Reap the Rebates

Check these places for valuable cash-back bonuses

So you’re ready to buy a shiny new car, a refrigerator or a color scanner for your home office. Before you begin to play “let’s make a deal” with the salesperson, explore whether such a major purchase offers rebates.

Companies offer rebates-cash back from the manufacturer-as an incentive for purchasing certain products. In stores, check for rebate offers near the customer service center, in the aisle next to the product or on a bulletin board near the entrance or exit. Also, refer to newspapers, magazines, refund newsletters and direct mail, or go directly to the manufacturer. And don’t forget to ask the salesperson if there are any rebate offers from any of the manufacturers for the products that you plan to purchase.

There are also Internet sites that can connect you with special rebate offers. Register on myRebates.com to find products with rebate promotions, buy them online and personally track your rebate checks. The tracking feature allows you to monitor any rebate you’ve mailed in, whether you purchased the item from a local dealer, through myRebates.com or at another Website. There is no charge to create the account, no limit to the number of rebates you can track and the site will notify you, via e-mail, when specific types of products have new rebate offerings.

For rebates that result in freebies, CyberRebate.com is the Internet site for you. As many as 500 products are free at any given time, and all other items ordered come with a mail-in rebate. As an added incentive, shipping and handling is priced at a standard $4.99 regardless of the number of items you order or their weight. The sign-up process is also hassle-free. Log on to this site for savings.

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