Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mail-In Rebates Continue Decline

According to this article in USAToday, mail-in rebates on Black Friday promotions have declined dramatically the past few years:
The number of Black Friday promotions from major retailers with mail-in rebates has dropped from about a third a few years ago to just 10% so far this year, says Brad Wilson, founder of

I'm not sure what the statistical basis is for his numbers, but I think it's unquestionable that many suppliers and retailers are avoiding mail-in rebates. The decline began several years ago when the public clamor about practices that were often deceitful and sometimes flat-out fraudulent reached a point where the Federal Trade Commission began investigating. Fines and public shaming followed, and some retailers (Best Buy most prominent among them) began eliminating the practice.

I see a lot of ads indicating 'instant rebates' -- prices reduced at the cash register. Is there any research indicating that this is more effective than a TPR? -- which is what it is.

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