Business: Middleman
Rebate Service   (+10)  [vote for, against]
Mail-in Rebates with a Middle-man

What if there was a service (me) who took your rebates outside of a store (Best Buy, for example.) If you get a twenty dollar rebate on a camera, and walk outside and there is my little booth. I have a copy machine and some scissors. I cut out the UPC and make a copy of the receipt, have you sign it, and send it in for you. You pay maybe 10% of the rebate. I pay you on the spot, and recieve the rebate. Easy, no hassle. The one problem I can really think of is legality....
-- supercarrot900, Jan 31 2005

Walgreen Easy Saver
Rollover rebater [reensure, Jan 31 2005]

I'd post a link, [UB], but this one I can explain. Retailers count on well above 50% of their patrons to fail to complete the rebate claim process, I've read. They thereby sell higher priced merchandise that might be the case to consumers who buy on price alone but turn those receipts over a little too slowly. I've seen rebate offers expire in as little as two weeks for a $50-$100 coupon.

A possible problem is that your rebate may arrive addressed or otherwise spelled out to the consumer whose coupon you've copied.

Down where the rubber meets the road, rebates are just a data harvesting scheme, same as older versions and far less fun than Plaid Stamps.
-- reensure, Jan 31 2005

Clever, really. A rebate advance service. I think that the 10% fee is a bit on the light side to be profitable. 30%, perhaps.

I think some US states ban expirations on rebates and gift certificates these days. Washington, for example.
-- bristolz, Jan 31 2005

Most rebates are limited to "one per household." If you own a few few apartment buildings, it might work out.
-- tiromancer, Jan 31 2005

I don't think I really understand what a rebate is in this context. To me, a rebate is what you get when you've paid more tax than you owed. Perhaps this is a culture thing -- can anyone explain it to me?

[Edit:] From looking, it seems that a rebate is a money-off voucher that you have to send off after purchase to claim money back (and it seems with the codicil that they send you marketing until eternity). Am I close?
-- Thod, Jan 31 2005

A rebate is a discount after the sale, that you collect by sending proof of purchase to the manufacturer. Then he sends you a check.
-- robinism, Jan 31 2005

Ahh. Thank you.
-- Thod, Jan 31 2005

But it's true that there's almost always the caveat of "one per household," (ie. per product). So if you purchase more than one, you only get one rebate.
-- Detly, Jan 31 2005

I'm pretty sure it's been around here for a few years. I remember trying to explain the concept to a customer.

The issue I have with it is the advertising that accompanies it - claiming that a product has been discounted by the amount of the rebate.
-- Detly, Jan 31 2005

The problem with rebates is that the manufacturers do everything they can to make it hard for people to actually collect the rebate. The rules for deadlines and proof-of-purchase are stringently enforced, and the checks are slow in coming. That's why a "rebate service" would be so worthwhile. The service assumes the headache, and the risk.
-- robinism, Jan 31 2005

Is it really in Australia? Hm. I'm just going to honestly say that there would be a large reduction in the number of rebates offered. It would make big companies more honest, too. Also, companies make so much profit on a lot of their products anyways. Maybe if we worked something out where they made som e of the profit, they would be all right with it.
-- supercarrot900, Jan 31 2005

random, halfbakery