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 REI vs. MEC
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northernalberta
Senior Member


Anchorage, Alaska
USA

1340 Posts

 Posted - 04/03/2007 :  9:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply to this posting
So I joined REI back four months ago after coming to Anchorage and since then, I've bought snowshoes and a thermarest. That's pretty much it. Well I was down there tonight, spending company money on door prizes for our next safety meeting, and they said "you have a $23 dividend, would you like to use it at this time?" (Of course I said not tonight )

Over the years, I've spent THOUSANDS of dollars at MEC, at easily a thousand dollars a year average. And not one damn penny, ever. I don't know the finer details of how the two businesses work, but I gotta say, I'm a little disappointed in MEC...

ShadowChaser
GPS Geek

Trail cuttin, GPS packin bushwhacker, wiki hike compilin, who is now Hope-less


2565 Posts

 Posted - 04/03/2007 :  9:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by northernalberta

So I joined REI back four months ago after coming to Anchorage and since then, I've bought snowshoes and a thermarest. That's pretty much it. Well I was down there tonight, spending company money on door prizes for our next safety meeting, and they said "you have a $23 dividend, would you like to use it at this time?" (Of course I said not tonight )

Over the years, I've spent THOUSANDS of dollars at MEC, at easily a thousand dollars a year average. And not one damn penny, ever. I don't know the finer details of how the two businesses work, but I gotta say, I'm a little disappointed in MEC...



The analogy for the REI dividend is Canadian Tire money, only with a better sounding name . REI is going to have slightly higher prices than they normally could have so that they can pay out that dividend. That dividend in turn brings people back into the store.

Edited by - ShadowChaser on 04/03/2007 9:34 PM

magnetite
Senior Member


North Vancouver, BC
Canada

1563 Posts

 Posted - 04/03/2007 :  9:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Did you check to see if they (MEC) have something for you? For years they had an old address for me and one day said "Have we got your correct address? You have over $150 in uncashed dividend cheques.", or something to that effect. They also told me that you need to have over 100 shares before you get a dividend. If you have 150 shares, for example, the dividend would be worth 50 shares and you would be knocked back to 100 shares. I think it was 100.

Edited by - magnetite on 04/03/2007 9:36 PM
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Dru
Mountain Grammar Police

Sardonic sandbagging scoundrel, Cascade Climbers lobotomized spraymeister, space blanket flyer, new millennium vulgarian betaboy and friend to all squids

Climbing, a mountain
Canada

∞ Posts

 Posted - 04/03/2007 :  9:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I guess I find that REI is what people are always complaining MEC is threatening to become... a big soulless department store with ignorant sales staff and a catalogue full of stuff like cotton print dresses and $200 titanium coffee grinders.
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Hiker Boy
Advanced Member

opinionated-stove huggin'-fleece wearin'-arse burnin' hill virgin

Here
Canada

4652 Posts

 Posted - 04/03/2007 :  9:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's a different ethic, In the past, the excess money MEC made went into funding things like buying land to set aside and protect as wilderness....don't know if they still do that. In fact the whole MEC philosophy is one based on fair marketting practices and pricing combined with good environmental ethics. When Mec makes a huge surplus in a certain year, they will often give back a small portion of what it's members spent that year in the form of the Patron Redemption cheque. REI on the other hand is more about getting good deals for it's customers and rewarding them for shopping with them every year. They both offer great customer service. Some REI stores are better stocked than others but I'm sure the same can be said for different MEC stores.

blackfly
Advanced Member

Manitoba's misadventurin' bushwhackin', dog sloggin', dehydratin', beer drinkin' biggie - who's eager to peak bag Mt Currie in a dress

Squamish
5078 Posts

 Posted - 04/03/2007 :  9:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You get prizes at your safety meetings?!
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northernalberta
Senior Member


Anchorage, Alaska
USA

1340 Posts

 Posted - 04/03/2007 :  10:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by blackfly

You get prizes at your safety meetings?!



Yep, smaller stuff...
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northernalberta
Senior Member


Anchorage, Alaska
USA

1340 Posts

 Posted - 04/03/2007 :  10:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by magnetite

Did you check to see if they (MEC) have something for you? For years they had an old address for me and one day said "Have we got your correct address? You have over $150 in uncashed dividend cheques.", or something to that effect. They also told me that you need to have over 100 shares before you get a dividend. If you have 150 shares, for example, the dividend would be worth 50 shares and you would be knocked back to 100 shares. I think it was 100.



See, I wondered about that, and I asked them last year and they said they had nothing for me. But yet I know others who spent a lot less than me, that got close to $100. I didn't know the part about having to own over 100 shares?... How much is a MEC share, nowadays?
ClubTread Supporter

Dru
Mountain Grammar Police

Sardonic sandbagging scoundrel, Cascade Climbers lobotomized spraymeister, space blanket flyer, new millennium vulgarian betaboy and friend to all squids

Climbing, a mountain
Canada

∞ Posts

 Posted - 04/03/2007 :  10:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Initial share (membeship) costs $5
2% (I think) of your purchases buys extra, non-voting shares at $5 each.

If you have more than 100 shares then they buy back shares at fiscal year end. But here's the catch. They don't buy back from everybody.

The Coop is not for profit. This is how I believe it works: So if they have extra "profit" left over, that's what they buy back with. Say they have $45,000 left over, they buy back 9,000 shares. There's more than 9,000 members out there with extra shares so not all of them get bought back. So if they do a buyback it's by no means guaranteed that even if you have over 100 shares that you will get money.

I have never understood how they choose who gets buyback, though. I think it has sometthing to do with how much you've spent in the last year? Like they pick the most active people first?

I bet you can find out more details on the MEC website.

Edited by - Dru on 04/03/2007 10:17 PM
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northernalberta
Senior Member


Anchorage, Alaska
USA

1340 Posts

 Posted - 04/03/2007 :  10:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So to hold over 100 shares, if only 2% of each purchase went toward shares at $5 each, you'd have had to have spent $25K at MEC! But I'm sure I've known people who've spent less than that, who got dividends. Not a huge deal, I guess, just a nuisance when I hear about other people getting them...
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ChuckLW
Advanced Member

Night owl posting,Subie driving, backpacking Dad who is perpetually trying to catch up to his kids on the trail.

Vancouver, BC
Canada

3121 Posts

 Posted - 04/03/2007 :  11:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There is no set % of purchases that goes to "patronage shares" in any given year: it all depends on what - if any - year-end surplus the COOP decides it has beyond its needs (operating costs, capital projects and donations such as 1% for the Planet). Whenever there is a surplus that amount is allocated to members in the form of patronage dividends in an amount proportionate to their purchases for the year. The dividends have no immediate cash value: they are converted to additional shares. Over time each member's share account increases. Then, when it sees fit, the COOP may choose to redeem shares. They buy back shares from those members holding the most in their accounts with the objective of bringing everybody back to the same level of share ownership (e.g. bring everybody down to a maximum of 15 shares each).

It's all explained here:

http://www.mec.ca/Main/content_text.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302881979&bmUID=1175666892974

If you have been a member and regular shopper for many years and still haven't received a share redemption cheque I would definitely make sure they have your correct contact information. I've received significant cheques 3 years running ($100-200 range).

You can also get them to provide you with a statement of your patronage dividends.

eeyun
Senior Member


Vancouver, BC
Canada

1131 Posts

 Posted - 04/04/2007 :  07:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
you can check out your patronage dividends online now, you just have to call them for a code. It's done through the MEC website. I have a few years of 100$ + of dividends, but have never received a cheque. They likely didn't have my correct address though.

Also, remember to VOTE!!!! The voting ends on friday, and you can do it online with one super quick phone call to get your access code.

magnetite
Senior Member


North Vancouver, BC
Canada

1563 Posts

 Posted - 04/04/2007 :  08:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This thing about 100 shares came to me from a cashier, and if correct, may have only been for that particular payout.

scottN
Senior Member


Vancouver, BC
Canada

1476 Posts

 Posted - 04/04/2007 :  09:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The last payout I got (1 or 1.5 years ago) was a buyback down to the 45 share level. Only people with more than 55 shares were eligible for that one.

eeyun
Senior Member


Vancouver, BC
Canada

1131 Posts

 Posted - 11/07/2007 :  3:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Patronage info (credit notes) is now available for 2006.

I added up all my patronage dividends and I should have accrued a total of 57 shares, so hopefully the buyback is below that this year [:d]

Edited by - eeyun on 11/07/2007 3:09 PM

mazeGirl
Senior Member

chinese hot-pot gourmand, costco pirate, 103 hikes completin', picture postin', commander of our newest canadian trekkers

Vancouver, BC
Canada

1772 Posts

 Posted - 11/07/2007 :  3:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
how about steepandcheap & STP?

http://www.steepandcheap.com/

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/
btw: STP is offering 20% over $100, it is stackable with key code: 58907. Total is 36% off
- Free Shipping Riddle 11 - Valid 'till ? (probably 11/30/07. Key Code 58137. Sierra Woman Traditions - Holiday 2007.
"Name the capital whose name translates as "new flower".."
UNCONFIRMED ANSWER: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

johngenx
Advanced Member


Finally stopping that crazy suffering that is ice, climbing to concentrate on great ski tours!
3699 Posts

 Posted - 11/07/2007 :  5:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I HATE/LOVE the MEC cheques. It gives me a great excuse to get new gear. BUT, it reminds me that I spend WAY too much there. The last couple of redemptions of mine have been close to $200.

mmmMike
Junior Member


Victoria, BC
Canada

147 Posts

 Posted - 11/08/2007 :  11:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Your safety meetings sound way better than ours.

And 7 months later (C$=US$1.08) REI is looking more interesting, no?

threeprime
Senior Member


Vancouver, BC
Canada

1040 Posts

 Posted - 11/09/2007 :  4:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am a bit confused with this year's Credit Notes.

The credit note cannot be redeemed for cash, nor used for purchases. The credit note shows the amount of your patronage dividend, which in turn has been applied against the purchase of additional shares in MEC in accordance with MEC Rules.

So we do not receive a cheque this year? The credit note has bought me more shares instead?

wilderness_seeker
Advanced Member

Coffee swillin', wine lovin', Owl fearin' Andie McDowell stunt double, who sports retro gear

Vancouver, BC
5550 Posts

 Posted - 11/09/2007 :  5:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been a member of MEC since about 1985 and I've never received a cheque back!!!

I want to make a run to REI sometime for some cross border shopping.
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AcesHigh
Advanced Member


Chilliwack, BC
Canada

7437 Posts

 Posted - 11/09/2007 :  10:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm a happy MEC Member!
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