Sunday, October 08, 2006

Mail In Rebates woes

Great marketing plan! Let's sell consumers products at a 'discounted' price, but infact charge them full price, and where applicable collect taxes on the full inventoried price. So, let's sell goods and services for full face value, give our customers a coupon that gets thrown into a rebate system. After which, it'll take 6-8 weeks of 'processing' time to which we may or may not decide to cut a cheque based on eligibility ;^)

Sound familiar? Ughk, it's such a pain in the butt...

Why do retailers do this?
1) Manufacturers or wholesalers want to rush out inventory through incentive based liquidating
2) Stores will co-market this inventory liquidation
3) Manufacturers + stores will co-market to produce incentive and buzz to buy a particular high value product

The process of photocopying receipts, meticulously cutting out the UPC and mailing several forms with several pieces of info to various mailing addresses can become daunting. On top of that, you may have thought you've fulfilled the retailers + mfgr's requests on the rebate forms, but you may in fact may not have checked the right box, or neglected to sign a dotted line somewhere. Thus invalidating your rebate request, hence after all this processing - the goods or service purchase becomes much more expensive than anticipated and desired.

Bottom line, something advertised for 59.99, may infact be 149.99 with serveral stacked coupons, let's say 50$ from mfgr + 40$ from retail hq. On top of that, you may or may not get these rebates. Sounds like a professional 'scheme' to me. As of lately, I try to avoid these like the plague.

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