Canadian Best Buy Says Goodbye To Mail-In Rebates

Responding to customer pressure, the Canadian branch of Best Buy has decided to do away with mail-in rebates, opting instead for easy to use instant rebates. From the Toronto Star:

Best Buy said consumers can expect to see prices remain low because the consumer electronics industry is so highly competitive. Instead of seeing fewer discounts, it could mean both retailers and suppliers take a hit on their bottom line. “I think you’re going to see us eat a little bit of it and the vendors eat a little bit of it,” Lotman said.

The manufacturers will realize some savings because rebates cost money to process.

To help Best Buy decide whether or not to extend the instant rebate program to the US, why not contact them and let them know what you think? —MEGHANN MARCO

Best Buy puts stop to mail-in rebates [Toronto Star]
(Photo: Ian Muttoo)

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  1. Shorteh says:

    I think they are just starting to realize that more and more Canadians are buying from American outlets due to high priced technology here. Now they are paying for it. Best Buy is one of the last places most Canadians will go for technology, because sure they’ll have what you want in stock, but you will pay the highest going rate for it.

    Good on ya Best Buy!

  2. RandomHookup says:

    Actually Best Buy killed pretty much all their rebates a while back. They don’t use them in the US as part of their lure.

    And the primary reason I don’t shop at Best Buy anymore…

  3. Rajio says:

    @RandomHookup: huh?

  4. danieldavis says:

    Mail in rebates = screwed consumers.

    Hurray for Best Buy killing mail in rebates. Instant rebates for all!!!

  5. G-Dog says:

    I’ve been screwed by every mail-in rebate I’ve ever participated in. That’s why I shop on-line and avoid Best Buy like the plague.

  6. Sasquatch says:

    I worked for a cell-phone retailer for 2 years, and I would have to say that I walked more customers due to mail-in rebates than almost any other reason. The consensus is that most people would rather peel the skin off their eyelids than fill out a mail-in rebate form. Thank goodness some retailer finally saw the light. Nice work, Best Buy.

  7. Athenor says:

    Yeah… I have never liked the concept of mail-in rebates, especially after my mother got hit for about $150 because some clerk at the store didn’t fill out things right.

    The idea of a business practice that relies on the customer forgetting to use something just disgusts me. It’s why I don’t like gift cards, either — it’s making a profit off of unsold goods, just based off the cents the consumer doesn’t use.

    Instant rebates are better for the consumer by far, although they do cut into the bottom line of all companies. Perhaps don’t make the instant rebates so deep? Or better yet, perhaps one should sell the items at that lower price all the time for more volume in sales?

  8. aikoto says:

    It’s about time. Customers have been ripped off for years on these rebates. I should know, I used to work at Circuit City AND Best Buy. I can’t tell you how many people, as simple as the directions seem, screwed up the rebates. That’s not even counting the people who filled them in and got denied for one or another reason.

    Either way, the companies still had the “registration” data of the customer.

  9. Hexum2600 says:

    What? Best Buy US did this a while back… theres only a few things that still have manufacturer rebates, but those are far and few between.

    This is the US program extending to Canada, not a Canadian program that needs to be extended to the US.

  10. RandomHookup says:
  11. hop says:

    BEST BUY STILL SUCKETH………………..

  12. bendsley says:

    “…..prices remain low because the consumer electronics industry is so highly competitive.” Prices remain low? At Best Buy? Give me a break. Best Buy is quite pricey compared to sites like Newegg, Frys.com, etc. Maybe if Best Buy would bring down the prices of their accessories, people like myself would opt to go in there every once in a while. I understand the value of a store making money, but I shouldn’t have to stretch before going into the store just so I can grab my ankles on the way out.

  13. CharlesJBarry says:

    This possibly opens the way for great deals to those that like to price match. Now that the mail in rebates are instant rebates, you should be able to price match with most other retailers on the lower price. Before, you couldn’t match an after mail-in rebate price but you could match an instant rebate price.

  14. Deusfaux says:

    @AndrewGoldenberg:

    I don’t think you have any idea what you’re talking about. FS and BB are easily 2 of the biggest places Canadians purchase electronics. They also consistently have some of the lowest prices at retail, and will match any price lower from a competitor.

    Who are these supposed people all shopping at American outlets? What are you TALKING about?!

  15. SoCalMan says:

    @bendsley: Sites like NewEgg & Frys.com for the most part don’t warehouse the products they sell you. They use a network of distributors who ship the products from a central location, with boxes, invoices and inserts branded to that online retailer. Then you wait 3-5 days to receive the product.

    If you need it now, you pay a premium to walk into a 100k sq. ft store, with lights, HVAC, stock and salespeople. You are paying more so that you can pickup the box, and walk out now.

  16. lattehiatus says:

    Don’t expect the final price after instant rebate (IR) to be as low as the price after mail-in rebate (MIR). Retailers and manufacturers can offer a greater discount for a MIR in order to attract customers and because only 40% will actually submit the rebate. When 100% of the customers obtain an IR, they can’t afford to pay as much for the IR as they would for a MIR. So your after rebate (AR) item price for a IR would be less than that of a MIR.

    I’m all for keeping MIRs. People who are too lazy to fill out a rebate form help keep the bottom-line AR prices low. Some people consider MIRs a scam, but I’ve probably submitted 150+ MIRs in my lifetime, and only one has ever not been paid (it was $7 from a company that went out of business). Don’t hate the system if you don’t know how to play it. ;)

  17. diggtatorship says:

    Do you think I could sue BB for copyright infringement? I mean, I said goodbye to rebates a few years ago, now they’re flaunting it around like it was their idea. Do you think I have a case?

    Seriously though, props to Best Buy CA for turning away from the dark side.

  18. Derp says:

    Best Buy in the U.S. has not had mail-in rebates for the last three years!