Do Holiday Rebates Really Offer Big Savings for Atlanta Shoppers?

When is saving money not all it's cracked up to be? Maybe when it comes to holiday rebates.

Every holiday season, stores roll out shiny, new merchandise - and new sales pitches to get us to buy it, even when we're short on cash thanks to not-so-great economic times, say Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys. Some of those specials include rebates - purchases in which we can apply to get money back from the company after paying full price at the store. Most shoppers won't argue with a discount, even a delayed one, but maybe they would if they knew the truth - only half of consumers end up redeeming rebates.

It's not that companies aren't honoring rebates, it's that shoppers don't always request them - or use them. Sometimes we forget about filling out the paperwork. Other times we lose our proof of purchase. Then again, maybe we apply for a rebate, but then never get around to cashing the check when it comes in the mail. Maybe the check expires. Or perhaps we receive the money on a prepaid card, and end up being charged so many fees that there isn't much of a rebate left to use.

There are dozens of ways we can end up without our promised discount, and stores know there's a good chance we'll fall for one of them. So companies don't have to give us money back, yet they get away with advertising a product for a lower price than what they actually charge for it - meaning they can lure more shoppers looking for a frugal holiday. In fact, sometimes stores can get away with charging more for a product than the competition, even when the rebate is included, just because the discount gives the illusion of savings.

It's a sneaky business, but you don't have to fall for it. Next time you're weighing whether to make that purchase, ask yourself three things: Can I live without it? Can I pay for it without going into debt (or adding to debt I already have)? And, can I find it somewhere else for cheaper? If the answer to any of these questions is no, take it as a sign that it's not meant to be.

In times like these, we need a real way to save money, not just a clever advertisement. Bankruptcy is the only legal tool created solely to eliminate debt. If you've got too many financial obligations, a bankruptcy plan can be the most effective path to a fresh start. Learn more about bankruptcy and how it pertains to your unique financial situation when you try a free personal debt analysis with an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney.

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