- Personal Finance»
- Frugal Living
Top Tips for Refunders
Save Money by Taking Advantage of Refunds
What is a refund? Many of you may be asking this question, having stumbled upon this article and wanting to save money, especially if you are a coupon user. Often, coupons and refunds go hand in hand. Companies that offer coupons also offer refunds on their products as well. Simply explained, a refund is money you get returned to you by the manufacturer of a product simply for trying that product.
Refunding was much more prevalent in the 1980s, but there are still plenty of refund offers available to the average consumer. Households that use refunding techniques can save a lot of money just for taking advantage of refunding slips that are often attached to products, or found in other ways. Some refunds are available to try a product totally free of charge. Others will offer a certain percentage of the purchase price back. Companies offer refunds so that customers will try their product.
The refund often entices consumers to purchase items, with the promise of getting some or sometimes all of the purchase price returned. Companies make these incredible offers available with the hope that most consumers will purchase the product, but then not follow through with the details of the refund policy. And there are a few hoops to jump through to get a refund on a product. But, it's worth the work to receive money back. Many different types of household products offer refunds. Most often it is on household products such as cleaners, health and beauty items and food. But often larger household appliances, tools, and even wine have refunds attached to them.
To save the most money using refunds, here are 5 top tips:
1) Make a Habit of Looking For Refund Slips Wherever You Go
Many stores that carry refund forms have a refund board at the courtesy desk or have refund slips attached to products on their shelves. Pay careful attention to hang tags that are attached to products because they can often be an offer of savings through a coupon or refund. The refund offers may be in the forms of a tag hanging on the product, or a sticker attached directly to it. Often they say, "Try Me Free." The best places to look for refund forms are at grocery stores near the product, pharmacies, department stores, and warehouse stores like Sam's Club and B.J.'s.
2) Don't Let an Expiration Date Slip By You
Companies count on a majority of consumers not turning in the refund form to receive the promised money. That is actually how the can afford to offer it, knowing not everyone will ask for their money. Make sure to note the expiration date of the offer and include the required forms and UPC symbols when you send in your refund request.
3) Make Sure to Send In All the Requested Items Listed on the Refund Form
It is important to carefully follow the instructions when sending for a refund. The refund slip will have all the required information. Make sure to send in what they ask for because if one item is missing, the company will not send you the refund. If you complain, they will tell you that you did not send in the required information and therefore they do not have to send you a refund. According to law, they will be right. Often, companies require the original refund slip, a UPC symbol ( the bar code) from the product, and the cash register receipt proving that you did actually purchase the product. Sometimes the whole label from a product is required. It is important to read the fine print on the refund slip, so you do not miss any of the requirements.
4) Stay Organized and Keep a List of Which Refund Requests You Have Sent
By keeping an organized list of the refunds you have sent for, you will be able to track which refunds you have received and which refunds you will need to follow up on. Write the name of the product, size, amount to be reimbursed, what the deadline was, and the date you sent in for it. If you don't receive the refund within eight weeks, you can call the company to follow up on the refund. Sometimes a refund will get lost in the mail, or the company can give you an estimate of when you will receive your refund check.
5) Subscribe to a Refunding Magazine
Magazines like RefundCents, which is available online or through snail mail in a magazine format are extremely helpful in becoming a refund expert. Not only does RefundCents give you a list each month of all the refunds that are available to consumers, but it also provides subscribers a list of company toll-free numbers to follow up on lost refunds. There are people that write into RefundCents to let others know of the offers available across the country, and also tell stories of good refunds they have received or premiums that some companies offer instead of refunds. Premiums are free gifts that can be obtained by companies for purchasing their products. Instead of the actual money received in a refund, the company may offer a free gift with the appropriate form and UPC codes. RefundCents can be found by following the link below, at the end of this article.
Just for fun, keep track of the amount of money you have gotten back in rebates over each year. You may be amazed at all the money you have saved. Some refunders even start a special savings account for their refund money and take their family on vacation or purchase a special item for themselves or their family with the money they earn back through refunding. The best part about refunding is the money it can save an average family that is willing to fulfill the requirements stated on the refund form.
Here's a Great Resource Book I have Used to Learn More About Coupons and Refunding
- RefundCents.com - Coupons, Rebates, Codes, On-Line Shopping, Grocery Triple Plays
RefundCents Newsletter can be helpful to consumers who want to know what companies are currently offering rebates and the phone numbers to all companies in the U.S.