The Business of Rebates

Rebate deals are often conspicuously absent from our Morning Deals Round-Up. Why? Because 60% of deals never go through — either the customer forgets about them or the rebate house rejects the application upon a technicality. Rebates are bonuses, not the sort of thing you should make a purchasing decision based upon.

Consumer Affairs has a look up at the business of rebates, which is good reading for anyone who wants to know the way rebaters work and the mechanics behind the business. Essentially, rebates are good for business — companies that offer rebates get publicity, increased marketshare and demographic information on buyers. Unfortunately, they often outsource rebate redemption to dedicated fulfillment houses that don’t really care about the consumer. These fulfillment houses, on average, turn away 1 out of every 5 rebate seekers as being “ineligible.” Not particularly good odds to play when you’re talking about a 20% discount on a $2000 laptop: hell, you’ve got better odds in Russian Roulette.

Rebate: Discount or Lotto Ticket? [Consumer Affairs]