Gear News: REI launches beta version of used gear store online

Taking a cue from the success of Patagonia’s recent launching of a Worn Wear online used clothing store, REI has started a pilot program for an online used clothing store.

Officially called the REI Co-op Used Gear Beta (Used Gear Beta), it is a test to aimed at gathering feedback and making the experience better. Saying on the website, “Used Gear Beta is one way we are experimenting expanding opportunities to enjoy life outdoors and bringing value to our members.”

Essentially taking customer returns, as well as returns from REI Co-op members, it aims to reuse slightly used gear in hopes that it will keep usable items from ending up in landfills and keeping new items from being produced.

Backpacks are one of the staples of used gear items available. Photo: Courtesy of REI

So far, the Used Gear Beta store is offering men’s and women’s clothing, men’s and women’s footwear and gear like backpacks, tents, sunglasses and other camping items.

Unlike REI’s Garage program, the Used Gear Beta items are all gently used. The used gear is also not covered by REI's "100 percent satisfaction" one-year warranty, like their retail and discount new items. Used Gear purchases will come with a 30-day return policy, with everything being sold as-is.

While Patagonia’s Worn Wear online clothing store is buying items back from customers, that is not what this beta test from REI is doing. They are taking the best of the slightly used gear that gets returned to them and simply offering people an opportunity to purchase at a discount.

Regardless, it is a great first step for the outdoor retail giant in helping alter the conversation about consumerism in the United States and around the world. Plus, if it’s successful there is no telling how big they could expand the program. So if you’re in the need for some slightly used gear and are looking for a discount, check out REI’s Co-op Used Gear Beta site.

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