Everyone is looking to save some money these days. Taking advantage of rebate offers is one way that you can save a little money when making a new purchase. With the proliferation of rebate offers out there, it can be challenging to know when you are actually getting a good deal. Consumers are often disappointed when they make a purchase assuming a rebate offer will reduce the cost of a product, only to find that the deal isn't really all they that they thought it was going to be.
To help provide consumers with education and information about rebate programs the Competition Bureau has produced a pamphlet entitled Rebates: The Real Deal, which contains information to help consumers make more informed decisions about rebates.
Before making a purchase, consumers should always read the terms and conditions that accompany a rebate offer, in order to determine whether:
- there is a deadline to apply or an expiry date for the rebate;
- they must buy another product to qualify;
- they need to provide more than just a receipt to receive the rebate;
- there is a limit on the number of rebates per household; and/or
- there are any restrictions on geographic location and/or mailing address, such as a rural address, which may affect your eligibility.
True rebates involve a partial refund or discount on the purchase of a product, which is normally paid in the form of cash or a cheque. By contrast, some promotions offer gift cards or credits to be used on future purchases. While these may be a good deal, they are not rebates.
Once the consumer has read the fine print and has decided to follow through with the purchase, he or she should:
- ask for two copies of the receipt (one to mail in and another to keep for his or her records);
- carefully follow the instructions on the rebate form and include all required documents; and
- make copies of everything, in case the rebate is delayed or not honoured.
To download an electronic copy of the pamphlet Rebates: The Real Deal, click here.
For more information, about rebates visit the Competition Bureau's Web site at www.bureaudelaconcurrence.gc.ca.