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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does any one work for REI? Im a mechanic for 2 performance stores in my area. Neither store can give me full time hours so I have to work at both. I really want to stop all the running around and just work at one place that’s going to give me benefits. Im wondering if you still can order parts from QBP and other places at wholesale? And what the bike prodeal situation is like.
 

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I worked at the Anchorage REI for 7 yrs.........

pulser said:
Does any one work for REI? Im a mechanic for 2 performance stores in my area. Neither store can give me full time hours so I have to work at both. I really want to stop all the running around and just work at one place that’s going to give me benefits. Im wondering if you still can order parts from QBP and other places at wholesale? And what the bike prodeal situation is like.
I worked both in the shop and on the floor as a sales geek.....yes, at our store you could order from QBP and I also prodealed from many companies including many who did not have products sold at REI. Each shop "master tech" may run things differently though. Other products are prodealable as an employee also. I might add that the bennies are great also. Check 'em out.

Dave
 

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My experience...

was a little different. I worked at REI for over 2.5 years. The pay is pretty crappy but the benefits are great. Pro Deal (EP) on almost everything and huge discounts off the floor merchandise. Health and other benefits are great as well. The REI shop budgets are super tight though. As a shop tech you don't run the shop a manager does. They don't seem to understand the shop or the shop tech's point of view. On a side note rant...I was fired from REI for working at another bike shop concurrently. The bike shop sold Turner and Ventana custome bikes. :rolleyes: You do the math. Most employees at REI last about 6 months before they've had enough. Some stay for years and years. To each one his own I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. That’s the info I was looking for. I have a few bikes in the works and I cant lose the ability to get parts cheep. As for people lasting 6 months you really could say the same thing about Performance I have been in and out of the one shop im at for 9 years now. Its not bad there are perks to working in the largest bike retailer in the country. But I need to stabilize things and get health insurance. I dropped the App off tonight and talked to a manager so im just going to see how it goes.
 

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The only downside for my wife and I's short stint at REI was selling the membership quota. Everyone had to sell them. Apparently, the bike shop people have it easier selling a membership than the rest.
 

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i heard rei's employee discount added up to jack, that it was still cheaper to buy stuff on sale elsewhere.

rei's prices are nuts anyway. and their stock sucks.
 

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When you prodeal stuff, like bikes, how much of a discount do you get? Or are you not allowed to say that? And don't you also have to know stuff about ski and board too, because at my local REI the emploies have to know about both? (I don't like sking and don't know a single thing about it). I have a Novara, one of REI's bikes. Just curious. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
RideFaster said:
When you prodeal stuff, like bikes, how much of a discount do you get? Or are you not allowed to say that? And don't you also have to know stuff about ski and board too, because at my local REI the emploies have to know about both? (I don't like sking and don't know a single thing about it). I have a Novara, one of REI's bikes. Just curious. :)

I will let you in on the big secret. Im probably going to get hunted down and X communicated from the bike business for it. Most of the time prodeal is half retail or a little lower. Some companies give better deals then others. If your really in to bikes this get a part time job at a local shop its grate. I don’t think I could ever go back to paying retail for stuff.
 

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I'll let the cat out of the bag.

RideFaster said:
When you prodeal stuff, like bikes, how much of a discount do you get? Or are you not allowed to say that? And don't you also have to know stuff about ski and board too, because at my local REI the emploies have to know about both? (I don't like sking and don't know a single thing about it). I have a Novara, one of REI's bikes. Just curious. :)
Since I have a bone to pick with REI I'll let you in on their secrets. REI employees get 50% off all REI items with their name on it. Novara bikes get 30% off retail price. You get 30% off any other item on the sales floor or off the website. 10% discount for sale items. You also get discounts on garage sale items. ProDeal is different for every company and it is up to their discretion. Some companies have seasonal sales which are rediculously cheap. Many times these prices are below wholesale.

As far as your product knowledge is concerned. Each store is different but you are usually hired based on your current knowledge and then trained in areas you need help with. If you know about bikes try and get into the bike department. If you don't know a whole lot about boats, skis or bikes try applying for a cashier job or clothing department or something. Almost every position has the same discounts offered to them. REI has one of the better discount systems out there if you ask me.

There ya go folks. Hope that answers a lot of questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
mtn_man2 said:
Since I have a bone to pick with REI I'll let you in on their secrets. REI employees get 50% off all REI items with their name on it. Novara bikes get 30% off retail price. You get 30% off any other item on the sales floor or off the website. 10% discount for sale items. You also get discounts on garage sale items. ProDeal is different for every company and it is up to their discretion. Some companies have seasonal sales which are rediculously cheap. Many times these prices are below wholesale.

As far as your product knowledge is concerned. Each store is different but you are usually hired based on your current knowledge and then trained in areas you need help with. If you know about bikes try and get into the bike department. If you don't know a whole lot about boats, skis or bikes try applying for a cashier job or clothing department or something. Almost every position has the same discounts offered to them. REI has one of the better discount systems out there if you ask me.

There ya go folks. Hope that answers a lot of questions.
That’s basically the same as Performance. The only difference is I have the ability to call QBP, BTI, Down East and just about any other Hole sailor and order right from them. Its that ability im not willing to lose by going to REI. And form an earlier post it sounds like I might still be able to.
 

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They might not carry an entire line of stuff from companies but they have a fair selection. Enough to satisify varying groups of people. The biggest benefit from buying from them is they stand by their word about satisfaction guaranteed. They will take back everything no questions asked. I didn't do a lot of prodealing but their selection was pretty substantial. Clothing wise you could get pretty much anything you want. I wish I new they sold Yeti or Tomac a few years back. I would have taken major advantage of the prodeals. I got one of the last 575's sold at REI for a great sale price, no discount or prodeal. I buy from REI if there is question about a product. Like any job, the atmosphere is created by the people who manage it. Some REI's are run differently. Or at least from what I've seen. As for the mechanic, they do send their head mechanics to school out west. I think it's Barnetts.
 

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prodeal question

Just wondering about prodeal, don't know but as to the person who talked about working at performance is he saying that he had the ability to order any bike product or bike from a dist. of any bike for 1/2 off. Also if you work at a bike store do you automatically get the opportunity to get prodeals? Or is that up to the owner if it is a lbs? I knew of someone who once worked at a ski shop and got 40 percent off anything in the store or more.
 

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My understanding is...

Atomic300 said:
Just wondering about prodeal, don't know but as to the person who talked about working at performance is he saying that he had the ability to order any bike product or bike from a dist. of any bike for 1/2 off. Also if you work at a bike store do you automatically get the opportunity to get prodeals? Or is that up to the owner if it is a lbs? I knew of someone who once worked at a ski shop and got 40 percent off anything in the store or more.
that from performance you can order from wholesale distributors (QBP and BTI) and pay wholesale pricing. These distributors between the two carry most of the major and many small companies when it comes to accessories (anything but frames). Each one has a different assortment of bike frames as well. As an employee you can purchase these frames at wholesale. This is considered an employee purchase/pro deal. I would assume each bike company performance carries also offers employees a purchase program that could be as much or more than 1/2 off. Most bikes, skis, canoes/kayaks (known as hard goods) have a smaller mark-up from wholesale than accessories and lower priced items. For this reason most bike pro deals are roughly 30-40% off retail pricing.

Most shops bike or ski will offer employee purchase. It is not a requirement that they do so. Some shops limit the amount you can purchase and/or when and how you purchase. This is a benefit that can be dictated by the shop owner/management. Most feel that employees should be able to prodeal. All pro deals are for the employee only. No family, wife, friends, gifts, etc. This is from the manufacturer not the shop. Most shops will fire employees for braking this rule whether it is an REI, Performance, or lbs.

Your friend's example of a ski shop is how the industry works. The owner of the shop wanted to offer their employees big discounts so they would purchase more. Not all shops are like this. This is wise in my opinion b/c your employees use the stuff they sell. Personal experience will out sell any selling strategy any day.
 

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pulser said:
I will let you in on the big secret. Im probably going to get hunted down and X communicated from the bike business for it. Most of the time prodeal is half retail or a little lower. Some companies give better deals then others. If your really in to bikes this get a part time job at a local shop its grate. I don’t think I could ever go back to paying retail for stuff.
HALF retail?
Are you on crack??? or do you just ride crappy bikes? NO self-respecting bike company charges HALF off retail on a prodeal bicycle!
Sorry i've spent wayyyy too much time in the bike biz to believe that, unless you're riding the crappiest of the crappy bikes.
 

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I guess everyones experiance if diff....

mtn_man2 said:
was a little different. I worked at REI for over 2.5 years. The pay is pretty crappy but the benefits are great. Pro Deal (EP) on almost everything and huge discounts off the floor merchandise. Health and other benefits are great as well. The REI shop budgets are super tight though. As a shop tech you don't run the shop a manager does. They don't seem to understand the shop or the shop tech's point of view. On a side note rant...I was fired from REI for working at another bike shop concurrently. The bike shop sold Turner and Ventana custome bikes. :rolleyes: You do the math. Most employees at REI last about 6 months before they've had enough. Some stay for years and years. To each one his own I guess.
I was retired (early) and got bored so I went to work.....The wages were secondary after I realized what prodeals were. The Anch store was a bit different than many. The shop there actually started generating a pos cash flow for REI with a new master tech. The manager actually worked hand in hand with the MT. It was a great experiance for me anyway. There was a large core of long time emp's at that store. Now that I quit and moved I miss the inexpensive bike stuff!
Dave
 

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Some FYI's

Don't mistake a retail company's employee discount with a prodeal. A retail company's employee discount, for example, can range from a specific percentage off that retail store's selling price(ie 10%, 20%, 30%, etc), to getting the items at wholesale (just about every shop I've worked at the employee's, after going through an waiting period, have gotten items at wholesale plus shipping. This is often used as an incentive to the somewhat lower wages shop employees can earn--as a former service manager, I've also had to watch for abuses, I've seen a couple of guys over the years buy stuff for wholesale to turn around and try and sell it for a profit, which is not in any shops interest).

A true "pro deal", on the other hand, is normally what is offered by a specific company, ie Trek or Mavic, rather than the retail company or even distributer. A shop or industry employee will get a specific deal on an item, usually below wholesale (yes, below what the shop would be able to buy from the same company), but it is also usually a once a year thing, many times on one item only, and often your'e supposed to keep and use the item for at least a year, be it bike, part, whatever. Getting this deal varies from company to company, and usually is specifically between the shop employee and the company, meaning you(as employee) often pay direct to the company, and sometimes but not always subject to submitting a pay stub. The incentive for the company to do the pro deal is that shop employees are riding their products, which can serve as free advertising for the company.

I've also run across companies that have "pro deals" that you actually pay more than wholesale (the assumption on their part that you as a shop employee probably arent' getting wholesale so this is still a good deal). And I'm not sure if this is still the case, but for a while some companies were tacking on a specific dollar amount or percentage to pro deals, with the extra money going to bikes belong or similar organizations.
 

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prodeal

Yes my friend could only purchase for himself no other family members and only a limited amount of items, meaning if he was buying 2 sets of skis or booths the owner got very interested and would tell employees that they better not be abusing the store system or they would be fired. The store did go out of business due to poor mgt and competition. Not from any discounts being given.
 

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I've been employed by REI on a parttime basis for 8.5 years now. Originally was hired to work on the stock crew and then after a change in management worked the climbing wall for a number of years (hence my username on MTBR) and then after our wall got taken down by our manager for the sake of more floor space :mad: I (along with two other climbing wall belay slave's) got moved back to the stock crew where I've been since last spring. Damnit to hell I miss that climbing wall.

The majority of the time we only work for a couple of hours on a Tuesday night and every once in a while we have to work a Garage Sale or greeting shift (I HATE HATE HATE those). I'll also work during our Job Fair's that we have once or twice a year.

At it's very essence, REI is just like any other retailer out there. Sometimes you get those crappy shifts. Sometimes you have difficult customers to put up with. Yadda yadda yadda. The pay isn't great...heck I think I'm barely over $7/hour. But the upside is the discounts and prodeals that are plentiful. Several years ago I was one of the highest spending employees at our store. OUCH!!!! So much prodealing in fact that I had to get an offsite storage unit :rolleyes:, but I'm "recovering" now and am trying to pare things down to a more manageable level.

A store's "character" will be based on all employees from the manager down to the shipping and receiving clerk. We have a broad range of employees at our store...from George W. supporters to hardcore vegan yoga freaks and for the most part we all get along pretty good. Some employees are nearly clueless on the merchandise we sell while others are a walking Backpacker Magazine Buyer's Guide.



mtn_man2 said:
Since I have a bone to pick with REI I'll let you in on their secrets. REI employees get 50% off all REI items with their name on it. Novara bikes get 30% off retail price. You get 30% off any other item on the sales floor or off the website. 10% discount for sale items. You also get discounts on garage sale items. ProDeal is different for every company and it is up to their discretion.
Yup he pretty much nailed it. But just because a company offers 50% off of retail on their product doesn't necessarily mean it's the best deal out there. You also have to factor in shipping and handling. When you take that into account it's sometimes a wash with just using your 30% discount in the store or online.

I have bought several bikes via prodealing. My latest acquisition was a Yeti 575 this past summer. In the end I think it was around 35-40% off of retail. Earlier last spring I prodealed a Scott road bike and I do believe that the cost (not including shipping and handling) was about 50% off of retail. Some other manufacturers that we can prodeal from include Norco, Cannondale, Tomac, K2, Litespeed.

QBP is a pretty damn good place to prodeal from as well provided that your minimum purchase is at least $150. Or you could just see when the master tech places his order and just lump your order in with his. QBP carries frames/bikes from Surly, Azonic, Banshee, BMC, Salsa.

Of course I may have forgotten some others.

Some companies have seasonal sales which are rediculously cheap. Many times these prices are below wholesale.
Mtn. Hardwear and Patagonia are pretty damn good at this. I think last month Cook Brothers was selling 2006 pedals and other products for about 70% off of retail.
 

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djcrb9 said:
HALF retail?
Are you on crack??? or do you just ride crappy bikes? NO self-respecting bike company charges HALF off retail on a prodeal bicycle!
Sorry i've spent wayyyy too much time in the bike biz to believe that, unless you're riding the crappiest of the crappy bikes.
i called up Manitou, asking about the product number for the Sherman Jumper. i left a message as no one was around. i mentioned no affiliation with a shop. they called me back the next day, and left a message telling me the prodeal pricing for the fork, and how to order it. it was below half of retail. i was a little shocked that 1) they would pass out info like that to joe schmoe public and 2) how cheap that fork was.
 
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