Is Scheels Legit or a Scam? Honest Review

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  • Post published:February 15, 2024
  • Post category:Reviews

Scheels is a popular sporting goods and entertainment retailer with over 30 locations across 13 states in the Midwest and West. The North Dakota-based company has grown from its humble beginnings as a small hardware store in 1902 to become the largest employee-owned sporting goods retailer in the country.

But is Scheels legitimate company you can trust? Or could this be an elaborate scam? In this in-depth review, we’ll analyze the facts to determine if Scheels is legit or a scam.

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A Quick Review

Scheels is a privately held, employee-owned company headquartered in Fargo, North Dakota. The company operates over 30 superstore locations across 13 states, including North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, Illinois, Utah, Kansas, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Montana, Colorado and Texas.

In addition to a massive selection of sporting goods and athletic equipment, Scheels stores feature unique attractions like 16,000 gallon aquariums, shooting galleries, arcades, and Ferris wheels to provide an entertaining shopping experience. The company brings in around $1 billion in annual revenue.

Scheels has a long legacy dating back to 1902 when German immigrant Frederick Scheel first opened a small hardware store in Minnesota. The business was passed down through generations of the Scheel family and evolved over the decades from a hardware and general merchandise store into a sporting goods powerhouse.

Today, Scheels remains family-owned but operates as an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) that distributes company profits and decision-making power to its 6,000+ associates. The employee-owned model provides Scheels workers with a vested interest in the success of the company.

Is Scheels Legit or Scam? review

So Is Scheels Legit or Scam? What evidence points to Scheels as a legitimate company versus an elaborate scam? Let’s analyze some key factors:

Length of time in business

Scheels has been in business for over 100 years, since 1902. Scam companies don’t typically last that long before getting exposed. The company has also maintained a consistent brand identity and steady nationwide growth over decades, opening new stores periodically. This long company history supports the legitimacy of Scheels.

Physical retail locations

Scheels operates over 30 brick-and-mortar store locations customers can visit across 13 states. Scam companies rarely have an established physical retail presence. The ability to visit real Scheels stores with merchandise and staff provides strong proof this is a real sporting goods retailer.

Major media coverage

As one of the largest sporting goods retailers in the country, Scheels frequently receives coverage from major media outlets like Forbes, Sports Illustrated, and USA Today. Scam companies are seldom covered by reputable national media sources in this way. The major media attention indicates Scheels is considered a legitimate business.

Employee-owned structure

Scheels operates as an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) that gives company associates shared ownership. This shows long-term investment from employees who do thorough financial research before buying into the company, signaling it is financially stable.

Authority industry partnerships

Scheels partners with major brands like Nike, The North Face, and Yeti as authorized retailers. These companies carefully vet authorized sellers to protect their reputation, suggesting Scheels meets their legitimacy standards.

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Positive customer reviews

Searching Scheels online reveals predominantly positive customer reviews on sites like Trustpilot, Sitejabber, and Google. Scam companies typically have overwhelmingly negative feedback calling them out as frauds. The overall positive response from Scheels customers is a good sign.

Valid security certifications

The Scheels website has a valid SSL certificate that encrypts data and helps verify it as a legitimate business. Many scam sites use invalid certificates or none at all. Scheels securing proper SSL certs displays cybersecurity responsibility.

Responsible policies

Scheels has fair policies around areas like pricing, returns, and privacy displayed on its website. Scam sites often have vague or misleading policies. Scheels transparently states its policies to demonstrate lawful and ethical business practices.

Long domain history

So is Scheels legit? Records show the domain was registered over 20 years ago in 2001. Scam websites tend to have domains registered very recently. The long registration history of Scheels’ domain suggests a stable business.

No scam flags

Scam adviser sites like ScamDoc give Scheels a high 100% trust rating after evaluation. Other scam checker sites flag no warnings about Scheels as a potentially risky business. The lack of scam flags from verification sites is reassuring.

Analyzing Possible Scheels Red Flags

Is Scheels legit? Are there any red flags that could indicate potential risks with Scheels? Let’s review a few aspects that raise questions:

Sale of firearms

Scheels sells firearms like hunting rifles at its retail locations. All firearm sales follow federal and state laws with background checks. However, firearm sales can be an area of ethical concern if not handled properly. Scheels seems to sell them responsibly within legal limits.

Third-party sellers

Scheels allows some vetted third-party sellers on its marketplace. This introduces some risk of counterfeit goods or scams. However, Scheels appears to screen sellers thoroughly to avoid issues based on reviews.

Consumer disputes

A few disputes from Scheels customers can be found online around issues like incorrect or damaged orders. This is inevitable even for legitimate retailers. Scheels seems to resolve most problems satisfactorily based on feedback.

Data handling

No data breaches have been reported for Scheels. However, like any retailer, Scheels does collect customer data that could present hacking risks without vigilance. This data collection is disclosed properly and seems handled responsibly.

While these factors raise some caution, none provide strong evidence of Scheels as a scam company. They seem to comply with regulations and take reasonable steps to minimize risks for customers.

Is Scheels Legit? Reviews From Customers

So is Scheels legit? One of the best ways to evaluate a company’s legitimacy is to see what actual customers report. Searching for Scheels reviews online reveals predominantly positive feedback:

  • Trustpilot – With over 350 reviews, Scheels scores an “Excellent” 4.2 out of 5 stars. 77% of reviews are 5-stars and only 16% are 1-star. Most are highly positive about customer service.
  • SiteJabber – Scheels earns 4.8 stars out of 5 based on SiteJabber reviews. Customers praise the quality products, fair prices, and helpful service.
  • Google – The Scheels Google listing has 4.6 stars across over 8,000 reviews. Many reviews tell of great experiences at stores with knowledgeable staff.
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The overwhelmingly positive customer response across major review sites paints Scheels as a legitimate company that satisfies patrons. There are some negative reviews, but these seem focused on isolated order issues rather than systemic scams.

Examining Scheels Ratings From Other Websites

Let’s check what other authoritative websites report about the legitimacy of Scheels:

  • ScamDoc – This scam identification site gives Scheels its highest 100% trust rating, signaling it as extremely reliable and ethical.
  • SiteSecure – After evaluation, SiteSecure ranks Scheels as an “Excellent” website with a score of 100/100.
  • McAfee Secure – Scheels displays the McAfee SECURE trustmark after meeting security requirements to help ensure customer safety.
  • Norton Safe Web – Norton Safe Web finds no issues or risks associated with browsing the Scheels website based on its analysis.
  • BBB – Scheels has been BBB accredited since 2001 with an A+ rating, showing most customer issues get successfully resolved.

The unanimously positive ratings from scam identification services confirm Scheels is a trusted brand without major red flags.

Verifying Scheels Certifications and Associations

Being part of recognized reputable organizations also helps validate Scheels as a legitimate company:

  • National Retail Federation – As a member of the NRF, Scheels adheres to this retail trade group’s code of ethics.
  • Firearm Dealers Association – Scheels abides by responsible business practices as a member of this professional association.
  • Better Business Bureau – The BBB accreditation requires member companies to meet transparency and customer service standards.

Scheels affiliation with these respected associations shows its commitment to lawful, ethical business conduct.

How Does Scheels Compare to Competitors?

To further gauge Scheels’ standing, we can compare it to direct competitors in the sporting goods space:

Brand Years in Business Store Locations BBB Rating SiteJabber Rating
Scheels 121 years 32 A+ 4.8/5
Bass Pro Shops 51 years 177 A+ 3.1/5
Cabela’s 61 years 85 A+ 3.5/5
Sportsman’s Warehouse 33 years 116 A 3.8/5
Dick’s Sporting Goods 70 years 730 A+ 3.5/5

This comparison shows that Scheels operates just as long or longer than competitors as a well-established sporting goods chain. The company matches top rivals with an excellent A+ BBB rating for effectively resolving issues.

And Scheels leads among the highest customer satisfaction and trust according to SiteJabber reviews. The company appears to exceed many competitors in key legitimacy metrics.

The Verdict: Scheels is 100% Legitimate

After a thorough analysis of the origins, history, operations, and reputation of Scheels, we can definitively conclude that Scheels is a 100% legitimate business.

The company exhibits all the traits of an ethical, responsible retailer:

  • Over a century of continuous operations
  • Real physical store locations across 13 states
  • Coverage from reputable media outlets
  • Employee-owned company structure
  • Partnerships with leading brands
  • Overwhelmingly positive customer reviews
  • Valid SSL security certifications
  • Long-owned domain registered since 2001
  • No flags from scam verification services
  • Top ratings from scam identification sites
  • Active membership in trade organizations
  • Comparable or better metrics versus competitors
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In the extremely unlikely event any issues arise when shopping with Scheels, customers can have confidence knowing they are backed by responsive customer service and protections like the Scheels guarantee.

While healthy skepticism is wise when shopping online, all signs conclusively point to Scheels as a completely legitimate sporting goods retailer that sells authentic products. Customers can shop at Scheels with total peace of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions About Scheels

Still have some lingering questions about whether Scheels is legit? Below we answer some commonly asked questions:

Does Scheels have real stores?

Yes, Scheels has over 30 physical store locations in 13 states across the Midwest and Western U.S. that customers can visit. See the store locator to find one near you.

Is Scheels an authorized dealer?

Scheels is an authorized dealer for all major brands it carries, including Nike, The North Face, Under Armour, and Yeti. Customers can be assured they are purchasing legitimate products.

Where is Scheels located?

Scheels is headquartered in Fargo, North Dakota. It operates stores in North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, Illinois, Utah, Kansas, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Montana, Colorado and Texas.

How long has Scheels been in business?

Scheels has been a family-run business for over 100 years, first opening as a small hardware store in Minnesota in 1902. It has grown to over 30 superstore locations.

Does Scheels sell counterfeit goods?

There is no evidence Scheels sells counterfeit products. As an authorized dealer for major brands, Scheels sells 100% authentic sporting goods and clothing.

Is it safe to order from Scheels online?

Yes, ordering online at is perfectly safe. The website has proper SSL encryption and security measures in place to protect customer data.

Hopefully this comprehensive review provides assurance that Scheels is indeed a legitimate retailer with a long history and excellent reputation. Shop worry-free for all your sporting goods needs at Scheels stores or!


Our in-depth investigation leaves no doubt that Scheels is a completely legitimate and ethical company with over a century of history as a trusted sporting goods retailer.

Between the physical superstore locations, positive customer feedback, respected industry partners, and top ratings from review sites, Scheels clearly passes the test as a reliable brand.

While exercising reasonable awareness as with any major retailer, customers can feel entirely secure in the legitimacy of Scheels when shopping for authentic gear backed by a company guarantee.

After 121 years building a reputation for service and expertise, Scheels has earned its place as a leading name in sporting goods that stands behind every product.

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