Topic

C'mon REI, you can do better than this


Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Home Forums Gear Forums Gear (General) C'mon REI, you can do better than this

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 30 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #3619349
    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member

    @rex

    Locale: California

    Ordered some gear from REI for in-store pickup. This offer was prominently displayed in the email saying my order was ready:Could be nice. But I’m one of those who reads the fine print. After 187 words with the usual deadlines and exclusions, the very last line says:

    All discounted merchandise is not eligible for the REI member dividend.

    How much is the member dividend every year?

    10%.

    Really REI?

    — Rex

    #3619370
    Brad W
    BPL Member

    @rocko99

    So you want the discount and the dividend?

    #3619379
    Matt Dirksen
    BPL Member

    @namelessway

    Locale: Mid Atlantic

    Rex,

    As far as I recall, that has always been REI’s general “policy” when it comes to items on sale.

    (At least it was that way when I was working there in the 90’s.)

    #3619389
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    It means that you can’t take an additional 10% off already discounted items. I worked in a bookstore (retail) and this is reasonable. If you combine discounts people would be essentially buying merchandise near cost. You can’t stay in business that way.

    also, it’s an inducement to buy something new when you come in.

    #3619398
    Bruce Tolley
    BPL Member

    @btolley

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    + 1 to Max’s comment. I have been a member since 1969 (high school), and, as as long as I can remember, this is no co-op dividend on sales items.

    Like other retailers, I would posit that REI is in intense competition with Amazon, and the 10& offering was to make folks glad about actually travelling to a bricks and mortar store.

    #3619399
    Doug Coe
    BPL Member

    @sierradoug

    Locale: Bay Area, CA, USA

    @book Yeah, the item won’t cost you any less than without the coupon, so it’s really just playing with your mind.

    #3619420
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    Hi Doug: no, the 10% off will work on any full priced item. That’s a real discount, and isn’t just playing with your mind.

    People want to buy an item that’s already 30% off, say; and then add an additional 10% off with the coupon. that brings the item down to below cost for REI, if you factor in handling etc.

    Meanwhile, the rent and store employees have to be paid.

    #3619437
    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member

    @here

    Locale: Right there

    Don’t like it, don’t shop there.

    #3619445
    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member

    @rex

    Locale: California

    Apparently my interpretation of REI’s offer isn’t clear, so I’ll spell it out differently.

    REI is offering 10% off any full-priced order over $50 (exclusions apply, yada yada).

    Except all REI members (including me, ~45 years) get a 10% dividend on (almost) every full-priced item.

    Unless they use this offer, which makes every item on the order a “discounted item,” so no dividend.

    In other words, this offer is worthless and misleading. While I might expect that from large corporate retailers, I don’t expect that from a member-owned coop. Maybe my expectations are too high.

    Or I’ve seriously misinterpreted REI’s fine print (and I can get 10% off and a 10% dividend), so their communications need improvement.

    In general I like REI. I’m calling them out because they should be better.

    — Rex

    #3619449
    Alex H
    BPL Member

    @abhitt

    Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW

    Rex, I read your first post the same way you just described it.  The additional offer, to really be an incentive “an extra little something”, needs to be better than what a member gets everyday, even if it was just 15%.

    #3619461
    Dan Durston
    BPL Member

    @dandydan

    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    So you give up your 10% dividend to get 10% off – hardly an exciting proposition worth advertising as “a little something extra“.

    Needs to be at least 15% to present it like that, but at least it’s not 5% where you give up 10% divided to save 5%, and end up worse off.

    #3619464
    Bruce Tolley
    BPL Member

    @btolley

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    “…this offer is worthless and misleading.”

    If you are a member, you get your money early. That is worth something to some folks. And non members get the whole 20%, yes?

    If you really want to get analytical, if you are a member, any of REIs 20% off sales is really a 10% off sale.

    And not everyone is a member. I would suspect a large plurality of customers are not members just based on the invitations I hear in the check out line.

    And there is also the fact that if you comparison shop on items from big vendors like MSR and Columbia, you can get regular price a bit cheaper than REIs regular price from big box stores like Dicks Sporting Goods.

    #3619514
    Matt Dirksen
    BPL Member

    @namelessway

    Locale: Mid Atlantic

    “And not everyone is a member. I would suspect a large plurality of customers are not members just based on the invitations I hear in the check out line.”

    Precisely.

    In my 8 years of employment, I think about 30 percent of purchasers were not members (nor would ever be) so the 10% would well for them.

    Also, in my recollection, there’s no guarantee that you’ll actually get back 10% at the end of the year – it all depends on the profit of OUR Coop business. I think there were some years where it was less, due to poor sales.

    And if you use a non-REI credit card, your knocking a couple more percentage points off your dividend for those transactions (thanks to credit card merchant fees.)

    As far as I can tell, the 20% off the “Outlet Store” coupon is the best I’ve ever seen, since some things are already in excess of 50% off in there. (The garage sale doesn’t count, since that’s all used stuff).

     

    #3619515
    Rob
    BPL Member

    @grubbster

    In my opinion the true value of REI is not their sales, although they can have excellent sales.  I think their value lies in their return policy.  There are a few places that have a similar policy but they don’t have the same brand selection REI has.

    #3619516
    Monte Masterson
    BPL Member

    @septimius

    Locale: Changes Often

    I find that campsaver.com can beat REI and all other retailers on a regular basis. Their recurring 20% off Outlet (already slashed prices) items can bring gear prices down very low. Of course campsaver has 20% off full priced items on a regular basis. Some exclusions do apply, but even those brands will usually be marked down sometime throughout the year. And when you buy from campsaver fairly often they will e-mail you a 10% off entire order coupon that can be applied along with other discounts.

    What’s more, campsaver regularly offers sale prices (25% – 30% off) on quality gear, prices that I rarely see on other sites.

    #3619585
    Katherine .
    BPL Member

    @katherine

    Locale: pdx

    Time is money. I’d much prefer to pay $90 and call it good rather than pay $100 now and get $10 back in a few months.

    The interest is real. And there are advantages on the behavioral level too. Do I ever request a check instead of using my refund? Nah, I spend that quickly, and with less scrutiny. That’s on me, but I’ll take all the help I can get there.

     

    #3619595
    Dan Y
    BPL Member

    @zelph2

    I find that campsaver.com can beat REI and all other retailers on a regular basis. Their recurring 20% off Outlet (already slashed prices) items can bring gear prices down very low. Of course campsaver has 20% off full priced items on a regular basis. Some exclusions do apply, but even those brands will usually be marked down sometime throughout the year. And when you buy from campsaver fairly often they will e-mail you a 10% off entire order coupon that can be applied along with other discounts.

    What’s more, campsaver regularly offers sale prices (25% – 30% off) on quality gear, prices that I rarely see on other sites.

    I agree, much better than REI

    #3619604
    Chris Malnowski
    BPL Member

    @cmalinowski

    It’s funny.  Before I owned a company, I had no real idea about overhead and such.  If the manufacturer makes it for $1, I should be able to buy it just a bit more than that.  Overhead is huge, and if you want a brick and mortar presence, and REI is a good one, then sometimes you have to pay.

    What’s funny is that the OP appeared to be fine purchasing the items and then picking up the items without any other compensation.  Then when REI decided to give at least a little benefit (granted, not great), it became an “REI sucks” discussion.  I love a bargain.  And I shop for them, so I’m not saying I shop at B&M stores, or pay full retail.  What I’m saying is that all these companies, REI included, need to make a profit.  They have their ways.  If you really think you are being ripped off, shop elsewhere, but bashing them online for offering you something just seems petty and small.  They do better.  A lot.

    Open a store.  Make it better.  I mean, it’s easy apparently.  Everyone seems to have the formula, so I don’t get why I can’t purchase items for $0.50 more than it costs to make them.

    </rant>

    #3619608
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    I agree with Rex’s original point: for REI members (41 years myself), “10% off” (with no dividend) is the same as the regular price.  Mostly.  You get the 10% months sooner.  You don’t have to spend the 10% off at REI.  10% off saves you 10% of the sales tax which the dividend does not.

    I also acknowledge that non-members will see savings they wouldn’t otherwise.

    In the 1970s and 1980s, dividend percentages used to vary and averaged 10%.  That’s still all they promise – they’ll be dividends (legally, there have to be, if they have positive margins) and the dividends have in the past averaged 10%.

    REI is one of the larger co-ops nationally, but the larger ones are agricultural – Blue Diamond Almonds, Ocean Spray, Land O Lakes, etc – co-ops of growers who go in together to process and market their commodities and then margins are distributed on the basis of patronage (bushels of almonds, gallons of milk, etc).  The most numerous co-ops in the top 100 nationally are member-owned electrical co-operatives which are almost all in rural areas that were left un-energized by the investor-owned utilities through the 1930s (1940s here in Alaska) and addressed by the Rural Electrification Act.

    I do wonder how REI gets away without any democratic governance.  It used to be that members could run to be on the board of directors.  Now the board nominates candidates and members “vote” on a ballot with a single choice – kind of like in Cuba or Zimbabwe.  Democratic governance is required by the tax law in the co-op realms I work in.  I remember getting REI ballots with multiple candidates, reading their statements and voting accordingly.  OTOH, REI does seem well run, and I appreciate that they’ve stuck to (mostly)* muscle-powered sports.  The biggest tweak I’d want is for them to include weights of EVERYTHING they sell.  Why not?  Its origins were in climbing equipment.

    *I’d argue downhill skiing isn’t muscle-powered since $50,000,0000 of equipment (and a $79 lift ticket) are required to take you up the mountain.  Nordic?  Yup.  Randonee? Yup.  Alpine?  No.

    #3619610
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    I don’t fret about the absolute lowest price much and I appreciate how well run REI retail stores are.

    – items are kept in stock

    – including oddball things that are bothersome for them to stock (fuel, bear spray, weird little spare parts for stoves and Swiss army knives).  They’ll sell you 2 feet of 4mm perlon, etc.

    – employees are reasonably to greatly knowledgable

    – employees aren’t on commission and that makes them far more helpful and honest.

    – one of the few places you can rent outdoor items

    – good loss-control in place (they actually check CC signatures, if the shoe sizes match, etc)

    -it’s easy to walk around the store without tripping over pallets of sale items or garish displays of Big-5 type merch.

    If I need to try on a pair of shoes to check fit before I buy, then I’m going to get them from that store – not put them back on the shelf and order online to save $10.

    #3619656
    Kathleen B.
    BPL Member

    @alpine-pedestrian

    Monte – thanks for reminding me about campsaver.com.  I just checked their site and ordered 2 pairs of the Darn Tough socks I’ve been eyeing.  I got 20% off my whole order (2 pairs) instead of 20% off one item that REI is offering, plus free shipping.

    #3619674
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    You can get the FULL range of Darn Tough Vermont from Amazon, at good prices.

    Cheers

    #3619680
    Matt Dirksen
    BPL Member

    @namelessway

    Locale: Mid Atlantic

    Thanks for the reminder!

    just got the wife a new pair of Darn Tough 1642’s for $9.95

    (On my normal DT repository: Ebay)

    #3620138
    Karen
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    I so rarely shop that I don’t even notice the discount coupons that I get after my purchase. I’m all done buying then, so I don’t need a dated coupon.

    I had to laugh though, at BPL’s “how not to waste money at REI” piece. I didn’t know there was a sale until I saw the headline. Nice work! Now I’ll go look and see if there are Christmas presents to get.

    #3620140
    Jenny A
    BPL Member

    @jennifera

    Locale: Front Range

    Or like my husband is fond of saying, “Going broke saving money.”

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 30 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Loading...