IThe basic definition of "Refunding" is the hobby of saving the
UPC codes and cash register receipts from the products you purchase and
then sending them in with a refund form to receive either cash back or
a promotional item from the company sponsoring the offer. Of course,
there is much more to Refunding than just the basic definition. If
you are interested in learning how to save extra money, hopefully this
page will help you get started. Before going any further, you might
want to take a look at the lingo that will be used on this page.
To those who are not familiar with it, it may sound like Greek!!
Click the Key To Terms button at left view a list of Refunding Lingo
Combining Coupons & Refunds
No doubt you are already familiar with what a
coupon is. Coupons have been used by shoppers to trim their grocery
bills for generations now! I can remember as a child helping my mom
cut out .05 cent coupons!! These days 5cents isn't even worth the
time it would take to cut it out! While you do not need to use coupons
religiously in order to save money with refunding, if you learn to combine
the two hobbies, your savings will soar even higher. Watching the
store flyers can add even MORE to your savings.
For instance, say you clipped a $1.00 coupon
for Healthy Choice frozen entrees. You know that there is a refund
for $1.00 back on the purchase of one entree. For now you know that
you can save $2 off your purchase. That's not bad! But...if
you file that coupon in your coupon organizer and sit back (keep in mind
the expiration date of your coupon!) and wait for a store sale, you can
actually be PAID to purchase that Healthy Choice entree. How?
It's simple! Let's say Acme Grocery has a sale this week on Healthy
Choice frozen entrees....regular price is $2.99. For this example
lets say they are having a 50% off sale. That brings the sale price
of the item to about $1.50. Take your $1.00 coupon, go to the store
and purchase the item. Your total for taking that entree home is
$0.50. What a deal! But wait, it gets better! If you
take your receipt and the proof of purchase (usually the UPC) and pull
out that refund form that you have been holding onto which entitles you
to receive a $1 cash refund if you purchase a Healthy Choice entree, follow
all the instructions on the form...sometimes it may feel like they are
asking for your first born...and mail your form, receipt and UPC to the
address listed on the form, in about 6-8 weeks you will receive a check
in the mail for $1.00. Lets see how we did:
You can't get any better than that!!
You not only got the item for free...you were paid to buy it!!
Of course this level of savings is not
always possible. But if you could do this on just a few items in
your shopping cart...isn't it worth the effort?
The Basics of Refunding
Simply put, Refunding means sending in proofs
of purchase to major manufacturers in exchange for cash, free items (promotions)
or free coupons. Refund offers are printed on refund forms.
Generally forms can be found hanging on shelves by the product if you are
lucky, while most often you will need to ask at the customer service desk
of your store for the form. There are also refund forms printed on
the packaging of certain products. These are called SMP forms...Specially
Marked Package forms. All refund forms require that you fill in your
name, address, and zip. You attach the request items...it could be
the UPC or the UPC and the cash register receipt or sometimes JUST the
cash register receipt, mail it to the address listed on the form.
In 6-8 weeks you will receive your refund in the form of a check made payable
to you if your refund was for cash, in the form of a free product coupon
which you redeem at your local store or a free gift item such as a t-shirt,
toy, phonecard, magnet, etc.
The Proof of Purchase
All refunds require some sort of proof of purchase
or "Qualifier". The most common proof of purchase is the UPC
code. However, some companies require that you send something other than
the UPC code as your proof of purchase. Click HERE
for a listing of some products that request items other than the UPC code
as a Qualifier. Most refund forms also require that you send
in the cash register receipt with the purchase price of the item you are
receiving the refund on circled. It is IMPERATIVE that you save EVERY
receipt you get....you never know when a refund may comeout for that item
you have already purchased! In fact, a good rule of thumb as far
as what to save is "When In Doubt, DON'T Throw It Out". As
you become more familiar with refunding and what items have refunds and
what you should save, you can go back and get rid of all that stuff that
won't do you any good! As time goes on and you continue to save what
you used to call garbage, you will need some organization! Start
small....and as your collection of UPCs grows, expand along with it.
The easiest way to start out organizing your UPCs is to make generic "files".
You can use ziploc bags, file folders, envelopes...anything...just don't
invest money into organizings your UPCs yet! Use what you have on
hand. Label your files very generally. Then as time goes on
you will work out a system that works best for you at that time.
Well, hopefully by now you have a better
idea of just exactly what refunding is.
This Page and All Graphics Created by © 1998 SUSAN
|Healthy Choice Entree
|Acme Store Sale 50%
|Total To Purchase Item
|$1.00 refund less 32c
|You are PAID to
buy this item: