Less Beaten by REI’s (and other store’s) Prices

In the early days of the Internet, there were a few good coupon sites that could really save you money. There’d be a list of codes for a given website and you’d try a few until you found one that worked and then you’d save 10% or 20% or maybe score free shipping. Today when you go to those sites, they’re chock full of ads, misleading, and finding a working code is harder than a needle in a haystack. Here I’ll tell you how you can get a no coupon discount at REI.

CO-OP Membership

Finding a working way to save money that works ongoing can be challenging. The good news is, I’ve located a way to save 7% – 17% over time at REI, on everything they sell. This works on items they don’t provide discounts on like Garmin GPS units and other electronics. There’s no trick, just a method to follow. First, if you’re an REI shopper, you know that being a Co-op member gets you a 10% dividend at the end of the year on any non-sale items. That’s the first part. The second part is gift cards.

Gift Cards

Of late a new market has emerged on the Internet, gift card resellers. The way these work is people get gift cards for holidays, work rewards, birthdays, etc. But they want cash, not merchandise from that given retailer. They go to a giftcard reseller and get money for their card, at a discount. That’s how the companies make money. What that means to you, is you can go to the company and BUY those cards at a discount.

The company I use most frequently is Raise. You can sign up for an account, get a referral bonus for people you refer. If you use my referral link you’ll get $5 off your first purchase. The nice thing is most of these cards are available for near-instant digital delivery. Unlike buying from eBay or other markets, you’re also protected by the Raise verifying the value of the card prior to sending you the code.

With REI Raise has two types of gift cards. The first, are the ones they bought from individuals, you can buy those now at whatever balance they were purchased at (typically $10, $25, $50, etc.). The discount on these cards varies based on demand. At the time of this writing the highest discount is 6%.

Raise Cash

Another option that Raise has with some retailers is buying a gift card directly from them. With this option you get the exact amount you need for your purchase. Instead of a discount on that card, you get 7% “Raise cash”. That is a rebate that can be used on future purchases at Raise.

Mailing List

When Raise’s inventory gets too high they’ll run sales and discount codes for gift cards. By subscribing to their email you can potentially save even more.

Conclusion

I’ve used this method to save on Christmas presents, bicycling gear, and more. It’s nice to get some discount on clearance items as well since those items aren’t eligible for a dividend. Raise is also useful for other retailers, one that I use for my wife is Athelta. A little tip there, Athleta is part of a suite of companies who’s gift cards are interchangeable. I’ll look at Gap, Baby Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta and buy whichever card has the best discount. How about you? Any tips on saving on your online purchases?

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