What Manufacturers Don’t Want You to Know About Refunds

The dirty secret of companies that offer refunds is that many if not most of the people who buy an item with a refund offer don't actually bother to claim it - or they make some mistake that disqualifies their claim. Claiming a refund takes time and patience, but if you're buying something that you would buy anyway, applying for a refund puts money back in your pocket - and in the case of big-ticket items, it can be significant amount. To make the most of refunds, keep these points keep in mind:

1. Apply for the refund as soon as you get home. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to do it. The expiration dates can be very short.

2. Remove the product code or other part of the package designated as the proof of purchase. Fill out the refund form, photocopy it, and mail it. Be sure to include the proof of purchase, a copy of the receipt, and anything else that is required. Send exactly what is specified or you'll be disqualified.

3. Keep a log of refunds that you have requested, listing the item, the company, the amount due, and the date you mailed it.

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