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REI rant

Old 05-23-20, 06:48 PM
  #51  
wgscott
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No I think you had to pick them up, assembled and tested.
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Old 05-23-20, 07:12 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Before the pandemic, did REI ship bikes directly to consumers or was it pick up in store only? Maybe this sales model is new to them. It's good to know how to fix your own bike, you can avoid a lot of drama.
Pick up in store only prior to the pandemic. I know this since I bought my Cannondale in March two weeks prior to the shutdown.
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Old 05-23-20, 09:35 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Pugs2xLove View Post
Pick up in store only prior to the pandemic. I know this since I bought my Cannondale in March two weeks prior to the shutdown.
Then they must have changed something at some point because I ordered a bike from them back in 2012 when I lived in a town where the nearest REI was 4.5 hours away. It shipped to my post office in a big ol' box. All I had to do once I unpacked it was attached the bars and pedals and then the usual stuff to tweak the fit. Did it all with my pocket multi-tool.
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Old 05-23-20, 09:40 PM
  #54  
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REI ships to your address if you like. It's not only in store pick up, and has not been for years. They get the bikes shipped to them, just like you would.
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Old 05-23-20, 09:42 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
ha, 3 posts of yours responded to in a row, I didn't realize til this reply.

Big box retail is typically seen as more generalized instead of specialized inventory. It also typically has lower levels of customer service and product knowledge. Low priced are also often a driving force for business.

Obviously there can be more specialized big box retail- best buy being an example. But even then, the inventory, selection, and product knowledge there is usually lower than speciality stores.

I wouldn't say REI is the same style of store as walmart, target, or fleet farm, etc.
A better comparison as I said above is Dicks. Many of you might not be familiar with them. At least it seems that way. Although they have a presence in every state. REI is not located in every state. They locate their stores only in well off areas. That's not Dicks.
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Old 05-23-20, 09:47 PM
  #56  
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An REI story:
My wife and I use our tents a lot. One of our tents used for bike touring is a lightweight, mid-priced 2 person tent that had carbon fiber poles. One of the carbon poles mushroomed on a tour, but we made it work until we finished the tour. We were going by our local REI on the way home, so I thought we would just stop and see if we could buy replacement poles. I went to the customer service desk and showed the REI employee what my problem was. He made several phone calls, and informed us that the current model of our tent no longer used the cabon fiber poles becasue of the splittling problem; they now used aluminum poles. I asked about buying a set of aluminum poles. I felt that we had used the tent prettty hard over the last 4-5 years, and would have been happy to buy a set of replacemnt poles. He did some more calling, and said they do not carry replacement poles, and asked if I had the tent with me. I did have it, and the REI person said he would replace the tent with new one. When he opened my accout he said that I paid full price when I originally bought the tent , so he gave me a refund of $75 becasue it was on sale at the time. I walked out of the store with a new tent, and $75. That was under their old return policy, but I was still amazed.

Again, after 4-5 years of hard use the "new" tent needed some minor repairs, the netting had some tears, and stitching came lose. REI gave me the address of Sierra Designs' repair facility. Seirra Designs made the repairs for free, and even did some extra work in potential problem areas.

We have used those tents for close to 25,000 miles of bike touring, and a bunch of ski and back packing trips.


Note the carbon-fiber poles. Very light, but not durable This is the first tent, and it was almost new on our 2007 ride across the U.S. If you didn't notice, my wife keeps journals of all our ventures.

Last edited by Doug64; 05-23-20 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 05-23-20, 10:06 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
An REI story:
My wife and I use our tents a lot. One of our tents used for bike touring is a lightweight, mid-priced 2 person tent that had carbon fiber poles. One of the carbon poles mushroomed on a tour, but we made it work until we finished the tour. We were going by our local REI on the way home, so I thought we would just stop and see if we could buy replacement poles. I went to the customer service desk and showed the REI employee what my problem was. He made several phone calls, and informed us that the current model of our tent no longer used the cabon fiber poles becasue of the splittling problem; they now used aluminum poles. I asked about buying a set of aluminum poles. I felt that we had used the tent prettty hard over the last 4-5 years, and would have been happy to buy a set of replacemnt poles. He did some more calling, and said they do not carry replacement poles, and asked if I had the tent with me. I did have it, and the REI person said he would replace the tent with new one. When he opened my accout he said that I paid full price when I originally bought the tent , so he gave me a refund of $75 becasue it was on sale at the time. I walked out of the store with a new tent, and $75. That was under their old return policy, but I was still amazed.

Again, after 4-5 years of hard use the "new" tent needed some minor repairs, the netting had some tears, and stitching came lose. REI gave me the address of Sierra Designs' repair facility. Seirra Designs made the repairs for free, and even did some extra work in potential problem areas.

We have used those tents for close to 25,000 miles of bike touring, and a bunch of ski and back packing trips.


Note the carbon-fiber poles. Very light, but not durable This is the first tent, and it was almost new on our 2007 ride across the U.S. If you didn't notice, my wife keeps journals of all our ventures.
Yep, thatís pretty much identical to Wal-Mart service. (/sarcasm)

Someone in the thread mentioned REIís prices were a bit high. I have not personally found that to be the case unless weíre comparing to online prices. But to go in and pick something up, the prices seem the same or maybe slightly lower than my local bike stores.

I donít shop at REI very often. But if I had to leave tomorrow on a tour somewhere I could go in and buy a bike at REI that would be more than adequate. Try that with Wal-Mart.
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Old 05-23-20, 10:15 PM
  #58  
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As I mentioned in the sale thread, there's reason's why I like them.

And for all this exclusive, latte chatter I am an older guy, who doesn't own a car, and really only makes money through Ebay, so I am far from the average REI buyer.
And I have only bought a couple croakies, and a Kuhl Sweater Jacket form them in 10 years. I never buy anything.

The bike mechanic has done minor repairs for me for free!

I think he, and other employees like to hear the stories of my finds in the wild that I flip on Ebay.

Just cool.

I need a modern bike for comfort. Most vintage bikes just don't cut it, and these guys have what I want!

Some of the employees are a bit snotty, but they are so few compared to everybody else who is cool.

I think they kind of dig my range roaming so to speak on the bike.

Doug needs that CO OP 4.2......

Last edited by StarBiker; 05-23-20 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 05-24-20, 03:41 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
It is in fact quite a bit worse than that.
I thought it spot on: imaginative & explicit.
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Old 05-24-20, 03:47 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
A better comparison as I said above is Dicks. Many of you might not be familiar with them. At least it seems that way. Although they have a presence in every state. REI is not located in every state. They locate their stores only in well off areas. That's not Dicks.
I've heard REI is dickless.
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Old 05-24-20, 07:56 AM
  #61  
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^
You sound like an expert on the subject.
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Old 05-24-20, 12:12 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
Someone in the thread mentioned REIís prices were a bit high. I have not personally found that to be the case unless weíre comparing to online prices.
Outside of the bi-annual storewide sales they rarely discount unless something is on clearance and theyíre just trying to get rid of it. Of course you always get the dividend rebate every spring on any full priced item youíve bought in the previous year but itís still a bit jarring for most people having to pay full retail at the time of purchase. Still the service is always top notch and the return policy unmatched in the industry so most loyal customers find itís worth it.
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Old 05-24-20, 12:26 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
REI ships to your address if you like. It's not only in store pick up, and has not been for years. They get the bikes shipped to them, just like you would.
The confusion on this is pre-pandemic REI could not ship to home addresses, certain brands, such as Cannondale. They could ship C-Dale to an REI store, which would assemble and you would pick up. REI house brand (Novarra, Co-Op) could be shipped to a street address.

Currently it seems that some manufacturers have allowed REI to ship direct to purchaser as not all REI stores remained open for curb-side pickup, the store local to me did not have curb-side. I believe Cannondale was allowing ship to home during the current crisis, not sure if they will change this policy once stores are open for curb-side.
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Old 05-24-20, 12:35 PM
  #64  
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I will say one very positive thing about REI. They seemingly understand that not everybody wants or needs a carbon full suspension mt. bike or $7,000 carbon road bike. They design and stock bikes for touring, adventure and everyday use. They have a really good selection of bikes that can be used on other then nice pavement. Not many LBS's have this philosophy. They as well do maintain a shop to support the customers that buy their bikes. They may not be the most proficient bike tech's locally, mostly as they sell a lot of stuff besides bikes, but they've always been knowledgeable and helpful.

As well, they contribute a lot of time and money to the local hiking and mt. bike communities here on Long Island. Kudos for that and is why I'm sometimes not thrilled with their prices on stuff, I shop there anyway.

Last edited by Steve B.; 05-24-20 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 05-24-20, 01:20 PM
  #65  
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^
What's amusing is how non cyclists think that bikes have to be super light to be quality.

The bikes I am interested in are steel!
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Old 05-24-20, 01:25 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
A better comparison as I said above is Dicks. Many of you might not be familiar with them. At least it seems that way. Although they have a presence in every state. REI is not located in every state. They locate their stores only in well off areas. That's not Dicks.
I am very familiar with both REI and Dicks.

They are in different leagues, IMO.

Yes they sell a lot of the same type of stuff, but REI has much better stuff in my experience. Better bike stuff, better camping stuff, better hiking stuff.

I think REI is actually a pretty fantastic store.
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Old 05-24-20, 04:54 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Tacoenthusiast View Post
Been into plenty of REIs

None of them are a real bike store, it's just a big box chain store

Don't get fooled by the pretty fake rock decorations
It's okay Taco. You're safe here. Now, show us on the doll where REI hurt you.
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Old 05-24-20, 05:23 PM
  #68  
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I LOVE REI!!!


(for anything but bikes/bike parts)
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Old 05-24-20, 05:38 PM
  #69  
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I like REI too, and they have a very liberal return policy which takes a huge risk out of buying stuff. Though I admit, they are sometimes more expensive, so you have to pay for that liberal return policy, but their sales are unbeatable. Cheaper stuff I need I just go to Amazon and get it cheaper than REI, but expensive stuff like the tent, sleeping bag and pad came from REI just in case I need to return an item.
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Old 05-24-20, 05:59 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I am very familiar with both REI and Dicks.

They are in different leagues, IMO.

Yes they sell a lot of the same type of stuff, but REI has much better stuff in my experience. Better bike stuff, better camping stuff, better hiking stuff.

I think REI is actually a pretty fantastic store.
Yeah. Donít think youíll find things like Sea to Summit pads and Big Agnes tents at Dickís. I use both for bike touring.
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Old 05-24-20, 06:04 PM
  #71  
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I'm still waiting to hear which "Big Box Store" offers something akin to our Galapagos expedition.
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Old 05-24-20, 06:35 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
^
What's amusing is how non cyclists think that bikes have to be super light to be quality.
That's your criterion for being a "cyclist"? Interesting.

For what it's worth, I've been an REI member since 1973, the days of only one or two stores nation-wide and paper mail order catalogs. I bought much of my first backpacking stuff there and still have a stove and rucksack from those days (I've been told they are part of the immense piles of unused outdoor gear I could get rid of).

I'm a very loyal customer. I buy at the local store and also online regularly. I often shop sales, but if I need something, I go into the store or online and pay what they're asking. Even at full price, they are never higher, and usually lower, than the same item - or equivalent item- at local outdoors stores.

But - and this is critical to me - they don't sell any crap. Everything from their least expensive store brands to the higher end name brand stuff is good quality. Some better than others, you get what you pay for of course, but the least expensive stuff is still very good quality and worth buying. And the return policy is still very liberal in case there is an issue.

I still have an inexpensive REI brand tent we bought in 1987 that, and I'm not exaggerating, we have at least 500 nights in, probably closer to 1,000. Aside from normal use during those years by various family members, we used it every night, rain or shine for 9 months straight car camping in Europe and Australia. We replaced a lost a pole (young kids responsible for packing up), and had to have a zipper repaired (same kids, enthusiasm), but other than that it's still intact and weather proof. It's probably now on the surplus pile because it's been replaced by a new similar tent my kids bought me last birthday.... they say the old tent stinks. I think it's a great and very comforting smell! - yes I've washed it). Right now I have three REI tents (besides ol' stinky) all very well designed in features and functioning.

Their sale prices compete with any prices anywhere, and always surpass in price and selection the feeble "sales" other local outdoor stores in my area have.

If anyone complains about REI pricing, compared to what you can find online, well I can't help you on that. Haven't we gotten past comparing bricks and mortar with online? The bottom line is do you like to look at and try on stuff before you buy and have a good solid, easy return policy, good fulfillment and shipping speed, and be confident at a very high minimum level of quality... and get the dividend refund?

That said, I buy almost all of my bike stuff online, and the majority of everything else, but fairly regularly go into the local REI to buy stuff I don't want to wait several days for or that I want to look at or try on. It's always my first stop locally before any of the other outdoors stores. They almost always have what I want, sometimes at "full retail". But I almost always feel the price is fair for the quality and selection and that it's the price you pay for an actual store and getting it today (and the other points I made above).

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Old 05-24-20, 06:53 PM
  #73  
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I only know one REI, the local shop. There's so much employee turnover that it's inevitable customer experiences will vary tremendously. A friend was a mechanic at REI but went on to another job. For awhile that REI had no experienced mechanic, just young adults getting on the job training at bike assembly. Over the past three years, sometimes the shop has a trained, experienced mechanic, sometimes it doesn't.

Same with every department there. Sometimes you get an employee who actually has experience in the activity you're buying gear for, sometimes not. Some of them adhere to the no-pressure REI ethic, some of them are pushy like they're working on commission.

And it's not really a co-op. There isn't actually a workshop for "members" to learn to do their own bike maintenance. There's no procedure for checking in, using the shop tools, etc. When I was learning basic car maintenance as a teenager we had access to a real co-op, supervised by an experienced mechanic, with a complete Chilton's library, tools, the works. REI is not a co-op.

As Tacoenthusiast said, it's a tarted up Walmart in a fancy neighborhood. Our REI opened in one of those pricey shake-and-bake upper middle class pop-up condo communities with a shopping strip where neighbors could shop at REI, Whole Foods, and a revolving door of overpriced taco boutiques that shut down every six months as the fads fade. The pandemic is gonna kill that niche local economy that was based on promises and hot air. With luck an actual REI co-op in a working class warehouse will open up.
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Old 05-24-20, 07:12 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
Somebody else said something about typical bike owners. I have everything under the sun around here. So many options, and can get to all of them without a car.
Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
And this nonsense about typical bike owners.. REI sells bikes approaching $10,000. How it that typical.
I did.

Typical bike owners are most people who own a bike.
The typical REI bike customer is an outdoor enthusiast who also likes to ride bikes. They most likely only have one bike, (maybe two) but it's a nice one. They probably also own a kayak.

BF members, we're typically Cycling Enthusiasts. Cycling and Bikes are our primary interest, whether recreation, competition, fitness, utility, or all of the above. The kinds of activities we do and choose are based around bikes or cycling.
We get N=N+1. We turn our own wrenches. Many of us have built a bike frame-up. That's the difference between a 'Bike Owner' and a 'Cyclist'
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Old 05-24-20, 07:14 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
...And it's not really a co-op. There isn't actually a workshop for "members" to learn to do their own bike maintenance. There's no procedure for checking in, using the shop tools, etc. When I was learning basic car maintenance as a teenager we had access to a real co-op, supervised by an experienced mechanic, with a complete Chilton's library, tools, the works. REI is not a co-op....
I think you don't understand that the general term "co-op" is broader than what you think.

A cooperative, often shortened to “co-op,” is a business that is owned and operated by and for the benefit of its members.

A co-op bike shop, or the mechanic ship you mentioned are ones of many types of co-op. There are co-op health food stores, co-op agri-businesses that have farmers for members, co-op apartment buildings and other residential properties, co-op retail stores, etc. etc. REI does not, and has never been known as a co-op bike shop in the sense you're thinking. They are simply a cooperative retail business, owned by (and profits shared) by its members, selling a wide variety of outdoor gear, not just bikes.

it's a tarted up Walmart in a fancy neighborhood.
This is just so far fetched. which makes me think you're kidding.

REI's retail strategy is to sell only good quality outdoor gear at fair prices and pay its profits as dividends to members, paying fair wages and benefits to its employees. Walmart's retail strategy is to sell everything under the sun at the cheapest price possible, no matter what the quality (usually mediocre to low), paying employees the lowest wages and benefits possible, and pay it's profits as dividends to a few of the absolute richest people in the US, the various members of the Walton family. You think this is comparable?

Last edited by Camilo; 05-24-20 at 07:54 PM.
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