Many of us are willing to buy expensive products because a rebate is offered on the purchase. Once we factor in how much money we are getting back, we find it much easier to pay money upfront. The problem is that many of us often fail to redeem the rebate, and end up paying full price for the item. I came across a recent article in All You Magazine (May 20, 2011 issue), which gave tips on making sure we never miss a rebate again. Here are some tips to help you learn how to take advantage of rebates.
What You Can Do To Take Advantage Of Rebates
These are the things that you need to do in order make sure you correctly submit all rebate claims, and stay on top of things afterwards! Rebates can be a great resource when you are considering how to save money!
These companies that use rebates to lure customers in their doors are pretty smart. They intentionally make the rebate process tedious and time-consuming. Every detail must be completed in the exact way in which they instruct you, or the rebate becomes void. You will often have to follow through several times as well, before receiving a check! Even if your rebate is a part of your credit card benefits, there may still be work for you to do!
This means that you have to keep your receipt, package (for the UPC code), and other important information/paperwork in a safe place so it won’t get lost. If you are the type to throw your receipt away after making a purchase, or rip through the packaging like a kid unwrapping a Christmas gift, then maybe rebates aren’t for you.
Also, if you have a problem keeping up with deadlines or following detailed instructions, you might want to look for other ways to secure a deal!
Actually, all hope isn’t lost in these cases, but you will have to do extra work in order to compensate for your weaknesses.
Since many rebate companies only give you a short time to turn in all the paperwork, it doesn’t pay to procrastinate. I used to put all of the paperwork for a rebate on my desk, or on a pile of paperwork somewhere else. I wouldn’t remember about it until it was too late and the deadline had already passed!
The easiest way to make sure that doesn’t happen is to send everything off as soon as you get home from your shopping trip! If it’s something that can’t be submitted until a future date then prepare the mailing now, and set a reminder on your calendar. This way, you’ll be sure to get everything in on time!
Make Copies Of Your Entire Rebate Submission
If the rebate company claims that they never received your rebate, you should always be able to refer to copies of your submission. The same goes for if your rebate is rejected for being incorrect or incomplete. We actually have a folder on our hard drive called “rebate submission”. We scan and save every document that goes along with every rebate submission.
This should include any receipts, submission forms, UPC codes, paid bills/invoices (especially for service contracts), and anything else that you put into the envelope! Don’t forget to request a return receipt when you mail the actual submission.
Many rebate companies now give you the option to check the status of your rebate online. Set up a reminder on our calendar for the estimated date by which the rebate should be processed. Then you can check to see if they are on schedule, or if any problems have come up.
A Checklist For Claiming Rebates
Here are some things for you pay attention to when completing your rebate submission:
- Does the form need to be handwritten?
- Does it need to be filled out in ink only (if so use the color they ask for)? In capital letters?
- Is a street address required, or will they accept a P.O. Box?
- Did you include every piece of information they requested (telephone number, dates, email address, etc)?
- Do you need to actually cut out the UPC code from the package, or do you only need to include it on the form?
- Does anything need to be highlighted or circled on the receipt?
- Do they require the original receipt, or is a copy enough?