Return to Sender: Mail-in Rebates Are Bad Deals for PC Builders

Return to Sender: Mail-in Rebates Are Bad Deals for PC Builders

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In some ways, our long PC-building winter is over. GPUs have reached sane prices and are more available than ever, overcoming one of the biggest frustrations for builders and gamers for the last two years. Other parts may be hard to find or afford due to inflation and continued production issues, but supply-wise, it’s a much better time to build a PC than it was a couple of years ago.

Those who have the means may be starting to collect new parts, ready to build a new machine, perhaps even one of the best PC builds or a gaming PC for under $500. To those people, I beg of you, don’t rely on mail-in rebates.

Don’t get me wrong, times are hard, and either way I love a good deal. But mail-in rebates are bad for shoppers who want their cash back.

When I built my last PC, my Corsair power supply, which I ordered from Newegg, came with a mail-in rebate. To redeem it, I had to cut the barcode off of the box, print a form from Newegg, gather the receipt and mail it all to Corsair (yes, I paid for postage). Weeks later, I got my rebate on a prepaid debit card. (A current rebate form I looked at (opens in new tab) while writing this suggested it could take eight to ten weeks. That may vary based on the rebate.)

I got that debit card because I did all of that work. Sure, it doesn’t take a ton of time, but it’s something you need to remember to do. If you’re like me and don’t have a printer, you have to go elsewhere for the paperwork. More importantly, you have to remember to do it, and if you do, it has to be before the expiration date for the deal.  

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