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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Staples: Another Rewards Program I Like

I usually only pay attention to the Staples Advertisements during the summer when the store offers full rebates on school supplies, but recently I noted that Staples was offering some full rebates and rewards on products I will inevitably end up using.

Staples has two types of programs, both which work well for me.

The first is the best: the Easy Rebate. You purchase the product at the store and the rebate slip prints right out of the register. This is a nice feature because if the rebate slip doesn't print out, you know you picked up the wrong type of paper or what have you and make the exchange right there in the store.

You can either mail it in, or submit in online. I submit everything online to save on postage (plus, I'm low on postage since a certain kid mistook my stamps for her stickers, oops). It only takes me a few minutes and using my Easy Rebates online account to enter the item and rebate receipt code into the system and I can track the status of my rebate.

Because I buy most of my supplies for my own business, I like to enter an invoice for the rebate into my own accounting software so the rebate will deduct from my business expense account upon receiving the rebate. Come tax time, I know my records are accurate.

The other type of program is Staples Rewards. Using this program, the price of the item you buy is put onto your rewards account and a certificate for the amount arrives in your mailbox. You have to be a Staples Rewards member, which is a club card available to anyone who shops there. The certificate works exactly like a coupon. If you have $30 of Staples Rewards bucks and you make a $50 purchase, your out of pocket cost is $20.

Of course, if you want to receive your rewards, you need to make sure to show your card to the cashier or give him/her your telephone number which is linked to the account. This type of program is only appealing to me because I use enough printer ink for my business that I have no fear that the dollars will go unused. And, as a rewards member, I receive good coupons from Staples, making the price of ink palatable.

The only hitch I run into is that sometimes I buy an item on my account which is not for my business (Staples offered backpacks this summer on the rewards program which was a nice bonus for back to school). Later, when I receive the rewards, I turn around and purchase something for my business. This gets a little dicey, but I try to keep good records.

I've picked up a lot of great supplies for the cost of sales tax and a few dollars recently after rebates and rewards. If you have a home based businesses, it is definitely worth watching the Staples circular year round.


Bklynmom said...

Part of the rewards program is ink recycling. Staples gives either $3 or $6 per recycled ink cartidge in rewards. The amount varies depending on the brand (now it's HP) and promotion (a few weeks ago they gave back $6 a cartridge with a specific ink purchase). The limit is 10 cartridges a month, more with certain types or memberships. The ink need not have been purchased at Staples, so you can recycle any cartidges you may have. And you prevent ink from going into landfills.
Also, the amount of credit you get back in rewards varies from item to item and week to week--sometimes just toner and paper, other times other items. Like you said, check the circular.

Orthonomics said...

Thank you Brooklyn Mom-I just turned in 8 cartridges. I believe the ink recycling goes through Staples Rewards. I'm looking forward to my big coupon.

Bklynmom said...

Yes, it does go through their reward program, but they send you the coupon for ink recycling separately. It seems to take longer for some reason.
And you're welcome!

Ariella said...

Thanks for the tip. I'll have to bring in the empty cartridges I have. Office Max is supposed to also have some kind of reward for turning in cartridges. But I didn't get anything last time I turned in my cartridges there, and it's been nearly half a year now.

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