January 24, 2006, 12:00 AM

Best Buy ends the rebate paper chase

As part of a plan to end the practice of customers sending in paper rebates, Best Buy is introducing an online rebate submission process that enables customers to submit select Best Buy rebates online through BestBuy.com/rebates.

When it comes to rebates, Best Buy Co. is trying to convert lovers of paper into users of e-commerce. As part of a plan to end the practice of customers sending in paper rebates, Best Buy is introducing an online rebate submission process that enables customers to submit select Best Buy rebates online through BestBuy.com/rebates.

The first part of the plan involves laptop computers. When they use BestBuy.com/rebates rather than wait for their rebate checks to be sent through the mail, customers can qualify for instant savings, says Best Buy.

"Best Buy is taking a leadership position within the retail industry with our plans to eliminate mail-in rebates," says Ron Boire, Best Buy executive vice president and global merchandise manager. "Our customers told us they hate mail-in rebate programs. As a result, we`re working as a company to find new solutions to give our customers a better shopping experience, while remaining competitive on pricing."

Best Buy customers will begin receiving instant savings on a majority of computer accessories by early February. In addition to eliminating mail-in rebates on notebooks, Best Buy has also created an online submission center for those products that still have mail-in rebates. The tool provides customers with a convenient way to submit select Best Buy rebates online and receive their checks faster, the retailer says. Provided the submission is compliant, Best Buy says most rebate checks will be mailed within seven days after submission.

Best Buy, No. 10 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, announced last April that it intended to eliminate mail-in rebates from its portfolio within two years. Best Buy senior vice president of online stores and marketing Sam Taylor will speak at the Internet Retailer 2006 Conference & Exhibition in a session entitled Delivering Web Content That`s Focused on Customer Needs.

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