Having a hard time supporting your REI shopping addiction? I admit to putting a dent in my pocketbook a few times. You won’t have to worry about going broke any more thanks to my 25 insider tips to getting more loot for less at REI:
Be sure to download the KCL app for more REI deals and tips.
1. Become an REI member and get 10% back on most of your purchases.
An REI lifetime membership only costs $20, but depending on your shopping habits; you could make that back (plus more) within the first year if you spend at least $200.
Every March you’ll get an annual dividend which is an average of 10% back on all your full-priced REI purchases for the year. You can get this in cash or check — however you like to roll.
Getting an REI membership basically means you have a 10% coupon code for the rest of your life.
2. Buy a membership for your kid, and redeem member coupons on their behalf.
Say what!? Yes, you can use your kids to score more REI coupons.
While you can’t stack coupons on orders, you can use them for single-item purchases.
3. But there’s no 10% annual dividend when you use a coupon or buy clearance.
Huge bummer, I know. But you should definitely know this if you’re a straight-up clearance shopper.
Purchases made with a coupon also won’t be included in your dividend check.
4. Get a 15% off coupon when you sign up for REI emails.
Sign up for REI emails and get 15% off select items, plus the latest news on sales.
Use multiple email addresses to score additional 15% off promo codes.
5. Price tags ending in $0.83 or $0.93 indicate clearance items.
Clearance items at REI have prices ending in $0.83 or $0.93.
If you have extreme patience, you can wait for the $0.93 to drop in price again, but know that your item might be gone by then!
6. Price tags ending in $0.73 indicate the item came from REI Garage.
REI Garage is REI’s online outlet store with perfectly good, but highly discounted, end-of-season and previous-year apparel and gear for at least 50% off.
The Garage also features the coveted Deal of the Day (see #10).
Check out REI Garage coupons and promotions before pulling the trigger.
7. Buy discounted gift cards from GiftCardGranny to save between 5-9%.
Gift cards from GiftCardGranny work just like a regular gift card, but you get an instant discount. Enough said.
8. Use Paribus for price adjustments up to 14 days after you make a purchase on REI.com.
Link the Paribus app to your email and checking account, then kick back while the Paribus team obsesses over getting your price adjustments for you.
If an item goes on sale after you bought it, Paribus will notify you and help you get money back.
Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links we provided.
9. Decode REI Garage lingo to get exactly what you want.
- Closeouts (50-70% off): Items in discontinued colors, sizes, or styles that are no longer part of a current product line. Most closeout prices are temporary so act fast.
- Overstocks: Basically REI over-purchased these items and needs to clear them out.
- Special Buys (up to 70% off): Items made specifically for REI by a vendor, or items that REI obtains from a vendor at a discount, which they are allowed to sell in the current season for a discount.
- Seconds: Items offered to REI at a discount because of minor blemishes, discoloration, or other imperfections. These may include refurbished or reconditioned items.
10. Put Deal of the Day items in your online shopping cart before the sale is live.
REI offers a Deal of the Day featuring at least 50% off your favorite products. Check up to six days ahead to make sure you don’t miss out!
Put future Deal of the Day items in your cart, and on the day the deal is live, you are ready to check out! Here’s an example of recent savings:
Free store pickup
11. Get up to 90% off at the members-only REI Garage Sale.
The Garage Sale happens three to four times a year (check stores in your area for dates) where you can score big savings on lightly used and returned gear.
Discounts range from 50-90%! Quantities are very limited, sold as is, and all sales are final. You can negotiate prices and get items even cheaper.
Ask if your local store will allow you to camp out the night before for first dibs.
12. Skip red tags at the Garage Sale unless you’re willing to fix the damaged goods.
- Green tags indicate practically new items.
- Blue tags indicate used items.
- Yellow tags indicate worn, used, or (possibly) slightly damaged items.
- Red tags indicate items that are often broken, so unless you can fix it, skip it!
13. Have your member number ready at the Garage Sale, or you’ll lose your place in line.
If you don’t have your card and don’t know your member number off the top of your head, you’ll have to get out of line, go inside for them to look it up, and lose your place in line.
14. Shop the Anniversary Sale for the best discounts of the year.
These are your best times to score big savings:
- Cash in your member dividend in late March. Remember, you get approximately 10% back on all full-priced REI purchases for the year, plus you’ll score a coupon for 20% off a full-priced item and another coupon for 20% off one item from the REI Garage.
- Anniversary Sale happens in mid-May. Expect huge savings and deals during the Anniversary Sale, plus a member coupon for 20% off a full-priced item and another for 20% off one item from the REI Garage.
- Winter Clearance: Go in early February.
- Summer Sale & Clearance: Head over late June/early July.
- Fall/Labor Day Sale: Run over late August.
- Winter/Pre-Holiday Sale: Mid-November. Members get a coupon for 20% off a full-priced item, and another coupon for 20% off one item from the REI Garage.
- Holiday Clearance: Run in at the end of December.
15. Shop REI on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to get the biggest selection on new inventory.
REI’s shipments come every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, so that’s when you’ll see the best selection on inventory.
The store also marks items down three out of four Tuesdays a month as well!
16. Get a 10-15% volume discount on socks, energy drinks, and freeze-dried food.
Save money in the long run by stockpiling items for your future needs:
- Grabber warmers: Save 10% when you buy 10 or more full-priced hand or foot warmers
- Socks: Save 10% when you buy three or more pairs of full-priced socks
- Bike tubes: Save 10% when you buy three or more full-priced bike tubes
- Freeze-dried food: Save 10% when you buy eight or more full-priced freeze-dried food items
- Energy food and drinks: Save 10% when you buy 10 or more full-priced performance bars, gels, or beverages
- Snacks: Save 10% when you buy 10 or more full-priced snack foods.
17. Skip The North Face and Patagonia apparel. Buy these for cheaper at 6pm.com instead.
Skip buying North Face or Patagonia items at REI. I found the same North Face Fave Half Dome Pullover Hoodie on 6pm.com for around $7 cheaper.
18. Get the REI Mastercard for 5% cash back on REI purchases.
Where do we start!? The REI Co-op Mastercard has no annual fee, you get 5% back at REI, 2% on mobile wallet purchases, and 1% cash back on everyday purchases. That’s on top of your member dividend. Need more convincing? Here are a couple more perks:
- Every time you use your card, REI donates to one of their non-profit partners that help advance equal access to a healthy outdoors.
- Make a purchase with your new REI Co-op Mastercard within 60 days upon approval, and get a $100 gift card!
19. Avoid shipping fees by picking up your online purchases in the store for free.
Any $50 online purchase makes you eligible for free shipping within the US. However, if you aren’t spending that much, just opt for the free in-store pickup option!
Look for free shipping on all orders around Christmas. Most pickup locations are at the back of the store.
20. Get free shipping on items under $50 if you live too far from an REI store.
If you don’t live near a store and your order is not over the $50 minimum, chat online with a customer service agent for a free shipping code.
Keep in mind, it depends on your live chat agent. But in general, REI agents do have the ability to give free shipping.
21. Check the REI promotions page for an extra 10-15% off.
Always check the REI promotions page first for extra coupons, discounts, and rebates.
22. Work at REI for a 50% discount and killer benefits.
REI employees receive some major perks:
- 50% discount on REI gear and apparel
- 30% off vendor items, plus an additional 10% off sale items
- Access to the ProDeal discount program where items are priced at or below wholesale
- REI Adventure discounts from 10-30% off REI member price
- A “Yay Day” which is one day off every six months to get outside
- Access to the Challenge Grant program, which gives employees the opportunity to set a personal outdoor challenge and apply for a grant to achieve their goals
23. Sign up for FREE backpacking, paddling, and hiking classes!
Although REI offers a ton of outdoor events, you must pay for a lot of them. Don’t worry, there are plenty of free classes. Just check your local store’s schedule to see what they’re offering.
24. Always aim for at least 50% savings.
If you keep an eye on the REI Garage and the Deal of the Day, you’ll typically hit that 50% off mark!
If what you need isn’t a Deal of the Day or in the Garage, aim for 20% off with a members coupon.
25. Worst things to buy are bicycles, paddleboards, skis, and snowboards.
You can’t use the 20% off members coupon on these items, which makes them a less-than-stellar deal.
Wait for these items to go on sale at the Anniversary or Garage Sale, or scope them out in the REI Garage.