Aside from buying an item on sale, using a manufacture or store rebate is probably the easiest way for you to spend less than retail for that item. So why don’t stores or manufacturers make it easier for us and do away with rebates and just use sales?
The answer is simple: many people forget to send in their rebates, lose the necessary paperwork, don’t get the forms in on time and/or just don’t care about the rebate, which allows the store or manufacture to keep more money.
There are two main types of rebates, instant and mail-in. Of the two, instant rebates are the best because you see the savings right at the cash register; you don’t have to do anything to save money and you “get” the money right then.
Unfortunately, most types of rebates are mail-in, which means you have to put in a little bit of work to get your money back. Typically, you will have to fill out a specific rebate form and send it to the manufacture with a copy of your receipt and the UPC bar code. Then you will have to patiently wait a couple of weeks before receiving your rebate check in the mail.
That being said, it certainly isn’t so much work that you shouldn’t take advantage of the opportunity to get some money back!
In order to make sure you send in your mail-in rebates on time, I suggest that you fill out the necessary paperwork as soon as you get home from the store. This way you’ll have the form, receipt and UPC bar code right in front of you and ready to go.
It’s certainly worth the 5 minutes of work to ensure you will get your (sometimes substantial) rebate check in the mail.