Many manufacturers offer mail in rebates to encourage consumers to buy their product. The way these rebates work is that you have to pay the full price for the product when you get it. Then you fill out the rebate information and mail it in along with a copy of your receipt. They will then send you a check.
However, you will be amazed at how many people fail to get around to sending in the information for their rebate. Most offers have a set time frame so it is a good idea to get the information in the mail as quickly as possible. They either don’t want to mess around with the process or the simply forget with so many other things taking place in their life.
Since it can take weeks to get your rebate in the mail, it is a good idea to keep a file of the rebates you have mailed in. Always make a copy of the rebate information and the receipt before you mail it in. This way you have proof of your purchase and a phone number to contact them if you don’t receive the rebate in a timely manner.
The amount of any given rebate will vary but when you consider that the average on is $25, that is a great deal of money that consumers aren’t taking advantage of. It is a good idea to always use them to your advantage. Otherwise you are simply throwing your money away.
Each rebate process may be slightly different so make sure you take the time to read all the information that comes with it. You don’t want the frustration of waiting for 60 days to get the rebate only to get a letter instead that says you aren’t eligible because you failed to provide some piece of information or your form wasn’t completely filled out.
It is also a good idea to take action when a rebate you send it is not honored. This doesn’t happen very often but it is very important that you follow-up. If you only purchased the item at the price offered because of the rebate than it is even more important that you get it.
Getting your rebate should never exceed 60 days. If you don’t have it by then contact the company. Make sure you document all the information about when you called and who you spoke to. It is good to have a log of this information so that if you want to pursue getting the rebate by other means you can back up your information.
There are a couple good websites you can use to track your rebate including www.MyRebates.com, www.WheresMyRebate.com, and www.Rebatestatus.com. If you don’t find your rebate and the manufacturer isn’t working with you then file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau.
The majority of company’s who offer rebates do honor them though so this really should never be an ongoing issue for you. There are plenty of businesses that do look forward to the unclaimed rebates though because at least 40% of them never get filed by the consumer.
As a rule of thumb though, I wouldn’t recommend basing your purchase on a rebate. If you don’t end up with the funds then the product cost you more than you were willing to pay for it. While you wait for the rebate process to be completed you will have the loss of that additional money that could be allocated for something else.
You should also be prepared for rebates to ask for your personal information including your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. This could result in you getting coupons and promotions that will save you more money in the future. However, they can result in you getting bombarded by offers by the manufacturer that you aren’t interested in.