Make sure you note the expiration date for purchasing the product as well as their deadline for receiving your form.
Make sure you understand exactly what you need to purchase. Sometimes there are specific color, size, flavor, and other requirements. Some rebates require that you spend a certain dollar amount on a specific product or group of products. If that is the case then you can typically count the “before coupon” price when calculating your totals, but be sure to double check your math because you can be rejected for as little as a one cent difference between your total and the requirement.
Make sure you have the appropriate form. Most rebates require a specific form. If it is a printable Internet Form then print the form as soon as you get it. Sometimes the manufacturer will remove the form from their site before the promotion has ended. Other times the manufacturer will require a qualifier form found on the product or at a specific store. Occasionally the manufacturer won’t require any type of form and will just ask for your name and address. Be sure to understand exactly what type of form you need.
Keep your qualifiers. Qualifiers are the purchase receipt, UPC code and sometimes other items found on the product packaging. Save all of the packaging until you are sure you have everything you need to submit the rebate.
Nearly all rebates require an original purchase receipt so if you are going to purchase something else (including another rebate) that requires the receipt then make sure to do it as a separate transaction. Most stores will print a duplicate receipt if you need to keep one on file for a high ticket item.
If you have any questions about the rebate requirements then there is usually some sort of phone number on the rebate form.
Try to submit as soon as possible after making the purchase. The longer you wait, the more chance for forgetting about it or loosing necessary qualifiers. If your sure you are going to do a rebate then make out your envelopes in advance and clip them to your rebate forms. If you can not submit right away then clip your receipt and qualifiers to this information as soon as you get home from making the purchase.
When you are ready to submit your rebate, make a copy of the form, receipt and any other qualifiers (proof of purchase). In the event you are rejected or do not receive the rebate then you may need this information. I like to keep a file of all of my outstanding rebates and pull the copies as the rebates are received.
Make a copy of your rebate submission, including the form, receipts, and any proofs of purchase you had to enclose. Make sure you copy the phone number or website of the rebate in case you have any problems. I keep a list of rebates that I have submitted by dates, and include the name of the product, the amount I expect to receive, the address, etc. As refunds come in, I mark them off the list. Occasionally you may have to call about a refund that doesn’t arrive as promised, and the list and copies come in handy. If you have made a mistake on the submission, keeping a copy will allow you to see the problem; if the rebate has made the mistake, you will have proof of submission.