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If you buy a product and it has a mail in rebate offer on it, do you take the time to fill out the form, clip the bar code, and mail it in? If you don't, you can miss out on a nice sum of money that you could have coming to you if you just take the time to send it in.

Mail in rebates are relatively easy to process. It takes a stamp and an envelope to get started. All you have to do is fill out the provided form that asks for information such as your name, address, and telephone number. You will be required to send in a copy of your purchase receipt, along with the original bar code off the packaging.

Once you send it in, you have to wait, usually from 4 to 6 weeks, until your rebate check is sent to you. The nice thing about mail in rebates is that you may forget that you sent it in and one day you check your mail, and there is your rebate check.

What is a rebate? A rebate is a promotional sales tactic in which money is returned to a purchaser thereby creating an incentive for the purchaser to to buy the product that is offered for sale.

The rebate may be given by the manufacturer of the product or by the retail store or outlet. Some rebates can be given at the sales counter but most of them are transacted through the mail.

Mail in rebates are usually handled by companies that are contracted by manufactures, retail and wholesale stores, and other organizations to process and send the rebate money to the customer.

Rebates are offered on many products. The actual rebate may be for a few dollars and go upwards into thousands, depending on the product and the rebate offer.

You can find a lot of rebates on electronic equipment such as computers, televisions, high tech games systems, washing machines, dryers, refrigerators and freezers, microwaves, and office equipment such as printers and scanners.

Car dealers offer large rebates and you can find them on other big ticket items like boats, heating and cooling systems, and many other products.

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