get back to us when you've really thought it out.
1) I have to spend money to get it in the form of an envelope and stamp (so the $200 rebate becomes $198.45 for example)
2) I have to wait for them to receive and process my mail in rebate
3) If my mail in rebate succeeds in not getting lost then it gets mailed out - if it does get lost then I never get a rebate because the original UPA/barcode is gone.
4) The card encourages you to spend money rather than to save money
5) Between the time of you spending money and the card arriving in your hands is an interest free loan of that amount to Canon
6) For local purchases, the extra that I pay in sales tax is not refunded
7) I have to deface the box that I bought it in to provide the proof of purchase
If it is an instant rebate then..
- I never spend more than I have to
- No free loan of money
- I don't have to wait to get the discount
- Don't have to spend any money to get my money back
- Getting my refund does not depend on the USPS, myself remembering to post it at the right time, it being processed, etc.
- I pay less sales tax if it is a local purchase
- I don't have to worry about the $200 I saved being less than $200 12 months later
- the box that it came in looks brand new if I keep it well, no holes, etc, in it.
On the tax front, if a lens was $1000 then with 8.25% tax, that would total $1082.50, minus mail in rebate of $200 for $882.50. If the rebate is instant then I spend ($1000 - $200) * 1.0825 = $866. So on a local purchase of $1000, I effectively get back $200 - $16.50 - postage = $183.50 - postage.
If you don't use the $200 gift card in 6 months then you lose $2/month in service fees, so if you leave it on top of the fridge for 12 months then the $200 card has become $188, meaning that the $200 gift card has less long term value than $200 in cash you would save on an instant rebate.
mail-in rebate = good for vendor and sucky for customer
instant rebate = best value for customer and no avoiding paying out for vendor.