I consider rebates to be a kind of iniquity. I must send in the information electronically or by mail, wait until it is verified, and wait until the rebate is redeemed. Frequently this takes so long that I am left trying to figure out where the check for $1.98 came from.
In the meantime, my name and address were sold to a thousand companies. These companies now send me catalogs and email deals too good to pass up.
So now, when a salesperson suggests a rebate is available, I merely beam at them and ask, rhetorically, why not just offer a lower price? I assume psychological and economic theory support higher prices followed by a “generous” rebate as a sales tactic, “look at all you’ll get back!”
But wait! There is still more to this rant!
I try to research my purchases for quality, price, and reputation. I prefer to pay a bit more for a good piece of merchandise rather than have a retailer try to sucker me with a “deal” that isn’t a deal. A proper deal is a fair price for a good product. Not an attempt to sucker me in with some cheap psychological trick. In addition to the rebate, there is the % off coupon. Sometimes these are good deals. If the quality of the item is good, and you need the product anyway.
But I’ve grown tired of some tool vendors’ endless email offers for discounts. I wonder if they can offer the product at such a significant discount so often if it is overpriced to start.
That line of thinking starts me wondering if they cut quality to offer cheap pricing.
I’ll admit that I developed this position when I began my woodcarving business. Comparing vendors, tools, prices, and quality received becomes second nature when you have a genuine need to own tools that do the job and offer a good return on investment. As a result, I own tools that have been in service for many decades.
The old advice of Caveat Emptor, let the buyer beware, has never been more true. However, part of the problem is that we all continue to fall for sales tactics that were probably old in Roman times. I am waiting for the discovery at Pompeii of the wall graffiti advertising Gaius Tiberious’ used chariots – Deals, Deals, Deals!!!!!