Have you ever asked yourself are rebates scams? It’s a common question almost everyone these days asks themselves when they see something that is too good to be true.

Wholesalers and retailers have been offering rebates since the late 1960’s but it’s only in the last ten years that rebates have become increasingly popular. It is quite common to find rebates on almost anything you want to buy, especially prevalent in electronic items such as computers, laptops and televisions, the US government is also getting involved pushing rebates for energy efficient appliances!. It’s not uncommon to find rebates ranging from $10 all the way to $100, but there are catches to these rebates as most people know by now.

Are rebates scams, you can’t fault yourself for asking this question especially if you happen to see one of those adverts that state your purchase is “free after rebate”. Really, can you actually buy something these days for nothing? Hard to believe it, isn’t it? In most cases you’ll find that these are real and you can get yourself some really good deals.

Rebates are quite simple. You buy the item for its listed price, then mail in a form with a copy of your receipt and actual bar code to the product manufacturer and they will send you a refund with 60 to 90 days thus reducing your overall purchase price for that item.

That doesn’t explain if rebates are scams? Here are some tips to avoid rebate scams:

Are Rebate Scams – Tip 1 – Use Reputable Companies

Make sure that the item you’re purchasing and the rebate is from a reputable company. Most major companies like Best Buy, Amazon, Dell or even stores like Office Depot are pretty reputable and will not risk their company brand to defraud consumers, so you shouldn’t have any issues getting your rebate refund from them.

Are Rebates Scams – Tip 2 – Check Expiration Date

Before you buy any item, make sure you check the rebate expiration date. Most retailers will leave their products on their shelf even though the rebate has expired. It’s up to the consumer to do his due diligence to make sure that the rebate is still valid. Read the fine print!

Are Rebates Scams – Tip 3 – Correct Paperwork

After you’ve purchased your item from the store, make sure you have all the required paperwork for you to file your rebate form. Most rebates these days require you to have a copy of your actual invoice, the actual bar-code or the bar code that is imprinted onto your receipt that you can detach and send in. Failure to have all the right paperwork could delay or even disallow your rebate refund. Rebates will almost always require a form to be filled out, a receipt for the purchase and a bar code.

Are Rebates Scams – Tip 4 – Copies

One of the main reasons why rebates are never cashed is because people have not made copies of their completed rebate forms, mailed them and they got lost. Make a copy of everything from the completed rebate form, to your receipts, including your product bar code. If your forms are lost, you will have copies to re-submit again.

Back to the question, are rebates scams? No, they’re not, if you follow the rules and read the fine print! Most people don’t want to bother with doing all the extra work, end up losing money and identify rebates are scams, which they are not!