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HouTex
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When is a rebate not a rebate? (Poll)

submitted on August 31, 2010 by HouTex in "Buxr Website / Contests"
I was wondering if other people consider store credits like ExtraCare Bucks (CVS) and Register Rewards (Walgeens) to be the same as rebates. I don't think they are, and I'd like to ask your opinions, because I think this type of promotion is becoming more common. Gymboree, Toys 'R' Us and Kohl's offer a similar credit.

Here are a couple of recent deals to consider, where the amount of the store credit against a future purchase is equivalent to the cost of the item. In using the product category, they had to be presented as "Free After Rebate."

CVS - http://www.buxr.com/deal/phili.....-cvs_60309

Walgreens - http://www.buxr.com/deal/irwin.....tore_60310


I consider a "rebate" as this:
- you buy an item and get instant cash back; or fill out a form online or to mail, and get back a cash refund or gift card that can be used anywhere. If the amount of the rebate equals the cost of the item, it's truly free after rebate.

I think of the ECBs and RRs as "in-store credits" because:
- you have to purchase the item, and then you get a printed credit from the sale that you can spend in the same store on a future purchase. Sometimes, these credits are very short-dated. So although the item you bought is being advertised by the store as "like you got it free," I don't think it's the same as a true rebate. This is the store's promotion to encourage you to shop there again, in the very near future.

What I'm asking is this:

Does anyone think that Buxr deals should differentiate between true rebates versus store credits?

If you think there's a difference, how best to express it?
What should be in the rebate field when there's no form to link? What kind of explanation does the promise of store credit need? The deals are unique to the specific store, and yet the item would be posted as a product, without the store name in the title. Do you think that's a problem?

Since items being advertised with these "store credits" are increasing, I thought maybe a poll would help to get a consensus. Please take a moment to vote in the poll or add your thoughts. No topic vote is necessary, I just want to know what you think.
1. Do you think rebates and in-store credits should be submitted in the same form?
 Yes
 No
2. Do you think using our current rebate form for in-store credit offers is confusing?
 Yes
 No
3. Do you think we need a new category or separate link for in-store credit offers?
 Yes
 No
4. Should the rebate URL field for ECBs & RRs be optional, since there's no rebate form?
 Yes
 No
 or See Results 

 

Favorite (2)
  Comments
  • 77413
    sandyshore
    professor
    2 1
    12 8 1
    Posted by sandyshore on August 31, 2010
    [reply] 7 0
    Well, I asked this question in the comment field myself when I saw the Register Rewards from Walgreens as a rebate and got no response. Technically from a definition stand point they are a rebate. To me a rebate is when you receive your own money back to spend where you want, if you want, how you want

    I answered the rest of the question through the poll.
      77416
    • elefanteau
      teacher
      Posted by elefanteau on August 31, 2010
      [reply] 6 0
      Couldn't have said it better myself. (And I see we answered the questions the same) Smile
    • 77419
    • HouTex
      admin
      Posted by HouTex on August 31, 2010
      [reply] 6 0
      Thank you! It took me quite a while to get it worded clearly, this wasn't so easy to explain!

      I often don't get my money back with the in-store credits, because they're so short-dated that they expire before I get back to the store to spend them. Or worse, after my shopping spree, I don't need to buy anything more from that store right away.
    • 77449
    • deby32953
      professor
      Posted by deby32953 on August 31, 2010 [reply] 0 0
      I did respond to you Sandy. Please go back & take a look.
  • 77424
    YanBz
    admin
    Posted by YanBz on August 31, 2010
    [reply] 5 0
    Thanks for bringing up this topic. I see there is a consensus in principal. There are however small questions that need to be answered.

    1. Is "store credit" a proper generic name for these? Different stores seem to use their own (often proprietary) name (e.g. CVS calls them "Extra Care Bucks") and it can get quickly out of hand if we try to to use those.

    2. The deals are unique to the specific store, and yet the item would be posted as a product, without the store name in the title. Do you think that's a problem? This may not matter if store credit deals are always "in-store only" and so will have the store name in the title (e.g. "In-store @ Walgreens") as currently required. Is this really the case? Are store credit deals in-store only?

    3. What about the expiration date? As opposite to real rebate, the credit may (and will likely be) have expiration date. It would be useful to find out what the store policies are and I could then automatically add a message in the additional instructions field that words out the store credit expiration terms, or even actually display the date (if it's possible)
  • 77439
    DebsFreebies
    professor
    2
    10 5 1
    Posted by DebsFreebies on August 31, 2010
    [reply] 3 0
    Store credit, to me, means when you get "bucks back" to use for another trip.

    If it is a store credit, perhaps it should have a "spot" for that in the submission process.

    The expiration date should reflect the date of the "rebate" and not necessarily the exp. date of the "store credit".

    May not be a bad idea to have store credit/coupon policies listed as a section in the Wiki.

    Just my 2 cents Mr Green
  • 77443
    HouTex
    admin
    Posted by HouTex on August 31, 2010
    [reply] 2 0
    I guess this problem never came up until CVS and Walgreens started advertising the rewards like rebates (that the items were "like free"). It wasn't a problem before with Gymboree or whoever - we just mentioned "earn bucks" in the description, like this deal:

    http://www.buxr.com/deal/gymboree-save-up-to-40-off-back-to-school-sale-earn-25-gymbucks-credits_58553


    The following items are in response to Yan's 3 questions:

    1. They feel like coupons to me, some places call them "certificates." Anything y'all agree on is OK with me. Something generic.

    2. I guess it's complicated, the rewards could be both in-store and online. It looks like CVS has both, but for Walgreens and grocery stores they issue them like "Catalinas" (check-out coupons) and they seem to be in-store only.

    According to https://rewardsrus.toysrus.com/promotions.cfm , 'R' Us Dollars are earned everywhere but are they redeemed only in the store? ("All earned "R"Us Dollars are mailed via USPS, arrive 8-12 weeks after they are earned and are valid until the date printed on each certificate.")

    Gymbucks can be redeemed online, even though they send you certificates - see http://www.gymboree.com/our_co.....3227089664

    3. Personally, I think the expiration date would be a really important detail if we could get it.
  • 77445
    HouTex
    admin
    Posted by HouTex on August 31, 2010
    [reply] 4 0
    In researching this a little more, I'm beginning to see that these Catalina-style credits (or whatever we will call them) are really not the same as the other rewards I mentioned. These are "instant" as a result of a particular purchase and redeemable in a very short time frame.

    The other rewards I brought up are earned during a specified period and then later there is a redemption period when they are used like a coupon with a required purchase. So I guess they're not really a part of this problem after all. (Didn't mean to include them and confuse the issue we are discussing.)
  • 77450
    deby32953
    professor
    Posted by deby32953 on August 31, 2010 [reply] 0 0
    Everyone came down really hard on me this week & I see HouTex used both my deals as examples but I need to tell you all this. I wasn't sure how to approach these deals but to my family, who spends a lot of time at drugstores, they're great money savers. Since we're frequent flyers we use free bucks/register rewards very quickly. When I was trying to figure out how to submit, I asked admin and I'm posting our conversation so please stop giving me such a hard time about it. As I said in one of the posts, after the negitivism including being fingered in this topic, I'm done w/submitted such deals except as d.t.'s. I fully agree w/everyone that there needs to be a separate way to submit such deals!

    -----Original Message-----
    How do I submit a product deal that is (ex) $4.99, not on sale but free after rebate. The deal submission requires a sale price, then reg. price, then a rebate. Thx, Deby


    1. Submit as product.

    Once your at the pricing submission page...

    2. Enter current price as $4.99

    3. Scroll down to where it asks "yes/no"" for rebates.

    4. Use menu to select yes, enter the rebate amount, rebate expiration, and a link to the rebate directly.

    The rest is pretty much like normal.


    - Your feedback request was answered by: Solstice
      77456
    • YanBz
      admin
      Posted by YanBz on August 31, 2010
      [reply] 1 0
      Deby, don't take this as an attempt to diminish your deals. I was moderating (at least one of them) and I am fully to take the blame. Mr Green

      They are great bargains. We are just trying to sort out things so that people don't confuse them with mail-in rebates.
    • 77491
    • deby32953
      professor
      Posted by deby32953 on September 1, 2010 [reply] 0 0
      Thanks, YanBz! I feel a little better. There were a lot of neg comments on those deals.
    • 77626
    • Solstice
      professor
      1 6 2
      11 4 1
      Posted by Solstice on September 1, 2010 [reply] 0 0
      It seems to me Deby that you asked the wrong question, and then applied the answer received to an entirely different scenario. Considering that the question was about "rebates" I gave you an answer that fit those parameters and applied to the situation. You should have asked about "register rewards" or "care bucks" if that was what you wanted to know about.
  • 77455
    YanBz
    admin
    Posted by YanBz on August 31, 2010
    [reply] 1 0
    How does this sketch look?



    I think the fact that you get $20 worth of stuff for $10 is closer to reality than "Free after rebate"

    I don't like it. It looks like you have to pay $10 and then $10 more. Need more ideas.
      77617
    • HouTex
      admin
      Posted by HouTex on September 1, 2010
      [reply] 1 0
      Yan, would it be possible to just add a single additional choice to the basic submission form, so we could pick either "rebate" (with expiration date and link to the form) or "store credit" (without date if not known or link to form)? What I'm hoping to see then is either "free after rebate" or "free after store credit" on the front page of the deal. (Or whatever amount remains after the savings is deducted from the price). Then the process of submitting the deal wouldn't change. Would that work?
    • 77623
    • Solstice
      professor
      1 6 2
      11 4 1
      Posted by Solstice on September 1, 2010 [reply] 0 0
      Perhaps where it says Free or X amount "After Rebate", why not have it say Free or "X" amount "After Store Credit".
  • 77479
    elefanteau
    teacher
    Posted by elefanteau on August 31, 2010 [reply] 0 0
    I think that maybe these sorts of deals should go in the Discussion Topics section? There are lots of these Register Rewards/+Up Rewards/Extra Care Bucks deals every week, and if each of them were to be submitted as deals, it would really clog up the deal queue. Also, it's sort of a YMMV type thing because some stores might not even carry the item/it might be out of stock (I've run into these issues at the Rite Aids near me).

    Maybe there should be weekly threads here in the Topics section where we can post the freebies/"freebies"/rebate deals.
      77485
    • HouTex
      admin
      Posted by HouTex on September 1, 2010 [reply] 0 0
      Your idea of a thread for them together does sound good. Maybe you are right, there could be too many of them as individual deals when the stores run whole pages of items every week. When I was considering how to word them as deals, I thought of maybe putting "Get $X back in store credit" in the Instructions.
    • 77487
    • elefanteau
      teacher
      Posted by elefanteau on September 1, 2010 [reply] 0 0
      Yup, there can be many of them every week. For example, last week was a great week of freebies for Rite Aid. In fact, there were many Pain Care products for free after rebate. Imagine seeing all those Pain Care products -- Stopain, Cramp 911, Salonpas, et al. -- one after another in the deal queue? Might be a doozy. Eeek

      So hence, my idea of a deal thread. If we end up doing these weekly threads, I'll volunteer to help out...especially with Rite Aid. Smile
    • 77495
    • deby32953
      professor
      Posted by deby32953 on September 1, 2010 [reply] 0 0
      Are you going to have the extra time w/grad school starting soon? That's really generous of you.
  • 77483
    HouTex
    admin
    Posted by HouTex on September 1, 2010 [reply] 1 1
    Deby, it would be helpful if you could participate in discussions to benefit the community as a whole, instead of personalizing every topic as a direct attack on you. We are attempting, with this discussion, to improve the format for presenting this type of deal accurately. Entering such offers as discussion topics is not the solution, because they belong with the deals where they can be grouped by tag and store. Everyone's help, including yours if you choose to give it, makes our community better. I simply selected the 2 most recent deals to illustrate the need for clarification, without any thought about who had submitted them.
      77492
    • deby32953
      professor
      Posted by deby32953 on September 1, 2010 [reply] 0 0
      Did you read my last sentence? "I fully agree w/everyone that there needs to be a separate way to submit such deals!"
    • 77493
    • deby32953
      professor
      Posted by deby32953 on September 1, 2010 [reply] 0 0
      I think if you got as much heat as I did this week & then saw the "bad" deal examples were both yours, you'd be a little personally offended too. I want a solution as much as the next person. I put in my description, "free after CVS Bucks print at checkout" as suggested by admin. Thinking hard to come up w/something better. 1 min. you're in agreement to posting them in d.t. & now you're saying they belong in deals? Which is it?
    • 77494
    • deby32953
      professor
      Posted by deby32953 on September 1, 2010 [reply] 0 0
      And HouTex, it would be nice if you left the exaggerations for the office. I don't "personalize every topic as a direct attack" on me. That song & dance is getting old. I try very hard to do my very best in ALL areas of BUXR whether you agree w/it or not. I'll think hard to try to come up w/a solution....as I sleep. G'nite to all.
  • 77914
    YanBz
    admin
    Posted by YanBz on September 3, 2010 [reply] 0 0
    Dedicated discussions thread for deals involving store credit sounds like a good idea. There are many of them released each week by Walgreens and CVS so there is some good stuff to post, however as elefanteau rightly noticed many of these are YMMV because some stores may not carry the item or it might be out of stock. If anyone willing to take the initiative, just start the threads for 2010 (one for each store) and we will go from there.

    That said, I will still be working on a solution on how we can post deals that involve store credit since these could be online deal available nationwide (and not only from CVS or Walgreens). So, I am still soliciting your feedback on how we can best present/format these deals.

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