Rebate scams can make getting a promised discount on products much more difficult — and much less reliable — than it might seem at first glance.
But if you do your homework and take a few precautions, you can minimize the risk and maximize the discounts.
In my Dec. 3 Insider Tricks column (paid content), I identified rebate rip-offs as a top offender in tech vendors’ bags of dirty tricks. These scams are designed to squeeze more money out of customers without giving them anything in return.
Not all rebate offers are scams, of course. There are good, money-saving deals out there, and it’s unrealistic and unfair to condemn all rebates based on the shady practices of some vendors.
But there’s always at least some risk when you choose a product based on the promise of a future rebate. Here are some tips for ensuring that you come out a winner in the rebate game.
Do research before making your purchase
Before you let a rebate offer lure you into buying that shiny, new whatever-it-is, make sure the deal is truly as good as it appears:
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