If you’ve ever wondered what “free after rebate” means you’re definitely not alone.
Rebates are promotions used by retailers or manufacturers that give costumers a discount after they purchase a product. Sounds backwards right?
Unlike sales or coupons, a rebate is money returned to you after you make a purchase as priced, and often requires additional steps to receive the rebate.
The term “free after rebate” is used when the rebate value is equal to the original price of the product, technically making the product free.
Keep reading to learn more about free after rebate promotions, how to find them, and how to claim them.
Are Rebates Actually Free?
When a product is marked as “free after rebate“, the rebate you receive after you purchase the product will be equal to the amount of money you spent on the product.
This seems simple enough, but there are some caveats to rebates that may make some products not actually free. When this is the case, you may still get a significant discount on your product, even if it was not 100% free.
These are some situations in which you need to spend money in order to claim a rebate, again making the rebate not completely free. This can happen when you need to pay for postage and paper to send a letter to claim the rebate, when the rebate is rewarded in-store credit instead of cash, when sales tax is not reimbursed, and if you need to pay for shipping.
In these cases, you will often still get a significant discount on the product, which to most shoppers is worth it. Just make sure you don’t miss the rebate claim deadline or you will not get your money back.
Types of Rebates
The gold standard of rebates is cash rebates. Cash rebates offer direct cash reimbursements on products you already purchased, but sometimes have extra steps required to reap the benefits.
There are a few types of common cash rebate offers, so make sure to read the fine print if you are purchasing a product with the rebate in mind.
Here are some of the most common cash rebates:
1. Instant Cash Rebate
An instant cash rebate is granted to you at the time of purchase. The rebate amount is used as store credit and subtracted from the total cost of the product. This is the easiest type of cash rebate because you do not need to fill out any claim forms in order to receive your discount.
2. Online Cash Rebate
Whether you purchased a product online or in-store, an online cash rebate may be used to claim your rebate. With online cash rebates, you will purchase your item full price and submit your rebate claim online later.
You will not need to mail in any information, only fill out the forms online to claim your rebate. Electronic claims are usually processed quicker than mail-in rebates, meaning you will receive your rebate check faster.
3. Mail-in Cash Rebate
Mail-in cash rebates are the most common cash rebate method. You will still pay full price for your product, and claim by filling out the rebate forms and mailing them to the manufacturer of the product.
Make sure you have your receipt on hand as it is usually required with the rebate claim forms. Once your claim is processed, you will receive your remeasurement check by mail.
How to Claim A Rebate?
When claiming a rebate always read the fine print. This will help you ensure that you, and the product, qualify for the rebate.
Before you buy a free after rebate product, make sure that you are purchasing it within the correct time period to claim the rebate. Although, if you missed the rebate time frame, you can sometimes talk to the store and ask them to backdate your receipt. If the retailer is sold out, you can pre-order the product in order to qualify for the rebate.
Once you’ve determined that you qualify to receive a rebate you need to fill out the rebate form. Sometimes you will get the form in-store with your purchase, and other times you will need to print it out on the retailer’s website.
If you are filling out a mail-in rebate form, fill out the paper forms, mail them to the manufacturer, and wait for your rebate check. If you are filling out an online rebate form, they may still want you to print it out and mail it in.
Once you’ve completed the rebate claim forms and mail them in, you can expect to receive your rebate check between 4-8 weeks.
How to Find Free After Rebate Products?
You can find free after rebate products through social media, google, manufacturer websites, newspapers, and any other outlets that relay information to the public.
Once you begin keeping watch for these promotions, you will be able to easily identify them and take note of brands and manufacturers who frequently offer these promotions.
The most common businesses that offer free after rebate promotions are grocery stores, pharmacies, office supply stores, department stores, and electronics manufacturers. Large appliances like dishwashers and laundry machines often come with rebates, but not free after rebates. The most common products that can be found free after rebate are office supplies and software programs.
You will most likely find these deals during specific times of the year such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas time.
Are You Ready to Save Money?
Rebates are discounts on specific products that can be claimed after the products are purchased at full price. If the rebate amount is equal to the product cost, then it is considered free after rebate.
Rebates may not always be free, but they can result in some serious savings if you follow through with the claim process. Although this process can be lengthy, it is ultimately worth the effort for a chance to receive valuable goods at no charge.
Did you enjoy learning about free after rebate promotions? Check out our blog to learn more about how to save big.