Rebate Laws: 4 Things That Every Marketer Should Know

rebate laws
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

For many retailers and manufacturers hoping to boost product sales, consumer rebates can be an effective marketing vehicle.  However, depending on the breadth of a given marketing initiative, state and federal rebate laws, rules and regulations can restrict the manner in which the rebate should be marketed and processed.  As such, before launching a consumer rebate campaign, marketers should consider at least these four points:

1) Set reasonable timeframes.

States laws vary on how quickly companies offering rebates (“offerors”) must honor consumers’ rebate requests.  In New York and North Carolina, for example, all rebates must be processed (and when applicable, mailed to consumers) within 60 days of receipt of a completed redemption form. 

Relatedly, consumers should be given a reasonable timeframe to submit their rebate requests:  North Carolina requires that rebate offerors give consumers at least 30 days after purchase to submit completed redemption forms.

2) Make sure the price is right.

A number of state laws place restrictions on rebate pricing advertising.  Several states, including California, New York and Oklahoma, require that rebate offers clearly and conspicuously state the actual (pre-rebate) price of the subject products or services.  Connecticut and Rhode Island take it a step further and forbid offerors from displaying the discounted (post-rebate) price at all.

3) Rebate laws dictate that you be flexible with consumers.

Overly strict rebate redemption requirements can create problems for marketers.  Companies that offer rebates in Rhode Island, for example, must accept photocopies or other reasonable copies of receipts from consumers as proof of purchase.  In Texas, offerors who receive an incomplete rebate form must contact the consumer and provide him or her with an opportunity to correct the deficiency, or else honor the rebate form as-is.

4) Make rebate forms accessible.

Once a rebate offer is made, redemption forms should be made readily available to consumers.  In both Maine and New York, rebate forms must be provided at the time of purchase.  Similarly, when products are sold online with an advertised rebate, New York requires retailers to provide hyperlinks to the rebate form on the purchase page.

On a federal level, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has suggested that displaying the terms of an online rebate offer on a separate, hyperlinked page, and allowing consumers to purchase the product without actually viewing the terms, may amount to a deceptive business practice in and of itself.

Be Careful

Marketers offering mail-in and instant rebates to consumers can be overwhelmed by a tangled web of state and federal laws and regulations.  As such, it is critical that marketers remain abreast of ever-evolving regulations in the consumer rebate space, or risk substantial liability.

If you are a retailer, manufacturer or marketer offering consumer rebates, or if you have been served with legal process relating to your marketing practices, please e-mail us at or call us at (212) 246-0900.

The material contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.  Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.

Attorney Advertising

Related Blog Posts:

Another FTC Lawsuit Against Marketers

FTC Bans Prominent Marketer of Business Opportunities

Missouri Attorney General Obtains Multi-Million Dollar Settlement in Deceptive Marketing Investigation

David O. Klein

David O. Klein

David Klein is one of the most recognized attorneys in the telemarketing, technology, Internet marketing, sweepstakes and telecommunications fields. Skilled at counseling clients on a broad range of technology-related matters, David Klein has substantial experience in negotiating and drafting complex licensing, marketing and Internet agreements.

Schedule a Call
In The Know

Trending Topics

Creating a Viral and Legally Compliant "Pin to Win" Contest- Klein Moynihan Turco

Creating a Viral (And Legally Compliant) “Pin to Win” Contest

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

We have frequently written about the marketing benefits associated with the use of promotional contests and sweepstakes.  Promotional contests and sweepstakes often appear on social media platforms, which provide companies with a free and effective means to increase the number of consumers participating in their respective contests. While companies must

Facebook Decision defines a TCPA Autodialer- Klein Moynihan Turco LLP

Facebook Aftermath: Courts Clarify Definition of TCPA Autodialer

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

On April 1st, the U.S. Supreme Court released its opinion in Facebook, Inc. v. Duguid, marking a newly clarified definition of “autodialer” within the meaning of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). In the two weeks that followed, two federal courts have directly addressed the definition of TCPA autodialer as

Critical Role that TCPA Plays in Outbound Telemarketing- KMT

The Critical Role that the TCPA Plays in Outbound Telemarketing

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

If you’re running any sort of outbound telemarketing campaign – phone calls, voicemail drops, or text messaging – you need to understand the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and its enabling regulations. Call center operators are not the only businesses that employ outbound telemarketing to reach out to consumers. Using

How to Use Promotional Marketing the Legal Way: Klein Moynihan Turco LLP

How To Use Promotional Marketing The Legal Way

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The use of promotional contests, games and sweepstakes marketing can be a dynamic and cost-effective way to increase sales, build a database of interested consumers and otherwise increase brand awareness and buzz. Consumers are more easily attracted to your marketing message by the opportunity to win prizes than with more

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin