R.eturn E.verything I.ndefinitely?
Not anymore. REI has released a statement regarding the changes to their “no questions asked” return policy that so many have come to love and unfortunately abuse.
As of June 4th, 2013 you are no longer able to return any item that you purchased over a year ago. In addition REI outlets will no longer accept returns after 30 days of being purchased. All of this is coming in the wake of a lackluster year for Recreational Equipment Inc. In 2012 REI saw in increase of 7% percent in sales to $1.9 billion. However profits dropped by 4% to only $29 million. In addition to significant profit drops, REI has noted an extortionate trend when comparing returns of items over a year since purchase to those under a year.
-The National Retail Federation estimates that in 2012 retailers lost $9 billion due to return fraud alone.
“What we found is that small group of folks who are probably extending the policy beyond its intent, is getting bigger. And It’s not a sustainable thing long-term if we want to maintain this fantastic policy, it’s something we have to put some clarification around”
-Senior Vice President of REI, Tim Spangler
REI’s OLD RETURN POLICY stated:
We stand behind everything we sell. If at any time your REI purchase doesn’t meet your expectations, you can return it for a replacement or refund. What’s more, if you’re an REI member, you don’t even need a receipt—we’ll have a record of your purchase.
The NEW POLICY now states:
We stand behind everything we sell. If you are not satisfied with your REI purchase, you can return it for a replacement or refund. Items must be returned within a year of purchase, except items purchased from REI-OUTLET which must be returned within 30 days of purchase.
REI’s guarantee doesn’t cover ordinary wear and tear or damage caused by improper use or accidents.
If your item has a manufacturing defect in its materials or workmanship, you can return it at any time. See our limited warranty.
This change may seem drastic to some, but still far exceeds the industry standard on returns and is being applauded by other retailers who simply could not compete against such a loose policy.
Some examples include:
- Target – 90 days
- Sears – 60 days
- Costco – 90 days on electronics
- Walmart – 90 days
On the opposite end of the spectrum is Backcountry.com, with over 1000 brands to choose from, still sports an unlimited return policy on any item for any reason, any time.
Not stoked on your gear? Looking to return it or make an exchange? No problem, we have an Unlimited Return Policy: we guarantee complete satisfaction and an unlimited lifetime warranty. If at any time — now, next month, in 30 years — you’re not 100% satisfied, send your gear back for a full refund. No questions asked.
Will the announced changes effect your gear buying habits? Let us know.