Best Buy Continues to Phase Out Mail-In Rebates

Best Buy is continuing to revamp their rebates process, according to this press release, providing ‘instant savings’ on notebook computers at the register, as well as rolling out a new online rebates tool that they claim shortens the rebate turn-around down to just over a week.

Best Buy has stated that its intentions are to ditch rebates entirely by April ’07, which is a move we wholeheartedly applaud. These are clearly moves in the right direction and we hope that other retailers follow suit.

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  1. JNelsonW says:

    I agree that rebates were annoying, and were often used to advertise deceptive prices (ie, the rebated price was advertised as though it was the at-register price). It would be great if the end of rebates meant that all prices would just drop to the would-be rebated price.

    But that can’t be so, can it? With the rebates, the lazy were subsidizing lower prices for those who went through the effort of sending in the rebates. That phenomenon isn’t all bad- in a lot of cases, the wealthy probably neglected to send in the rebates, allowing BB to offer larger rebates that those poor enough to care would take advantage of.

    Doing away with rebates means that the discounts will be evened out- that is, the rich/lazy will get discounts, but the poor/attentive will get smaller discounts.

    Whether that’s good or bad probably depends on your perspective.

  2. billhelm says:

    I purchased a Linksys router in mid November and it had 2 rebates – one online and one mail in. Sent it in right away around Nov 15, did the online one at the same time.

    The online one came this week. Still waiting for the mail in.

    So much for the 10 day turn time on the online rebates.

  3. guruscotty says:

    I occasionally work for a large american electronics retail firm, who shall remain anonymous. In brainstorming sessions to think of ways to make the business better – not just more profitable – this was our number one idea.

    I think doing away with mail-in rebates is one of the smarter ideas for actually getting people in the door and actually buying something. For example, I am watching hard drive prices right now. I have seen some fairly good deals, that I passed up so I wouldn’t have to wait 10 weeks to get my $50, $60, or $70 bucks back. If these savings had been immediate, they’d have had the sale.