My Life as a Dog

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Truth About Rebates

(At least the truth about this rebate)

So earlier this summer I noticed that fan on my power supply of my home computer was not spinning. After checking with my support technician, I decided that I needed to bite the bullet and go ahead and get a new power supply before my old one caused serious damage to the rest of my system. I found a deal on one of my favorite "deal" sites that I check daily: Ben's Bargains. It was an Antec Basiq 500 Watt Power Supply for $40 after two separate $20 rebates. So I bought it.

I got it home and got it installed. It was working beautifully. The problem for me was that I didn't follow my normal procedure and fill of the rebate forms immediately. Several days went by and the box to my new power supply was sitting on my counter just waiting for me to cut out the UPC. Apparently I waited long enough so that I didn't give it a second thought when I threw it out while cleaning house. Of course the next day was garbage day and the box with it's UPC barcode was long gone.

After beating myself up over and over about it, I came up with a plan. I would go back to Circuit City and ask them if I could get a photo copy of the UPC barcode. At least, I could get one of the rebate checks. (The other required the original UPC.) They obliged fortunately. In fact after I explained the story, one of the helpful salesmen suggested that I try sending in a copied UPC with the rebate that required the original. After all I was already out $20. So what was another 41 cents for a stamp.

I submitted both of the rebate forms with copies of the UPC barcode and then tried to forget about them. So you can imagine my surprise when I received both rebates in the mail. Maybe this doesn't happen most of the time. Maybe it was just good luck. But if I ever find myself in this situation again, you can be assured that I will try it again.


Rachel (Borup) Johnston said...

I've always been so skeptical of rebates...until this year. One of my friends let me in on her secret. She actually MAKES money off rebates. Rite Aid is one of the best places to do this...because in their ads, they list the things that have rebates that make them completely free. yeah--as in, you get reimbursed for the entire purchase. She makes money by using a manufacturer's coupon from the newspaper to buy it from Rite Aid for a discounted price. Then when she gets the rebate in the mail (which is for the full price of the item)...she just made however much money the coupon took off. Crazy huh? She's made hundreds of dollars this way. the only trick have to keep track of your receipts and enter them online in time. that's harder for some than others! ;) Don't worry, I've been there too! Rebates work on people like us...the company gets us to buy it and we can't seem to get the system to work right for us. haha

Corina Smolenski said...

Thanks for the great article! I learn a lot from reading it.