Unlike a lot of companies, Costco actually makes submitting and finding information about rebates pretty painless. At Costco.com they have a whole section of pages all about rebates. I came across this recently when I submitted a rebate online for some contact lenses that Dave and I bought at the end of May.
When you purchase something from Costco that is eligible for a rebate from them (not directly from the manufacturer), you get a special rebate receipt that has all of the information that you will need to submit your request online or by snail mail. The receipt also has full instructions about how to submit your rebate online, which is very helpful of them. In any case, if you choose to submit it online you’ll go through a couple of pages where they ask for some standard member information such as your email address and your membership number. And you will also need to provide some information from the receipt: date of purchase, warehouse number, register number, and transaction number. All of this stuff is very clearly labeled on your receipt, so it’s very simple to do. There are a couple of other pages in the process asking for contact information and such but all in all, it will probably only take you at most 10 minutes to fill out the rebate request. And then you wait…four to six weeks for rebates from Costco. I’ve been waiting for 20 days for my rebate and they are still processing it apparently.
How do I know they are still processing it? Because you can also check the status of your rebate request online. How handy is that? And how many rebates have you never gotten and never been able to check on from other places? In any case, to check the status of your rebate you’ll need either the confirmation number from the email you will receive after you put in an online request for a rebate or you will need your membership number, your last name, and your zip code to find your refund. The only slightly confusing aspect of looking for your rebate status is that you have to click on the same link that you would for submitting your refund request: under the Submit Online header there is a ‘submit’ button that you’ll need to click and then the next page will have a menu item for Check Your Rebate Status. It’s a little bit of a poor usability thing but now you’ll know the correct way to navigate it at least.
But wait, there’s more. From the rebate section of the website, you can also find information by location on what current rebates are available. For instance, if I look up Austin, Texas I find that we have rebates on three items in the store currently, all look to be air conditioners (I’m guessing). There is an item description, item number, the limit of how many you can buy, the expiration date, as well as the amount of the rebate. However, they can’t guarantee that the items will be in your store because they only update the inventory listings daily. But at least you would be aware of the possibility.
There’s also a section for looking up manufacturer’s rebates; mailed directly to the manufacturer without Costco involvement. You can view a list of those items online too, as well as print out the necessary forms to submit your rebate request to the manufacturer. The items are listed under big categories like ‘appliances’ or ‘cameras’ and for each item you can see the description, item number, amount of rebate, dates the rebate is offered, and get the mail in form as a PDF.
Lastly, there’s a page about how to reimburse the manufacturer if you got a rebate for something that you returned. Why do I not see this being an often used page? But this is only good if you have received, but not deposited, the rebate check after you returned something.
In the past I have had excellent results from submitting rebates through Costco.com. The last time I did, I think the rebate was for some software, the check was here in a month. So, I’m hoping that my rebate check will be here in the next couple of weeks for my contact lenses. On the other hand, I’m still waiting for a rebate from a certain software comapny, that I’m guessing I’ll never receive since it’s been years and years.