REI Bike Return Policy (What’s Covered + More)

REI Bike Return Policy

Do you know what REI bike return policy is? this is one of the questions my readers ask a lot. Well, I´ve got you covered.

REI has a generous return policy for all customers. It’s extra generous if you’re a member of the co-op. But what does this mean?

REI allows its members to return bikes up to one year after the date of purchase. Non-members have up to 90 days. Bikes must be returned to retail locations due to their oversized nature. REI stands behind its products with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

In this article, you’ll learn about what’s covered by the satisfaction guarantee and how you can make an REI bike return. Read on for the details of REI’s bike return policy.

Can You Return Bikes to REI?

REI does accept bike returns in-store. Bikes are large and awkward to ship, so the company does not allow bike returns through the mail. 

When you go to return your bike to an REI store, you can wheel it into the location closest to you. Make sure you take any packaging and accessories with you.

You’ll also need your receipt or proof of purchase to ensure you get a full refund to the payment account you used to purchase the bike in the first place. 

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What do I need to know about shipping fees for returns?

REI does not charge for returns. There is no convenience fee or service charge or even restocking fee for your returns. Returns and exchanges are totally free. The only piece that may cause you to pay a fee is for items you’re shipping back to the warehouse.

You can print a return label from the website and attach it to your package to send back. The shipping for sending the returned item back will be deducted from your refund amount wherever applicable. Additionally, it’s important to note that in most cases, a fixed amount of $5.99 will be deducted from your refund to cover return shipping back to REI for standard size/weight packages when you return by mail using the provided prepaid shipping label.

Exceptions to this standard fee include packages weighing over 32 lbs., which incur a $21.95 oversize shipping fee. Furthermore, if you are returning multiple orders in one shipping box that’s under 32 lbs., only one $5.99 return shipping fee will be deducted. REI also offers the option to work directly with a carrier and pay for your own shipping, in which case return shipping fees will not be deducted.

Moreover, the company will waive the return shipping fee if they made an error with your order or if the value of the return itself is less than $5.99. When ordering a replacement item as part of an exchange over the phone, REI agents may waive the standard shipping fee for the replacement if a similar item is being returned via mail.

These details ensure a comprehensive understanding of shipping fees for returns at REI.

What proof of purchase is required for returning items purchased at REI retail stores or online?

For retail store purchases, a paper or email store receipt is required for returns. For online purchases, an order number is needed to use the online return process.

1. What assistance options are available for customers who need help locating their proof of purchase?

Customers who need help finding their proof of purchase, whether for online orders or purchases made using the REI Co-op Member number, can contact customer service for assistance.

2. Where can customers find the necessary information for returns, such as the order number for online purchases?

The order number for online purchases can be found in the order confirmation email, on the packing slip, or listed as “Purchase number” in the Purchase History section of the account.

3. How can customers initiate the return process for purchases made with an REI Co-op Member number?

Customers can use their member number to initiate returns both for retail store purchases and online purchases. For mail returns, leaving the purchase information blank and providing the member number helps locate the purchase information.

Can You Return a Bike Ordered Online to a Store?

You can and must return any bike ordered online to a physical store location. As was mentioned above, bikes are large and awkward to ship.

They’re also expensive to ship. REI asks that customers take unwanted bikes to their nearest store location to return or exchange them that way.

This process shouldn’t take that long anyway, but you can help yourself out by starting your return online before you visit the store.

Go to the REI website and click on “Start an in-store return” to do the pre-work for your return. That way it won’t take nearly as long to process your return when you get there.

Can You Return a Bike You’ve Used?

REI customers who try out their bikes and find they aren’t the right size or the right feel for what they’re looking for are able to return or exchange them for something better suited, but only if the bike is still in like-new condition.

You should keep all packaging and tags until you’re sure about keeping the bike. 

The other scenario that allows for returning a used bike is in the case where there’s a manufacturer’s defect.

REI stands behind their products and expects that if customers encounter issues with items they’ve purchased from their stores or website, they will return those items for refunds or exchange them for brand new replacements. 

How can items with manufacturing defects be returned to REI?

If your item has a manufacturing defect in materials or workmanship, you can return it at any time, regardless of the purchase date.

Where can customers find information about warranties covering products sold by REI? For information about the warranties covering products sold by REI and warranty returns, customers can refer to the REI Terms of Sale (Part Two).

Member vs. Non-Member Returns

REI is a co-op that sells memberships so avid customers can enjoy some great benefits. The membership costs just $30, one time only and lasts for a lifetime.

The membership includes benefits like, no-minimum free shipping, exclusive deals, early access to new products, and shopping for or trading used items.

Members get a much longer window for returns and exchanges than non-members. A member has a whole year to get a full refund for items they wish to return.

Non-members only get 90 days. While 90 days is much longer than the retail standard return window of 30 days, it’s much less time than what’s afforded to REI co-op members.

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Used Gear Has a Shorter Return Window

Keep in mind that if you are part of the co-op and you like to order from the used gear category of goods, you’ll have less time to make your returns or exchanges. 

Used gear can only be returned for up to 30 days after the original order or purchase date. 

Are There Unreturnable Items at REI?

REI does consider some items as unreturnable. Here’s an overview of some of the items that aren’t acceptable for returns under the REI return policy.

  • Bike trainers
  • Cameras
  • Non-tangibles (gift cards, lift tickets, memberships, etc.)
  • Gear you’ve damaged
  • Activity monitors
  • Emergency-communication devices
  • GPS-enabled devices
  • Dirty gear

There are other items the company isn’t likely to take back but it would be up to the associate who is processing the return.

Can You Return a Bike Using Curbside Service?

In light of the events that have taken place over the last few years, there’s been a push toward curbside service from retailers and restaurants.

Customers have frequently asked if REI allows for curbside returns, especially for bikes.

The answer is no, you cannot return a bike to REI via curbside return service. You’ll have to go in-store with your bike and the appropriate paperwork to get your return processed.

How Long Will It Take to Get My Refund?

Regardless of the method of return you use; you can count on getting your refund within about 10 days from the day of the return. 

You do need to consider, though, that REI is only responsible for one part of the refund process if you paid for your items with a credit or debit card.

The other part of the refund is dependent on the financial institution you bank with. 

10 days is the average refund time with REI. It could be a little longer or shorter based on the bank you go through. 

Does REI Charge for Returns?

REI does not charge for returns. There is no convenience fee or service charge or even restocking fee for your returns. 

Returns and exchanges are totally free. The only piece that may cause you to pay a fee is for items you’re shipping back to the warehouse.

You can print a return label from the website and attach it to your package to send back.

The shipping for sending the returned item back will be deducted from your refund amount wherever applicable. 

Can You Return a Bike without a Receipt?

In most stores you’re able to return bikes for refunds without original receipts. However, that doesn’t have to be the case, as the policy states you need a receipt or proof of purchase. 

If you cannot find the receipt, you’ll be questioned. But you will likely still be able to process your return.

The problem comes when the price has now changed, or the item is currently on sale. When you don’t have the proof of purchase to show what you paid for the bike, you’ll only get refunded for the price of the item as it is now. 

In some cases, a lack of receipt might lead to getting a store credit for the amount of the return. REI’s return policy is extremely generous, but you still need to try to follow the rules when you’re looking to get your own refund. 

What Happens to Returned REI Bikes?

Most of these items get sold again on the used gear page. Bikes that are still in good condition when they’re returned are cleaned up and put on the website to be sold as used gear.

Members get a chance to purchase high quality REI gear at a lower cost than what it is at full retail pricing.

How can oversize items be returned, and what are the shipping fees associated with them?

Oversize items can be returned in various ways, depending on the item category. All oversize items can be returned for free at one of our retail locations. Some oversize items, such as bicycle trainers, single joggers/strollers, and skis/snowboards, can also be returned online for a shipping fee of $21.95.

However, any return package over 32 lbs. Incurs additional shipping charges based on weight, which will be deducted from your refund along with standard or oversize return shipping costs.

Certain oversize items like kayaks/canoes, car-top boxes, bikes, and double joggers/strollers cannot be returned online. In such cases, you may need to make return arrangements directly with a carrier.

How are refunds processed for online orders using PayPal or Apple Pay?

Refunds for online orders made using PayPal will be processed back to the original PayPal account. On the other hand, for online orders made using Apple Pay, refunds will be issued to the credit card linked to the Apple Pay account but only when the items are returned via mail.

Can Total REI Rewards be credited back to the membership account?

Total REI Rewards, which comprise Co-op Member Rewards and REI Co-op Mastercard Rewards, cannot be credited back to a membership account once they have been applied to a purchase. However, when you return an item, the Total REI Rewards used will be fully refunded in a specific manner.

For in-store returns, the portion of the purchase made with Total REI Rewards will be refunded in cash. Additionally, purchases totaling $500 or more that were paid with cash and/or Total REI Rewards will be refunded by check. In the case of mail-in returns, the portion of the purchase made with Total REI Rewards will be refunded via check.

Allow up to 3 weeks for the issuance of a check for refunds, starting from the day your return is received.

How are gift returns handled at REI stores and by mail?

Gift returns at REI can be done easily at any of our store locations by bringing the item along with its original packaging, tags, gift receipt or proof of purchase to the customer service desk.

If you prefer to return a gift by mail, you can work directly with a carrier to ship it back. When returning by mail, please include a note requesting a ‘gift recipient refund,’ providing the gift recipient’s details such as name, member number (if applicable), mailing address, phone number, and email address.

It’s important to note that gifts returned by mail will be refunded via check sent to the gift recipient’s provided name and address. Please allow up to 3 weeks for the refund process, starting from the day we receive your return.

How should items be cleaned before returning them to REI?

Before returning items to REI, it is important to ensure that they are clean and free of excessive dirt. Any gear that has been used since purchase must be thoroughly cleaned and laundered.

Failure to clean or launder items before returning them may result in the merchandise being declined and sent back. It is advisable to carefully follow the cleaning instructions provided on the REI website or contact customer service for guidance on the appropriate cleaning methods for specific gear items.

What is the policy for damaged gear returns at REI?

The policy for returning damaged gear at REI is that the Satisfaction Guarantee does not cover ordinary wear and tear, nor damage resulting from improper use or accidents.

What are the exceptions to the 100% Satisfaction Guarantee return policy at REI?

The exceptions to the 100% Satisfaction Guarantee return policy at REI include the following:

1. Outdoor Electronics: Items such as activity monitors, GPS-enabled devices, bike trainers, emergency-communication devices, and cameras must be returned within 90 days of purchase.

2. Final Sale Items: Certain items, such as REI Co-op Memberships, lift tickets, passes, and gift cards, are considered final sales and cannot be returned.

3. Damaged Gear: The Return policy does not cover ordinary wear and tear or damage caused by improper use or accidents.

4. Unwashed or Excessively Dirty Gear: Items that have been used must be cleaned before returning, as unwashed or excessively dirty gear may be declined for return.

5. Product Defects: If an item has a manufacturing defect in materials or workmanship, it can be returned at any time, regardless of the purchase date.

6. Re/Supply Used Gear: This is a used gear offering exclusively for REI Co-op Members, allowing them to shop and trade in used gear both in stores and on the Re/Supply used gear site.


The REI bike return policy allows member customers to return bikes for up to a year, while non-members can return bikes for up to three months.

Bikes purchased online or in-store can only be returned in-store due to their large and awkward shapes. They cannot be sent through the mail.


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John Muranko

John is Founder and Senior Bike Editor at ProBikeCorner. John is a bike and travel addict who has cycled through 17+ countries and doesn't really have any plans of stopping. He´s passionate about helping others by creating technical resources, in-depth reviews and more…

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