Mail-in rebates are a chump’s game, and on the whole, we recommend against them. (That’s one of the reason you’ll so few MIR offers in our Deals Rounds Ups; The other is that half the time they just don’t work.)
But sometimes you just can’t resist, or find a good price on an item that just happens to have a rebate anyway. How can you make yourself remember to send these things in?
Try these two easy, but 100% effective shophacks *:
1. For in store purchases, fill out the rebate form before you play with your new toy. That’s it—simple, but guaranteed to work, if you can wring just the slightest amount of self-control out of yourself.
2. For online purchases (and these are where we always screw up), set yourself a reminder in Backpack. Backpack is a free, online organizing tool that can send you an email at a pre-specified time. It’s stupid easy—this one in the screenshot took us exactly 8 seconds (although we already had the rebate page URL in our cut-and-paste buffer). Be sure to put all the information you need in the reminder, including links to rebate forms and online receipts.
Now if only Backpack would send SMS messages to our phones. (They can already send email to phones, but that’s not as ubiquitous.)
* Yes, we’re succumbing to the ‘all tricks are hacks’ trend. Shut up already. (Or as we call, try a ‘not talking hack.’)
Update: Smarty socks sister site Lifehacker posted a link to this story and her readers added some great additional ideas. Check it out.