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What is the point of mail-in rebates?(8 posts)

What is the point of mail-in rebates?Fr Ted Crilly
Nov 13, 2003 6:03 PM
Many consumer electronic devices have advertised prices that are "after mail-in rebate". What is the point of this pricing method? Do the manufacturers hope that a significant number of buyers will forget to send in the necessary paperwork within 30 days, and they will pocket an extra couple of hundred dollars? Or is it to ensure that their products can only be sold through certain suppliers? Whatever the reason, it's a pain in the a*** and it appears to becoming more widespread.
You guessed itDave Hickey
Nov 13, 2003 7:12 PM
I'm sure there are other reasons but if a manufacturer offers a 30% discount and only half the people mail it in, they are only discounting their product 15%.
A couple other reasons:dr hoo
Nov 14, 2003 4:51 AM
First, it lets them affect selling price quickly and directly. This moves inventory out the door, clearing room for new products.

Also, there is another source of income with this method. In essence you are letting them hang on to your money for a couple of months, and they earn interest on that money. It adds up over millions of products.

And as you said, some people don't send in the form, some send it late, some send it without all the proper materials, etc.
marketing dataDuane Gran
Nov 14, 2003 5:44 AM
Since no one sends in their warranty registration for consumer electronic devices, this is another way to get you on their mailing list, or to sell your information to other companies. Personally, I avoid purchasing things with mail in rebates and I hope they go out of fashion.
Ditto on avoidance.Fez
Nov 14, 2003 6:41 AM
The hassle to get rebates is ridiculous. Sometimes its 2 separate rebates (1 manufacturer, 1 retailer) for the same product. The last one 1 sent for took over 4 months to get.

Sometimes they don't send them to you. And realistically, what can you do at that point? If its an electronics item, its not like you can return the product 2 months after you purchased it with the UPC code ripped off.

In general, I always consider the actual cash selling price as the real price and disregard the rebate.

For small rebates (less than $100 or so) forget it. For large rebates some cameras, phones, computers have rebates totalling $300 or more. I probably would send those in, but I would look hard for another product at a competitive price without the rebates before settling for one with a rebate.
Many aren't redeemed. Same is true of "gift cards."Cory
Nov 14, 2003 8:56 AM
Can't remember the percentage, but I read a story recently that said a huge number are never redeemed--more than half of the little ones, $1 and $2 (plus it costs you 37 cents postage...how much time is a 63-cent rebate worth?).
The same is true of the latest curse, "gift cards." The stores get your money before they have to provide merchandise, and about 10 percent simply disappear--people lose them or forget about them to the tune of about $4 billion a year, according to Consumer Reports.
I always forget nmDougSloan
Nov 14, 2003 10:06 AM
Yeah I just came across one in my desk that expired :O( nmLive Steam
Nov 16, 2003 10:06 AM