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    Super Moderator Kage_'s Avatar
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    Exclamation Rebates and how to make sure you get your money.

    This is an article on rebates and what you should do to make sure you get what you are owed.

    First off, when you go to a store and buy a product with a rebate or rebates associated with it you make a good faith assumption that the issuer of the rebate will honor it. That being said, it is up to you to make sure you comply with the terms and conditions associated with it. The excuse that, "I did not know I had to do that" does not fly with rebates. For every rebate you need to read the T&C's and make sure you follow them to the letter.

    When you buy a product with a rebate these are the general steps you should follow to get your full rebate amount and in a timely manner.

    Go to the B&M store or online and purchase the item. While there find out if the rebate will print at the register or is a separate form that you need to pickup. Most major chain stores have the rebate print at the register. If you purchase the item online then you will need to download the rebate from the site. One thing to watch out for is make sure the product you are buying is the correct product for the rebate listed.

    After you have your item it's time to do your end of the rebate. Gather all of the paper work needed for the rebate. Most of the time this will include some type of bar/product code, rebate form, receipt and anything else the rebate requires. At this point read the rebate form, paying close attention to the T&C's, and verify that you have not left anything out. Fill out the rebate form with the information required. Most rebates require some sort of receipt. On your receipt that you will mail in, highlight the product you are requesting the rebate on. This will make it stand out to the person that process's the rebate.

    Also it is becoming more common for rebate sites to allow you to preregister your rebate online. The advantage to this, it assigns you a tracking number that you can include with your rebate. This will speed up your rebate and allows you and rebate company to track it. Some of the prereg rebates will also allow you to fill out all of the info for the rebate so you can print out the whole rebate form filled out. This saves on typos and common errors. Also, there is a new type of rebate called an Easy Rebate. This type of rebate requires no paper work to be mailed in. Just go to the web site listed and enter the information requested. Most of the time it will require the receipt number from the store and some info from the product itself. To find out if you rebate will let you preregister or do an easy rebate, look at the rebate form for the information.

    Before you mail anything make copies of everything. If there is a problem w/ a rebate the only proof you have are the copies you have. I have had several times where my rebate was denied because the rebate company claimed that I did not include something that was required for the rebate. Most commonly it seems to be the bar code.

    Once you have your copies fill out the envelope exactly as the address listed. If you goof and put the wrong PO box or such on the envelope it will go to never never land and as such you will not get your rebate. After you fill out the envelope mail it. If the rebate is worth a high dollar amount you should get a return receipt from the USPS. If the rebate company deny's you the rebate because they claim "we never received it" or "we did not receive with with in the cutoff date", then you can send them the return receipt and say, "yes you did". With out the return receipt it can be hard, but not impossible, to get your rebate.

    At this point it is good to have some sort of method of tracking your rebates. A spreadsheet works very well for this. Create a spreadsheet that contains the following: date submitted, date due (normally 6 - 8 weeks after submitted), web site for the rebate, phone number for the rebate, and the rebate amount. There are programs that also track rebates. Find a method that you will use and go that route. Also, it's very handy if you start a paper file that contains all of your rebates pending. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to find a rebate when you need to look at it. At this point log your rebate into your spreadsheet/program and let the waiting game begin.

    If you have outstanding rebate(s) to check on them every once in a while. You may find that a rebate has been denied, which at that point you can call and figure out what the problem is.

    In the next article I will discuss what steps you should follow if your rebate has been denied.

    Copyright 2005 by Kage_ - May not be reproduced without authorization
    Last edited by Kage_; 05-18-2005 at 04:43 PM.

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