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By RockinOut
From NY, NY
Jun 4, 2013
Gear
You do know that REI employees actually encourage and recommend "weekend renting" Do you know how many times I was pushed to buy 2 packs, 2 tents, and 2 pairs of boots at REI and then return the one I didnt want. Or if they had a different color or size on the website they encouraged purchasing it from the site and returning it if I`m not satisfied with the fit or color. So if it was hurting them they only hurt themselves by pushing the weekend rental.

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By Greg Springer
From Minneapolis
Jun 4, 2013
Friends big puppy
REI had a provision for Sales Returns of
$9,746,000 in 2012 on
Sales of $1,930,635,000

About .5% or .005

I think it's a good policy change, but given the magnitude, it won't be reflected in lowered prices.

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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Jun 4, 2013
So sweet to see ditbags defending the corporate giant that shut down the small outdoor shop industry. The REI worshippers somehow think they have some sort of personal connection because they sell the stuff you buy.

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By BobGray
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Jun 4, 2013
My Hero
David Sahalie wrote:
So sweet to see ditbags defending the corporate giant that shut down the small outdoor shop industry. The REI worshippers somehow think they have some sort of personal connection because they sell the stuff you buy.


+1

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By teece303
From Highlands Ranch, CO
Jun 4, 2013
Aiding.
David Sahalie wrote:
So sweet to see ditbags defending the corporate giant that shut down the small outdoor shop industry. The REI worshippers somehow think they have some sort of personal connection because they sell the stuff you buy.


To me, I'm defending basics morality. Corporate giant or my friend next door, it doesn't matter. Ethics is ethics.

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By JeffL
From Salt Lake City
Jun 4, 2013
I just spoke with a CS rep regarding a sleeping pad that I own that has been leaking air through the valve. Factory defects are still covered 100%. If you own something for more than a year and then you decide that you don't like it, you are probably abusing the system. I'm not sure that this new policy will stop people from "renting" equipment for a few months though. So to avoid an even more stringent policy please make sure you berate those who still brag about abusing the policy. Not just on the internet, especially in the field.

I think this new policy will decrease the amount of REI outlet sales and I will probably not purchase things from the outlet because I can probably find a cheaper price. That being said, I like to support companies I believe in, so REI will still be getting a lot of my money.

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By Sir Spanxalot
Jun 4, 2013
no
Ian Stewart wrote:
I hardly consider trying out a few backpacks, one weekend each, over the course of two months and returning those I don't like to be abusing the return policy. There's a difference between "renting" and "comparing" gear. I did keep one pack in the end. Keep in mind that the 30 day return policy is from the "date of purchase" which, from online outlet orders, is often no more than 20 days once you've actually received the product.


I agree with you on this, Ian. I just did a similar thing with expensive espresso machines. I had three different ones, using each one heavily, and returning it if it sucked. BB&B wasn't bitching about a "used" machine coming back. Shoot, if you are buying something pricey, it is great to be able to try the product.

On this one, shoot, if you can't figure out your gear sucks in a year, maybe you need to get out more. Totally reasonable, but REI is a shit hole, and I don't shop there, I only steal from that bitch!

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By TheBirdman
From Eldorado Springs, Colorado
Jun 4, 2013
One other note. In 6 months, garage sales will be no more...

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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Jun 4, 2013
...
For the record. This is the MOST important thread on this site.

Thanks good buddy.

LOL!

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By Robbie Mackley
From Tucson, AZ
Jun 4, 2013
Me and Holden at the "Matterhorn"
For what it's worth, I've never received "help" in my local REI without being reminded of the existing return policy.

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By Will Butler
From Boulder, CO
Jun 4, 2013
ice park
Timothy.Klein wrote:
To me, I'm defending basics morality. Corporate giant or my friend next door, it doesn't matter. Ethics is ethics.


LMFAO. REI put their original policy into effect so that local shops could not compete (good business practice really). Now that they virtually own the market, they're slightly scaling the policy back because their sales rose less than expected last year to only $1.9 billion.

Loopholes are meant to exploited. It's the American way. If you don't like be exploiting, close the loophole. If you want to make sure mom & pops still can't compete, just close it a little bit.

And I imagine many of you out there can still burn through 3 pairs of Muiras in a year.

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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Jun 4, 2013
Costco pays employees $17 an hour to stock and sell. REI gives minimum wage to people that are supposed to be knowledgeable about specific items in certain, sometimes dangerous situations. ... so why is REI assumed to be such a bastion of goodwill to the outdoor community?

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By JesseT
From Portland, OR
Jun 4, 2013
25' drop...wheeeeee!
Ian Stewart wrote:
I can't be the only one that's returned a backpack because of a pressure point on my hips that is only noticeable 10 miles in. Or how about a pair of pants that feels comfortable until you get sweaty and it starts sticking then chaffing? Not to mention shoes...just because they fit on your living room couch doesn't mean you won't start bleeding after a mile of downhill walking because they don't stay tight enough to keep your feet from sliding around. You can't always test products in your living room. When I was shopping for a backpack in REI, the sales rep explicitly told me to "try out packs and return them until you have the right one". So this is exactly what I did. If you guys want to consider this "abusing the system" then whatever, I can't really argue with you. I just consider it being a smart shopper who prefers to get the right product for me instead of just settling with the first thing I buy. Also, every single thing I've returned has been returned in "like new" condition. Hell, the backpacks still had their tags attached and could have been passed off as new. Even if everything I've returned has been sold during their gear sales, I'm sure they've still made a good chunk of profit from me over the years.


Precisely. This is the exact reason they have (had) the unlimited return policy in the first place.

Suppose I'm dropping $200-400 on a nice pack that fits and feels comfortable in the store, but 4 hours into my hike it will develop a hot spot. There are two stores I can buy this from. If I buy it at one of those stores, I'll have to eat the hundreds of dollars for an unusable pack (or at least eat the difference between the price and whatever I can sell it for). If I buy it at the other store I can return it for a different pack that doesn't cause problems hours into a weekend trip. Guess who's getting my business.

That's what REI's policy is about. They don't sell you a backpack (the item), they sell you a *backpack* (the archetype).

Now, buying something, wearing it out completely then returning it for a new one...repeatedly...most certainly *is* abusing the system.

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By okiedokie
From Rocky Mountain High
Jun 4, 2013
This is much ado about nothing. At most stores, especially the Boulder REI, you won't have any problem returning anything at anytime for any reason.

The management at the Boulder REI have made it clear to the CS staff to make sure customers are always happy and to give them whatever they want. I'm sure this is true at REI stores around the country as well.

So keep buying, keep using, and keep returning your gear!

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By BSheriden
Jun 4, 2013
David Sahalie wrote:
Costco pays employees $17 an hour to stock and sell.


Source? Or are ya just talking out of your ass as usual....

I highly doubt the people stocking cans of chili at Costco are getting paid $17 an hour.

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By Occupy_REI
Jun 4, 2013
David Sahalie wrote:
Costco pays employees $17 an hour to stock and sell. REI gives minimum wage to people that are supposed to be knowledgeable about specific items in certain, sometimes dangerous situations. ... so why is REI assumed to be such a bastion of goodwill to the outdoor community?


+1

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By Occupy_REI
Jun 4, 2013
BSheriden wrote:
Source? Or are ya just talking out of your ass as usual.... I highly doubt the people stocking cans of chili at Costco are getting paid $17 an hour.


Try Google. It works. This is from a little rag from some community college...I think it's called Harvard? Oh, right the Harvard Business Review.

hbr.org/2006/12/the-high-cost-...

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By dano-colorado
Jun 4, 2013
HBR is a fine organization and is well respected, but take a seven year old article and then read only what you want is misleading. Today's average starting wage is $11.50/hour.

An interview with Richard Galanti, EVP and CFO of Costco Wholesale Corp. 2010

What is Costco's hourly wage?
Our average hourly wage in the United States is a little over $19 an hour. Our lowest starting wage in the U.S. is $11. If you're a full-timer, you hit the top of the scale by the end of your fifth year.

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By CJC
Jun 4, 2013
okiedokie wrote:
So keep buying, keep using, and keep returning your gear!


nah

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By Tony T.
From Denver, CO
Jun 5, 2013
Getting up the Great Dihedral on Hallet Peak, RMNP.
dano-colorado wrote:
HBR is a fine organization and is well respected, but take a seven year old article and then read only what you want is misleading. Today's average starting wage is $11.50/hour. An interview with Richard Galanti, EVP and CFO of Costco Wholesale Corp. 2010 What is Costco's hourly wage? Our average hourly wage in the United States is a little over $19 an hour. Our lowest starting wage in the U.S. is $11. If you're a full-timer, you hit the top of the scale by the end of your fifth year.


Oh! Let me take this one! I happen to know that $11 is $1 more than what REI starts at and that top performing full-time sales associates who have been with the company for over 10 years still haven't reached their cap of $15.55. They also don't have anything close to guaranteed minimum hours and people can fluctuate from 20-35 hours at the drop of a "business needs" hat. I actually know people who qualified for food assistance (read: food-stamps) and unemployment benefits (underemployment of less than 32 hours a week qualifies you) while still being considered "full-time" employees there.

Oh meanwhile, their top three executives enjoy very handsome salaries for a co-op. Remember, it's a co-op, as in, everyone is supposed to share in the successes.

I'm really glad someone else is chiming in about this subject. Keep up the good fight!

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By okiedokie
From Rocky Mountain High
Jun 5, 2013
Tony T. wrote:
Oh! Let me take this one! I happen to know that $11 is $1 more than what REI starts at and that top performing full-time sales associates who have been with the company for over 10 years still haven't reached their cap of $15.55. They also don't have anything close to guaranteed minimum hours and people can fluctuate from 20-35 hours at the drop of a "business needs" hat. I actually know people who qualified for food assistance (read: food-stamps) and unemployment benefits (underemployment of less than 32 hours a week qualifies you) while still being considered "full-time" employees there. Oh meanwhile, their top three executives enjoy very handsome salaries for a co-op. Remember, it's a co-op, as in, everyone is supposed to share in the successes. I'm really glad someone else is chiming in about this subject. Keep up the good fight!


Don't forget that the amount of hours you get is based solely on the amount of memberships you sell.

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By Tony T.
From Denver, CO
Jun 5, 2013
Getting up the Great Dihedral on Hallet Peak, RMNP.
okiedokie wrote:
Don't forget that the amount of hours you get is based solely on the amount of memberships you sell.


Well not anymore! Apparently there is now a series of 6 or 7 (I forget how many) entirely subjective (read: not measurable with real numbers using real math) that dictate your hours. Aw well...that's just retail right? Oh, wait, no it isn't! It's just retail stuck in the 90's.

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By nadeleets
Jun 5, 2013
Halloween 2011
This thread reminds me of this: cs.wright.edu/~swang/cs409/Har...

Much more interesting thread than "dog pissed on my rope" drama for sure. Keep it up!

With that being said... "I broke the dam"

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By Josh Allred
From Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 5, 2013
P3 on Nutcracker.
This doesn't surprise me. My wife and I both worked at REI while in between jobs. I was not impressed.

First, recently (about 3 months ago) company wide they laid off there Asst Store Managers. No notice. Just gone. Some of them have put some serious years to make it to that spot waiting for the shot. They could of at least re-organized the structure IMO before canning someone. Just bad karma.

Between my wife and I we worked 3 stores. 2 of were horribly run. Poor management, even worse leadership, micro management, under staffed, incompetent. They claimed they were hiring people with less hard skills and experience and more "people" friendly. Total crap, how can you hire someone that dont even know how to hike and they are selling backpacks or shoes? Personal side note, I got a job selling skis when I didnt even know how to ski!!!! I told them but they didnt listen.

I have personally pushed the limit of the return policy like many. But I have never abused it to the extreme that I saw customers (someone returned a pair of gloves from 1989 or something and there are hundreds of examples). IMO people shop there for the extra security. I also know that if the staff knew what they were doing they could actually recommend you the right product but instead you have to return it because you go out and use it, its the wrong thing you need. I have also been told that it affects 1 percent of the profits at REI. 1 percent. Not sure if its true and have a hard time believing it but I did hear it from a good source when working there. The reason being quote from the CEO or whoever "with every return there are 10 soccer moms that will pay full price for an item."

Well I got health insurance and killer prodeals while in between jobs so it worked out for me but I dreaded going to work. The management is horrible IMO and experience in the end is just retail nothing more. Not everyone is incompetent that works at REI but ALOT of the them are.

Really no reason to shop there other than 20 percent off coupons. backcountry.com has a better return policy.

BTW YOU CAN RETURN YOUR MEMBERSHIP. Not sure if its been changed with new rules but you used to be able to return that.

My 2 cents.

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By VerticalUrge
Jun 5, 2013
what?!?!? this is interesting news.....i wasn't even aware knowledge of the return policy was this widespread....

at least with the return figures posted above its obvious people aren't abusing the policy. weird move IMHO!

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