An Insider's Look At Rebates
Here’s your first clue to when sales are soft—rebates. Whenever a manufacturer gives you a rebate, he’s trying to pull his product through the distribution chain because the sales just aren’t happening by themselves.
Right now the shooting industry has heaps of bolt-action hunting rifles piled in warehouses because of the Obama-induced recession and a bit of over-supply. Thompson/Center Arms is offering a $150 cash rebate with the purchase of any new Icon rifle plus an additional rebate of $75 if you add a Nikon scope to the deal.
Remington is offering a $40 rebate on Model 700 and 770 rifles, plus other rebates on 11-87 shotguns and ammunition. Uh-oh. That’s When you need a rebate to sell ammo, that's a real sign of a turnaround.
Marlin is kicking in $35 on select models and $25 on others.
Ruger is offering a free Carhartt jacket to keep you warm in your deerstand if you buy a new bolt-action rifle.
Now, here’s an insider’s look at rebates and how company’s plan them. You know the deal—you have to include the box label, a copy of the invoice, maybe a copy of the Form 4473 and who knows what all? Your dog’s paw print…
The reason is “breakage.” That’s the term for unclaimed rebates which manufacturers are keen to maximize, for obvious reasons. They get the sale and don’t have to kick anything back.
“Breakage” is such a science that a company called Parago even has a patent on how to “break” as many rebates as possible. It’s U.S. Patent number 7,120,591. This patent describes itself as, “The present invention satisfies a need for a more consumer friendly method for processing rebates that maintains a breakage rate ...
“The rebate processing system provides a user friendly interface, yet retains hurdles sufficient to maintain breakage."
So the next time you’re tempted to buy a bolt-action rifle or an electric toothbrush because of a rebate, remember to dot you I’s and cross your T’s because whoever made that product is hoping you’re part of their “breakage.”