How to Get Mail-In Rebates


Mail-in rebates are popular among deal hunters. With such rebates, you pay the full price of an item up front and get part of it back as a rebate upon submission of your proof of purchase. If you follow a methodical and disciplined approach, you can save a lot of money with mail in rebates. Just be sure to read the fine print about the requirements and the deal you'll get in return.

  • Search for rebate deals on the product you want to purchase. You may find them in the store where you made your purchase, or they may be available only online. These rebates are offered only for a certain period -- with time restrictions on when you can make the purchase and apply for the rebate -- so do your research and buy while the rebate is valid.

  • Collect all original rebate forms at the counter when you do a in-store purchase. Without the specific, manufacturer-provided mail-in rebate form, you may not be able redeem the deal.

  • Download rebate forms when you buy online. Keep in mind that the forms may not be available online after a certain date, so make sure you get the rebate form promptly after your purchase.

  • Ensure that you have the right rebate forms. There could be different mail-in rebate forms for similar of products. Match the product number or the UPC code of your item to verify the rebate form.

  • Read the directions carefully and fill in the rebate form accurately. Any mistake in the form could result in the company denying your rebate. Before sealing the envelope for mailing, double-check that you have included all the things requested in the rebate form. Generally, you need the rebate form, your purchase receipt and original UPC bar code from the product. Review your specific rebate form terms to find the list of things needed for your mail-in rebate.

  • Mail the rebate before the deadline. Every rebate has a postmark date noted on the form. If you do not mail it before that date, your rebate will be denied.

  • Keep a copy of everything you mailed. You may need this for any follow-up.

  • Keep track of the mail-in rebates you have submitted. Wait for number of weeks mentioned in the rebate form -- this can be up to 12 weeks -- to receive a rebate check once it is processed. If you did not receive the rebate, contact the rebate processing company using the information printed on the rebate form.

  • Once you receive the check, deposit it without delay. Some checks have a short lifetime of 30 to 60 days.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some companies have limitations on number of rebates you can request per household. If you have used mail-in rebates from the same company or on the same product recently, watch out for such restrictions.
  • Read the fine print on the rebate form. Some retailers mail checks or debit cards, but others also send rebate cards that can be used only at their stores. Know what you're getting -- and whether it's a good deal for you -- before you send in your rebate.

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