Don’t want to spend full price on your camping gear? Neither do I! Come learn a few tricks to help put a little money back in your pocket.
Gear can get expensive. While there are ways to get into Overlanding and off-grid camping without breaking the bank, it is always nice to get the gear you want. Like any hobby, there is always the long list of must-haves, nice to have, and maybe one-day haves.
And like any consumer, finding the right deal at the right time gives a sense of gratification. But this always does not align the way we want. While most companies will produce a sale of some sort, it usually falls on holidays and or at the end of the season. As a consumer myself, I have searched and scoured the Internet and social platforms for various ways to save a few dollars.
As previously stated, most companies offer products at a sale price during holiday weekends; Memorial Day, 4th of July, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Labor Day, etc, etc…you get the idea. In some cases it is their way to purge last year’s gear to make way for the new. While this is a great way to get gear at a discounted price, be sure to do your research on the new released product to get an idea of what is being tweaked and or modified for an improved or advanced product. To some this may not matter, but often times companies make these modifications based on consumer feedback or the latest technology or breakthroughs to remain competitive. But this is a good place to start if you are looking for gear at a discounted price.
As an active duty military member myself, I typically ask every vendor if they offer a military discount. I have had mixed emotions about this, as I have felt a little ashamed asking, but when you put it into perspective, roughly one percent of our population serve in the military. While I may not be putting my life in harm’s way every day, I have sworn an oath to do just that when called upon. All that aside, there are not only companies that offer these discounts, but websites that consolidate certain companies who do, creating a one stop shopping experience. One site I like to use is govx.com. While govx feels more tactical then outdoors, there are awesome products from Garmin, The Northface, Benchmade, Vortex, and others…not to mention some really cool Every Day Carry (EDC) items.
Some companies, through their website, communicate they offer a discount, but some do not. So send them an email or call their customer service line and ask. Usually they just require some form of validation (do not send a copy of your military ID card, use a LES or a copy of your orders). Same applies to brick and mortar stores. I will usually ask an employee prior to making my way to the cash register.
There is also the Id.me website. Once you register and are approved, you get instant access to discounts through various companies. I have used this several times when purchasing products from Yeti, Chaco, Moosejaw, etc. And it is easy. Load the cart up with what you want and when you are checking out, click the Id.me link, login, and it automatically applies the discount. I recently used this to purchase the MyFAK First Aid Kit from MyMedic (https://mymedic.com/collections/first-aid-kits/products/myfak-firstaidkit) and received a 20% discount.
In the modern era of social media, there are opportunities to capitalize if you can get enough people to follow you. This one is tough though and it requires a lot of work and time. It pays to have a savvy background with photography and video recording to produce quality photos/videos people want to see. In order to get the following to generate interest from companies you have to show consistency in quantity and quality of posts with a solid number of people reviewing. Do not get discouraged though. We all have some gear that others have/are considering buying. You would be surprised by the amount of people who search out products and their reviews on the web everyday…I’m one them! Buying a product and posting it to your site with some cool action photos and or a solid review is a great start…especially since a lot of people search products out via the web. More and more people purchase products online…and some of these companies who do not necessarily have a brick and mortar store, having consumers review their products (hopefully positively) is a great way to get the word out and grow more interest for buyers to purchase.
Not falling in a category mentioned above? Maybe your job is in the outdoor industry. Maybe through your hobbies you have become an expert in overlanding, off grid camping, fishing, hunting, etc. If this is you, you need to go and check out Expertvoice.com.
A good place to start on learning more about this website is at https://www.expertvoice.com/howitworks/. Basically, this is a website that through affiliations and sharing your knowledge gains you access to a lot of brands (A LOT OF BRANDS) and gear at discounted prices. Based on your first-hand experience with products and brands gives valuable insights for others that can give access to products up to 60% MSRP.
There is also knowledge tests through what they call Edu-games you can take on the brands to gain more knowledge and understanding of their products, which once you pass, unlock more savings. And it is as simple as going through the modules and learning the information you will be tested on. Once you past these Edu-games, you can become certified through that company and it loads to your profile.
I have personally used this website for the past two years. Not only is it nice to get access to discounted gear, but it is also a great place to get reviews on gear and also provide them. I have been able to learn more about products through the modules and knowledge tests.
This program can be challenging to get into, but if you are lucky enough to get accepted, there are some sizeable discounts. So what is this program you ask…well it is companies who specialize in outdoor gear and clothing who sell gear to employees, those involved in outdoor recreating, emergency/first responders, and military.
Most major gear companies offer a pro program (Patagonia, The North Face, Goal Zero, Nemo Equipment, Kelty, Osprey, ect) that coincides with 40-60% off MSRP. These companies do this because individuals in these professions will use this gear and provide recommendations to other consumers who will buy full price at their nearest retailer. At the very least, apply. Whether it is your job or your hobby, your purchase of products will have an impact on other consumers.
If you are part of a community that enjoys Overlanding or other various outdoor adventures, people are going to ask your opinion on gear you own and have been using. One thing to note about this program is that is intended for you, not your family and friends. You also cannot buy the gear and then turn around and sell at the original price. They also usually limit how much you can purchase…as a way to prevent the previous sentence of trying to flip the discounted products for profit.
Whatever the case may be, we all love a great deal. Do not get discouraged if you get denied access to the website and programs mentioned above. Just go out there and continue to utilize social media to build a following. At the very least, wait for those holiday sales and capitalize.