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You know about REI, right?

May 6th, 2008 at 02:06 pm

Recreational Equipment Inc., a mostly west coast sports supply retailer has a no questions asked return policy, incredible.

My husband happened to be in the Idaho store this past weekend (just for fun! he was way away from home) wearing the hiking boots he purchased from them over a year ago.

He mentioned to the sales person about the squeeze in the toe and that the boots never really fit great. The clerk encouraged him to return the boots right there. Sans receipt, worn for over a year.

Even my husband, Mr. Ruthless Return, was sheepish. But not that sheepish.

Up to the cash register, with the opening statement, "The sales person over there told me to do it..." and it was done. The year old transaction was instantly in the system. They took a return and he went over to find a better fit. And $9 later had brand new Vasque boots.

REI is a membership type place, no fee. You receive a check every summer in returned profit from the company. The check comes in the form of 'advance toward new items' or you can take it in cash soon after.

I joined this place many many years ago (think 25 or more) when they were way smaller. The Southern California population exploded in the 80s including a huge wave of outdoors enthusiasts (me too!).

This is one establishment, for some reason, which has not batted an eye in changing their culture in the wake of exponential expansion.

They are very worthwhile not just with merchandise. They do classes, charitable work, and environmental lobbying with out heavy handedness.

Check em out
http://www.rei.com

4 Responses to “You know about REI, right?”

  1. compulsive debtor Says:

    I love REI as well!

  2. gruntina Says:

    Smile! I met my husband via eHarmoney. But our first meeting place in person was at REI!(before heading to dinner) He is a cyclist and I am a skier!

  3. scfr Says:

    Actually, there's a one-time-only (NOT annual) membership fee, and I think it's around $25 or $30.

    I had the priviledge of visiting their original co-op on Capitol Hill in Seattle a few times before they outgrew it and sadly had to tear it down, but you could feel as soon as you walked in that you were in a special place.

    They are also a wonderful employer.

  4. ldyfaile Says:

    It was only $15 last year when I signed up but the catch was you had to spend at least $10 a year I think to maintain the membership. But I love the store so that's not a problem.

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