Christopher tm Herdt (cherdt) wrote,
Christopher tm Herdt

The Lure of Easy Money - Mail-In Rebates

well_lahdidah and I went to the wine and spirits shop last weekend, primarily so that she could purchase a fifth of Absolut Pear to make her 2007 summer drink, a pear vodka highball. (I had recommended a pear brandy highball instead, but I changed my mind when I saw the price of pear brandy.)

The Absolut had a coupon around the neck of the bottle. It said $7.00 off a fifth (or larger) of any Dekuyper liquor or cordial except Triple Sec (presumably because that's the most useful mixer?). A fifth is only $10 to begin with, so we thought, sure, why not! We'll find something drinkable for $3.00. We wavered between peach schnapps (mmm, fuzzy navels) and amaretto (almond is always tasty) to fill the gaps in our cordials shelf. We decided on a liter of amaretto.

But when we got to the register with our liquors (and, ahem, 5 bottles of wine), we discovered that the coupon was actually a mail-in rebate! Fine, fine, I thought, we've already picked out a bottle and started imagining the cocktails we might make with it. We'll buy it anyway and I'll send in the receipt and get the $7.00.

The insidious mail-in rebate masterminds clearly had something else in mind; they require not only the original receipt and the original coupon, but also the original UPC barcode from each bottle. The Absolut label was easy, but the coupon recommended soaking the Dekuyper bottle in warm water for an hour in order to peel off the label. All these items—coupon, receipt, 2 labels—had to be received within a few weeks time in order to receive the rebate.
  • Who goes through a liter of amaretto in a few weeks time?
  • If you do go through a bottle of amaretto in a few weeks, do you have the capacity to remember all these rebate details?
  • You polish off a liter of amaretto in with the help of a cocktail party, will you remember to soak the bottle for an hour while you're hungover and trying to clean the place up the next day?
But I would foil their plot by soaking the bottle in warm water immediately, before even sampling their wares, because nothing would come between me and the redemption of my $7 mail-in rebate!

At the end of an hour, I attempted to peel off the Dekuyper label. Even though I had followed the instructions, the glue did not want to give, and the label came off in several pieces. I reassembled the pieces on a piece of blank paper and taped them together. The barcode is missing a tiny chunk. Now I have to wait 8 weeks to see if the scraps I mailed in will qualify. I cursed their evil plot and realized that the time I spent and the irritation I endured was worth more than 7 bucks. It would be one thing if I took this lesson to heart and never got sucked in by another mail-in rebate again, but this is hardly the first time I've had this experience! Why are rebates so irresistible? What's wrong with my brain?

But the story has a happy ending: I mixed together 1 oz. creme de cacao, 1 oz. of amaretto, and 6 oz. of milk, shook it violently in a cocktail shaker with some ice, and strained it into a rocks glass. Then I gave it a dusting of freshly-grated nutmeg (perhaps more than a dusting—well_lahdidah thinks the nutmeg was a little heavy). Tastes like candy! An excellent dessert drink to set one's mind at ease about the trials of mail-in rebates.

[Edit 26-May-2008: I finally got the rebate check! It arrived a couple weeks ago, and I just deposited it last week.]
Tags: booze, pet peeves

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