Mail Un-Rebates Revisited
By Arnold Kling
I hope this got it out of my system.
If mail-in rebates went away, then retailers would still have to earn their profits somehow. Either other shady sales practices would expand, or the retailers would have to raise prices. In my opinion, higher prices without the rebate game would be an improvement, because so much of the cost of the rebate game is administrative overhead and unnecessary paperwork. In that sense, I think that the rebate game constitutes a market failure. Still, even though I find it annoying and offensive, its overall social cost is probably low.
Anyway, for my father’s computer, I went to Office Depot. No way I am ever setting foot in a CompUSA store again, unless it’s with an IED.
For Discussion. Are mail-in rebates a gimmick that is here to stay?