Safe to purchase kayak from Amazon??

I can save $50 if I purchase the kayak I want from Amazon versus my local REI. I’m just a bit nervous about it but wondering if anyone here has experience with this. I’m ordering a hard shell kayak by Emotion. Anyway…is it worth the savings or should I play it safe and stick with REI?

Thoughts? Experience?

Thanks in advance!

I have used Amazon for everything
except boats.They are a class act.

With shipping?
Does Amazon’s price include shipping?

Shipped how? There are many horror stories about damaged boats during shipping. Of course there are also many boats that are shipped with no damage at all.

At any rate, I’d print out the Amazon page, take it down to REI and say “I’ll buy right now if you match this price.” I’m sure they will.

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Usually they are just facilitating the sale. Check to see who the actual seller is, cuz that’s who you will deal with.

Ryan L.

matching sale…
Unfortunately, REI won’t match it. They already made that clear and gave me attitude as well!

What is kayak made of … ?

– Last Updated: May-24-11 5:04 PM EST –

Pretty hard to damage a real plastic kayak made of
EXL™ superlinear polyethylene during transit.

Of course if it is 0.5 mm thick fiberglass racing shell
of 21 or 22 feet in length you might be a bit worried.

An inflatable in original packaging should ship just fine.

A fine strip wood kayak with 1,000's of hand built hours
might require a great deal of insurance $$$

How Much Is Peace of Mind Worth?
REI, I believe, has a 30-day return policy. If the boat’s not right for you, you can return it for a full refund. Can you do the same with the amazon seller?

Does the cost include shipping? Insurance on shipping?

If the kayak is damaged/flawed in some way, can you exchange it? Are you responsible for shipping charges to return it? And again to have a new one sent?

If you don’t like the kayak, can you return/exchange it?

For me, based on those questions I would chose REI.

Plus you get the kayak right away, plus you’re supporting your local economy. Plus you get to actually sit in the kayak before you buy. Plus you get to talk to real people and get good advice and options. Plus REI’s a good company, and a coop.


Or? And don’t forget the REI dividend
Are there any small independent outfitters (strictly paddle sport or wilderness camping/climbing/paddle shops) in your area? Some people neglect to seek them out and may be under the impression they can’t be competitive or don’t offer the range of choices the bigger chains like REI handle. In fact, that is not true and most small shops have much greater flexibility in price matching than the big boys due to low overhead and being able to directly deal with the owners – it is only space consideration that may cause them to appear to have a limited number of boat styles. They can almost always special order you a boat just as readily as the other stores. My small local outfitter has always been able to match the price I or my friends needed to get the kayak we were shopping for.

Another thing to consider if you don’t have that option (of a local independent) is that you will get a profit sharing dividend check from REI at the end of the year – usually it is 10% of your purchases. That will offset the $50 if the kayak is worth at least $500. if you use an REI credit card that would be another 5% rebate. Not to mention the convenience and peace of mind of their return policy.

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no local boat shop?
Just wondering if there is a local boat shop near you that has a boat that will work for you? Local boat shops often have more boat-specific expertise (for your whole boating career) and may be able to give you more personal attention over time, may support the local boating community with gear swaps, lessons, special programs. And they may need your support to hang in there. It could be good to develop a realtionship with them. I don’t really know REI (none near here), and maybe they ARE good at the above stuff and are good local community members; or maybe there is no boat-specific shop in your area – just putting the thought out there. I try to support the local shops in my area, but if they don’t have the boat I really want, I do go elsewhere.

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I’ve bought books and chainsaws
from Amazon, but I’m through with them. I absolutely refuse to have an “account” with any outfit I may visit less than once a year, and that tries to spam me all the time.

I’ve been able to find alternate sources that usually cost me no more, and that demand no “marriage.”

I would buy from REI (member since 1971) even if it costs me $100 or more than Amazon.

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I wouldn’t
I bought a cheap rec kayak from Amazon, and either in the warehouse or during shipping, the hull was dented. Not terribly badly, but enough for me to return it and go to REI to find a boat.

I totally agree with Watermark. Buying a kayak is serious business that can involve returns, advice etc. I always shop REI and pay the extra price due to the excellent returns policy. Only exception is if there’s a very good independent boat shop nearby.

local kayak canoe store
In my area (Sacramento Ca) we have a local shop with a retail program that cant be beat. You put down $300 and then you spend the next 3 months taking out whatever kayak you want to check out. You can keep any one kayak for up to 5 days consecutive. This gives you as the buyer an enormouse opportunity to do what everyone says you should do, “try the boat”. After your 3 months of playing in a variety of boats, your $300 is applied toward the purchase of your choice. They have a great inventory and they say that many people come in with a certain idea about what they want but after trying different boats they often change their decision, its really an unbeatable program for making the right choice…Im sure they are not the only shop with this type of program. I know this same company also has two other stores on the Northern Ca. coast.

Sounds like a great system

Do not buy a kayak from amazon!!! I can not stress this enough! I had a horrible experience and they couldn’t care any less. Buy from a local paddle shop or REI. Do not buy from amazon! I was worried from the start when I ordered from Amazon and my intuition was right, terrible experience and terrible customer service! Buy local!

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How do you find a nine year old topic to comment on?

Nine year old topic and we still don’t know what they did…

Might make a good video when the porch pirates take it from the porch?

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Nine years isn’t too bad. There’s been a few topics that are well into their teenage years showing up lately!