REI Scam with Dividend Offer

8:57 p.m. on April 6, 2012 (EDT)
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Ok.  Let me set the record straight because I've been wracking my brain for the last several days.  Please correct me if I'm wrong but it doesnt appear that I am. I love REI.  I really do.  I dont buy a TON of stuff from them for many reasons.  I think their heads are in the right places when it comes to being environmentally sound.  The whole "board of directors thing," nice.  I like getting their catalogues and read up on new gear, etc. However, I get my "dividend" check in the mail a few weeks ago along with the nice 20% off coupon that all REI members get.  I started surfing online at their site seeing what I might be in the market to purchase.  It really seems that all the REALLY GOOD STUFF that you can find on their site when the "sale" is not going on somehow isnt there anymore.  Check out mens trail runners as an example and then compare other sites like Backcountry.com, Moosejaw, etc.  Seems like everyone else has a lot more shwag to choose from.  I searched a little deeper.  Many of the items REI now has on their website is very dated.  I'm starting to get the impression that they pull all the really good stuff off of their online site until AFTER the sale (ends April 15th) and only allows you to look at older items that have been on for a while.  Why do I get the feeling that come April 16th somehow all of this really good, updated gear will somehow appear on their site?!  Oh I get it, they give you the dividend along with the 20% coupon to buy all of their "lets just try to unload it" gear and then they load up all the stuff you'd REALLY like to buy AFTER  the April 15th deadline.  Hmmmm........veeeery interesting.  Another reason why I dont throw all my eggs in one basket with them.  Finally, another funny thing.  I live in NJ.  If I decide to buy something other than clothing I get TAXED on the purchase from REI (they have 3 stores in Jerzey now) however I can find the same stuff TAX FREE WITH FREE DELIVERY on many other sites.  Most of the other sites PRICE MATCH as well!  I hate to say it, I might goto my local REI just to check out the good I want to try on but when it comes time to actually purchase the item I think I'm gonna go elsewhere.  Annoying & not happy.  Rrrrrr......... 

10:05 p.m. on April 6, 2012 (EDT)
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REI has their method of clearance. Backcountry has departmentofgoods and steepandcheap.  Moosejaw probably just has a sale.

10:19 p.m. on April 6, 2012 (EDT)
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I'm not so sure about the claim.  For example, the high end marmot down bags are available on REI's site.

11:51 p.m. on April 6, 2012 (EDT)
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I was in the "Flagship" store in Seattle today and on line, the online site is a little lacking in selection but not a lot.  On the other hand, I do know what you mean about sales and selection.  When I was last in the same store their was a lot of different items on sale, today much less so, some clearance items but not a lot.  I am sure it just because it time to change stock for the seasons, right....  :D

Yea God forbid you get your 20% off something nice and on sale!!  :) Oh well such is life. 

Wolfman

3:41 a.m. on April 7, 2012 (EDT)
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I am not happy either. But my reason is, there is no REI type shop in the UK. Zero choice option. The best we can do is smaller businesses that sell interesting and useful gear at RRP or just below, with some kind of loyalty programme (facewest etc).

Is the Canadian MEC any better?

In the news this week, Amazon haven't been paying any corporate taxes for years, stealing a lot of money from the debt burdened people and govt. who they take money from, while underselling independent shops and ghostowning the high street.

Cheaper prices are great, in the short term. Variation and socially responsible businesses help the long term. Everyone seems to know that but it takes effort to apply it to ourselves, individually and collectively (the human 'condition').

I think the choice of having an REI over not having one is better than the choice of saving money on old stock or not. So I am jealous of your limitations.

But it is good that you are aware of what they are doing, if it is intentional like you suggest. Deception, betrayal, not matter how small the effect, is execrable due to the intent we recognise, instinctively.

6:29 a.m. on April 7, 2012 (EDT)
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I think REI's prices are high as well compared to everyone else.  You can get the same product at other stores.  I realize they brag about the "Dividend" but thats a joke really.

7:48 a.m. on April 7, 2012 (EDT)
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Most of the items that 'dissappear' from the website is due to it being temporarily out of stock. In any case, most retailers wont let you use a coupon if the item is already on deep sale or clearance...not all retailers, but a good number of them. Which happens often in the first quarter or two due to them trying to offload past season items.

I guess I must have good luck because every item I have ever wanted to get from REI I have been able to get it with the 20% coupon that comes out every quarter. This includes brand new tents, packs, and all kinds of other things. Sometimes this involves being patient and waiting until the next sale or quarter.

I wouldn't say the dividend is a joke. Some of REIs pricing is higher than competitors, but i find it to be pretty comparable if your comparing like item to like item. Also, if you do find it cheaper somewhere REI will price match if you bring in the print add, or print the website page etc.

The dividend is a 10% coupon essentially, when you take that into account the vast majority of the REI prices are pretty close to the competitiors, with some exceptions of course.

Also, nothing says you have to spend your dividend by April 15th, you can save it until whatever item your looking for comes back in stock.

Your also paying for the awesome return policy that REI has.

If you don't like REI then don't buy from them, but regarding you living in NJ and the applicable tax laws. Don't hold it against REI that they follow the LAW and tax you appropiately and some other retailer is not following the law by not taxing you.

9:58 a.m. on April 7, 2012 (EDT)
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I dont know......I was able to get the new Therm-a-Rest XLite pad with my 20% off.......its new just came out a few months ago.

9:10 a.m. on April 9, 2012 (EDT)
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I was at the largest of the Minnesota REI stores on Saturday.  The store was packed both with people and extra merchandise.  I find the store selection to be hit or miss, any time of year.   I actually mail order more than I buy in person because store merchandise is spotty as to whether a particular item is in stock.  The stores seem to sell more clothing than gear.

11:59 a.m. on April 9, 2012 (EDT)
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Pathloser said:

I am not happy either. But my reason is, there is no REI type shop in the UK. Zero choice option. The best we can do is smaller businesses that sell interesting and useful gear at RRP or just below, with some kind of loyalty programme (facewest etc).

Is the Canadian MEC any better?

 MEC was originally established to let people pool their resources to buy expensive climbing gear, then gradually expanded to include hiking, canoeing/kayaking, cycling, and most lately, yoga (?!).

The co-op model doesn't necessarily allow for cheaper prices, but they are comparable with other suppliers. In most cities, though, MEC is the only store that offers a wide selection of reputable brands to choose from, including their own house brand. Other than very specialized shops, it is the only one that offers 'real' gear for experienced people and the pros, as well as for those who are just looking for decent equipment at a reasonable price.

Once nice advantage is that most of the staff (which includes retired ACMG guides and other very experienced people) work there for their pro discounts, not the money. They don't get a commission, so they're more interested in sharing their knowledge and finding the right gear than in selling the most expensive stuff.

1:03 p.m. on April 10, 2012 (EDT)
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timing ???????

8:51 p.m. on April 11, 2012 (EDT)
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Sorry all.  I went to my local REI store this evening just to be sure.  They didnt even have their "really good" knife selection case out.  I asked one on staff where I could find a really good Benchmade knife, they said they didnt carry them at this time but maybe try the website?  They had the case out filled with nice knives 2 weeks ago!  Arrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  I give up.  Lots of stuff on clearance though.  Didnt buy anything.  Whats the old saying, "if you really dont need anything but have a coupon dont use it.  You still paying at least 50% of what the item is actually worth.  Just tired of over paying for all this Made in China crap.  Sorry.  For another discussion.....thanks all.

1:18 a.m. on April 12, 2012 (EDT)
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Sorry. I have been dealing with REI for 30 years and have not found that I have been slighted by their stock. I get what I want, when I want it and my dividend is a good one each year. Clearly, they are n=doing something right. AND I have taken stuff back that is totaled! Granaded! and got every single penny back for it. You pay 15 bux, ONCE. You get lifetime satisfaction NO QUESTIONS.

July 25, 2014
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