rebate(Lake Havasu City, AZ – ) Rebate offers generate excitement for consumers as they spot savings by purchasing a rebate-eligible item. However, since there are numerous ways retailers and manufacturers issue rebates, Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises consumers to read the fine print before purchasing an item that offers a rebate. Before purchasing a product that offers a rebate, BBB offers the following tips:

  1. Read the instructions carefully.  Guidelines for redeeming a rebate can be extensive, and missing steps may delay the process or result in loss of the rebate. Be sure to follow the instructions and read the fine print.
  1. Review timeframes for processing the rebate.  Some rebates must be redeemed within a specific time period following the purchase. In order to avoid misplacing the necessary receipts or packing, send rebate requests immediately after purchasing the item.
  1. Inquire how the rebate will be issued.  Check with the retailer on how rebates are issued; some offer a store or Visa gift card instead of a rebate check.
  1. Verify the expiration date on store gift cards.  Gift cards given as rebates are different from gift cards purchased directly from a retailer, so check to see if there is an expiration date.
  1. Understand return policies for items with a rebate.  Since packaging – such as the UPC code and box top – is often required to request a rebate, double check the policy for returning an item to avoid misunderstandings.
  1. Keep copies and notes.  Keep copies of all paperwork provided to the retailer or manufacturer for the rebate, noting when your rebate was sent and whom to contact with questions. If you file your rebate electronically, keep a copy of the completed electronic submission.
  1. Contact the business if the rebate doesn’t arrive. Some retailers and manufacturers use third-party fulfillment companies to process rebates; keep in mind you might deal with a different company when it comes to tracking down your rebate.

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