REI has a little-known section of its website that sells gently used gear and clothes for up to 70% off - here's how it works
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- REI sells gently used items for as much as 70% off retail prices at REI Used Gear.
- Aside from making REI's supply chain more sustainable, this means shoppers can save hundreds on high-end camping gear without traveling in-person to member-only Garage Sales.
- The selection is smaller but spans REI's traditional offerings. You can find everything from tents to base layers from brands like Patagonia and Merrell.
If you've ever a) gotten excited about a 25% off sale at REI before or b) expressed genuine enthusiasm about sustainability, odds are you're going to like the sound of REI Used Gear - the company's venture that sells gently used clothing and gear at up to 70% off its retail price, all online.
REI inspects items that are returned either in-store or from online purchases, and selects the best to resell online at a deep discount. This keeps the company from having to produce new stuff, and it gives customers discounts on gear that, like refurbished tech, has been quality-tested to ensure it still meets the company's high standards.
The idea isn't new; REI's member-only Garage Sales, which happen in stores, have been popular for years. But offering the recycled gear online has made it more convenient and open to all REI shoppers (Garage Sales are a members-only perk).
The REI Used Gear selection ranges from hiking shoes to rain jackets to tents and gadgets. Just like the company's regular offerings, REI Used Gear is stacked with great outdoors brands like Merrell, Big Agnes, Patagonia, and Mountain Hardwear. Sizing may be limited, but it's a smart first stop before heading to REI.com to see if you can save yourself some money. Prices and sizing will fluctuate based on condition (excellent versus lightly worn).
Recycling outdoor gear also makes for a more sustainable supply chain, since, no matter how sustainable the materials or processes are, virtually no products are as sustainable as simply not buying something new. This aligns with the ethos of most outdoors companies, but especially with one as seemingly committed as REI. The company has made headlines for continually closing on Black Friday, traditionally the largest sales day of the year, in order to encourage customers and its employees to instead opt to spend the time outdoors (employees are still paid for the day).
It also reinvests nearly 70% of its profits back into environmental nonprofits - which, in 2018, amounted to $8.4 million given to 431 organizations, stewarding more than 5,000 outdoor places and over 86,000 miles of trails. It instituted universal on-site Product Sustainability Standards in 2018, and, in 2019, the company plans to expand on its sustainable practices with used gear and increased rental options at more than 115 stores across the country.
REI Used Gear may have a slimmer selection of sizes and offerings, but you may be able to score exactly what you're looking for - at the quality level you typically associate with REI - at a heavy discount. If you're looking for new outdoor gear, it's worth checking REI Used first.
Shop REI's inspected used gear here
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