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Top Tips for Refunders

Updated on May 8, 2017
Items such as these often have refund slips attached or on a shelf nearby.
Items such as these often have refund slips attached or on a shelf nearby. | Source

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.


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    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      cuttler,

      Thanks for your comment. I wish more people would take advantage of coupons and refunds. It's such a great way to save money!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      TToombs,

      Yes, in this day and age we all have to do what we can to make the dollars stretch. But some of us have been doing this long before it was popular. It seems funny now to think everyone seems to think using coupons and refunding is normal, when they laughed at us before! Oh well. I guess it's just good for those of us who have saved a lot of money over the years. Glad to have many more joining in the fun.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      teaches12345,

      Yes, for refunders as well as avid coupon users. Some of the stories and pictures in RefundingCents match those stories on Extreme Couponing. I usually subscribe at least to the online info. because it's less expensive and keeps a running tab on what's for sale where, who's got the best coupon codes, etc.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Great hub post and I have learend some new things here today. I didn't know there was a magazine for refunders. Great way to look for extra savings.

    • cuttler profile image

      Cuttler 4 years ago from HubPages

      Great info. These tips can be used to save many households lots of cash. Thank you for the tips.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Karen, these are fabulous ideas. I'll have to remember to start doing this to make the income stretch farther!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      hawaiianodysseus,

      You are right, but it never is. I learned from my mom and I think that is how most people learn, from a parent or older family member. At the high school where I most recently worked, there was a class called "Personal Finance" that could be taken as an elective. But it was not required and it should have been. That is true about the 'Consumer Math" as well. Kids could decide to take it if there was room in their schedule. Most were college bound and did not have room because they had to take 'College Prep" classes. As a society, we are still not preparing our children for the real world in high school.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Mhatter,

      You are most welcome. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I hope it helps you save money!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      billybuc,

      Yes, if people are diligent in following the refund instructions, so much money can be saved, The key is to not forget to send in the required form and receipts, etc. If the consumer forgets, the manufacturer wins! Thanks for stopping by.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      FRUGALITY is a class that should be taught in every school...and this subject of refunds would be age-appropriate from kindergarten on up. Well done, Karen, and one small yet significant step towards a Don Quixotic tilting at the current economic windmill--the tax cliff!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this useful tip.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great information, Karen! I would imagine a lot of money could be saved this way.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Sunshine625,

      Thanks for your comment. I have been lazy about them once or twice but learned my lesson and was annoyed that the company won! Thanks for dropping by!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I try to avoid purchasing items that come with a rebate. I'm lazy about mailing them in, but I do. I have never not received my refund back. Awesome tips!!