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September 23, 2009

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Going to a different store worked when I bought a set of tires recently. Discount Tire was offering a $70 rebate on 4 tires. I went to Belle Tire and they matched the price after rebate without having to fill out the rebate form.

The big box stores allow all kind of abuse to keep the complainers happy (allows people to return worn out shoes, items they don't even stock, etc) So I'd think you'd be reasonably successful at many of them.

I part own a small retail store. We wouldn't be able to get the manufacturer rebates (even if we took the UPC symbol fron the box, etc, there are limits). As a smaller store we couldn't just take a loss on a manufacturer's whim. That said, trying to negotiate a lower price at a small retail store can always pay dividends (whether there is a rebate or not doesn't matter to me, but if the item is one we want to stop carrying and clear out, or if cash flow is poor, a discount is always a possibility if the owner/manager is there. So asking for the post-rebate price could work, but this would really just be a discount and you could always still just apply for the rebate as well).

I'm not sure why there is so much complaining about rebates, they are usually such great deals exactly BECAUSE they are annoying (and therefore many people don't follow through). Manufacturers often make zero profit or less off of the items they receive the rebates for, not exactly a deal they'd do if the rebate was automatic or easier. Its kind of like those extended warranty plans at the electronic stores or overdraft fees at the bank, thank goodness for these things b/c my $300 laptop or free checking account probably wouldn't be available without them making their profits off of those other things.

The fact many rebates don't actually come through is admittedly a valid point of contention that seems ridiculously common.

I don't like rebates, I always forget to send back the rebate and it takes months to get. I avoid purchases with them usually.

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