Lately while reading up on Fatwallet to find good deals I've seen some that are money makers. Between rebates and coupons or other promotions you end up getting merchandise for free and netting cash after the fact. Here are the 3 examples I've seen:
- This deal (here and later here) to make ~$9 buying 3x Paypal card readers.
- Then a deal to get Mcafee virus total protection for free plus a $10 newegg promo card (here and later here) You *might* be able to resell the unused open box product missing UPC on Amazon for a few bucks too.
- Make $9-13 through CVS or Walgreens using combination of coupons and a $20 rebate. (here)
Between these 3 deals you could make yourself $20 net in cash plus a $10 promo credit on Newegg. Plus the merchandise in question which you may or may not want.
Watching for these deals can be one way to pick up some extra cash on the side. You can occasionally find such deals on Fatwallet.com forums or on Slickdeals.net
As long as everything is up and up and it doesn't seem fishy or you're not obviously abusing the system I see nothing wrong with pursuing these kinds of deals. The merchants know when they're giving out deals like this and their purpose is to drive customers to their stores in hopes you'll buy more while you're there or come back. Plus the rebate forms are not a 100% loss since a large % of people do not ever fill in and return the rebates.
There are some things you should keep in mind when looking for these kinds of deals.
Be aware of the costs. These deals are not totally free. It will probably cost you a stamp to mail in a rebate form. Driving to a store will cost you some gasoline. Don't spend $5 in gas and a 49¢ stamp to cash out a $7 rebate.
Rebates are not always dependable. While I believe most rebate processors are legitimately trying to do their jobs, I think they have a very high error rate. There is a risk that the rebate will not be processed right and you might get denied. For this reason, you should make sure that you always keep copies of all your documentation and you follow up to make sure you're paid.
Read the fine print. Sometimes you look at these deals and they seem great but then later you notice theres a 'gotcha' like a $19.99 shipping charge related to the $10 deal.
They do take some time. I think most of these deals can be done in 15-30 minutes usually. If you can make $10 then its probably generally worth the time but the time involved shouldn't be ignored.