REI Wants to Buy Your Used Bike

REI just launched a pilot program with The Pro’s Closet to exchange bikes in the Denver market. Could the new program signal a shift in how consumers buy, sell, and trade used bikes?

REI wants to make it easier to sell your old bike. For the next 3 months, the co-op will pilot a bike buyback program in partnership with The Pro’s Closet, a leading reseller of used bikes, in the Denver market. This program allows customers to trade in a used bike in exchange for an REI gift card.

The program is pretty simple. First, sales begin with a “digital experience” where customers can submit a bike for review by The Pro’s Closet. If the pro buyers offer a buyback, they will instruct customers to bring the bike into the REI Denver flagship store. There, REI will issue them a gift card in exchange for the bike. The REI Bike Shop will then package and ship the bike to The Pro’s Closet to be resold.

It’s worth noting that The Pro’s Closet has many partner shops already. It’s a major bike reseller across the United States. But the partnership with REI signals that the large retailer wants to continue its push to become a serious contender for bike buyers — and now sellers.

While there are many ways to sell a used bike, the main benefit seems to be convenience. Sellers remove the need to post a bike online, meet with buyers, and haggle prices. Obviously, the payment in a gift card means the seller should want to buy some gear from REI in the future. For many, it could be a convenient way to unload an unwanted bike.

We reached out to REI to find out more about the program.

Used Bike Program: Interview With REI

What types of bikes can you trade in?

Currently, REI will accept mountain, road, gravel, TT, and track bikes that align with The Pro’s Closet‘s current product offerings in terms of brand, type, or value. Tandems, recumbents, and e-bikes are currently not being accepted.

How much can you expect to get in terms of trade-in value?

Trade-in values will vary by bike, brand, type, and the original value of the bike. In addition to the dollar value of the trade-in, the convenience of the program is a true benefit to customers, who today often have to use more cumbersome or less trustworthy platforms to sell or trade used bikes.

What can you do with the trade-in dollars?

Credit is issued via REI gift cards, which can be used to purchase any products REI sells, including a new bike.

Will REI resell the bikes?

REI is not planning on reselling used bikes at this time. However, we are discussing options with The Pro’s Closet.

What REI stores will be involved?

During our pilot period, all bikes must be processed through the online program and brought into the Denver REI flagship store to participate.

Can you buy the used bikes online?

At this time, you can buy the used bikes online through The Pro’s Closet, but not through REI.

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Editor-in-Chief Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.

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