REI Just Debuted Their Used Gear Program. Here’s How to Save Money and Help the Environment

The following is a Sponsored Post courtesy of REI

Following in the environmentally conscious buy-used trend, REI is doing its part to bring down manufacturing impact and waste with their new Used Gear Program. Each year, manufacturing accounts for one-fourth of all energy used in the US. Anytime you can extend the life of your gear or buy used, you’re bringing down your personal impact by not adding to the manufacturing waste stream for that one item, plus you’re keeping the used gear out of the landfill and saving cash money. Win-win-win.

Here’s the rundown on REI’s Used Gear Program.

How Does the REI Used Gear Program Work?

Details on the listing for an REI Used item.

REI is famous for its generous return policy. This often means that  there’s nothing wrong with the returned gear, yet the items can’t be put back out on the racks to sell as new. Sound familiar? A lot of this gear is sold at REI’s in-store Garage Sale events, and many an aspiring thru-hiker has waited in a line to snag gently used (but otherwise perfectly good) gear at a fat discount. Think of this program like an online Garage Sale… without the lines.

What Items are Available?

A selection of the camping / hiking gear available when we checked out the site.

Depends on the day. When we perused the offerings, there were over 800 used items available, with individual pieces and gear changing day to day. Sort by category, activity, or men’s, women’s, and children’s gear / clothes. There is also the option to sort by condition (excellent, lightly worn, moderately worn, well worn) with corresponding price drops. Discounts range based on item and condition, but there are plenty of options available at 50% off or more.

We love the specific details on the item condition—super helpful since shoppers aren’t actually handling the items themselves like they would be at in-store Garage Sale events. REI employees inspect the returned gear and put each item up for sale with varying discounts based on condition. Listings mention anything from cosmetic blemishes, to marks, debris, or general wear and tear on each item.

What Impact Can This Program Have?

The impact is multifaceted. Putting used gear up for sale keeps worn (but still usable) items out of landfills. Plus, when you buy a used item, it presumably means you aren’t buying it new, which over the course of your outdoor recreation career can really make a difference by reducing the manufacturing waste byproduct and energy consumption from turning raw materials into usable goods. The most immediate effect? You’re getting great gear at a huge discount, and each item has been inspected to make sure it’s good to stay in use outdoors.

Shop REI’s used gear and find out more about this awesome program here.

Featured image via Maggie Slepian

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 3

  • John : Jul 13th

    I tried this program twice. First time for wool shirt, second on shoes. Had returns both times. Quality and condition ratings were highly subjective and the customer service interface left a lot to be desired. Think twice before using; like idea of stopping usable items from going to landfill but all the returns increase the carbon footprint drastically. Good concept but REI needs to refine, a lot…

  • John : Jul 13th

    Obtw, experience was so bad I raised to REI corporate hq and they couldn’t care less. Let the buyer beware!


What Do You Think?