Thursday, May 7, 2015

REI Member Sale and Coupon Code Timing 2021

When are the REI big 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 4/7/2021

REI Sale Schedule Summary for 2021


Each year there are three member 20% off coupon sales and several seasonal sales (see schedule below). 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. Each sale has an associated promo code that they make very clear when shopping, but I am unaware of any separate secret promo codes.
  • Going on now:
  • Next 20% off member coupon: with the Anniversary Sale, mid-May
  • Next seasonal sale expected: Anniversary Sale in mid-May
  • Next national garage sale: Temporarily suspended; ask if your local store has an everyday garage sale section available.
    • (see historical garage sale schedule below)
  • NEW—Still looking for more? Try my link to Backcountry, another great option for outdoor equipment

Note that these are affiliate links for companies I know and trust—thanks for your support!

Member Dividend + 20% off coupon — late March (after dividends are distributed)

  • 3/19/2021
  • 3/20/2020
  • 3/22/2019
  • 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

  • 5/15/2020
  • 5/17/2019
  • 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)

  • 11/13/2020
  • 11/15/2019
  • 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 ————


January Clearance — mid January

  • 2021 did not explicitly have this, but a clothing and footwear clearance started 1/15
  • 1/13/2020
  • 1/18/2019
  • 1/12/2018 -- new type of sale!

Winter Clearance — early February

  • 2/8/2021
  • 2/5/2020 (the January sale ran almost continuously into this one)
  • 2/8/2019
  • 2/9/2018
  • 2/10/2017
  • 2/12/2016
  • 2/13/2015
  • 2/14/2014
  • 2/15/2013
  • 2/10/2012
  • 2/11/2011

4th of July Sale and Clearance — late June (used to be Summer Clearance)

  • 6/26/2020
  • 6/21/2019 (4th of July sale)
  • 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

  • 8/28/2020 (included coupon for 20% off one Outlet item)
  • 8/23/2019
  • 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

  • 11/13/2020
  • 11/15/2019
  • 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... expect sales on Cyber Monday and through all of Cyber Week, but not on Black Friday

"Shop Now and Be Done" pre-holiday sale — mid December

  • 12/12/2019
  • 12/6/2018 -- new type of sale!

Holiday / Year-End Clearance — right after Christmas

  • 12/25/2020
  • 12/25/2019
  • 12/25/2018
  • 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 Garage Sale

These became standardized nationally in 2016. While the dates have been different every year, we can see that the sales have become pretty frequent and you can guess at some of the approximate timing.

No sale dates scheduled for 2021 yet; ask if your store has a "permanent" sale aisle.

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2020 . 2/8 3/144/18. 6/137/188/15 9/1910/24.12/5
2019 . 2/9 3/16 4/20 . 6/87/27 . 9/14 10/19 11/9 12/28
2018 . 2/10 3/17 4/21 . 6/9 7/14 . 9/22 10/20 . 12/1,29
2017 . . 3/18 4/29 . 6/17 . . . 10/21 . 12/30
2016 6/11 . . . 10/1 . 12/31

REI Friends and Family Discount — no obvious pattern

Lately these have come twice a year: late April and early October

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.)
  • 10/2/2020
  • 10/4/2019
  • 4/26/2019
  • 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?

-Mike

75 comments :

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

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

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

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

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  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.

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

    ReplyDelete
  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?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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.

      Delete
    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!

      Delete
  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!

    ReplyDelete
  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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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!

      Delete
  10. Thanks for the analysis! Great work! Now if you can add a chart on Backcountry.com 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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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!

      Delete
  11. Thank you! Get out there. Ranzilan

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

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

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

      Delete
  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.

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

      Delete
  15. Thanks for the info! Very helpful

    ReplyDelete
  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).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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!

      Delete
  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!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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!

      Delete
  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?

    ReplyDelete
  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.

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

    ReplyDelete
  21. thanks, very helpful

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  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!

    ReplyDelete
  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.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Laura from ChicagoOctober 7, 2017 at 6:14 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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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!

      Delete
  25. Laura from ChicagoOctober 7, 2017 at 1:19 PM

    :-) gotcha! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  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...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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!

      Delete
  27. Great resource. Thanks for posting this!

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  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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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!

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

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

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

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  32. Thanks much - zactly what I needed!

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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!

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

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

    ReplyDelete
  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.

    ReplyDelete
  37. When u first sign up was there ever a 20% off entire purchase?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never seen a coupon for an entire purchase when signing up, but traditionally you get a coupon for 20% off a single item when becoming a member. Not certain if that's still going on, but you can watch here for other special deals!

      Delete
  38. Just got my dividend - NO 20% coupon. Surprised.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup starting in 2018 the notifications for March dividends and 20% coupons were separated -- check out the new coupon available March 22, 2019!

      Delete
  39. This is great website - thank you so much!!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Very helpful and well organized blog. I like your style. I missed a 30% off sale on select items in November so now am waiting for a 20% coupon. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Just wanted to pop in and say "thank you *so* much" for doing this and keeping it updated. It is a great resource for myself and I send this link out to dozens of others.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Found your blog through reddit, thanks so much it was a huge help!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thanks for the great information. The reason I'm here is that I received my REI dividend in early March, and it's the first time I can recall that a "20% off one item" coupon was not included with my dividend. And I have been an REI member since 1978.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by! Yup this changed in 2018 -- don't worry the coupon should come very soon!

      Delete
  44. Thanks for the great post. I am wondering, for the May 2020 Anniversary 20% coupon, has that ever excluded Goal Zero batteries and/or solar panels? I am looking to get one of the pricier larger batteries between $500-1,000 and was really hoping I could use the 20% coupon for that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not completely certain, but from what I recall, Goal Zero products were 25% off in the 2019 sale, so there is a good chance at least your coupon will work! I'll make a special note of the terms and conditions for this year.

      Delete
  45. Hi Mike, can you track the REI co-op double dividend match events in your tracker?

    I am referring to this: https://www.rei.com/member-match

    With an REI credit card + the normal 10 % dividend and the 10 % dividend match, this technically puts any item in the store at 25% off, including items that are typically excluded from coupons, I.E: snowboards, bikes, GPS equipment, etc.

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely a good tip for getting those items at a discount! This is one of those kinda-random sales that hasn't had a pattern so far. I'll watch for it though. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  46. do you guys know if SUP paddle boards are included with the 20%

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately looks like no -- the key restrictions from the 2020 Anniversary Sale were this:
      "Discounts not valid on bicycles, bike simulators, strollers, paddle boards, hard-shell boats, any item with GPS technology, action cameras and accessories, activity trackers, personal locator beacons, avalanche transceiver and airbag products, skis, ski boots or ski bindings; snowboards, snowboard boots or snowboard bindings."

      Delete
    2. Mike - Thanks so much for the detailed list of exclusions for the 2020 Anniversary Sale. Can you tell if the list is fairly consistent between the Anniversary Sale and the other two big annual 20% off events?

      Delete
    3. Hi Barry, glad you find it helpful! Most of those exclusions seem pretty consistent -- see also the photo of the friends and family exclusions in the article photo. I'll try to make note of what it says for the upcoming sales to be sure.

      Delete
  47. Thanks for keeping this list updated, Mike. I know I've consulted it at least three or four times and it's quite valuable.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Mike, I am a new REI member - joining in 2020 - and I've been using this site a lot. What does it really mean that instead of receiving a dividend this year, REI is offering members 10% back on eligible full-price purchases in 2020? How does this new structure play out differently? Or is the 10% back exactly the same as the dividend?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question! No idea. We'll have to see what it looks like when they come out. Maybe it will have a time limit or other restrictions?

      Delete
    2. It sure looks like the dividend from 2020 will be calculated just like other years, except it expires on 12/31/21 instead of having the option to cash out.

      Delete

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