Mail in Rebates – Are They Worth It?

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Mail in Rebates can get you free items, but there is some risk attached.

I like using mail-in-rebates to lower my out of pocket cost on days when you can earn points for spending (like 20x bonus Optimum points).   While many are credited without issue, some are very slow or the rebate never arrives.  A couple have also been declined because the receipt did not clearly show it was that particular item despite the UPC being attached to the rebate form, so you have to be really careful in following the rebate instructions.

Some tips:

  • Make sure you are following the exact terms of the rebate (size, type etc)
  • Make sure you buy and send the rebate form within the dates given
  • Check if it is one per person, per household or if you are excluded by taking part in another mail in rebate from the company
  • Buy all of the items needed on one receipt if necessary
  • Make sure you take a photocopy of the receipt and form
  • Get the envelope postmarked at the Post Office in case it arrives late

Do you find rebates worthwhile? What is the best item you have bought for a rebate?

This blog is part of our New to SmartCanucks series, click here to read more blog posts in the series

11 responses to “Mail in Rebates – Are They Worth It?”

  1. Caroli says:

    I think mail in rebates are fantastic! I bought physician formula products,blush,mineral powder, concealer etc, these products sell between $15-23 ea they went on sale at sdm and with the mail in rebate they were all free (I even made money on some of these products). Physician Formula has rebates out already for 2013, print them and when you see them on sale buy them. The products are great too. I also got free movie tickets from M&M’S!!

  2. vitabella says:

    It’s great but you sometimes need to followup on it. A few years ago, I did a mail in rebate for a snowblower from Home Depot $150. Never got it, and I forgot about it. Finally remembered, followed up with them. They claimed that they never received it. But I did finally get my rebate. Others such as freezies ones, they just come…so sometimes hit and miss.

  3. sally says:

    For myself…,best mail in rebate has to be finish brand dishwashing product and stamp cost is usualy covered in cost as well. They pay back within reasonable time too.

  4. debbie says:

    thanks caroli for your post on the physician’s formula! i was going to ask if anyone had successfully used this rebate and there was your post. now, i just have to wait for a good sale. the products are not cheap but i have heard good things on youtube and tried a couple myself. peace!

  5. Paul Paton says:

    It has been my experience that most mail in rebates result in nothing in return for your hard work. I have rarely received anything back from mail in rebates that I have processed.
    It seems that they seem to loose your request in the process, It`s just to time consuming to chase it down.
    My advise would be to ignore any mail in rebates and just find an article at a price that you can live with, pay for it and your done.

  6. Eric says:

    I remember when I was kid, I mailed in a rebate for something. A long time had passed and I had forgotten about it. Then one day, I received a $10 cheque/voucher thingy in the mail. It was like surprise money.

  7. Sue says:

    Hit and miss. Better luck when we lived in the States for a few years (and better coupon/rebate offers!). What frustrates me more than the no-show rebate is the inability to find the EXACT product offering the rebate. Does make me wonder if inability to find the exact product (UPC code) is a deliberate move on behalf of the manufacturer to not have to pay out. Or does the retailer take a hit selling items which have rebates? (Real Canadian StuporStore comes to mind. They. Are. Awful.)

  8. Kerri says:

    I have always had good luck with all MIR’s. I always get them bac(even if a little late).

    Best is Finish Quantum…I don’t think I have purchased them in 2 years due to ll the rebates that had come out! Also Lysol no touch hand soap systems too!

  9. Natalie says:

    The Finish dishwasher pods was great, and I also got $10 back when I bought a turkey breast from Prime. I didn’t even notice the rebate sticker until my sister pointed it out. Oh, and a $50 rebate when I bought contact lens from Aquasoft. Their offer is still on but only one per person.

  10. Shane says:

    I’ve worked in a rebate processing place and I will say what I tell everyone who asks:

    – Never buy a product based on the rebate, there is a chance you will not receive it
    – always fill out all info on the forms and include everything that is requested by the dates on the form. Even one day late and it will not get finished
    – write neatly, not going to lie, I saw kids just throw away rebates because they couldn’t read them and didnt want to ask for help.
    – attach anything such as UPCs with at least a paper clip or staple unless stated not to. Our mail opening machine would get hundreds of UPCs in it a week that fell out while opening and then the rebate is denied for lack of information

    I hope this helps someone out!

  11. M.R says:

    Never ever had a problem with any of my rebates. Love rebates, it’s like getting free products. Always on the lookout for new ones provided it’s a product I will use.

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