, it doesn’t matter because REI has your purchase on record. The REI guarantee is, if anytime your not 100% satisfied with an item you purchased at REI, you can return it for credit or get a refund. This is another benefit I have used… once. I purchased a high quality 3 season tent and used it on a week long beach camping trip in the Outer Banks of NC. The wind was so strong and constant, the sides of the tent would bulge inward due to the 3 pole design. Also since it was a 3 season tent, I had no way of closing it up completely, so the very fine sand would blow under the fly and through the screen mesh. My wife, daughter and I woke up several mornings covered in a very fine layer of sand, and the sand was EVERYWHERE. That was enough to convince me that I wanted a 4 season tent with it’s ability to withstand high wind loads and be able to completely close it up in bad weather. After our trip, I went to REI and explained how unhappy I was with the tent, and told them exactly which new tent I wanted to get instead. REI credited me the complete purchase price! It also just so happened that it was March…spring dividend and discount time. So, since I was looking at a new tent that wasn’t on sale, I could use my 20% off member coupon, AND my $85 dividend towards the new tent. When it was all said and done, I paid about $80 to upgrade to a new 3 person, 4 season Mountain Hardware tent! This thing has not let me down yet. I felt completely satisfied at the time and I still do! Tell me of another outdoor gear retailer where you could do that?
7. Overall great shopping experience. This one isn’t a membership benefit, but it’s true. I have been to REI many times and to many different REI locations throughout the country, and every time I am met with friendly, experienced and knowledgeable staff. I also always know what I can expect at their stores and that they will have the gear that I want or need.
Well, If with all of those reasons, I wasn’t able to convince you, you are either dead or don’t enjoy doing anything outdoors that may require clothing, shoes or gear…maybe your a Pygmy. Whether your an REI family member or not, it really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you enjoy spending time in the outdoors and we are ALL members of that same family…just remember I tried to convince you of an easy way to save a little money too!
Disclosure: YES… I am an REI Affiliate sales member through this website, BUT I have been a loyal REI member and customer for more years than I care to admit. Although I would appreciate it if you would click on my REI link in the sidebar before you visit their online store, I am advocating that you become a REI member because I truly believe it is the premier membership program in the outdoor retail sales industry and if you purchase gear and use your 20% off coupon even just once, the lifetime membership fee could immediately more than pay for itself. Thank you.