How to use coupons, cashback and other rebates to find best deals on HDTVs and Televisions
Guide To Finding The Best Price on
Plasma, LCD or LED Televisions
(using coupons, cashback, mail-in rebates and other discounts)
This article gives a brief overview of all the rebates that can be combined to get the
best price on HDTVs. You will learn about coupons, cashback, mail-in rebates, gift card
rebates, checkout rebates and how you can use them to get the best deal on TVs. You will
also learn about comparison shopping sites like smazzle.com that combine these rebates
automatically to provide the best prices.
Before You Begin
Before you start looking for the best price for a HDTV, you need to shortlist the TV
models that you will be interested in buying. There is Plasma, LCD or LED and also different
sizes like 55 inch or 37 inch etc. Helping with choosing the right TV model is beyond the
scope of this article. But you can visit sites like amazon.com , retrevo.com, wize.com,
plasmatvbuyingguide.com, lcdtvbuyingguide.com, oledbuyingguide.com to research the TV
models. They provide expert opinion and real user reviews.
Your Goal: Shortlist atleast 5-10 TV models.
Understanding Various Rebates
There are various types of rebates and discounts that you could use to your advantage
to bring down the price of the TV. Here I will discuss the advantages/disadvantages of various
Online coupons also referred as "coupon codes", "promotional codes", "discount
codes", "key codes", "promo codes", "shopping codes", "voucher codes" or "source codes" is
a simple code that you supply to the online retailer when you checkout the product. The
coupon will decrease the total price or make shipping free and provide you with considerable
savings. Coupon codes are normally entered in a promotion or coupon code text box that is
available after the product is added to cart or during checkout.
1. Coupons help decrease the price of the product instantly. Hence there is no waiting
time for you to realize your savings. .
2. There is little to no effort on your part to realize the savings..
1. Online coupons have quite a bit of restrictions sometimes. some coupons only apply to
Mail-in-rebates or MIR requires the buyer to mail in a form, a receipt and original
barcode (UPC) in order to receive a pre-determined amount as cash or check, depending on
the particular product, time and place of purchase. MIR further decreases the price or
shipping price of the product though NOT instantly. A very good example is as follows - "You
will receive a mail-in-rebate of $150 when you purchase a Samsung UN55B8000 before
March 31, 2010. Due diligence is required on the part of the shopper to claim a mail-in-rebate.
1. MIR normally provides the maximum savings.
2. Some products sell for $0.0 after mail-in-rebates thereby providing the maximum
savings to the shopper though you cannot expect it for TVs.
1. There is more effort on part of the shopper to claim mail-in-rebates. Buyer needs to fill
forms and mail it to an address provided by the retailer.
2. It may require the shopper to mail in the original UPC or barcode from the product.
3. It takes from 8-10 weeks for the MIR check to be mailed back to the shopper. So there
is a waiting period involved in realizing the savings.
4. The buyer needs to follow up with the status of the MIR to make sure he/she realizes
5. Sometimes the rebate processing center may find issues with your submission and
they reserve the right to reject your submission. You will then lose your projected
6. Sometimes one has to call the processing center to speed up the processing of mail in
Gift Card Rebates:
Gift Card rebates are savings in the form of a gift card from a particular store. A very
good example is as follows - "You will receive a $50 BandHPhotoVideo gift card with
purchase of any HDTV worth $1000". This Git card rebate offers savings of $50 BUT is in
the form of a gift card thereby forcing you to make a purchase worth $50 from the store.
Sometimes stores offer gift card in the form of a VISA debit card/ credit card that can be used
in ANY store.
1. Gift card rebates provide substantial savings as retailers tend to offer them liberally
knowing that the shopper will have to come back to them to make a followup purchase.
2. There is absolutely no waiting period to realize the savings.
3. There is normally no extra paperwork involved.
1. Gift card rebates tend to force you to make a purchase from the store that offered you
the gift card.
2. Sometimes Gift cards have an expiration date and require you to use it before the date.
Checkout Rebates are discounts offered by checkout gateways like Paypal, Google checkout
etc. The rebate normally reads like “Receive $50 off of $300 when you use Paypal to checkout”. The
savings are instant and appear immediately when you use Paypal or Google checkout to checkout.
1. Checkout rebates are instant and so you can realize the savings almost instantly.
2. Using a single payment processor can ensure that you maintain your billing information at only
one place instead of providing the information to each and every store.
1. It requires that you provide your billing information along with your credit card details to the
payment processor like Paypal.
2. Not all stores support the specific payment processor.
Cashback rebates refer to the percentage of money you get back from a cashback site when
you purchase a product through their site. All the buyer has to do is to navigate to the final product site
via the cashback site and then purchase the product from the product site. For example, if you would
like to buy Sony KDL32EX400 (worth $500) from buy.com (the product site), then you could get 3%
back ($15.00) from fatwallet.com (the cashback site) if you visit buy.com via fatwallet.com and then
buy the TV in buy.com. The reasoning behind cashback rebates is that, fatwallet.com gets a
percentage from buy.com which is then shared with you, the buyer.
1. There is very little effort on part of the buyer to earn cashback rebates. All he does is to
navigate to the final product site via the cashback site and then purchase the product from the
2. Cashback rebates normally add up to a sizeable amount when purchasing big ticket items
including but not limited to big screen TVs.
1. The rebate amount is sent to the buyer in the form of check (or) via paypal only when the total
savings reach a particular amount (say $25).
2. It takes upto 90 days for the rebate amount to reflect in your account. so there is a waiting
period involved in realizing the savings.
3. More often, you have to remember to request the amount from the Cashback site.
4. Sometimes due to Browser cookie issues, the cashback amount may not reflect in your
account - in which case it becomes a lengthy and tedious process to claim the cashback.
5. Sometimes use of any coupons could invalidate the cashback purchase.
6. You will have to remember to request the amount from the Cashback site.
Where do you look for the rebates ?
Smazzle.com combines all rebates (coupons, mail-in rebates, cashback, gift card
rebates, checkout rebates and cashback ) along with shipping and tax to find you the best
price on any HDTV. You can search the shortlisted TV models at Smazzle.com and “Request
a better price” to find even better prices. Following are some of the other good resources for
1. Online Coupons: Sites like retailmenot.com, tjoos.com, couponcactus.com are very
good places to check for coupons. Not all coupons will work for TVs. Some coupons
may have expired. So you might have to try out all coupons.
2. Mail-in rebates : There is no single place to find mail-in rebates. Each online retail store
will specify the mail-in rebate adjacent to the product.
3. Checkout rebates : Normally Paypal and Google Checkout are the two main checkout
gateways that provide rebates.
4. Cashback rebate : fatwallet.com, ebates.com, bing.com, mrrebates.com are some of
the famous cashback providers.
Visit Smazzle blog for more details on rebates and other information.