Conglomerist: What To Do With Rebates So You Don't Have To Redeem Them

Everybody loves rebates! Well, except when it comes to redeeming them. For those of you out there who have to deal with especially responsible consumers who always fill out the paperwork correctly (ugh!) here are a few suggestions that can increase “breakage” and make sure that your company doesn’t have to pay any more rebates than is necessary!

Say “Instant!” rebate, when its really a “mail-in” rebate.
By the time they’ve handed over their money it’ll be too late! Gotcha!

“We’ve mailed you the ‘reward letter,’ really! You must have missed it!” Make the process as complicated as possible! Don’t just hand someone a free television just because you owe them one. First, mail them a letter with a secret code on it. Then, tell them to go to a certain special website and enter the code. After that, tell them to enter their shipping address and they’ll get their TV. I know what you’re thinking: “We already know where they live, why not just send them the TV?” Because some of them will mess it up, dummy! The fewer TVs you have to send, the better it is for your bottom line.

Wait until the rebate expires before shipping the product. Why should rebates have expiration dates? So that you can help people miss them!

Make the rebate applications disappear! Careful: Don’t get sloppy. Fry’s rebate processor, Vastech, got caught dumping 1,300 unopened rebate applications. Whoops! We know you’re smarter than that!

And finally, just in case you’re feeling a little bad about any of these tactics….don’t. Remember: US News & World Report says it’s the lazy consumer’s fault when rebates don’t get redeemed.