Rebates Suck

About a month ago, I bought a new laptop.

A Picture of an Staples, Inc. easy button

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The old one still works, but it’s kind of slow, and kind of in demand, especially when Kid #1 has friends over. When I need to get on the computer and whip up some side-hustle money, I shouldn’t have to fight with kids and deal with the whiny “Are you done, yet?” every 10 minutes.

This wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment purchase. Since the old laptop still worked, we had quite a bit of time to find the new one, so I started watching sales. And I waited.

Eventually, I found a great deal.   I got a much bigger/faster/smarter/nicer laptop for about $375 with tax.  There was a sale, a coupon code, and a rebate all in play to make that happen.

I don’t mind coupons and sales.  In fact, I am a fan.

Rebates, however, irritate me.

It shouldn’t have been bad.  After all, I was going to Staples, home of the Easy Button®.  I should have been able to go home, fire up their website, fill out a form, and get my money in a couple of weeks, right?

Grr.

Apparently, the easy rebate doesn’t apply to the good rebates.   If you’re getting $1.05 back on a $100 printer, you can do it in a few clicks.   But if you’re getting $50 back on a $400 laptop, watch out.   Then, Staples has the same horrible rebate process as everyone else.   Print the forms, peel off the UPC label, snail-mail it to the middle of nowhere and wait 4 to 100 months for a gift card.

Double grr.

Obviously, they are hoping a statistically significant percentage of their customers forget to claim their money.

Shady rebate garbage.

Rebates are a marketing ploy to convince customers they are getting a sale, while hoping the customer forgets to ask for the sale price, thereby paying full price and being happy about it.

Ethical businesses would just have a sale and be done with it.   Treating your customers right is good for business.  Really.

Now, where did I put that receipt?

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  • 12 comments

    Comments

    1. I dislike rebates, too. Nothing worse than going through the process and then waiting for it to show up. And the new policies of sending the money to you in a gift visa card are even worse. Easier for them, yes. Easier for me? Not at all.

    2. Love. This. Esp. the part about what “ethical businesses” would do! Found your site thru YFS site.

      Peace.

    3. I pretty much ignore all deals with rebates involved because it seems completely at their discretion whether you get your money or not. I’d rather know 100% what I’m paying when I leave the store (or online checkout as the case may be) versus paying more up front with the hope that if everything works out, I might get some of the money back.

    4. I don’t like rebates eithe, but better than nothing. Get and take every conceivable discount you can!

    5. I don’t like rebates either but, from the business side of the house I see why they make sense. Most people would not perform all the required steps to complete the rebate. So a company can have a “sale” draw a big crowd and still sell the item at full price. If you were a business you wouldn’t offer rebates? Even though you know say 70% of the people don’t complete the required steps?

    6. I, too, loathe rebates. I think they are a huge hassle—and it’s really a bait and switch. They bait you and make you jump through all kinds of ludicrous hoops to even get the amount off. It is almost not worth it at the end. I feel for ya!

    7. Jason, I totally get it. It is a pain in the neck, and then you have to take the check to the bank (of course that’s the good part).

    8. I have never gotten many rebates in my life. They just don’t seem to be offered on the things I tend to buy. Plus it just seems sketchy to me. Whey are they offering a rebate? Is this product sucky? Are they just trying to sell them off at the bare minimum?

    9. Yeah, rebates do suck and they are designed that way! I’ve actually helped clients put together rebate programs and they will budget on the fact that anywhere from 25 to 75% of people never follow through with rebates. What a scam!

    Trackbacks

    1. […] presents Rebates Suck posted at Live Real, Now, saying, “Eventually, I found a great deal. I got a much […]

    2. […] Jason presents Rebates Suck posted at Live Real, Now, saying, I got a much bigger/faster/smarter/nicer laptop for about $375 with tax. There was a sale, a coupon, and a rebate all in play to make that happen. […]

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