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REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 22, 2017 06:39PM
What's the deal with REI membership, is it worth it?

Thanks
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: May 22, 2017 06:45PM
Yes. It's a one-time fee for a lifetime membership and is very reasonable priced. Members receive a dividend each year on the purchases made at REI throughout the previous year; if you're the type to purchase lots of outdoor gear, your membership will pay for itself in no time.

REI also offers equipment rentals at some of its stores - not sure whether membership is required for this benefit.



It is what it is.
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: May 22, 2017 06:50PM
Yes! It is a one time fee. Only members can buy scratch and dent gear. That has saved me thousands of dollars alone.



C(-)ris
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: rz
Date: May 22, 2017 06:51PM
They just opened an REI close to my house. We went in and looked around. Lots of expensive stuff. If that's your cup of tea, I guess it might be worth it.
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: May 22, 2017 06:52PM
In the past only one person in a family needed to sign up, but they are the one to get any dividend checks in their name. It can be really handy if you have a store nearby to take advantage of the sales.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/2017 06:53PM by Filliam H. Muffman.
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: May 22, 2017 07:01PM
Yup, my family has had an REI card/membership since I was a little kid. I have a letter from them that when she passes, they will move her 4 digit number to me.

Yes, their stuff can be expensive, but they have great customer service, and a great return policy.
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: vision63
Date: May 22, 2017 07:06PM
Quote
rz
They just opened an REI close to my house. We went in and looked around. Lots of expensive stuff. If that's your cup of tea, I guess it might be worth it.

I basically buy from the clearance racks.
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: May 22, 2017 07:15PM
Quote
rz
They just opened an REI close to my house. We went in and looked around. Lots of expensive stuff. If that's your cup of tea, I guess it might be worth it.

The REI brand gear is about half the price of name brands like North Face. Expensive? I suppose, but still a great value.



C(-)ris
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 22, 2017 07:27PM
....what about the Y....M.....C....A......???



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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: May 22, 2017 07:30PM
It's fun to stay there. I keep hearing people singing their praises. smiley-laughing001
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: raz
Date: May 22, 2017 08:15PM
I'll go with a 'yes'. But I'm a firm believer in buying good equipment



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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: billb
Date: May 22, 2017 08:17PM
Quote
Racer X
It's fun to stay there. I keep hearing people singing their praises. smiley-laughing001

Mostly Macho Men no doubt.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/2017 08:18PM by billb.
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: May 22, 2017 08:45PM
I really like REI. Just avoid paying retail and you'll do okay.



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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: davester
Date: May 22, 2017 08:55PM
I'm a longtime outdoorsy guy (I'm a geologist, you've kind of got to be outdoorsy in my profession) so I've belonged to REI since the 70s. Needless to say, the membership has paid for itself many times over. Also, they have sales a couple of times a year where you can buy anything they sell for 20% off. I've gotten some big ticket items for great deals that way. Of course, if you don't buy camping gear or sporting goods/clothing much then it won't be useful to you.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: hal
Date: May 22, 2017 09:08PM
Even in a good sized city like sacramento, REI is often the only store in town that carries particular things needed for outdoor excursions. Almost everything they sell is at retail list price - yes, it's expensive, but it's there.
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: testcase
Date: May 22, 2017 09:43PM
Quote
billb
Quote
Racer X
It's fun to stay there. I keep hearing people singing their praises. smiley-laughing001

Mostly Macho Men no doubt.

I think there are some fruits & nuts too....... eye rolling smiley
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: Wags
Date: May 22, 2017 09:44PM
I don't remember paying a membership fee. Maybe I did. I'm in the sub 1 million numbers. I still go there occasionally but I think they're pretty much of a giant corp now with a lot of stuff that would never have been on the shelves in the mythical good ol' days.

I agree that they do have good customer service. Here in Portland, Ore. the store seems to be mostly filled with faux lumberjacks and yoga pants, with an occasional old geez like me wandering around wondering what the hell happened.

I spent a few years in the 80's out in the tall timber as a Forest Service archaeologist, working on the Gifford Pinchot where it rains. A lot. I remember being quite disappointed in the Gortex jacket I got at REI. Wool will keep you warm even when it's wet and a well vented rubberized coat will keep you dry all day (except for the sweating... ). Mink oil frequently applied will keep your leather boots mostly dry on the inside. I got some of my gear at Andy and Bax, but now most of their gear is cheap imported stuff.

Still, like Dave says, I've got my membership back many times over and they have some good programs for outdoor activities.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/2017 09:47PM by Wags.
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: hal
Date: May 22, 2017 09:49PM
Unlike other REI fans, I'm NOT a fan of REI branded products. They are almost always poor imitations of much better equipment.
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: May 22, 2017 10:16PM
I wish they still carried 1:24K USGS topos.
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: May 22, 2017 10:29PM
Yes, it's worth it.

Quote
davester
Also, they have sales a couple of times a year where you can buy anything they sell for 20% off.

They also jack up the prices for the sale, so you're often not actually getting 20% off. I was looking for a bike stand it was $185. Then it went on sale for $200. Sale ended, it was back to $185. Next time they had a sale, it was $200 again.




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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: A-Polly
Date: May 23, 2017 06:58AM
Quote
freeradical
I wish they still carried 1:24K USGS topos.
There's no REI near me, but I have happy memories of buying quads from a local bookstore, now gone. They stored maps in beautiful wooden drawers. Fortunately, we can get USGS topos from here:
[store.usgs.gov]
Use the search button for 7.5-minute maps, those are the 1:24,000 topos. Download PDF for FREE, pay $ for paper. The USGS store has improved a lot, downloading is quick and easy.
What's nice is that both old and new maps are available. For instance, you can get the San Francisco North quad from 1947 and 2015, plus the versions in between. Lots of other sorts of maps, too!
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: bobinmurphy
Date: May 23, 2017 07:12AM
Quote
hal
Unlike other REI fans, I'm NOT a fan of REI branded products. They are almost always poor imitations of much better equipment.

Same here. Like a friend of mine says, a visit to an REI store to find what she's looking for, then surfing the Internet to find the same thing at a much more reasonable price.

As a former ScoutMaster I always found Campmor had a much wider selection of products and better prices.
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 23, 2017 07:13AM
......REI stuff on sale can be a deal sometimes....but the regular prices do tend to not be 'bargains'.......



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I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: particleman
Date: May 23, 2017 07:57AM
Quote
freeradical
I wish they still carried 1:24K USGS topos.

Try this to print quads online.

[www.natgeomaps.com]
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: 3d
Date: May 23, 2017 08:05AM
Don't you regularly get 10% off with the REI membership? 20% off sometimes? A good pair of boots is going to cost, what, $150? Tack on the membership at checkout and it's a no-brainer. The cashier will remind you.
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: GuyGene
Date: May 23, 2017 09:12AM
Quote
vision63
Quote
rz
They just opened an REI close to my house. We went in and looked around. Lots of expensive stuff. If that's your cup of tea, I guess it might be worth it.

I basically buy from the clearance racks.

Way OT, but vision, this reminded me of what I did a few years ago:

I walked into a department store to meet Ethyl, and two ladies behind the counter asked if they could help me, to which I replied, "Yes, I'm looking for my wife, but I'm afraid she ran off with Clarence Racks." They immediately got my joke, slapped themselves, and said, "You just made our day." Ok...

I might could benefit from REI joining. I'll check it out.



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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: vision63
Date: May 23, 2017 09:43AM
Quote
GuyGene
Quote
vision63
Quote
rz
They just opened an REI close to my house. We went in and looked around. Lots of expensive stuff. If that's your cup of tea, I guess it might be worth it.

I basically buy from the clearance racks.

Way OT, but vision, this reminded me of what I did a few years ago:

I walked into a department store to meet Ethyl, and two ladies behind the counter asked if they could help me, to which I replied, "Yes, I'm looking for my wife, but I'm afraid she ran off with Clarence Racks." They immediately got my joke, slapped themselves, and said, "You just made our day." Ok...

I might could benefit from REI joining. I'll check it out.

smiley-laughing001
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: Yoyodyne ArtWorks
Date: May 23, 2017 10:28AM
I don't think you earn dividends on sale priced merchandise. Back in the Eighties REI had great prices, now not so much. I think it got trendy and yuppiefied and that drove up prices.



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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: May 23, 2017 11:15AM
Quote
bobinmurphy
As a former ScoutMaster I always found Campmor had a much wider selection of products and better prices.

It might be closer if I checked through the year but REI was much better than Campmor in bike lights (seasonal sale?). Campmor won by a few percent in food (Mountain House). As always, shop around for best prices.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: May 23, 2017 12:22PM
Space,

Just checked and the membership is only $20.00. Doesn't seem like a lot of money for a lifetime membership at a generally reputable store. You could do much worse for that kind of bucks. Just a few cups of fancy joe from starbuck will cost you more than that.

Robert
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: May 23, 2017 12:25PM
REI is pretty decent when it comes to bike stuff.
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: May 23, 2017 02:11PM
Quote
Yoyodyne ArtWorks
I don't think you earn dividends on sale priced merchandise. Back in the Eighties REI had great prices, now not so much. I think it got trendy and yuppiefied and that drove up prices.

Yes, just like Eddie Bauer. EB used to be an expedition outfitter. You could buy fishing and hunting gear in their stores. Now it walking shoes and tank tops.
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: Bimwad
Date: May 23, 2017 04:38PM
Quote
hal
Even in a good sized city like sacramento, REI is often the only store in town that carries particular things needed for outdoor excursions. Almost everything they sell is at retail list price - yes, it's expensive, but it's there.

Right.

The question is, if not REI, then where can one go for sporting goods in a B&M store, particularly the camping/hiking/outdoors-focused products they focus on, instead of the broader spectrum that includes ball/stick/athletic fashion branded stuff?

REI isn't in every state, but in most of them.

Cabela's/Bass Pro has similar coverage, with the addition of hunting/fishing gear, but they leave large areas uncovered as well.

In the West, there's Big 5, but they're a regional chain with smaller stores.

There are even smaller regional chains and indies, but those are disappearing along with the hobby shops, etc.

I suppose there's Dick's, which is a nicer version of the departed Sports Authority.

REI isn't cheap, but neither is regular pricing at the other national chains, and the stuff they carry will be more functional than fashionable.
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: davester
Date: May 23, 2017 06:00PM
A couple of things that weren't really emphasize above is that your annual REI dividend is roughly 10% of your non-sale purchase total, meaning that what you actually pay is 10% less than the marked price, and their return policy is far more generous than just about anybody's.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 23, 2017 06:34PM
........would you join a place......that would have you as a member.......???



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I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: max
Date: May 24, 2017 01:23AM
Quote
Bimwad
Quote
hal
Even in a good sized city like sacramento, REI is often the only store in town that carries particular things needed for outdoor excursions. Almost everything they sell is at retail list price - yes, it's expensive, but it's there.

Right.

The question is, if not REI, then where can one go for sporting goods in a B&M store, particularly the camping/hiking/outdoors-focused products they focus on, instead of the broader spectrum that includes ball/stick/athletic fashion branded stuff?

REI isn't in every state, but in most of them.

Cabela's/Bass Pro has similar coverage, with the addition of hunting/fishing gear, but they leave large areas uncovered as well.

In the West, there's Big 5, but they're a regional chain with smaller stores.

There are even smaller regional chains and indies, but those are disappearing along with the hobby shops, etc.

I suppose there's Dick's, which is a nicer version of the departed Sports Authority.

REI isn't cheap, but neither is regular pricing at the other national chains, and the stuff they carry will be more functional than fashionable.

In the Northeast, before I ever seen an REI, when I worked Adirondacks, EMS was the only place to get your gear.....

[www.ems.com]
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Re: REI membership: is it worth it?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: May 25, 2017 01:55PM
Max,

EMS is closing the store in Carle Place, Long Island. Fortunately, an REI is located practically acrosss the street. There are also a few other very good stores for gear, i.e. Edelmans, Camp-Site, etc.

Robert
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