April 4, 2008

Some tips on getting the most from rebates

Flexo over at Consumerism Commentary has an article about tracking his cell phone rebate . Plus he links to an older article about rebate scams. I would have to personally agree that rebates are often virtually a scam. Rebates are intentionally setup the way they by companies knowing that a large % of customers will never send back the forms and among those that do the companies can be extra picky about following the rules or they'll deny the rebate.

The rebate scams article also links to this CNN/Money article 5 Tips : Getting the most out of rebates For all the details you can read the full article, but the 5 tips are: 1. know the policy, 2. follow the rules, 3. watch your deadlines, 4. track it online and 5. be the squeaky wheel. And those are all good tips for sure. Under the tip for tracking your rebates online they link to the site http://www.myrebates.com/ which has online tracking links and is a service itself where you can setup an account to track your own rebates. I haven't tried it myself but it looks like a real handy resource for rebates.

The #1 tip that they took for granted is to send in the form. Way too often people simply neglect to send in their rebate forms and end up missing out on the money. So first make sure you send in the form!

My own main tip is to keep a copy of the rebate form and receipts for your records. You can either make a photo copy or do what I do and scan the forms and store them electronically on your computer. Scanning has the added bonus of being free compared to the $.05 or $.10 you spend on copies.

I sent in a rebate for a Maxtor harddrive years ago and got back a letter saying I'd been denied. Thankfully I had kept a copy of the rebate form and receipts and I sent Maxtor the copy and they then eventually sent me my money.

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