The Clymb Review – Analysis of the Purchase and Return Process

After the success of my LeftLane Sports review I decided to review a similar discount site called The Clymb. Just like LeftLane, The Clymb offers amazing prices on top brand name outdoor gear and apparel. From time to time I have promoted various sales The Clymb features but have never bought anything myself. A while back a friend bought a Kelty Tent from The Clymb that took several months to receive.I decided I needed to check it out for myself and review the purchase and return process at The Clymb.

The shirt I ordered from The Clym

Knowing from the start that I was going to return any item I bought I wasn’t looking to spend a whole lot of money. I found a Prana Men’s Dragon Coin t-shirt for $15.00. I bought the shirt on February 3rd and paid $7.98 to ship it. My original confirmation e-mail stated I “should receive your order on or before February 14, 2011.” On February 9 th I received an e-mail stating “Your order has shipped.” On February 16 th the shirt arrived at my door a full two days later then the Clymb said it “should” have arrived. In the end…two days is not a big deal. But wanted to see how they would do on returns.

Shipping Tracking Status for my order from The Clymb

On Saturday February 19 th I sent an email to The Clymb’s Returns department asking to return the shirt. On Tuesday February 22nd I received an e-mail with a Fedex prepaid return voucher. I packed the shirt into a padded envelope and took it with my FedEx Return voucher to my local pack and ship the same day. The FedEx Returns program made returning the shirt nice and easy and I appreciated the simplicity of the return process. According to FedEx the shirt arrived back at The Clymb on Monday February 28th. By the next Friday (March 4) I still had not received my credit for the return. I sent a quick e-mail asking why I had not received my credit. I got a reply that said:

Your return arrived in our warehouse 4 days ago. We apologize for the delay, but we are currently late on returns. I have gone ahead and credited your account for the return. We appreciate your patience. If you have any other questions please contact us.


My credit was short $6.99 which (according to their return policy) is deducted to pay for the return shipping. I knew this in advance and was expecting it when I received my credit

All and all I found The Clymb relatively easy to deal with. Even when they fell behind they promptly compensated when confronted. The long shipping times seem to be acknowledged at the time of sale and are one of the trade-offs for steep discounts. Just like LeftLane The Clymb offers incentive to those who tell their friends. As a member you will receive $10 credit when you refer your friends but only after they make their first purchase. I wish The Clymb would give the person you refer $10 credit too. This is what Leftlane does and it seems to increase the likelihood of someone becoming a member.

But what about you? What has your experience with The Clymb been?

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25 thoughts on “The Clymb Review – Analysis of the Purchase and Return Process”

  1. My shipment is at 2+ weeks and counting with no e-mail updates form The Clymb. After sending 2 e-mails requesting updates, I got a terse response that I should check the status on my account – as I hadn't already done that. 1 and done for me.

  2. Clym sucks. I purchased a down coat almost a month ago, and it said it would get there by July 10th. On July 14th, I called them since I hadn't received my order. She got my order number, and emailed me a few days later saying we made a mistake in the stock quantity. So, we don't have any item left to sent to you. We refund you and give a $10 credit. But, since I live in Canada, and apparently I use a Canadian credit card, I lost almost the same amount due to the exchange rate fluctuation. I emailed them about this, and never received a response back!!! Since I am not going to waste my time and money on another failed try with them, I could say that dealing with Clymb costed me 10 bucks and earned me a useless $10 credit.

  3. UPDATE: I finally got my complaint resolved. The Clymb is refunding my whole order and still shipping some of the items. This is a really nice gesture and for that I am very grateful. It seems as though they are ridiculously backlogged which worries me about shopping there again. Having said that… I don't think many companies would have done what they did. Thank you to The Clymb.

  4. Two weeks after I made my first purchase (and only since I won't be using them again), my package still hadn't been shipped. I then proceeded to email The Clymb to ask what was up. I heard back a few days later that someone was 'looking into it'. I responded to them and still haven't heard back. Another week went by and I got an email from someone else saying 'unfortunately due to an inventory error we are unable to ship…' my order. My consolation was 20% off at the participating members site which didn't even cover the discount on The Clymb. The reason this isn't a one star review is because at least The Clymb provides good deals… if you ever get your items. I would expect this kind of error from a small start up like 10 years ago, but not in this day in age.

  5. So far so good for me. Have made several purchases and have only made one return because of an unfortunate color choice (white down coat, what was I thinking?). I am spoiled by Zappos free ship and return, but the deep discount at The Clymb keeps me coming back for more. Just ordered 2 items today that I want for Christmas, would not recommend last minute purchases from them if you have to have it quickly.

  6. Jason, ImAn and Anonymous

    Thank you for adding your input and experiences. Looks like most eveyone is pretty happy. ImAn sorry about the mistakes…wish your transaction could have been better.

  7. I placed and order (and won't again) august the 19th and am still waiting for part of the order to arrive! Have spoke several times with the folks there and have been given the run around – waiting for it to arrive, oh, it's out of stock, we shipped it last week. WIll not be using them again and will be telling friends who I recommended to perhaps look elsewhere. Over two months is not worth the savings!

  8. In the past few weeks, have placed four diffrent orders. First one (after I accidentlly put wrong shipping address on order and called to have it corrected) went to the wrong address after weeks of waiting. Second order, xo'd after they had taken the funds from my account. Two to go… not getting a good vibe!

  9. Tried placing an order and had a problem with their on-line order cart. Contacted customer service and the experience was not positive with very slow and incomplete follow up. They seem to have good deals, but it would appear that The Clymb is just a backroom operation. I then started to read some of the other comments on the web and realized that I was lucky not to have been able to place my order with them. In doing my after-the-fact research, they obviously have a very average/below average rating. There are several other very good options out there with long history, established customer followings and are going to still be around down the road. I would suggest going that direction.

  10. I think they take the money for the orders and get some interest on it while you wait a few months for your order. Nice way to make money.

  11. I'm trying to return some items to them. They respond promptly to the email with a note that they will contact me with return info within 48 hours. No followup letter. I called their phone number and got a MESSAGE to send them an email! I'm done with them.

  12. I'm very disappointed with them this is what happened with me.

    • First my order is running late. Once it is 2 days past the date it was supposed to be here I made a request to know what was going on.
    • Then, I get an email saying it is just running late and it will be shipped early in the next week.
    • I respond by saying it is okay just as long as it reaches me by Xmas (still 3 weeks away).
    • They respond by saying that will definitely happen.
    • Then when it is not shipped early the next week and I have still heard nothing I emailed again asking what is going on.
    • I get an email from them saying they are having warehouse problems and it will take longer as they sort that out.This was not a personal email to me but rather a mass email for all the people that were in the same trouble as me.
    • Then I get another email saying they are actually moving their entire warehouse and when they get that sorted out it will be good (suggesting all would be flowing well and our shipments would receive expedited shipping to compensate). One again no body ever contacted me personally this was just a mass email designed for all the people that got screwed out of their order.
    • I repeat by emailing them that it will be okay as long as it gets to me by Xmas (still two weeks away).
    • Finally I get an email stating that my order problems and they will not be shipping the order at all! Another mass email.
    • They say they are refunding me and giving me $10 credit…
    • Sorry that is not enough to convince me to ever be a customer again. Once my other shipments are completed (or more likely told they won't ship it at all again!) I will not be ordering from them again.
    I give this company the worse possible rating. This was compounded multiple times by:
    1. Nobody ever contacted me to let me know it was taking long. Each time I contacted them after they were days past deadlines asking what is going on.
    2. The excuses they gave did not seem to be true. This is because they changed the reasons the shipment did not show up 3 different times. Sounds like they are just making things up so they get grace and time.
    3. The order never came at all. This is silly. If you agree to send something when I send you money you need to know how much you have in stock and if you are actually going to get the stock from the company at the given price. You cannot be jacking around not sure if the sell is going to even happen when my money is sitting in your pocket and I'm waiting!!! If you are not sure you can get that stock from the company you have no business taking my money and wasting my time!!

  13. I agree with you. I ordered an item on 11.23 hoping to receive before Christmas. I also got the mass e-mail the day my order is supposed to come in. Quite disappointing. I ordered from Department Goods on 12.13 & received my products on 12.15. Bye! Bye! TheClymb!

  14. beyond the return "process" they require any returned item to be: unopened, in original packaging and not used or worn. In other words NO!

  15. Companies like TheClymb don't really have inventory of most of the products they sell. What they do is accept orders for products and when enough orders are received, they make the purchase from over-run suppliers at a great discounted price. The savings gets passed on to the buyer, along with potentially a long wait. The problem is when somebody else buys out the existing inventory at the over-run supplier after TheClymb has accepted orders. In these cases, they are forced to cancel your order as the product is not longer available via their regular means at discounted prices. If they are good about canceling within reasonable times and you don't need a product for 1-2 months, it can be a great way to save money – as long as you're willing to put up with the frustrations and cancellations (watch you credit, charge reversals very closely).

  16. I have made several orders with The Clymb. All have been completed to my satisfaction. The extended delivery window is acknowledged/explained on the site, so that should be expected. I have waited what seemed like an unusually long time, for a couple of the deliveries, but I don't order anything that I need by a certain date. It's a trade off I am willing to accept in order to save money.

  17. I read through a lot of comments from different sites before i decided to buy from the Clymb. Most of them seemed to be negative, but i think that most reviews online are. I purchased a set of skis from the clymb on February 25th. When i purchased them on the last screen it had a disclaimer saying that some customers experience a longer than expected wait from the time they purchased til the time their package was actually delivered. It continued to say that most feel the trade off for wait time and the big discounts is worth it. The screen after that said that my skis should be delivered around the 8th of march. I was pleasantly surprised though when my skis arrived at my house on march 2nd. That was a good deal.

    I think it may depend sometimes of the company that the clymb is partnering with and how quickly they ship your product to the clymb. A lot of people said that it took their order an excessively long time to arrive while mine took no time at all. On their site it says that once your order is placed it goes to the company that makes the product then they ship it to the clymb who then ships it to you. I'm not sure if that's how it works in real life or not but if it is then it would seem like the focal firm (partner company) is the one who is mostly responsible for the wait time.

  18. I think you're lucky to have avoided them. I got my one order six weeks late. One of the items was hopelessly undersize. I paid $7 for the return (USPS would have been $1.50) and learned (I had missed the fine print) that they only grant merchandise credits. I'm sorry I ordered from them… After three years the money will go to the Oregon schools if these guys are still in business.

  19. The customer service was horrible, it took 3 weeks for my product to arrive and it was the wrong item. NEVER AGAIN!! I am going to shop at reputable places only like Patagonia!!!

  20. I've had really good experiences thus far with all my purchases.Two high end day packs at half price ,(I do my research quickly while shopping),trekking poles,German made hiking boots are on their way and a high end lightweight down jacket from an Italian company.Some of these items and companies I had never heard of.After doing some reading,I really appreciate having access to high end gear and really good prices.4 of my 6 purchases arrived within or before the stated time frame ,two others are in transit with tracking #'s and on schedule.I'm really pleased.Maybe with some passing time they have worked out some of the glitches some other folks had to deal with.

  21. I purchased a pair of sunglasses last week from TheClymb. Product: Optic Nerve Haxtun.

    They where running a promo which consisted of a discount and free freight. Not bad and I did like their website. I do perceive that these guys are more into selling tours than products.

    Anyways, when my order came in, which took longer than expected… The style I liked, but there is definitely a defective issue as they were totally off from any regular glasses I have every tried. Never again.

    The worst part was the return. I paid around $20.00 for the Sun Glasses, and the return fright was $6.99. This company will never be an option to buy again. Not worth the hassle and their return policy and costs suck! I would not recommend them to a family member or a friend.


  22. 2/26/2014

    Stay away from their deceptive & punitive return policy. Deeply hidden the stated return policy is store credit only. You pay shipping both ways which is fair if they return your money, but they don't. It gets worse. If your credit exceeds your next purchase, you still pay shipping. They will not apply your credit towards shipping!

    Talk to these left coast robots and they repeat the company line… "Sorry sir that's our policy". Well their policy sucks and I'm pissed off enough to write a crappy review… and I never write reviews! I hope they lose a mountain of business because of this review.

    The product photography is lousy and seldom offer more that one photo of an item. You can never be sure what you are ordering which causes more returns than would be necessary. The reason for only one photo? They say it's to maintain their low prices. No it's not. It's to generate more returns. What kind of sleazebag bullshit is that? Even if they were honorable, the deals are not great and can be matched elsewhere online easily. STAY AWAY!!!

  23. I have nothing but positive experiences with the clymb over the last 2 years. Their customer service has been exceptional. I bought a pair of sunglasses which didn't fit very well and allowed me to return although there was a disclaimer that all sales are final on them. On 2 occasions i recieved promos from them within a couple of days of having already put in an order and the credited my account. All my orders (over 20 seperate ones) have arrived in a timely manor.

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