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Rebates  Reward or Rip Off
In recent years, rebates on many items and certainly electronic products and computers have become increasingly popular. The rebates of $20, $50 or $100 are not unusual.

In fact, I even saw advertised items "free after rebate." Is that discount too good to be true? Is this a discount? Some of them do and you can look after "catches," but if you're careful you can get really good deals. The way a rebate works is to make a payment to the manufacturer of the price listed for an item and then send a refund that reduces the price of the item, except for a period of several weeks.

Rule No.1. Renowned firms ' rebates are usually only OK.

You can be quite sure that you get a reward from Best Buy, Amazon or Dell, but you probably don't have to rely on one you've never heard of from a company. If you really want the product and you're OK with the price listed then buy it, but don't really expect the reimbursement.

Rule No.2. Check the expiry dates of the discount.

Products will often remain in the retailer's shell after the shipment date has expired so that you carefully check that date.

Rule No.3. Make sure you have all the forms required for the discount before you leave the store.

A form, a purchase receipt and a bar code are almost always required for rebates.

Rule No.4. Make a back-up on your rebate claim.

Make copies of all your receipts, including your discount bar code. Subjects are always lost in the mail and it's worth the trouble to back up your claim if you receive $50 for the refund.