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Welcome to Pro-Deals – a great perk for volunteering to go out in the woods in the middle of the night when it’s raining sideways and 35 degrees. This is a great program that many companies in the industry offer to SAR units to help their members get good quality gear at a discounted price. Plus, they love it when someone from a rescue mission winds up on the news sporting their gear.
There are some do’s and don’ts of the pro-deal world. I’ve been doing this now for over two decades and the general premise is the same across the board for all the companies. So here’s kind of a rundown, and each company has their own set of specific rules that you agree to when you sign up.
- This is for you, you and only YOU. Don’t buy your spouse, brother, sister, kids, uncle, best friend, climbing partner, etc. something.
- Don’t talk about these wonderful deals you get to everyone. The companies don’t want everyone knowing how much of a markup there is on this stuff.
- Don’t go shopping in the stores and use employees to try stuff on and then tell them “Thanks for the help, I’ll get it with my Pro account.” Not cool!
- To expand on the above, some things you have to try out in a store (say, ski boots). Be as careful as you can in using the employees (minimize their time and know specifically what you are looking for before asking to try stuff on). Go on a slow day, not REI on a Saturday afternoon during the holidays. Have some type of story (my birthday is coming up and my wife wants to know my size, etc.) so the employee at least thinks the sale will happen, just not today.
- Returns – most are not returnable. Many companies will allow exchanges for wrong sizing. Be prepared to pay the shipping.
- Don’t buy something and then turn around and sell it on eBay or Craigslist.
- Many companies have a limit on what you can buy (two pair of boots a year, one set of skis, etc.) or a monetary value. It’s all computerized, so they know.
- Some companies will allow members to purchase items for friends and families – generally around the holidays. It is very obvious when this is allowed – usually an email is sent, and many times there is a specific code to use at checkout.
- Some things come in a few days, some come in a few weeks. Be patient – the price is worth the wait.
- If a company is out of the size or color you want, keep checking back. Inventory is updated daily on most sites.
- Companies may not offer everything they make for pro-purchase.
Many companies now subscribe to one of two mega pro sites – Experticity and OutdoorProLink. The website manages the pro accounts for the companies. You may not see all the companies the site has to offer, only the companies that allow SAR units to purchase their gear. Experticity has ‘teams’ you can join under, so the more teams you join (say military, volunteer firefighter, scout leader, etc.) the more companies you will be eligible to purchase from.
Many sites will require some type of verification you are a member – so scan/photograph and send in a copy of your MRA and TMRU card.
Some companies pull from the roster sent in to the MRA. The email to use to register, in most cases, needs to be the same email you registered with MRA. If during registration you aren’t finding your way to a SAR selection, usually you need to select government over civilian. You are part time and you don’t have any type of pay stub – hence the MRA card. Most companies have a link to the pro-program at the bottom of their main webpage.
If you have any questions or run into problems, please don’t hesitate to ask.
ProDeal information is managed for the unit by Steve Brown. Let him know if you have any problems or new deals to feature.
|Arc’Teryx||Products: Various Own Brand Products | Visit pro.arcteryx.com. Simple to apply. Not instant acceptance. Up to five business days for account approval. Arc’teryx is a Canadian outdoor clothing and sporting goods company founded in North Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1989.|
|Black Diamond||Products: Various Own Brand Products | Visit www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/pro. Make sure you register your account with the same email that is on the TMRU roster. That is the only way you will get the Pro Deal. Instant activation, simple process as long as you follow their instructions closely.|
|Cascade Designs||Products: Various Own Brand Products | Visit www.cascadedesigns.com/pro?. Brands include; MSR, MSR Global-Health, Therm-a-Rest, Platypus, SealLine, PackTowl, Cascade Designs. Took 2 business days for approval. Then they give you access to each brand website using the one user/pass that you setup on application. Pro pricing should then show once you sign in.|
|Experticity (Promotive)||Various Brands & Products | Visit www.experticity.com. This is a large, multi company website. The more ‘teams’ you are a member of, the more companies that are open for you to purchase from. Note you can sign up as a member of both the MRA and TMRU. Easy sign process, but not instant approval.|
|G3 Genuine Guide Gear||Products: Various Own Brand Products | Visit www.genuineguidegear.com/pro-purchase. “Rooted deep in backcountry ski culture, G3’s mission has always been to improve your winter backcountry experience. G3 is one of the few remaining and truly authentic, independent winter backcountry brands. Pro membership must be renewed annually based on your current work status.”. Completed the form, attached a photo of my TMRU card and they turned around and approved my application in 48 hours. Ignore the wording on the form about “Full time and paid only”, SAR are in the drop down options. I put the TMRU President in as “My supervisor”.|
|Liberty Mountain||Various Brands & Products | Visit www.libertymountain.com/pro. “Liberty Mountain offers a program that allows industry pros like you the opportunity to purchase Liberty’s extensive catalog at special Pro prices. To sign up simply go to our pro website, www.libertymountain.com/pro , click on ‘Apply Here’, and fill out the online application. We’ll be sure to review and approve your application shortly. With over 18,000 different products and almost 900 brands, we are your best source for ‘Everything for the Outdoors.'” Questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.|
|Mountain Hardwear||Products: Various Own Brand Products | Visit www.mountainhardwear.com/pro. Awkward to get through their form as a SAR member. Had to enter N/a in some fields and the Presidents’ details as my “manager”. Mountain Hardwear manufactures high-tech outdoor clothing, backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, and gloves. Columbia Sportswear purchased Mountain Hardwear in 2003.|
|Outdoor ProLink||Various Brands & Products | Visit www.outdoorprolink.com. A large, multi company, multi brand website. Took about an hour after completing the form for approval notification by email to arrive. Described themselves as “Outdoor Prolink connects outdoor professionals with 35% – 45% off retail on 90+ top outdoor gear brands, simply because outdoor pros influence the gear choices of their clients and community.”|
|Outdoor Research||Products: Various Own Brand Products | Visit vip.outdoorresearch.com/welcome. Outdoor Research is an American outdoor apparel and gear company located in Seattle, Washington. Simple sign up step-by-step application form. Approval notification arrived about an hour after submission during office hours on a business day.|
|Patagonia||Products: Various Own Brand Products | Visit www.patagonia.com/pro-landing.html. Patagonia pulls your info, including email, from the unit roster submitted to the MRA. If you join TMRU after the roster is submitted to national in December/January, you will have to wait until the following year. Patagonia usually does a friends and family deal for the holidays – this year they sent 3 codes each member could use to order items for other people. Recently took a couple of hours for approval notification by email on a normal business day.|
|SlingFin||Products: Tents | Visit www.slingfin.com/outdoor-pro.html#guides.|
SlingFin is offering all MRA members wholesale pricing on all products. The methodology at SlingFin is design and quality driven. The end goal is to bring to market the most well-designed, and highest quality outdoor products ever created, for the most serious users in the world. Please confirm your membership status as “Active MRA Member” in “type of service you provide” field. They will confirm your acceptance via email and you will be ready to order at wholesale pricing.
|Yates Gear||Products: Various Climbing & EMS Rescue Products | Visit yatesgear.com/climbing/.|
“Yates Gear was started in 1982 by James and John Yates, with its foundation being manufacturing mountaineering and rock climbing equipment. Over the years, innovative, functional, comfortable and safe products have set Yates apart in the climbing, technical rescue and tactical equipment arena. Our background in big wall climbing has shown through in the design and development of rescue, rigging, rope access and tactical specific equipment that is the best possible combination of low weight, function, comfort and durability.” Download and complete these Yates Gear Pro Order Forms. Then submit by email to Karen@yatesgear.com or email@example.com and they can assist with any quotes or order processing.