Over time, I have come to dislike rebate submissions. Three of our last six major value mail-in rebates involved a lot of effort or we didn't meet the criteria. The two high effort rebates involved more than usual record keeping, contact with the company, and for one, eventual complaint to the retail establishment. On the third one, we just missed the very short window for submitting the rebate.
As Rebate Madness points out, rebates are designed increase sales AND profits for manufacturers. Rebates, which increase the percentage of purchases, are only redeemed between 5 and 80 percent of the time, depending on the value. Rebates Madness also shares what to do when the rebate is not delivered as expected.
For me however, I expect the rebate process to be low or no effort. I shouldn't have keep records and contact rebate issuers to get my rebate. My time is too valuable. That's why I won't do any more manufacturer rebates, except through Costco.
Costco's rebate process is simple, low stress and, most important, fast. I recently purchased contact lenses with a $30 rebate offer. The rebate form printed out from the register with all the necessary information to obtain the $30. The easiest submission is through Costco.com under the rebate tab. Enter one's membership number, register number, transaction number, and mailing information to complete submission. If a rebate has been submitted before, the website recalls the previous address used. Within two to three weeks, the rebate arrives in the mail. Oh, and if one is curious, the rebate status can be tracked at Costco.com. What could be easier?
It's another reason that I enjoy shopping at Costco.
For more on Reflections and Musings, check back every Saturday for a new segment.This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.
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