Gear

Campsaver Review: Low Prices on Quality Gear (If It’s In Stock)

by Mac Misseldine

campsaver review
Image: CampSaver

Andy Stroman founded CampSaver in 2003 while as a student at Utah State University. From its humble beginnings in a student apartment in Logan, Utah, CampSaver has grown to become one of the leading online retailers of premium outdoor gear.

From day one, CampSaver’s mantra centered on offering the best gear at the best prices. Take a gander at their website or stroll through their flagship store in Nibley, UT, and you’ll see that promise in action. These guys carry all of the major brands (with some specialty brands, too) and their prices are tough to beat.

CampSaver Reviews From Around the Web

Unfortunately, the customer reviews for CampSaver aren’t promising. Google Reviews has the highest average rating with four stars from 200+ reviews, but it goes downhill from there. All of the other review sites list an average customer rating of one or two stars, including the Better Business Bureau.

Reading through the negative reviews, the most common issues involve out-of-stock items. Customers reported purchasing an in-stock item but never receiving a package in the mail.

Upon inquiry with CampSaver, they were told the item was on backorder or discontinued. In some cases, customers reported waiting months for a backordered item, only to find that the item was discontinued. This is a major red flag, indicating a broken inventory tracking system and a poor customer service program.

Another common issue involves their free Value Shipping. While CampSaver promises free shipping on eligible orders over $49, it turns out many products aren’t actually eligible for free shipping. Worse, customers reported the site granted free shipping at checkout, only to find out days or weeks later that the order was not eligible for free shipping.

Instead of acknowledging their mistake and taking responsibility, customer service agents asked the customers to pay the shipping cost or request a refund. This is another red flag for poor customer service and fulfillment.

However, it’s only fair to acknowledge all of the positive reviews on Google. Clearly, plenty of happy customers reported their orders fulfilled and shipped without a hitch. Furthermore, several of the negative reviews — especially those on the Better Business Bureau page — show that a customer service agent reached out to the upset customer and resolved the matter satisfactorily.

Bearing in mind that far more unhappy customers post reviews than happy customers, some of the negative reviews like these can be taken with a grain of salt.

Coupons, Discounts, & Promo Codes

True to their promise to provide the best gear at the best prices, you’ll find plenty of killer deals at Campsaver.com. Check out their best current deals, or visit the Outlet for more savings. You can also find great deals at their Shed, where they stock demos and vendor samples that are still in great condition.

Discounts listed directly on the site are fairly straightforward, but using coupons and promo codes can be a little confusing with all the small print. Generally speaking, coupons and promo codes only apply to full-price, in-stock items. They don’t apply towards sales tax, shipping, gift card orders, or “Killer Deals.” Only one coupon or promo code is allowed per order, and you cannot combine these with other offers, promotions, or coupons.

There are a handful of brands excluded from coupons: Altra, Asics, Big Agnes, Birkenstock, Brooks, Dakine, GoPro, Helinox, Hilleberg, Hydro Flask, Kuhl, Merrel, Osprey, Red Paddle Co., Salomon, Teva, Voormi, Western Mountaineering, and Yeti. Don’t blame these exclusions on CampSaver, though — excluded brands are usually dictated by the manufacturers, not the retailer.

CampSaver launched a student discount program in 2012, but it was discontinued.

Customer Service

Based on the customer reviews, it appears CampSaver prefers putting out fires to pre-empting customer service issues. Instead of proactively reaching out to customers when issues arise, they wait for you to call or email after you’ve hit your boiling point. Case in point: look at the customer reviews where the customer never received their order, and only discovered the item was backordered when they called customer service weeks later.

The good news is that most customers report CampSaver’s customer service team does a decent job of fixing problems once you reach out to them. The reviews indicate customer service representatives are understanding, patient, courteous, and often generous in their efforts to make things right.

The big takeaway here is to reach out to customer service ASAP when you have an issue. Don’t wait for your package to arrive in the mail — if you don’t get an update that the order is fulfilled within 1 – 2 days, you should call or email to see if it’s on backorder.

Free Shipping

CampSaver offers free Value Shipping on qualifying orders over $49. To qualify, the receiving address must be in the contiguous United States (excludes Alaska, Hawaii, and US Territories), or a US Military APO/FPO/DPO address. Most Value Shipping orders arrive within 5 – 10 business days, but they can take up to 14 business days.

Customers in Utah and Idaho can also choose free in-store pickup. Online orders are ready for pickup within 24 hours at the CampSaver retail store in Nibley, Utah.

A word of caution: check the product page to ensure your merchandise is eligible for free Value Shipping before checking out. Not all merchandise is eligible, and the website may incorrectly allow you to select free shipping with ineligible items in your shopping cart. Should this occur, CampSaver may call you to collect the shipping cost after placing your order.

Return and Exchange Policies

CampSaver accepts returns for unused items within 60 days of receipt for an exchange, store credit, or a full refund. After 60 days, CampSaver will only return new merchandise that’s in the original manufacturer’s packaging with all original content (tags, accessories, instruction manuals, and additional components). You cannot receive a refund on items returned after 60 days, but CampSaver will issue store credit for the return.

CampSaver provides a free prepaid shipping label for returns within the domestic United States. However, if you opt for a refund instead of an exchange or store credit, the company will deduct $7.99 from your refund to cover the cost of shipping.

To initiate a refund, simply complete an RMA request form on the website. Print out the prepaid shipping label when you’re done, then mail the item back within 10 days. When CampSaver receives your return, they’ll process the refund, exchange, or store credit within 10 business days.

In addition to standard returns and exchanges, CampSaver also offers a guarantee program for apparel and footwear called Our Fit Guarantee. You may exchange apparel and footwear for another size, and CampSaver will cover the cost of shipping for the return and the new item. To qualify, the apparel or footwear must be new or unused with the tags attached, and you must return the item within 60 days of the original purchase.

Price Matching

CampSaver offers price matching through their Best Deal Guarantee program. Should you find merchandise from another authorized dealer at a lower “as shipped” price, CampSaver will do everything they can to match the competitor’s price.

There are two caveats here. First, the competitor’s price must include shipping and handling. Second, CampSaver doesn’t explicitly promise to match a competitor’s price — they promise to “do all we can to match.” There’s obviously some intentional wiggle room there, so the Best Deal Guarantee isn’t exactly an iron-clad guarantee.

Is CampSaver Legit?

CampSaver offers killer deals on top brands, but you should proceed with caution. Most customer service complaints involve low-stock items that wound up being out-of-stock, so it’s best to avoid purchasing low-stock merchandise. As a rule of thumb, pass on merchandise showing fewer than 10 items in stock to avoid backorder delays. Similarly, avoid purchasing items discontinued by their manufacturer.

Speaking bluntly, CampSaver isn’t necessarily the best go-to retailer for discount outdoor gear. They’re not the only game in town, and there are several other discount retailers with a much better track record. Instead, check out Backcountry Edge or Mountain Steals — our favorite sites for discount gear. They’ll outfit you with everything you need for a great price, and you won’t have to worry about backorders or spotty customer service.

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