Rebates - Do you HATE them as much as me?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by OCOTILLO, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. OCOTILLO macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #1
    I really hate rebates. I think they are the scam of the century. Why in the World would a manufacturer who sells direct (Dell) offer rebates? I do not think Best Buy sells anything without rebates.

    I think it would be great if a boycott of rebate products could be started. Maybe then we could buy products at reasonable prices.
     
  2. RandomDeadHead macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    fennario
    #2
    Rebates are like insurance, the company offering it is takeing the gamble that you won't use it. It's well known that americans are lazy, and companys count on that when they offer rebates. Dell KNOWS how lazy their customors are, so they offer rebates knowing only a small percent will turn them.
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    Okay, I'll bite at the unnecessary "Americans are lazy" comment. :mad: Are rebates really only a US thing, and not offered in Europe or elsewhere?

    I do find them annoying. I purchased an Aiwa car head unit which was supposed to have a rebate, and Aiwa sent me back a postcard saying that I was not eligible -- even though I met all the criteria on the form. This was at a time when I was extremely busy, and so I failed to follow up with them about it. I was also working more than sixty hours a week at the time, taking two graduate University classes, and volunteering on the weekends. I guess that could fall under the category of lazy.... :rolleyes:
     
  4. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    #4
    depends ..actually the longer i think about companies who sometimes hand out rebates it's mostly rather big one (dell,apple mcdonalds etc.) or the local ones in the newspaper like half the price for the disco/club or get a USB stick for 20€ (which you can get even without a coupon anyways

    on the other side i know somebody who talked down a camcorder about 200€ in a big electronic chain or another friend who got his mp3 discman for about 3/4 of the price (at that time expensive anyways)
     
  5. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #5
    best buy sells a lot of stuff without rebates, and rebates do work. there are two problems with rebates. mkrishan is right though, laziness is a big factor, and the other is "dotting every i and crossing every t". following the instruction mucks people up. some places actually send you a post card saying you filled it out wrong and request addition information. they aren't *all* scams, not to say that some aren't. I don't know how they actually work money wise. maybe someone could post if they know. my guess like randomhead suggest it is probably like insurance. i think it goes a bit farther than that. they allocated the money for the total possibly rebates and place it in some type of account were it will make a return. after all the rebates are paid, a pot of gold is left. so they give the consumer an insentive to buy, profit from selling their product, and make money on money that would otherwise go do something else. it also helps retails stores like best buy, because it cost best buy more money to have stock like PC on the shelves then to move it out because they buy on credit. at least that how it was 6 years when i worked there.
     
  6. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #6
    I have found some stores/companies that are good about sending the rebate chacks and I have found ones that are utterly unreliable.

    In general if I can find a price from another store that is close to the rebate price, I will buy it from the other store. For stores that have proven to be unreliable with their rebates, I look at the product price not counting the rabte from them.

    I had one place tell me I sent in the wrong UPC symbol. I wonder whose UPC symbol they attached to my rebate?

    I had another place that did online filing of rebates tell me they coudln't validate the claim. Mind you, the rebate was listed on their website and the receipt number validated for the product. It took them a few months to decide this. So next time I go into the store, I will be speaking to the store manager and telling them what I think of the rebate system.
     
  7. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #7
    I only get involved with rebates if it is a major purchase.

    Don't have time for the hassle.
     
  8. mpw Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    #8
    Is there some kind of tax/accounting advantage for the seller offering rebates? There must be an accountant out there who can enlighten us.

    Of course I’m a sceptic but I’ve long suspected that a £10 rebate on a £500 item is small enough that many customers either can’t be bothered to apply for it or if they do can’t be bothered to chase the missing check 28days down the line.

    What I can’t figure out is why £1000 rebate is offered on a £12,000 car. Nobody is so lazy that they’d not chase their money. Why not just offer the car at £11,000 and save the paperwork?

    And for the record; yes I too hate rebates. You can add to the list offers that ‘give’ you a Sony PlayStation with a £30,000 new car or a 14” TV if you buy the £250,000 apartment.
     
  9. MacNeXT macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    #9
    There are other reasons for a retailer to offer rebates. The retailer can earn interest during the period before the rebate is paid. They also use it to manipulate sales around annual quarters, to increase sales before a period, at the expense of budget in the next period.
     
  10. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #10
    That's exactly why they offer them - a lot of people don't bother to send them in or if they do, they don't send in everything needed. It saves them money doing it this way.

    The car rebates/cash back were started as a way to temporarily lowering the price - like a sale. And since all the manufacturers started doing it, they have a hard time selling a car that doesn't have a rebate. GM announced they were lowing/eliminating rebates and lowering the sticker prices on their cars. We'll see how well this works as some people see MONEY rebate and think hey that's a good deal instead of looking at the overall price of the car. The only good thing to be said about car rebates is that I've never heard someone who didn't get their rebate on a car.

    In essence, it's all marketing advertising gimicks. Whatever they think will attract peoples attention and sell product. Well, some people have been enlightened on regular rebates and ignore them when comparing prices.
     
  11. NATO macrumors 68000

    NATO

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    #11
    Rebates? We don't have them here...

    I keep hearing people from the USA mentioning rebates for just about any type of product, whether it be inexpensive or not. In the UK, this rebate system you speak of is alien to us. I've NEVER EVER had to mail in some sort of form to get a fraction of the purchase price back, and that's saying something as I do buy a lot of stuff from time to time.

    Basically if a shop or retailer wants to offer a discount here, the price of the goods is lowered, rather than held at the same price and a rebate offered.

    The rebate system I've heard so much about on these and other forums seems really messed up. If the manufacturer is willing to sell its goods cheaper, then just lower the ticket price like in the UK, rather than make the customer have to fork out more up-front and have to claim the rebate back. I pity you folk for having to put up with that, I know I would go mad!
     
  12. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #12
    Rebates are great!

    It's the hoops they make you jump through to get them that stink, but that's why they do them. They figure only a fraction of the people who buy that printer for $79 ($179-$100 rebate!) will ever fill out the forms, cut out the UPCs and snail-mail it all in... They're counting on our laziness and it obviously works for them!
     
  13. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #13
    I don't like rebates at all. In fact, I actively disregard them when calculating the purchase price of the product in question.
     
  14. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    #14
    correct mail in rebates are unknown over here (the only two are dell and apple..before i get to know those i didn't even know about that system)

    as said before there are those pay more than 500 and you have to pay less or something stuff but's different because you imediatly get your money back or don't have to pay it..not mailing stuff around

    (tis mailing around made the cram and jam from apple a "no go" for me ...)
     
  15. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2000
    Location:
    54140
    #15
    Though frustrating and time-consuming in general, I really like rebates. I am cheap, so getting retail goods for less than retail is always a plus. Also, I have a strategy. If I purchase someting with a rebate, I try to fill out the rebate form the *same day*. That ensures that I don't miss deadlines, and makes sure that I get my rebate as soon as the system allows.

    :( Although, I too was rejected for Cram 'n Jam. But I haven't made the time to call and demand that they give it to me. I met all the qualifications, but they said my form came in a full month after I mailed it!!!
     
  16. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #16
    I recall seeing a report in the last week about best buy and its rebate program. Best Buy plans on phasing out rebates over the next to years since customers complained about them so heavily. The same report also mentioned that 80% of consumers send in rebates.

    http://www.startribune.com/stories/535/5326006.html
     
  17. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #17
    It's interesting and ironic, that T-Mobile, as a European company, is one of the big rebate mavens over here...somehow it just evolved to be the way American electronics works.... :(
     
  18. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #18
    In general, I've found that I get my rebate checks, as long I check carefully to make sure all requirements are fulfilled.

    The redemption rate for rebates is much less than 50%, so it allows manufacturers or retailers to offer a lower price. Those that do redeem rebates then end up with a bigger discount than they normally could have gotten.

    So in that sense I don't hate or love rebates. If you really hate them and know you are bad about redeeming them, just price things accordingly when you shop.

    I recently bought a Canon Digital Rebel and 2 extra lenses, and ended up getting a check for $390 from Canon! (I didn't even need the extra lenses and ended up EBaying them for close to my buying price.) I also sold the Rebel bundled zoom for about $100, so I got a brand new DRebel for about $250!
     
  19. DaveP macrumors 6502

    DaveP

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    #19
    I for one am a fan of rebates, at least being under the assumption that the savings are greater than if they didn't exist. My Dad has recieved literally hundreds of rebates (he's obsessed), and uses a very methodical tracking procedure. He makes scans of everything he sent in and all the rules, etc. Then simply files them by date. If more than a few weeks have gone by since the max estimated arrival time he calls the company. He does think some are scammers, because after calling them the rebate arrives three days later (in other words, they only mailed it because he called). But there are other conclusions that could be made. There has been only one rebate he has been unable to receive. He made about three calls and then said forget it, because it was only for $15.

    It is easy to argue that this process is a big hassle, which it is. But it all depends on how much you value that extra $20 bucks or whatever. He estimates that at least 95% come back no problem. He is also very familiar with the process and doesn't really make mistakes filing for them, so that helps too. Yeah, it's incredibly annoying, but some think it is well worth it.

    I also have wondered if the companies can make much just sitting on your money making interest. They are just holding it for good 2-3 months.... I don't know, but it could add up.
     
  20. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Location:
    visiting from downstream
    #20
    I turned down an IT job with a medical supply company a couple of years ago because the owner wanted me, when I wasn't actually working on IT projects, to also be in charge in filing rebates for his company... apparently the medical supply industry is RIFE with rebates, which can equate to as much as 90% of the price of a particular item. His entire profit margin derived from receiving back rebates from the makers of medical supplies. I said thanks, but no thanks.
     
  21. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    #21
    uhhh checks brrrr... many don'T even take them ifthey don't know the bank very well (a common problem with the cram and jam rebate takers on german forums) ...

    personally i've never seen a check outside of movies ;)
     

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