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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'll take a rain check, please!

I thought I needed to post about this when talking with a friend the other day. She mentioned to me that she has never thought about getting a rain check before when she misses out on sales.

Really?

I was surprised. I thought everyone knew how rain checks worked. So just in case you don't, I will go over it here.
The Wikipedia definition:

Rain check, now in general use as an agreement to provide to a customer an item that a merchant has run out of.

When a store is out of an item you want to purchase you can ask for a rain check. That means when the item comes in stock within a certain amount of time (usually 30 days) you can get it for the current sale price.

No more missing out when the item is gone off the shelf!

The store fills out a form that details the item, the description, sale price, and your contact info. Sometimes they have you sign the form too. Then you keep the rain check until the item comes back in stock. At that time you redeem the rain check.

This is especially nice when you miss out on a great coupon deal. You can still get that pasta for $1 a box and use your $1/1 coupon to get it free...long after the original sale ended. I love doing rain checks at Albertson's especially, because deals for the Twice the Value coupons go quickly. And since the Twice the Value coupons come back on a regular basis, I can almost count on being able to use future double coupons with my rain checks. I get them all the time.

Make sense?

If you are trying to purchase larger ticket items, you may not be able to get a rain check. Some stores limit rain checks to items less than $100. And you can only be issued a rain check when the item is completely out of stock.

Granted, sometimes rain checks won't matter with certain sales. Like if your coupon is going to expire quickly, or if it's a Catalina deal and it will stop printing before the item will be back in stock. But many times it is worth it to get a rain check for your item.

If you don't see information listed at the store you shop at, just ask if you can get a rain check when the item you want is out of stock. You just might realize a new way to save.

3 comments:

The Brewers said...

Some items say "no rain checks for this item" so you have to read the small print!!!

Tina B. said...

I did this just today at Smith's. They had eggs for .79/doz. While I still have enough in my fridge, I wanted to get in on that great deal. Alas, they were gone!! So, when I went through the checkout with my other sale items, I asked for a rain check so I can get eggs for that price the next time I'm there.

Some stores won't give rain checks when the sale ad says "While Supplies Last" so read the ad to be sure you don't miss out on something you really wanted at a great price before everyone else gets to it.

Cherish said...

Rainchecks can be especially awesome with produce. Two ways I've taken advantage of them:

1. When you can only use so much of the perishable at once, go back when you know they will be out (after the weekend, before restocking) and get the raincheck. Use it when you've used up what you bought at the beginning of the sale.

2. A few years ago, I noticed that one store put cantaloupe on sale 3 for a dollar, but they were tiny cantaloupe. By again showing up when I knew they would be out and getting a raincheck, I could redeem it a few weeks later when the cantaloupe were huge.

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