Nobody Wants a Rebate


Share on LinkedIn

Greetings.  School is now back in session and the ever longer holiday shopping season is just around the corner.  So be prepared for a veritable avalanche of mail, email, and newspaper inserts touting the greatest bargains in the history of civilization.  It’s just a fact of life this time of year, and an even bigger imperative in our not-so-perfect economy.  And don’t be surprised if many of these bargains come with a “rebate.”

But let’s be perfectly honest.  Nobody in their right mind actually wants a rebate. Absolutely nobody.  Not on a new car, or a TV, or a cell phone, or office supplies, or energy-efficient windows, or anything.  Well maybe on their taxes.  Yet we’re often enticed to buy a product simply because it comes with a rebate, believing that we’re getting a much better deal.  But we’re not.  And any company that thinks it is being perfectly honest and respectful to its customers by offering them a rebate that isn’t instant is crazy.  The real deal would be to get the best price immediately and without having to fill out some special forms and attach some special receipts that we are likely to lose before we ever get home.  Or without having to miss the magic deadline.  Or without having to wait 4 – 6 million weeks for our refund check, gift card, or other sub-optimal form our refund comes it.  It’s simply a bad idea for the customer and a good idea for the company offering the rebate.  The same company that knows that a large percentage of us will never end up following all of the steps required to make the elusive dream of our rebate come true.

Having said this, our friends at Staples are at least trying to improve the rebate process by making it easy to “apply” for our rebate on-line and even providing an email reminder with a direct link to their rebate center.  Which would be pretty darn helpful of them if any of us actually wanted to receive a rebate.  But the only kind we should ever want is an instant rebate where the price of the product goes down magically at the cash register.  Now that’s a stroke of genius and honesty.

We win in business by giving the customer the best deal possible at the time we make a sale.  Not by giving them a promise to be fulfilled later.


Republished with author's permission from original post.

Alan Gregerman
Alan Gregerman is an award-winning author, consultant and keynote speaker who has been called "one of the most original thinkers in business today" and "the Robin Williams of business consulting." His work focuses on helping companies and organizations to unlock the genius in all of their people in order to deliver the most compelling value to their customers.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here