Rebate Survival – How To Do Them Right
Rebates can not only help you save on items you buy, but they can help you get things for free. Here are my tips for doing rebates.
- Do the rebate the same day. This also ensures that you mail it within the time frame specified and don’t forget to do it altogether. I’ve stuck with this and it’s worked for me. The only exception, is when we bought our TV, and my husband wanted to make sure we didn’t have any problems with it, before I sent off the rebate.
- Complete all the steps required. Fill out the form properly, cut out all the UPC’s, circle the item on the receipt or whatever is required.
- Make a copy of everything before you send it off. You may need to refer back to all this information, in case your rebate is denied or never shows up.
- Date the copies so you know when you mailed the rebate. If you have to call the company, it’s always nice to have all this information.
- Mark your calendar 6 weeks out (or however long the rebate says it will take to receive). This way you can follow up if you have not received it by then.
- File the copies in a safe place to refer back to. I keep mine in my “To do” folder on my desk.
- Look for rebates you can process online. This allows you to keep all your original paperwork and save a stamp. Also there is no cutting out UPC’s.
I realize rebates are a way for businesses to lure in customers. I’m sure they also rely on 90% of customers never completing the paperwork. I’m determined to be the other 10%. If they offer it, I’m going to take advantage.
Recently I was sent a letter saying one of my rebates was denied. Of course they listed 5 possible reasons for this, nothing specific. I pulled all my copies and called them to inquire. They could not give me a reason over the phone either, but confirmed my information and resubmitted it. I called once a week until I was told it had been processed, and it was in the mail. This is the only time I’ve had to follow up on a company, but because I had all the paperwork, I had a leg to stand on.
Do not take “no” for an answer. If you are organized and follow through, you should never have a problem. I always feel it’s MY money, not theirs, and I’ll pester them until it’s processed, no matter how small the amount. Besides, what’s more exciting than getting a check in the mail? Knowing you are eating Free cereal for one! I recently got a 10 inch saute pan, measuring cups, timer and spatula as part of a mail in rebate.