Thursday, May 7, 2015

REI Member Sale and Coupon Code Timing

When are the big REI sales, member dividends, and 20% off member coupons? The people want to know! If you're in the market for something substantial like a backpack or tent, shopping at REI during the sales is key. I get most of my stuff (especially bike lights and accessories) at the member garage sales, but sometimes you need a specific item or size or used won't cut it. Like those other people on the internet, I've searched for the timing of these sales and didn't find anything satisfactory besides vague anecdotes. I guess I'll have to figure it out myself!

My wife had an excellent data resource available—a gmail account just for promo emails where she uses the archive button, not delete. A simple search for "REI" provided me with a mountain of data, which I present here for your shopping ninjafication.

Updated 12/11/2018

Summary for 2018

Each year there are three member 20% off coupon sales and several seasonal sales. Lots of promotions for 20-30% off specific brands or outlet items throughout the year, but there isn't much of a pattern to them. Garage sale schedule seems to have become standardized in 2016 (no longer per store); will monitor. Each sale has an associated promo code that they make very clear when shopping during the sale, but I am unaware of any separate secret promo codes.
  • Going on now:
  • FYI Holiday Shipping Deadline - "REI orders must be placed by 9:00am PST on 12/20 to be received by Christmas"
  • Next seasonal sale expected: Holiday clearance, right after Christmas
  • Next national garage sale: Sat, 12/29

Time to shop? Please consider using my link to REI.

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Member Dividend + 20% off coupon — late March

  • 3/23/2018
  • 3/24/2017
  • 3/18/2016
  • 3/27/2015
  • 4/1/2014
  • 3/22/2013
  • 3/30/2012
  • 3/25/2011

Anniversary Sale + 20% off coupon — mid May

  • 5/18/2018
  • 5/19/2017
  • 5/20/2016
  • 5/15/2015
  • 5/16/2014
  • 5/17/2013
  • 5/18/2012
  • 5/20/2011

Member 20% off coupon — mid November (last coupon before Christmas)

  • 11/9/2018
  • 11/10/2017
  • 11/11/2016 (same setup as 2015)
  • 11/13/2015 (part of pre-Thanksgiving sale; coincides with #OptOutside campaign)
  • None in 2014
  • 10/4/2013
  • 10/5/2012
  • 10/7/2011


———— Regular Seasonal Sales ————


Winter Clearance — early February

  • 2/9/2018
  • 2/10/2017
  • 2/12/2016
  • 2/13/2015
  • 2/14/2014
  • 2/15/2013
  • 2/10/2012
  • 2/11/2011

Summer Sale and Clearance — late June / early July

  • 6/22/2018 (marketed as the 4th of July sale)
  • 6/23/2017
  • None in 2016 that were labeled as such! Friends/Fam coupon and a few smaller deals were during this time.
  • 6/26/2015
  • 7/2/2014
  • 7/3/2013
  • 6/29/2012
  • 6/24/2011

Fall / Labor Day Sale — late August

  • 8/24/2018
  • 8/25/2017
  • 8/26/2016
  • 8/28/2015
  • 8/26/2014
  • 8/23/2013
  • 8/24/2012
  • 8/26/2011

Winter / Pre-Holiday / Gear Up and Get Out Sale — mid November

  • 11/9/2018
  • 11/10/2017 (again complete before Thanksgiving; no black friday sale)
  • 11/11/2016 (same setup as 2015)
  • 11/13/2015 (earlier this year and with 20% coupon; coincides with #OptOutside campaign)
  • 11/18/2014
  • None in 2013, as far as I can tell
  • 11/26/2012
  • 11/28/2011
  • 11/29/2010

Cyber Monday / Cyber Week — after Thanksgiving

Gathering data...

Holiday Clearance — right after Christmas

  • 12/25/2017
  • 12/26/2016
  • 12/26/2015
  • 12/26/2014
  • 12/25/2013
  • 12/25/2012
  • 12/25/2011
  • 12/25/2010

REI Friends and Family Discount — no obvious pattern

Please let me know if the timing is tied to something we can predict! FYI, REI employees get these to give to their friends and family, which is the only way to get them. (This coupon gives up to 25% off multiple items, and also usually has 15% off bicycles/boats/other items typically not on sale.)
  • 10/5/2018
  • 4/27/2018
  • 10/7/2017 -- two in one year again
  • 6/10/2017
  • 6/18/2016
  • 11/7/2015—two in one year!
  • 6/20/2015
  • No info for 2014—appears to be no coupon 
  • 9/21/2013
  • 6/16/2012
  • 4/30/2011
  • 5/1/2010
  • 4/18/2009
REI friends and family coupon
Example REI Friends and Family Event discount coupon and restrictions / conditions
Example REI Friends and Family coupon terms and conditions from 2018

I hope this info helps you shop more efficiently! Don't forget the REI garage sales for when you don't need an exact item at an exact time; I've found tons of great deals there that usually involved very simple fixes for "broken" things.

What's your favorite deal at REI?



  1. Thanks for this man! I was wondering how much coupons they always give out!

  2. Thanks, Mike. I think you just saved me $110, assuming mid-May 2016 turns out the same.

  3. Thanks, guys! Please keep your success stories and any tips coming in!

  4. Thanks for the schedule! Really helps plan out the spending,.... and asking for forgiveness when I spend too much!

  5. Very helpful. Thank you for archiving these dates. They impact my wallet. I get lulled to sleep w endless REI email parade of minor sales.

  6. I wish I had access to the friends and family sale today! Sigh thanks for the updates!

  7. I archive all my email too and have never received an email about REI's friends and family discount. I wonder if it's a regional thing?

    1. just found this out, and wanted to pass along info, the friends and family discount is only given to EMPLOYEES who can then share with friends and families.

    2. Yes that's exactly right; employees share cards with one-time-use coupon codes for that sale. It's certainly good to know people!

  8. Thanks, this is really useful! I recently got myself a membership and have been waiting for that first coupon. Good to have a general idea of when they come out!

  9. Just a heads up, one of the seasonal employees here in Atlanta said they've been briefed on some coupons and sales coming up soon. I tried to get more details to no avail. I'm guessing we should know something before the month is up.

    1. Great; thanks! I fully expect there to be a big sale after Thanksgiving along with a 20% off coupon, which may come earlier. Or maybe they have something new up their sleeves!

  10. Thanks for the analysis! Great work! Now if you can add a chart on which is the serious outdoor gearhead nirvana. Usually they mimic REI's schedule to some degree, and have a few more 20% off sales a year than REI.

    1. That's a great idea! I'll see what I can do; thanks! If you already have any info on backcountry sales or promotions, feel free to get in touch with me via the contact form on the right side of this blog!

  11. Thank you! Get out there. Ranzilan

  12. 20% off starts this Friday through the 21st. Lots of deals on snow gear including Arcteryx and Patagonia.

  13. has 20% off one full price item going on right now as well. In case you need multiple expensive things!

    1. I noticed this too! Looks like they're trying to compete which is good for those looking to buy!

  14. Thanks for the info! Used this coupon for a winter helmet for biking and am going to wait for a new road bike helmet 'till spring and see what is around then since it won't be getting any use for the next few months.

    1. Sounds great; thanks for stopping by! Come on back for more updates!

  15. Thanks for the info! Very helpful

  16. Thanks for all the great info! Can you use the %20 off coupon on anything, any brand, even online? I'm looking at a bike, but would have to have it shipped to a store (I live in Little Rock).

    1. The 20% coupon can be used for full-priced items but has always excluded things like bikes and boats. Sometimes bikes go on sale or there are particular ~15% off events for Novara bikes, though. Too bad!

  17. Do you know if the "Next 20%-off coupon: 3/24 - 4/10, announced along with the member dividend" will count towards REI Garage items? Thank you!

    1. Yes! The 20% off coupons pretty much always have one coupon for 20% off regularly-priced items, and 20% off one item at REI Garage. Enjoy!

  18. Just got Anniv Sale catalog for sale starting 5/19---I will be next to REI day prior to sale start. Anyone know if REI honors sale prices early in store?

  19. When I worked at REI after I retired I was told, and it proved true, that 20% coupons may appear at other times if sales are slow for the year. I believe that one year we had five 20% off coupons issued.
    Friends and Family is the best. When chatting with an REI employee ask them if they would like to take your email address and then share a F&F coupon with you. Oddly it can be difficult to give them away as an employee and the employee might appreciate your offer. If the first employee refuses then try another. When I worked there we got a small prize for being the employee who had the most F&F's show up and buy during the sale.

  20. Just want to say thank you for providing this information.

  21. thanks, very helpful

  22. thank you! super helpful and happy to use your link to click through to rei/sierra. appreciate that this was updated this year also!

  23. I notice it says friends and family coupon 10/7/2017. Have these already gone out? I have not received anything. Looking to buy two new bikes.

  24. Laura from ChicagoOctober 7, 2017 at 8:14 AM

    Hi Mike - Any idea if there are ways to get a REI Friends/Family coupon if you don't actually know an employee? TIA.

    1. Hi Laura, the friends and family discount comes in one-time-use codes that you get directly from an employee. Time to get friendly and buy a 6-pack or something!

  25. Laura from ChicagoOctober 7, 2017 at 3:19 PM

    :-) gotcha! Thanks.

  26. Mike, I'm not currently a member - do you know if I would have to be signed up to receive the upcoming member coupon, or could I sign up once it goes out and still receive it? I've never done one of these sales before and am wondering how it works. I'm really only looking for one item and don't want to sign up for a membership until I know for sure a coupon is going out...

    1. It's just a generic coupon code and you can sign up to be a member during the sale, so you can just monitor this site for the sale dates and make a decision then. Enjoy!

  27. Great resource. Thanks for posting this!

  28. Pretty sure I know the answer but just want to confirm - the dates you have listed, they are the beginning of the sale? I’m trying to figure out when A sale might be in 2018.

    1. Yup! Those are the historical start dates of the sales. Most of the big ones last just over a week, covering a weekend at the start and finish. Cheers!

  29. Mike .... you're amazing. Thank you so much for doing this!

  30. This is awesome! Thanks for collecting, compiling, and sharing your data!

  31. This is exactly what I was searching for. Thanks for all the info!

  32. Thanks much - zactly what I needed!

  33. I received my member dividend, but no 20% off coupon this year? :(

    1. Yeah odd it's not in the mailer but the rumor I heard is that it will come separately for the end of March!

  34. Hello Mike,
    This is valuable! Thanks for sharing the historical dates. Any chance you logged similar historical information for sales?

  35. What a great website to stumble upon. Thanks!!!

  36. Thanks for posting this! I need some camping pads and they apparently always sell at retail so I wanted to know wait for the next REI coupon to arrive. Now I know to wait until mid-November.


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