NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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Rebates Worth Receiving

Rebates Worth Receiving

 

            Rebates can be a wonderful way to stretch your shopping dollars but only if and when you receive your rebate check. The most common mistake made when sending in a rebate is failure to follow all the rebate requirements.  In close second, is a failure to keep a copy of all materials sent to the rebate processor.  If you are planning to submit a rebate form, consider the following steps to insure a rebate check arrives in your mailbox.

            - Compare prices before you buy anything with a rebate. Rebates are usually promotions that are offered to deal with price cuts or competitive pricing. Sometimes you may find that you can purchase the same product from another store at a lower cost without having to fill out any rebate.

            - Before purchasing any item with a rebate; read the rebate requirements in detail. Be sure that you can meet all the requirements before you make the purchase. The requirements to pay attention to are the: product/purchase requirements, quantity, expiration date; post-mark date and location requirement such as the rebate being honored only by specific stores.
            - Before you write anything on the form, read through the rebate offer again, and look for any instructions that apply to the way the form has to be filled out.  For example, most rebates will specify that you print all information.  Does the offer need to be filled out in pen?  Does it require a street address, or will a PO Box work?  Does it have to be written in all caps? Does it require you to include an e-mail address or telephone number?

            - Most rebates require the original UPC (Universal Product Code) to be cut from the package as proof of purchase. The UPC is the white/black barcode on the outside of the box that is scanned by price scanners. Remember; if the rebate requires the "original' UPC they will not honor a photocopy.
            - Photocopy or scan all the materials you are sending to the rebate company for your own records. This includes the rebate form, receipt, UPC and any other required paperwork. It's kind of hard to prove that you sent in a rebate if you don't have a copy. The rebate forms will also have the numbers you need to call to verify that a rebate has been received and is being processed.
            - Give your submission a final check before mailing it off. Does the rebate call for a certain envelope size? Does the envelope need to be addressed by hand?  Have you written the address correctly?  Have all of the required items made it into the envelope?

Have you completed every line on the rebate form? Is everything legible?  Are you mailing well in advance of any deadlines?

            - Many rebates can now be submitted online.  This method is extremely convenient and you will receive email confirmations on the status of your rebate but companies usually require you to send the printed form out along with the required proof-of-purchase so remember to follow-through with mailing in any other forms.

            - When checking the status of a rebate; you can save time by first checking online. Most rebate companies have a website where you can track the status of your rebate. If you fail to find your submission, call the processor directly to check the status of your submission. .

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