Outdoor gear seller REI offers a membership as a way to reward frequent buyers and build brand loyalty. While they do have some brick and mortar stores, much of their business is done online or by phone. One current promotion they are running prominently on their web site is to get a free REI-branded reusable shopping bag to people who either sign up for membership, or use some of their membership dividends to receive it with their order. The bag looks great and it seems like a cost-effective, environmentally-positive way of promoting membership. On the other hand, getting a free shopping bag for goods that are being shipped to you kinda makes no sense. Or does it? At the end of the day, the whole point of a reusable shopping tote is that you can use it a lot, so the fact that you might not be receiving it in a retail situation doesn’t really matter because it will be just as useful in the long term. So, though it may seem odd, it really isn’t such a strange choice of promo for an online retailer.