Retailers Line Up For Rebate Checks

So it’s really starting now. Sears, Kroger and others are vying for the rebate checks the government will issue consumers next month as part of a $168 billion economic stimulus plan to get the economy back on track.

The Kroger plan would allow customers to exchange their rebate checks for gift cards valued higher than the government-issued money. A $300 check would turn into a $330 gift card, $600 would bring in $660 and $1,200 gets the shopper $1,320.

Meanwhile, Sears’ offer to consumers is to add 10% in the form of a gift card to any rebate check brought to a Sears or Kmart cash register.

Frankly, we’re surprised that we haven’t seen more of this promotional activity from retailers. Will we see more? And will it work to get customers into stores or will most people instead spend their rebates on debt and other bills? Also, can Sears afford to give people deals right now?


5 Responses to “Retailers Line Up For Rebate Checks”

  1. 1 Nancy Hamel April 18, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Honestly, with the amount of personal debt that the average American has these days, it almost seems slimey of these stores to be doing this. Enticing people to spend their rebates on things they probably can live without may help Sears from going out of business, but it certainly doesn’t help the consumer get out of debt. However, we are most likely going to see more retailers jump on this “buy here and get more” bandwagon over the next couple months, now that April 15th has passed. As much as I would like to believe that most Americans would use their rebates (and returns, if any) to pay down their own personal debt, I’m realistic enough to know that most people just don’t work that way. Sears may be hoping they are going to make a killing by giving away a little, but as soon as the Best Buys and Walmarts of America start offering the same bonuses, there won’t be any more reason to go to Sears than there was before.

  2. 2 PG April 21, 2008 at 9:19 am

    I agree, if you have any debt, pay it down before spending this “windfall” on things that you don’t need. BUT-if you are going to spend your money at a particular store anyway, such as Kroger (hey, we all gotta eat)then why not take advantage of their offer? Like I said, I will be shopping there anyway, so it doesn’t really help Kroger. Since retailers take advantage of customers during the good times, why not return the favor?

  3. 3 pb in boston April 22, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Slimey ? They are not holding a gun to your heads. I think its great. I need a new lawn tractor and I will be going to Sears-if I can get an extra 10% off- yippy!

  4. 4 Rick in Phoenix April 28, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    According to only the people who bring in the check will get the 10%. What about me and most of the people I know who has direct deposit? Not fair!!!

  5. 5 TeenyTiny May 5, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    The whole purpose of the rebate checks was to encourage middle America to continue fueling the economy so that we don’t stay in the current downward tailspin that no one wants to talk about.
    I say they must do their civic duty and spend every dime of those checks. The retailers are in dire straits and surely need the boost; however fleeting.
    A short-term bandage for a gaping wound. We will have a quantum shift in the way consumers and retailers do business in the next decade.

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