mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Why I rebate....

Via scsu scholars comes this post on rebates, a subject near and dear to Mad Anthony's heart. (This, of course, assumes that Mad Anthony has a heart, as he has been called heartless on many occasions).

As a consumer, I love rebates. I've collected over $8,000 of them since I started keeping track a little over two years ago - you can view the spreadsheet here in MS Excel format. I've made money buying rebate items and reselling them on eBay, and gotten a ton of stuff for personal use thanks to them, including a $25 200 gig hard drive (back when they still cost a lot), a 15" Compaq CRT for free, and got Microsoft to pay me $45 to buy a copy of OneNote, which was $55 with a $100 rebate.

Lets face it, companies won't hand out free stuff on a regular basis (and if they did, you would have to camp out in line to get it before it runs out). They will, however, offer FAR (Free After Rebate) items.

Besides keeping away the hordes, rebates have a number of advantages for companies. As Ralph at DOL mentions, they let companies price discriminate - sell the item to different people for different prices (a lower price to those who send in the rebate). They also allow the company to gather data on their customers, and to limit purchases to one per household.

So why are rebates good for consumers? For shoppers, it can allow for good deals if you stack a rebate with a coupon with a mimimum purchase requirement. Use a coupon for $25 off a $100 purchase on a $100 item with a $50 rebate, and your $100 item is now $25. If it was just $50 straight-up, you wouldn't be able to use that coupon. If you are smart about filling out rebates, you can get items for prices - like free- that you would never be able to get right away.

Ralph also asks why there is no "seal of approval" for rebates. There may not be one, but there are forums like the rebate tracking forum on FatWallet (a deal site) where people share positive and negitive experiences with rebate companies as well as contact information and tips to getting rebates. Isn't the internet great?


At 7:58 AM, Blogger Giovanni Carlo said...

I am also one of ebay person doing reselling buying wholesale liquidation pallets then resell at ebay


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