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One woman managed to reduce her regular monthly grocery budget by $500 just by using coupons!
This is called extreme couponing, and it’s been around for quite a while.
Some people obsessively flip through magazines and newspapers looking for coupons to use on everything from butter to electronics. This is tough, time-consuming, and generally unreliable, but some people find that the savings are worth the hunt.
Thankfully, in our lightning-fast age of computers and mobile technology, the savings game has changed. Online rebates are a quick, easy, and convenient way of saving big on purchases.
Rebates and Their History
What does rebate mean? Rebates are an incentive for customers to buy products or services by reducing costs in a number of ways.
Since coupons are similar in nature, we can look at the history of coupons to see how companies have been offering rebates since the late 1800s.
It started with Coca-Cola, when Asa Candler offered people certificates to try his drink for free. From there, couponing took off, and eventually morphed into the mail-in and online rebates that we know and love today.
People have always been trying to find ways to save money, and now, with rebates, it’s even easier.
Types of Rebate
This section will explain the different types of rebate in more detail, so that you can figure out which ones suit you best. They usually involve cash back, and there are several versions, including:
- Instant-cash rebates
- Mail-in rebates
- Online rebates
- Credit card cash-back rebates
Most people understand coupons, and they too, are a form of a rebate offer. A coupon is an advertisement or certificate that you can cut from a physical source and then use directly when you purchase a product. Usually, you give coupons to a cashier and a partial amount of the total cost is reduced on the spot. You can’t use a coupon a purchase.
Instant-cash rebates are quite similar to coupons because instead of refunding your money, the seller reduces your cost. As the name suggests, it happens instantly, but you don’t have to cut out a coupon from a ed-pills24.com.
Usually, instant-cash rebates are found on products themselves, they could simply be labels that you tear off.
Mail-in rebates are among the more common forms of rebate, so most people are familiar with them.
These require some effort from you, the customer. Firstly, you need to find a product that uses one of these rebates. Again, it will probably occur in the form of a label that you can peel or tear off from the packaging.
You are also required to purchase the product first before rebating, which means you need to have the full purchase price amount up-front.
From there, you will most likely have a rebate form to fill out. The business will usually require some information from you, including your:
- Full name
- Phone number
- Email address
- Proof of purchase (such as a receipt)
You will need to make sure you have filled out all of the necessary information, as one mail-in rebate claim could be different from another. You will also want to make sure that you are paying attention to any particular deadlines and mailing addresses.
You should be careful not to send your rebate to the wrong destination, and you should also send it early enough, so that it will arrive on or before the actual deadline. Generally, it is best to send a rebate at least one week before the deadline.
Use Mail-in Rebates to Get Free and Cheap Products
Look out for rebates every time you shop online or in a store, and scour your paper for Sunday coupon inserts. Some products come with small labels that carry information about rebate offers. When you do find an offer to which you’d like to apply, be sure to retain the original rebate form (for instance, after you’ve torn off and handed in your application) so that you can get your check or cash back, or redeem your coupons for hugely discounted or even completely free items.
Purchase the Right Product for the Mail-in Rebate
Most often you will have to purchase a product—and spend money upfront— before you receive a rebate. It’s important to read exactly what the rebate form says about the item on which there is a rebate offer. It could specify the brand, model, size or even shape and colour of the product. If you buy something that varies from this description, you might find that you’re no longer eligible for the rebate. Purchase the right product and keep your receipt, as any rebate will require it.
Track Your Mail-in Rebates
You will benefit from maintaining a log of all your mail-in rebates, particularly if there’s a wait period between mailing them in and actually receiving them. Start a spreadsheet or list and save any information that you shared with a seller in order to get a rebate. Tracking will help you ensure that you actually receive that hard-earned rebate.
Online rebates are the future of saving. Amazon and Walgreens rebates are just some of the examples of major retailers using this discount tactic. If you now consider yourself to be an ‘extreme digital saver’, this process is now the easiest it has ever been!
Much like mail-in rebates, you will still need to purchase a product first. Rather than coupons or instant rebate options, these types of rebates are ‘cash-back’.
The process may change from one rebate company to another, so it is important to choose one that is very well-respected, with outstanding testimonials.
Credit Card Cash-back Rebate
If you shop using a credit card, you could get rebates of 1–5% depending on the terms of your card. Some sellers might credit the rebate amount directly to your account, while others might offer you checks or prepaid debit cards that you can use later. You can also redeem your rebate for merchandise, miles or vouchers.
Terms and Conditions
When you receive a rebate offer, be sure to review its terms and conditions carefully so that you know beforehand whether you’re eligible for the rebate. Sometimes a rebate is only valid on a certain number of items, so ask your seller for more information before you make a purchase. If they hand you a paper check or debit card, turn it over and read the fine print. There could be an expiration date on the rebate, or you may be charged a fee for inactivity—so when you do decide to redeem an offer, you might notice that your balance has dropped. Make sure you cash checks and redeem any freebies or gifts as soon as you can.
1. Set up an account
Often, you will need to set up an account with the rebate company. It is an easy way to keep track of who is whom, and when the cash back rebate is being sent.
2. Find a deal
You get to shop around and find a particular product that interests you. It should also include an attractive rebate.
3. Report your purchase
You will need to report your purchase to the rebate company. In some cases, you may need to contact the company personally, and in other cases, you may simply need to use a unique URL that is emailed or texted to you.
4. Get paid
From here, it is simply a matter of waiting for the seller to verify your purchase-and then you get your cash back!
This can happen in several different ways:
- Store credit
- Bank transfer
Checks are still probably one of the most common ways to receive your rebate money. They are generally used for mail-in rebates, but online rebates use checks in the same way.
This is why it is also necessary to create an account with the rebate company or rebate program, so that they have your direct mailing address on file.
Bank transfers are the quickest and most convenient way to receive your rebate. You will most likely need to provide a routing number for your bank account, which you can find on your bank’s online profile. Transfers often take a few days to process, but they are still a lot quicker than mailing a rebate check.
Store credit is another way to receive a rebate, and while credit isn’t necessarily money in your pocket, it is still a way to save even more money on future purchases.
Explore online rebates today!
We would all love to save on our grocery and entertainment purchases, but mail-in rebates can sometimes simply be too much work. Coupons can also be tough to find, and sometimes they just don’t offer the greatest of deals.
Online rebates are the future of shopping and savings, and hopefully, you have now learned a little more about how they work. Check out our website or contact us right away to see our amazing deals!