Why, oh why do we have to put up with this mail-in rebate business?! It seems that everytime I go to get something at a computer store, I have to send in a rebate form and wait two months for a small check which may be confused with junk mail and discarded. Why can’t they figure out a simpler way to promote their products? Drives me nuts.

The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it. (Karl Marx, 1845)

Manufacturers like rebates for several reasons:

  1. Not everyone remembers to send in the rebate form, so you don’t lose as much money offering a rebate instead of cutting the price.

  2. You can control how long the rebate runs. And, when the rebate ends, you’re not increasing the price. If you cut prices, you’ll get a lot of bad press and complaints when you raise them back. This doesn’t happen with a rebate.

  3. Rebates don’t hurt a store’s profit margin. If you cut prices to consumers, you have to cut prices to the retailer. Instead of making $100 on a computer, the store now only makes $80. They don’t like that, especially if the cut in price doesn’t lead to enough increased sales. With a rebate, they get the full $100.

  4. If the manufacturer cuts the wholesale price, there’s no guarantee the retailer will cut his price. So the manufacturer gets less money and it doesn’t result in increased sales.

“East is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.” – Marx

Read “Sundials” in the new issue of Aboriginal Science Fiction.

Only 20% of the people follow up with a rebate & actually cash the thing. Amazing.

Just as you said, that way they can sell more. duh.

Stupid dollar or less rebates are the dumbest as they cost 32 cents to mail in.

Products that say 25% Free on them are absurd. You can’t get the 25% part unless you buy the other part.

25% free is not completely absurd. There are times when they’ll do promotions where a 15 oz. box of something costs the same as a 12 oz. box of something. I’ve actually seen both on the same shelf in stores before, so if you buy the 15 oz. box you really are getting 25% more free.

But, yeah. Mail-in rebates suck, but they’re done for all the reasons given above, and I personally never bother with a rebate of less than $5 or so (the other day I saw a package of disposable razors with a… believe it or not… $0.25 rebate; you’d LOSE 8 cents on the deal).

Ask somebody at Diamond about their Monster II $50 rebate.

A popular message board had over 600 messages about this rebate. It was a 6-8 week wait according to the form. I recieved mine exactly 6 months after purchase. I was one of the first to be able to post that I got my rebate.

One of the the people that worked there brought the threads to managements attention. They implemented some new procedures to get your rebate.

The original person ended up quiting her job at Diamond because she was getting so frustrated. She also stopped going to that message board. I felt sorry to see her go since she was trying to get this worked out for everybody.

I have no pity for the manufacturer though. They said it was an overwelming response. They knew how many cards they produced, so though.

I say go for the instant store rebate, if they want to insure that the public receives the savings and not the retailer.

Not if you use your postage meter at work…Of course then you won’t get into heaven.

One Kodak rebate made it down right diffictult and tricky. You had to clip and include 6 different UPC codes. All the items weighed 1.2 ounces. If you failed to include the extra postage, the rebate was kicked back by the Post Office. I’m sure many people gave up because of it.

What irk’s me most about rebates is that it is, in effect, a price reduction. Massachusetts, however, collect sales tax on the full price before rebates. On a $1000 automobile rebate, that’s $50.

I’d like to know if there are any laws on the books as to what constitutes a fake ‘rebate’ where they have made it such a hassle it is barely worth it. Probably not since they are completely voluntary, but a recent purchase of Kodak multipack film comes to mind.

I was going to Alaska with my wife over the summer and we bought three six roll multipack boxes. Each UPC on each enclosed box had to be cut out, and attached to a 3x5 card (six to a card) with name and address. Well, opening up all the film boxes, cutting the $#^! UPCs and sticking them in the mail (each set of six had to be in a separate envelope) took us over 30 minutes, and I think the whole thing netted us about $6.00. What a pain in the ass.