Mail-in rebates are a common form of cash rebates, alongside instant, online, credit card, and cash rebates. Typically consisting of sending forms through the mail, the mail-in rebate is a tactic used by manufacturers to attract more price-sensitive shoppers to their product line while minimizing the amount of the discount that they would need to offer on their products. It offers a way for customers to get savings on the products they want as well as allows manufacturers more control over the process of approving and distributing the rebates.
The usage of mail-in rebates by manufacturers is a time-tested way of incentivizing and promoting the purchase of certain products. Companies sometimes use mail-in rebates to persuade customers to try new products or to market test products that have been updated or improved.
What Is a Mail in Rebate?
A mail in rebate is an offer that is extended by manufacturers to customers who purchased a specific item and mailed some forms and proof of purchase back to the manufacturer. The manufacturer would then send the customer a check for a specific amount that is outlined in the rebate offer after receiving the forms and proof of purchase. The amounts can vary from a partial rebate, which is only a portion of the purchase price, to a full rebate, which is when the customer is refunded the full purchase price.
Mail-in rebates are similar to cashback offers, but mail-in rebates are done through the mail rather than through a credit or debit card. The types of companies that commonly make use of mail-in rebates are those that sell food, electronics, pet items, and household products.
How Do Mail in Rebates Work?
Mail-in rebates work through a process similar to manufacturers’ coupons, but they are used after purchasing the product at full price and sending a form and proof of purchase to the manufacturer through the mail. The rebate offer usually has a set of directions containing a list of files, documents, and items that you need to send to receive the rebate as well as an address to send to and a deadline to be met.
The list of files to be prepared usually consists of a claim form that you need to fill out with personal information like a name, address, and phone number, a UPC code, and a proof of purchase like a receipt. Once the envelope with all the needed documentation is sent, it can take several weeks for the rebate to be processed. Once processed, the manufacturer would send you a check for the rebate value by mail.
How to Do a Mail in Rebate
The steps to sending mail-in rebates involve first checking for any available rebate offers. Rebate offers can be found in a variety of places such as store circulars and signage, product labels, and newspapers. Another area to look in would be online with some websites offering a variety of rebates. The manufacturer’s website is also a good place to look if you are trying to find a specific product.
The second step is purchasing the item at full price. It is important to make sure that you buy the exact product listed in the rebate offer, paying attention to all the details and exact specifications stated such as model number, brand, color, size, and weight. Mail in rebates offers are usually for specific items sold by the manufacturer and nothing else, so buying a product that is a bit off from the exact specifications listed would disqualify you from the rebate.
The next step is to complete all the documentation specified in the offer. Manufacturers usually ask for documents such as a claim form that you need to fill out with your personal contact details. You will also no doubt need to attach a UPC code, which can be found on the product packaging, the rebate slip, and proof of purchase like a receipt.
It is important to read the fine print. The rebate offers could have a very particular way of putting the documents together or be very specific about what you need to send or write on the documents for you to be eligible for the rebate. Not meeting any of these criteria could disqualify you from receiving it. You should also make a copy of all the documents you’ll mail so that you’ll have them for future reference.
The final step is to send in the envelope with all of the necessary documentation and proof of purchase to the company. It is advised to mail in the documents with enough time to make it before the deadline. Missing the deadline, even by a bit, can disqualify you from the rebate. Commonly, the rebate documentation is due within 30 days of purchasing the item.
Once the envelope makes it to its intended destination before the deadline, it is just a matter of how fast the rebate processing goes. It will take some time for the rebate to be processed and sent to you, taking anywhere from six to eight weeks or even going as long as 12 weeks for you to finally receive it.
Because of the long wait time, it is also important to track the progress of your rebates. If the rebate is taking longer than expected, it is advised to contact the manufacturer or their fulfillment center to inquire about the status of the rebate or to see if the rebate has been denied. However, if you haven’t received the rebate after waiting and following up, some avenues to pursue include filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, contacting your state attorney general, or informing the Better Business Bureau.
Mail-in rebates are an effective marketing tactic for the manufacturer and a great way of saving money for the customer, but mail-in rebates do require some effort and follow up on the consumer’s part to pull off effectively. The company issuing the rebate is going to need to mail a lot of checks, and the checks need to be carefully tracked in order for a rebate program to be effective. If the checks are either lost, delayed, or misdelivered, it will take a lot of effort and time to locate any missing checks and rectify the situation.
However, the issues of mailing and tracking checks can be simplified by companies like Checkissuing.com. We are a check printing and mailing company that works with companies that need their checks mailed for things like accounts payable, refunds, rebate programs, market research payments, and more. With our reliable brand, great customer service, long track record, and a user-friendly administration system, ours is the company to work with to get your payments and rebates sent out on time, every time. Reach out to us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you.