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Do you send in rebates - what a pain in the a***

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2012 06:47 am
I had several rebates for appliances we recently bought. What a pain in the a$$...they take months to get back; you are threatened on the forms that if one thing is incorrect or incomplete you get zippo back. But these rebates are worth hundreds of dollars so you comply.

Why the heck don't they just take the $200 bucks off when you buy the thing? Why the hell do you have to fill out a form, give your life information and first born's data and such and then wait months to get the money back? Wouldn't it be cost effective for the company not to have to go through all the mounds of paper work, cut a check and mailing costs?
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2012 06:52 am
They gather a lot of info from those rebate applications. Expect all kinds of solicitations now.

I hate coupons, too. And I agree, why don't they just lower the prices? I'd be interested in seeing the advantage of coupons to the manufacturer or even the store. WHY do they bother? Is it as simple as providing a sales incentive? Or is it a kickback to the store?
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2012 07:01 am
@PUNKEY,
JC Penney tried to do this - stopped coupons (their store coupons) and just give a fair price and their sales went down.

I think some people want to think they are getting the best deal possible.

Pain in the a$$ - this other one I am completing just said to include a mailing label where you want the rebate sent to and to allow 16 weeks. Damn if I wasn't getting back a total of $490 I'd forget about this crap.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2012 07:05 am
@PUNKEY,
1) Rebates allow them to advertise a lower price, but the redemption on rebates is not 100%.

2) Redemption of coupons is laughably low, something like 1% or less of the issued coupons are redeemed, but they catch people's attention. It's basically advertising. But then you get to track the effectiveness of your advertising by tracking the coupon redemption.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2012 07:10 am
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:
Wouldn't it be cost effective for the company not to have to go through all the mounds of paper work, cut a check and mailing costs?


no, because most people don't bother submitting the rebate forms. It's money in the bank for the manufacturer. They lure people in with the promise of the rebate but don't have to pay out

http://partners.nytimes.com/library/tech/00/09/biztech/technology/20treaster.html

Quote:
For one thing, a rebate is only a notice that buyers could save money; in fact, the device exists only because most people never get around to claiming the rebate.

E-commerce researchers estimate that less than 10 percent of those who buy goods with rebates actually collect the money.

Even for the diligent, there are times when a rebate merely brings the price of a camera, a video game or perhaps a computer down to the level of other good deals. And there are other cases in which prices are better without rebates.

Another caution: While rebates are often offered to get customers to try a product in hopes of follow-up sales or merely to provide a spurt in sales, they are sometimes used to move items that have, for a reason not disclosed, lost their appeal.



a more recent piece on about.com thinks the rebate # is closer to 40% but

Quote:
"The bottom line is, rebates unfailingly bring in billions in excess profits for companies that offer them, but when it comes to saving the shopper a dime, as rebates claim to do, they fail the consumer more often than not," Senator Schumer said. "It really is a combination of scrambling to meet deadlines, reading the extremely fine print, following unclear instructions and then crossing your fingers in hopes that the rebate check ever gets sent."


Quote:
Rebates make up big business. According to Business Week, nearly one-third of all computer equipment is sold with some kind of rebate along with 20 percent of digital cameras, camcorders and LCD TV's. The industry estimates that 400 million rebates are offered each year with an estimated worth of $6 billion.

...

Rebates are extraordinarily popular for the very reason that most of them go unredeemed and provide what is essentially free money to the manufacturers. Very few places offer immediate cash rebates, the most common are those that are done through the mail.

While rebates have grown in popularity as a sales incentive, so have the complaints to The Better Business Bureau, which receives thousands of complaints regarding rebates each year.




billions

even if 40% of $6 billion are redeemed, that leaves $3.6 billion unclaimed

that's worth the paper to print the offer on for the manufacturer


http://couponing.about.com/od/bargainshoppingtips/a/rebatefraud.htm
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2012 07:15 am
@ehBeth,
Well I read the fine line in all the rebates - one is with the electric co as a result of buying an energy efficient refridge; the others are through the manufacturer. Other than the washer - the other appliances we were planning on buying any way. The washer, we ended up getting the same one we were considering, but the more expensive one with a few more bells and whistles - because with rebate it ended up being less.

I am keeping copies and monitoring when they are due. But usually I don't buy things with rebates - I guess it is popular with the appliances.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2012 07:22 am
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:
The washer, we ended up getting the same one we were considering, but the more expensive one with a few more bells and whistles - because with rebate it ended up being less.


for the 60 - 90% of the people who don't send in the rebates, it would mean they got suckered into spending more than they planned - great news for the manufacturer! it's a fabulous marketing device - along the same lines as unredeemed gift cards - brilliant really
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2012 07:41 am
Plus there's all that lovely demographic data you're supplying.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2012 07:42 am
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:
E-commerce researchers estimate that less than 10 percent of those who buy goods with rebates actually collect the money.


WOW!!!

I love rebates myself. I love anything where I can put in a little sweat equity in exchange for $$ savings. (Part of why I like IKEA, for example.)
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2012 08:08 am
@sozobe,
I like the internet rebates - the ones where you just have to fill it out online. This mail in stuff is for the birds - however, it is definately worth the money to put in the extra time.

Not sure on the demographics though - it didn't ask any personal info - just name and address. Unless you mean just the general stuff like what you bought, date, price, address.
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2012 08:25 am
@Linkat,
The other demographic bit is that you are a person who fills out rebate forms. Don't laugh - there's a bucket for everything. Plus there is likely other information out there on you (appliance registration cards, reward card applications, receipts, etc.) which can be readily cross-referenced. With a common first and last name, the matching is imperfect but a trend may still be inferred.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2012 08:30 am
@jespah,
yeah I'm in the bucket of some one who likes to get their money back - or damn cheapsake
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2012 08:48 am
@sozobe,
Mr.Irish does, too! He never lets an opportunity slide, no matter how small, so he's always getting these little checks in the mail. My tactic is a little different. I'll usually ask a store manager to waive the rebate baloney but still give me the low price. It's only worked once LOL.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2012 09:19 am
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:
Unless you mean just the general stuff like what you bought


amazing what they can figure out from "general stuff"

Congratulations on your baby! click

I've been following this story for a while.


~~~

Given that most rebate programs are run by centralized services, they can learn a lot about a given customer who sends in rebate forms. Those little pieces of information add up.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2012 09:26 am
@ehBeth,
Yup. Amazon offers a free year of Amazon Prime to new mothers.

A little over two years on, we're starting to see ads for potty training products.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2012 09:33 am
@ehBeth,
Oh, yeah - funny when we moved in we received about a billion letters/postcards, etc from oil companies. Who would have known there were so many different companies in the area. Some sneaked this marketing stuff in so you would open it - by addressing in a regular envelope like you would get from a friend and handwritten.

Companies are pretty sneaky --- even more so when you see they hide the fact they know what you are in the market for.

Now that we met with this food service guy I can only imagine how much our solictations will increase.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2012 05:53 am
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

JC Penney tried to do this - stopped coupons (their store coupons) and just give a fair price and their sales went down.

I think some people want to think they are getting the best deal possible.

My problem with this assessment of why a lot of people balked at JC Penny's failed attempt at this "look at us! We have cheap prices" gambit is that a lot of people just saw through their illusion of actually lowering their prices to a level that actually fit their claims that their prices were so low enough they no longer needed sales or coupons. It's a skepticism that I too share with the shoppers of JC Pennys. Did they really lower their prices so that it no longer was necessary for sales and coupons or plainly did they just run a smoke screen bait and switch marketing campaign?
nextone
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2012 09:58 pm
Have frequently gotten rebates from Staples. "Free after rebate" if I use the stuff, will make me "bite".
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Aug, 2012 06:42 am
@nextone,
I've had rebates from Staples - I don't mind theirs so much as you can fill it out online and their turn around time is much quicker than average. Much easier than the mailing kind.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Fri 17 Aug, 2012 06:53 am
@tsarstepan,
Nah, I just think that people are affected by the advertising aspect of coupons. You get a lot more facetime with someone if they flip through your ad circular.

Grocery stores went through the same process as JC Penny about 15 years ago. Everyone jumped on the EDLP (everyday low prices) bandwagon (because processing coupons is a pain in the a** for the vendors, too), and then just as quickly jumped back over to coupons.
 

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