Eastern Utah
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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

An Explanation of REI

I was asked by Judy, aka the Birdlady, about the REI store and the dividend I mentioned in yesterday's post.

REI, established in 1938, is a company based in Oregon that carries outdoor gear, clothing, sporting gear such as for bicycling, climbing, etc.  It is a cooperative, so if you buy a $20 lifetime membership and provide your membership # when purchasing anything at their stores or online, then at the end of the year (usually in March) you get a dividend of approximately 2% of the past year's purchases.  Last year I spent more than usual and my dividend this year was about $105.  You can shop there for the same price anyone else pays without being a "member".  All the staff are experienced in outdoors sports and activities, and they will take all the time you need to help you find what you want, are fitted properly, as in the case of boots, backpacks, etc.  Some of their merchandise is priced fairly high but it is all high quality, and in the case of clothing, for example, the manufacturer no doubt initiates the price.  Sales at REI are incredibly good but deals are snapped up quickly.

If you love the outdoors and outdoor sports you would love visiting an REI store.  They also have "events" each month, some costing a small fee and other free, and cover such things as compass and orienteering, rock climbing, and skills you need for various outdoor activities.

When I went into the store yesterday I noticed a black canvas bag sitting atop a waste receptacle just before the front door.  It was still there when I left, and I agonized over whether I should just go on or to report it to someone inside the store.  Eventually my conscience made me walk back in and tell the cashier who had just helped me.  We walked out together and she looked inside the bag, and found it was filthy.  Evidently it had contained someone's lunch or food supply and had been left to sit in a car for a while.  

So I left relieved it was only a dirty black canvas bag and didn't contain a bomb.  The outside of the bag was clean and in good condition which is why I couldn't imagine anyone throwing it away.

My son-in-law, Donald, is having knee surgery tomorrow, after injuring it in a basketball game a few months back.  It is going to be a long recuperation, but I hope for a speedy recovery.  He will have to wear a brace for several weeks, which I think would be the worst part of it, but then I've never had knee surgery.  Jeannie doesn't really like to cook and Donald is a superb cook, so it will be interesting to see how that goes.

I'm looking out at the hummingbird feeder hung from the front porch awning, and a small bird just landed on it, though he's much larger than a hummer.  He looked at the liquid inside the feeder and pecked at it a couple of times, but I guess his beak is too large to get any of the nectar.  Poor thing.

I have to go to Costco this afternoon for a couple of Rx refills, and it's always difficult for me to get out of that store without spending a lot of money.    


  1. I have been an REI member for several decades. It is a neat store chain.

  2. We don't have any REI stores here that I know of. Acadamy is where we purchase our sporting good stuff.

  3. Great explanation of REI. We belong but are seldom near any stores to take advantage. But then we don't buy anything but food anymore and medicine. SIGH

    Best wishes to Donald. So sorry to hear he will be out of commission. David is the cook here too now. I was for 25 years and then I "retired" from it before I retired from work. LOL

    He turned out to be much better at it than I and enjoys it way more. BUT when he was sick I did all the cooking for months and it was fine. But I was really glad when he got better so I'm sure that's what will happen for Donald and Jeannie. His recovery will be way shorter I'm sure.

  4. Did you see that REI is changing their no questions anytime return policy? It is still good for a year after purchase. Seems folks bring back their used up stuff expecting a full refund... Same as always if the return is because of a defect.

  5. I've been a member of REI since the early 80's (when, believe it or not, membership was given free!), and the rebate is usually on the order of ten per cent on regularly-priced items. Their site sez:


    noting the way non-qualifying items are priced.

  6. Good luck at Costco, (sigh) I also have that problem of getting out of there w/o spending a lot... REI I the bomb. that is where I went for my snow shoeing class this Winter...

  7. DD, Texas has REI in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Plano, Round Rock and San Antonio. You could have a neat adventure checking one out in Houston.

  8. Bonus points... REI stands for Recreational Equipement Inc. Members/owners also vote for the board of directors. Your membership is actually a share of the company. All member/owners have one share = one vote. Similar to Credit Unions, Rurual Utilities, and Food Co-ops.

  9. I am not sure if all REI's do this, but the one here in Austin also gives class. Most of these classes are free. We just attended on called Europe by Rail. It was very infromational. Next week, I think I am going to attend the one beginning rock climbing.