I'm free after you submit your soul to us!I’m generally pretty good about mail-in rebates (in that I try and avoid them completely).

But alas, the past few weeks had me buying computer components with more rebates than I’d like to deal with. With my insurmountable volumes of To-Dos (such as eating & sleeping), I quickly forgot the three stickied rebate forms I had taped to the desk.

By the time I remember the rebate forms, they were well past the postmarked deadline. Argh. (I contemplated messing with the dates on the invoice but then I remembered that’s mail fraud. Heh. Kidding!)

Dealing with rebates can be quite a pain in the arse, but these days rebate clearinghouses are making the process just a little bit more bearable by actually informing you if your rebate submissions were qualified or not.

Here are some tips on submitting rebates:

  • Do exactly as the rebate form instructs. If they want your soul, send it in.
  • Pay careful attention to the effective date on the rebate promotion.
  • Submit your rebate forms well within postmarked deadline. Even if you are sure you’ve dropped your mail at the postal office before last collection cut-off time, your mail piece may not be postmarked on that date.
  • Submit the proper UPC or other proof of purchase. Remember, when you remove the UPC from the box, you generally won’t be able to return the item. So be sure you want to keep it before you send in the rebate!
  • Keep a record and make copies of forms and invoices you submit. Once you send them in, you’re not getting them back!
  • Most rebates are processed by rebate clearinghouses under contract (such as Young America). If you have beef with your rebate, you’ll get much further contacting the number on the rebate form than the manufacture or store in question.

Once you’ve made sure everything is completed to the letter, sit back, relax, and watch your mail box for your rebate check. It’ll most likely be processed within this decade. Sweet!