Hikers walking in a line wearing Osprey Backpacks

REI Introduces Gear Trade-In for Members: Here’s How It Works

Co-op members can now sort through their old gear and trade it in for REI store credit.

With more people venturing outdoors this year and fewer people shopping retail aisles for new products, the used gear marketplace has soared. And that’s not conjecture; REI said its online used gear sales are up 100% from last year!

To build on that momentum and meet continued demand to partake in the marketplace for used items, REI today unveils a gear trade-in option for its members. And to further support its “recommerce business,” the co-op also said it will launch two pilot used-gear pop-up stores — one in California, the other in Pennsylvania.

“Buying a piece of used gear is one of the best ways you or I can reduce our carbon footprint,” said Ken Voeller, REI recommerce manager. “Looking ahead, we have a number of product launches that will continue to accelerate our efforts in this space and solve problems for our members around purchasing used gear or trading in their own gear for someone else to enjoy.”

So if you’ve got a jam-packed closet begging for some relief or you’re seeking to invest in some quality, below-cost gear, here’s how to take advantage of REI’s gear trade-in.

REI Gear Trade-In

Before you go rooting through your gear cave, this trade-in program is only open to REI Co-op members. If you’re not a member, it costs just $20 for a lifetime, and you can join here.

Once you’re a member, you can visit the trade-in page and look up the products you have to see if they’re eligible. Here are REI’s criteria for accepting used gear:

REI Trade-In Gear

  • What’s accepted
    • Jackets, vests, and pants
    • Sleeping bags and pads
    • Tents
    • Packs
    • Hiking boots
    • Running shoes
  • What’s not
    • Base layers
    • Swimwear
    • Undergarments
    • Electronics
    • Safety gear
    • Broken/Damaged items
    • Items more than 6 years old
    • Items never sold at REI

This is not a comprehensive list. But to make it easier, REI has a searchable database where you can look up your used gear to see if it’s eligible for trade-in. It will also show you approximately how much your used gear is worth. Currently, REI will offer up to 50% of an item’s resale value in the form of gift card credit.

Maximum value goes to items in “excellent condition” (practically new; likely never worn outside), but REI will accept eligible products down to “well worn” condition (visible wear).

A quick search shows that a used REI Flash Sleeping Pad could net $10-20 on the trade-in market.

Once you confirm items you can trade in, REI will send you shipping supplies, and after it receives and assesses the value, it will email you store credit. Best of all, you can even trade in items you didn’t buy at REI — they just have to be products the co-op has sold in the last 6 years.

Ready to try it out? Head over to the trade-in page and start finding gear you can send in. And if you’re ready to buy, check out REI’s used gear marketplace.

Adam Ruggiero

Adam Ruggiero is the Editor In Chief of GearJunkie.

Adam has been covering daily news and writing about cycling, camping, hiking, and gear of all kinds for 15+ years. Prior to that, Adam lived in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, at which time he realized he’d never have a “normal job.” His pastimes — farming, bike racing, and fitness — provided a gateway to all manner of physical challenges and recreation outdoors.

Based in Kansas City, MO, Adam tests as much gear as he can get his hands, feet (and dog) into each and every day. As editor in chief, he works to maintain GearJunkie’s voice, style, and commitment to accurate and expert reporting across every category.