Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 54
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    107

    Backcountry.com/REI return policy

    So backcountry.com has a 100% satisfaction guaranteed money back program - one time I returned skis, they removed my binding for me and took them back. REI has the same(but they badger you and challenge why you're returning it).

    Two questions:

    1. Why would you shop anywhere else? Not to be a dick to the smaller shops out there, but that's pretty hard to beat - knowing I can return something in a week/year makes the actual price less important.

    2. It seems like this could lead to abuse. I know BC changed their policy to disallow returns on any SAC deals etc - do ppl abuse this? Do ppl really upgrade their quiver every two seasons like I imagine? I assume BC/REI pass that on to the merchandisers as part of the cost of being in their stores.

    If anyone has any firsthand knowledge/experience I'd love to ear it.

    PS first post - did a search and couldn't find this topic, pls go easy on me if this is not a cool enough topic for you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Crossing into the light
    Posts
    2,313
    __


    This is life
    What a fucked up thing we do
    What a nightmare come true
    Or a playground if we choose
    And I choose


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    they tell me it's paradise
    Posts
    21,418
    because I'm not a cumguzzling sperm burper like you Jared. Nothing wrong with that, it's the base of the mountain ecosystem. Next stop, liftie!
    Lord King of the Beater-Kooks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Simi Valley, CA
    Posts
    2,517
    Plenty of abuse by scumbags at both stores, drives up the price of everything for everybody.

    Sure, replace new stuff that failed. But not anything that is worn the hell out and ready for the trash can, like old bald hiking boots or moldy Camelbacks. Also reject returns from losers who buy a bunch of gear for a big trip then return it afterwards. The overly-generous return policy is not a free rental program.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Baltimore/Seattle
    Posts
    2,489
    So I've always kinda wondered if bc.com flags your account or something if you return something for no reason.

    That said, I've bought TONS of stuff from bc.com, and I've never returned any of it. I have returned stuff from REI, and the guy was extremely sympathetic to my complaints about the gear. But I generally try to buy from bc.com above others because of the peace of mind, particularly if it's new/untested gear. I do support my local shop in other ways - they get good money from me to do a tune every now and then, and I always buy boots in a local shop. I think it's important to have knowledgeable people locally that you can trust with your gear.

    Fact is, everyone I know who buys stuff from REI/bc.com only returns used gear if it fails or doesn't work as advertised. Otherwise, you're just taking advantage of the system that couldn't exist if everyone acted as you did.

    Pretty sure you know what the right thing to do is here.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    107
    Quote Originally Posted by auvgeek View Post
    Pretty sure you know what the right thing to do is here.
    I bought a pair of skis on SAC (years ago), mounted them and skied on them and they were TERRIBLE - i could barely make it down the mtn, i felt like i'd forgotten how to ski - could have been the mount, not sure - anyway, got on the chat, was like 'wtf have you received a ton of reports about these skis?' and the lady was like 'hey no prob just bring 'em back we don't even care' - took them to the SLC storefront and the dude whipped out his screwdriver, took off my bindings and refunded me.
    I was shocked and stunned, and now buy stuff from them exclusively when i shop online, i don't even price-shop bc i know i'm covered if i don't like the gear.

    It's also curious that you don't see it in other industries - zappos has a return policy on their shoes but only if they're un-worn.
    I know VISA and Mastercard etc have tens of millions in fraud costs that they just eat, bc they want the consumers to feel safe using their cards(eating millions to make billions).

    I'd love to hear an official statement from bc/rei about it, ie is it really sustainable, is it really abused (1000-oaks called it 'a free rental program' lol), who eats the cost, etc etc - this info is prob all proprietary but would still be interesting to hear...

    p.s. sry if this is the wrong thread to post in, seemed relevant at the time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2,192
    Is it really that hard to understand? Of course it's sustainable, stores have been doing it for many years. Nordstrom and Kohls do this too, as well as Costco on most items. Some stores believe that customer service and satisfaction will ultimately lead to more sales down the road.

    "and now buy stuff from them exclusively when i shop online" answered your own question right there. It works.
    Last edited by bfree; 03-29-2012 at 02:29 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    757
    When I was answering phones at Backcountry I got one call from a guy who bought a pair of mountaineering boots 6 years earlier. He told me how he had taken them to the Himalaya a few times and they just weren't working out ($500 boots mind you). We took them back, but I was probably a touch less chirpy with him than with a customer like yourself who legitimately didn't like the product or found a defect early on.

    Which skis did you return?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Salt Lake City/New Hampshire
    Posts
    855
    Most people do not return the stuff that they have beat the hell out of. Have I returned things from backcountry.com? Sure, either because they were too big or ripped after a few weeks, the usual reasons. But I have bought many more things on there that I have kept and loved, (especially from their original bc.com line which was awesome before they changed it to stoic...) I try to buy BC when possible because I have had too many experiences with pieces of gear that I have taken out and used once simply to find that it sucks balls or is so flimsy that it wouldn't last a week. Its a great return policy, I just hope it wont be ruined some day by dbags like wunderkind was talking about.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    5,648
    Quote Originally Posted by JAREDS View Post
    Why would you shop anywhere else?
    * * *
    Not to be a dick to the smaller shops out there. . .
    * * *
    It seems like this could lead to abuse. I assume BC/ pass that on to the merchandisers as part of the cost of being in their stores.
    There are several reasons to patronize a small shop: service, expertise, inventory including (and/or willingness to get) stuff REI and BC don't carry, and helping the small shop owner's doors stay open to continue all of the aforementioned.

    Too late. You've already been a dick to the small shops.

    Yes, REI does pass on most of the return burden to the manufacturer/supplier. REI has huge buying power, is the Walmart of outdoor retailers.

    Abuse? For sure. REI revokes the memberships from people who step too far over the line. Around these parts, the revocation notice is called "the letter."
    Last edited by Big Steve; 03-29-2012 at 12:04 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Sandy, Oragun
    Posts
    679
    Quote Originally Posted by bfree View Post
    Of course it's sustainable, stores have been doing it for many years.
    It works cause I show up to the crap and dent sale and buy a lot the heavily abused stuff, or brand new stuff that was 'violated' [wtf?] or has 'spilt blueberry yogurt on the leg' for on the super cheap.

    I felt slightly guilty one time after I returned a MSR water filter after a week long trip cause I was not happy with the overal performance. No questions asked, REI took it back. 4 weeks later I saw it at the scratch and dent sale for $10 [new was $90 or so]. I know it was mine based upon the way it was packaged. I bought it for a spare.

    I don't advocate that people use their gear and then return it because of normal wear and tear, or user stupidity. but I don't mind taking advantage of getting some gear for on the cheap because of REI's liberal return policy. I've never returned gear to BC.com or SAC...i guess it has always worked out well for me.

    As for the local shops...I likely buy 50% of my stuff from Next Adventure [portland shop]. I greatly appreciate thier more in-depth knowledge, know-how, know-when, know-where, more relaxed attitude and customer service. Not to say that REI or BC.com staff are all a bunch of JONGS, but I'm likely to encounter someone more like the GSA at Next Adventure, that for sure, is worth more $$.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Front Range, CO
    Posts
    1,132
    If your return dollar ratio approaches a certain amount at REI, you will be flagged.

    I have returned a pair of 10 year old Yakima bars because they rusted. I had to cut them off the car with a hacksaw and they had to look me up in the historical database.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    1,978
    Quote Originally Posted by JAREDS View Post
    1. Why would you shop anywhere else? Not to be a dick to the smaller shops out there, but that's pretty hard to beat - knowing I can return something in a week/year makes the actual price less important.
    Because there are many superior products that you just can't buy at REI.

    Want a Hilleberg tent? DPS skis? 8 oz backpack? Too bad, because none of the best products in the industry are offered at the Big Box stores.

    What you get at REI is mass-market-mediocrity, combined with shitty wages for under-experienced employees.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Missoula, MT
    Posts
    11,836
    Well, I'm pretty sure most of what I buy doesn't need to be returned, and I buy a lot of used.
    How's that?
    No longer stuck.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    3,339
    Sure return policy is very helpful when trying differnt sizes and when gear does not perform. Also BC.com has great selection and customer service. REI is becoming more mainstream and hard to find higher end gear (tech not price). But really I have excellent history with BC and use local REI for smaller things and quick pick up. But seriously, the goat rocks in so many more ways than just returns
    I need to go to Utah.
    Utah?
    Yeah, Utah. It's wedged in between Wyoming and Nevada. You've seen pictures of it, right?

    2009/2010 (20/15)
    2010/2011 (18/15)
    2011/2012 (16/11/2)
    2012/2013 (18/12)
    2013/2014 (13/11/4)

    Thanks BCSAR

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    the ham
    Posts
    2,655
    This has been discussed here incessantly.

    Are the return policies abused? Is the sky wet?!

    Who eats the costs? Everybody. As Steve said, they stick it to the distributors/manufacturers, and Uncle Sam, and in the case of rei, the customer with high prices.

    Why shop anywhere else? Because a smaller store (theoretically) provides the service/expertise to get you with the right gear in the first place.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Renoenvy
    Posts
    9,289
    Quote Originally Posted by pisteoff View Post
    ... Because a smaller store (theoretically) provides the service/expertise to get you with the right gear in the first place.
    and then they mis-mount your skis!
    ... jfost is really ignorant, he often just needs simple facts laid out for him...

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    they tell me it's paradise
    Posts
    21,418
    Quote Originally Posted by whyturn View Post
    Sure return policy is very helpful when trying differnt sizes and when gear does not perform. Also BC.com has great selection and customer service. REI is becoming more mainstream and hard to find higher end gear (tech not price). But really I have excellent history with BC and use local REI for smaller things and quick pick up. But seriously, the goat rocks in so many more ways than just returns
    amazing how well this works subbing in BC.com for REI

    as said above small shops (or at least the good ones) are willing to order odd gear.
    Lord King of the Beater-Kooks

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Simi Valley, CA
    Posts
    2,517
    Quote Originally Posted by auvgeek View Post
    So I've always kinda wondered if bc.com flags your account or something if you return something for no reason.
    I have no hard evidence of this, but I suspect they do. That's why I never return anything used to Backcountry, and will just sell it here or on fleabay instead if I don't need it, don't like the fit, etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by JAREDS View Post
    I bought a pair of skis on SAC (years ago), mounted them and skied on them and they were TERRIBLE - i could barely make it down the mtn, i felt like i'd forgotten how to ski - could have been the mount, not sure - anyway, got on the chat, was like 'wtf have you received a ton of reports about these skis?' and the lady was like 'hey no prob just bring 'em back we don't even care' - took them to the SLC storefront and the dude whipped out his screwdriver, took off my bindings and refunded me.
    Sounds like you didn't do enough research on that ski, or should have demo'd it before buying. Why should Backcountry have to eat the loss because of someone's purchasing decisions?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    479
    Quote Originally Posted by 1000-oaks View Post
    I have no hard evidence of this, but I suspect they do. That's why I never return anything used to Backcountry, and will just sell it here or on fleabay instead if I don't need it, don't like the fit, etc.




    Sounds like you didn't do enough research on that ski, or should have demo'd it before buying. Why should Backcountry have to eat the loss because of someone's purchasing decisions?
    good stuff here, like the morals
    "Remember, if you don't do it this year, you'll be one year older when you do." -Warren Miller
    Ephesians 4:7

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    the ham
    Posts
    2,655
    Quote Originally Posted by jfost View Post
    and then they mis-mount your skis!
    Heh, yeah... that's why I said theoretically. My experience with ski (and bike) stores has been mixed, which is why I mount my own skis, and wrench my own bikes. But walk into a really good ski shop, and the sales staff have skied every ski on the wall. Half the employees at REI have never skied at all.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Baltimore/Seattle
    Posts
    2,489
    Quote Originally Posted by 1000-oaks View Post
    I have no hard evidence of this, but I suspect they do. That's why I never return anything used to Backcountry, and will just sell it here or on fleabay instead if I don't need it, don't like the fit, etc.
    Same here. (Particularly if it was bought with the TGR coupon code - that's way too good a deal. I'd rather pass it on to someone else.) But I went on to bc.com and asked their gearhead guy if I could buy replacement brakes for FKS. I actually didn't need them, but I was going to bend a pair and was worried about them breaking. He was just told me to return them. Now, I was pretty sure they don't sell replacement brakes, so the point was to convince him to let Rossi know they should. But his argument was: what do you care, that's what our return policy is for. hmm...

    Sounds like you didn't do enough research on that ski, or should have demo'd it before buying. Why should Backcountry have to eat the loss because of someone's purchasing decisions?
    Yup. Seconded.

    Two exceptions:

    1) If a shop employee recommends a certain product that you don't like. For instance, I returned a pair of K2 pre-skins to REI because they were recommendation by the REI staff. I didn't think they performed as well as the BD ones so I returned them. They were happy to hear my feedback and to give me the BD ones.
    2) If a piece of gear fails in a way that I didn't expect and didn't know about beforehand. I'd rather deal with the manufacturer, but I would return it to bc.com or REI if the manufacturer was being a pain in the ass.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    107
    Originally Posted by 1000-oaks<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    <br />
    Sounds like you didn't do enough research on that ski, or should have demo'd it before buying. Why should Backcountry have to eat the loss because of someone's purchasing decisions?
    <br />

    No one here thinks they should be responsible for my poor purchasing decisions. No one on EARTH thinks a company should be responsible for my poor purchasing decisions. THAT'S why I'm asking about it - it's like it's too good to be true, and I'm curious if it's a sustainable business plan, asking or firsthand knowledge/experience etc.

    I bought the SPOT Connect tracker a while ago from REI - I normally would have waited until I'd heard from friends about it, been on a trip w someone who had it, price shop, etc - BUT i knew I could return it if it sucked(which it did) so I just bought it. This changes how I buy gear and makes me a loyal customer.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by 1000-oaks View Post
    I have no hard evidence of this, but I suspect they do. That's why I never return anything used to Backcountry, and will just sell it here or on fleabay instead if I don't need it, don't like the fit, etc.

    Sounds like you didn't do enough research on that ski, or should have demo'd it before buying. Why should Backcountry have to eat the loss because of someone's purchasing decisions?
    You can do all the research you want. Sometimes things just don't work out. And where are you that you can demo any piece of gear you want? I know I don't have that luxury and I'm sure many others don't either. Besides, when talking to BC.com people, they often tell me to just get it and return it if I don't like it. "It's what sets us apart from everyone else." They know what they're doing. Obviously you shouldn't abuse their return policy, but it's there for a reason and they want using it if you're not satisfied. It's one of their biggest differentiators and they use it to leverage sales. So yes, they shouldn't have to eat it, but they do...happily. That's one of the reasons we love them and why some people will spend way more money later.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    2
    haha, this page was featured in a video!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •