If you are an avid outdoorsman or a big fan of any outdoor sports year-round, you probably are always out looking for some of the best clothing and gear you can get your hands on to optimize your leisurely experience. It is certain that you have searched around many times for the best gear at numerous retailers for the best prices, and REI has usually been one of your go-to places to shop for recreational equipment.
REI has a great reputation for providing much of what you need, high-quality outdoor gear and clothing for a reasonable price. But it is no surprise that even though REI tries its best to provide the best price, its competitors occasionally have a lower price. So the question is does REI price match? The answer is, of course, one of the reasons REI has a loyal customer base is thanks to its price match policy and return policy, and you don’t even have to be an REI member!
What Is Price Matching?
Price matching is a common industry standard where if a competitor offers an identical product, from camping gear or a sleeping bag to a backpack or any other recreational equipment at a cheaper price, the company will match that competitor’s price if you can provide the evidence. While it’s likely that some items can be sold at numerous online retailer competitors and local stores, like most store price match policies REI will only accept at verified competitor’s website and other online competitors- the price at your neighbor’s garage sale or an online price from a reselling site would not be included in the REI purchase price matching.
Does REI Price Match?
REI has been around since 1935, and although price matching was not really a thing in its heyday, REI has one of the older price match policies around. Its price match policy although in place is limited to a select number of competitors. This is because REI tends to have such premium products, that not many competitors carry a lot of the brand that REI has in place. Therefore some common examples of companies that REI might price match with include Walmart, a Target store, Dick’s sporting goods, Sportsman’s Warehouse, and Amazon prices.
The REI Price match policy only applies to an identical item, and therefore you cannot request a price match if it’s a “like” item that another competitor has. In addition, if a competitor offers a coupon for an identical item, the coupon must apply specifically to the item in reference. The coupon cannot be in reference to a general merchandise discount of a specified dollar amount, percentage, or buy one get one free.
Price adjustment is also another policy that many companies follow, where if someone purchases an item from a store and that store reduces its price within a certain period of time following the purchase date, the consumer can request a credit for the difference. Price adjustment can only be applicable to the store’s price itself, meaning if you see a discount elsewhere after you made your purchase, you will not be able to request the credit at price.
REI Price adjustment policy applies mainly to an REI purchase made within 14 days of the original purchase date. Its also important that if you cite a markdown, you must request the credit while the markdown or clearance price is in effect, otherwise REI cannot grant the price adjustment. So for example, if you made a purchase on a Monday, and there was an advertised discount or clearance price on a product the following weekend only, you must make the request during that weekend, even though the following Monday the 14-day window would still be in effect.
Details and Exceptions
REI’s policy is generally the same across the board whether you make purchases online or in-store. Price match can only be applied in-store, where you can speak with a retail associate, and provide evidence of an identical item at a discount from a verified competitor. Obviously, if you shop in-store and see REI has advertised a markdown in the 14-day window, you can return to the store to request the difference.
If you make a purchase online, you will not be able to enforce the price match policy since no REI employee will be able to verify the discounted price. Unfortunately with REI, price match can not be granted online or in-person after the purchase was made. The return policy allows you to take back the item if you wish. If you do make a purchase online, you can still ask for the price adjustment if there is an advertised mark-up through REI, but you will likely have to go into the store to obtain the price adjustment, with your online receipt as evidence of this transaction. While you can reach out to customer service over the phone, it is recommended to go to your nearby store if possible for a speedier transaction.
REI price match policy generally applies to all products in the store. Keep in mind some items may be online only and thus it will be challenging to implement the price match or price adjustment policies. However, if you do make an online purchase for online items only and you see a markdown on REI’s website, you can speak with customer support over the phone or go to your nearby REI store and they can try to assist in providing you store credit, a gift card, or possibly a refund on your credit card.
Keep in mind that if a product is advertised as clearance, some kind of anniversary sale or Black Friday deal, or already marked down at the time of purchase, you will likely not be able to return or seek any further discounts or sales tax reductions. Clearance generally means that the product line is ending and thus the price should already be marked down enough that it does not warrant a price match.
In conclusion, REI has a fair price match policy that you can utilize for most basic regular transactions, but you have to be reasonable in your requests. As mentioned, REI has a strong loyal customer base, including an REI co op member program or basic REI membership, and has always been for the most part fair in the pricing of high-quality recreational gear. But it is understandable with a lot of competition that competitors time to time undercut a price, and that’s when an REI outlet in most circumstances wants to give the best price they can on high-quality products. So rest assured the next time you are looking for high-quality recreational gear, you can shop REI knowing you will get the best products on the market, for a reasonable price. Good Luck with your next shopping endeavor at REI.
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