What is REI Return Policy?

In this article, we will see What is REI Return Policy?

Recreational Equipment Inc. or REI for short, deals with the sale and rental of outdoor equipment and gear. It was established in 1938 and with over 82 years in the market, it is safe to say when they give a 100% satisfaction guarantee their confidence is not far-fetched.

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REI Return Policy

In the case that you are displeased by their products or just require to make an exchange, there are a number of avenues one can take depending on the mode of return that is most convenient to you as the client.

REI generally gives their clients an extended period of up to one year to return unsatisfactory items, but there are some exceptions based on the nature of the item and mode of purchase. Let us look at some of the different criteria used for different products.

Damaged Items

If an item is spoiled by improper handling or inappropriate use by the client other than the purpose it was intended for, The REI return policy does not cover those items. All unfortunate mishaps are solely the responsibility of the customer.

However, items that are faulty due to manufacturing errors can be returned at any time, with no determinate time limit.

Electronics and outdoor tech

Outdoor electronics are required to be returned within 90 days; these may include items such as GPS trackers, LED headlamps, go pros, and power banks. Although this time limit is still longer in comparison to used gear which is supposed to be returned within only 1 month. 

Sale items

REI does not have black Friday offers like other stores, and as part of its purpose before profit policy, it remains closed on these calendar days so as to give consumers and employees a chance to go and enjoy the great outdoors.

It instead has garage sales, and the items purchased during these sales periods cannot be returned for refunds or otherwise. The sales are considered final and consumers are explicitly made aware of this fact during the sale and as indicated on the receipts.

How to return items?

Assuming the item you want to return checks all the boxes in their 100% satisfaction guarantee process, next you must provide proof of purchase for them to run it through their system and retrace your purchase from their records. The two main ways to make a return are:

Return by Mail

You can either ship the return, in which case you will be required to cover the cost of shipping. The replacement product will also be mailed back to you. Ensure that you have used the original packaging in which the item was first bought, and provide an invoice of proof of purchase to go with it. 

Should you want to return a gift by mail, you will have to provide additional information about the recipient, which includes their mailing address and contact details. Gift returns are refunded as checks to the recipient but if there is not enough clarity from the information available, it will be sent to the initial buyer.

Return to Store

This is to most people, the most convenient method of making returns. Both online purchases and in-store purchases can be returned to the closest store locations for a refund.  A quick visit to the customer care section should have you on your way in no time.

Feel free to contact the closest store before a visit in case you need further guidance on the return process or visit their website, you will be able to find all the useful information you need.

Refunds and Payments

The payment information given should be current, failure to which, returns will be canceled. REI reserves the right to choose which form of compensation is most appropriate for a return. Some of the methods are:

  • Issuing replacement items
  • Non-transferable gift cards
  • Checks, which may take up to 3 weeks
  • Credit 

Ultimately it is up to REI to choose and they promise to do so in fairness, propriety, and good faith.


The REI’s return policy is customer friendly and they take the liberty to give copious amounts of information on any queries that may arise on their website. All in all, its policy is accommodating enough to guarantee a refund for valid and eligible items. Always remember to carry proof of purchase when making a return.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I lack proof of purchase?

You may still be able to make a return by reaching out to customer care for assistance. Having a membership also helps.

Is the REI membership worth it?

Yes, members get to rent equipment at lower prices and can purchase exclusive REI products which are unavailable to nonmembers, and let’s not forget the discounts they enjoy on most of the services offered.

Does REI give student discounts?

Not at the moment, but that may change over time. They do give coupons and discounts from time to time, stay alert and take full advantage when the opportunity presents itself.

What is REI Return Policy?

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