HOWTO: Rebate Whore

Matt is a self-described Rebate-Whore. He owns and operates his own tech support business and orders many items for his customers. He shares his tips for how he “leverages his Ninja-Geek skills” to make sure he gets his rebate bucks.

1. Don’t wait before submitting your rebate, unless the rules make you wait. Fill out the form right away. Read the rebate submission rules before you pop it in the post. Most rebates follow a simple formula of complete the form, include copy of purchase receipt, original UPC… but some have additional requirements, such as a signature. It takes just a moment to read the fine print. Forget one little thing, and it’s no rebate for you, bucko.

2. If you can get the rebate form as a PDF, do it. Save the PDF on your ‘puter. I take it one step further and use my OfficeJet to scan in completed rebate forms, receipts and even UPCs as PDFs on my PC.

3. Keep a spreadsheet with rebate info, such as amount, date submitted, and rebate status URL if given. Likewise, keep a folder in your e-mail for any messages you get about rebate status.

4. Keep some simple supplies handy, such as self-adhesive envelopes and postage stamps. If you don’t have great handwriting (I don’t), run your envelopes through your printer or print the address on a P-Touch or Dymo label maker.

5. Finally, look for shortcuts. Some rebates can be, at least partially, submitted online. Costco is great in this regard.

Why does he go to such lengths? Matt says it’s because he’s a “cheap-ass mofo,” but because he also get so many parts for his customers, he gets back hundreds of dollars per year.