I think that it's a prudent move. The current policy is being abused and that is hurting honest customers. At the same time, the current policy creates a liability that could be abused by a group that wanted to do financial harm to the co-op such as these guys: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NGVj...layer_embedded
I do wonder if this will only apply to gear sold from this date forward or if it will apply to all gear? When you bought a backpack 10 years ago, did you enter into a permanent contract with REI that you would be able to return it for an unlimited amount of time?
As a business model, the return policy had to be at least problematic if not unsustainable. Obviously a return policy impacts differently for tooth picks, kayaks and clothing etc. So while some manufacturers have no tolerance for returns, others were encouraging it. The retailer and manufacturer haggle over the liability of loss and in the end the feds are the final purveyors of accounting policy which affects all. - well that's the short of it.
Also, if this new policy means that they can lower prices for all consumers (since they aren't subsidizing the abusers anymore,) would you be more supportive?
Sorry, I do support the move. But I do think the move is to rationalize through sales with disparate manufacturers - predicated by the insane triage of pseudo malfunctioning gear and their resale.
I'm presenting the inner conflict of consumer vs a somewhat more rational me... being glib in a ha ha sort of way. The inner member in me (so to speak) is also conflicted - what's selfishly best for me, may not be best for the membership - oddly that works in the broad social context as well.
"lowering prices for all consumers" is a Keynesian mind fuck... requiring way too much beer to unravel and before which, you've fairly unraveled yourself.
I've only got one piece of gear from REI (a sleeping bag) and I'm pretty happy with it, so am neutral on the return policy, but someone please give gearhed a ribbon or something for coining "Keynesian mind fuck" 
Interest: hiking,swimming,anything on the water or outside.Try almost anything once
quote:I've only got one piece of gear from REI (a sleeping bag) and I'm pretty happy with it, so am neutral on the return policy, but someone please give gearhed a ribbon or something for coining "Keynesian mind fuck"
As for why to shop at REI? They market different brands than MEC. Some brands, like Osprey have some really nice gear. They often have better prices if you can get stuff on sale, they have a much better dividends program, if you live in the Fraser Valley, Bellingham is just as close.