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Rebate Vs Discount: What is the Difference and which is Better?

When it comes to shopping, discounts and rebates are two of the most commonly used terms. Although both offer benefits to shoppers, there is often confusion about the difference between these two. In simple terms, a discount is an immediate saving that shoppers receive at the point of purchase, while a rebate is a saving that shoppers receive after the purchase has been made. In this article, we’ll delve into the difference between rebate and discount and how they work.


A discount is a reduction in the regular price of a product or service. Discounts are usually offered by retailers, manufacturers and online stores to attract shoppers or to move stock that is not selling fast enough. Discounts may be offered as a percentage off the total price, a specific amount of money off the original price, or a buy-one-get-one (BOGO) offer. For example, a retailer may offer a 30% discount on a particular product, a manufacturer may offer a $50 discount when you purchase a product, and an online store may offer a BOGO deal on a product.

There are numerous benefits of using discounts as a shopper. For example, discounts allow shoppers to save money on everyday products, and they also enable them to purchase items that they may not have otherwise been able to afford. Additionally, discounts enable shoppers to try new products or services that they may have been hesitant to buy at the full price.


A rebate is an amount of money that a shopper receives after making a purchase. Unlike discounts, a rebate is not taken off the purchase price at the point of sale. Instead, shoppers need to fill out a rebate form, provide proof of purchase and wait for the rebate to be processed. Rebates can be offered by manufacturers, retailers and service providers. They may be advertised as cash rebates, mail-in rebates or online rebates. For example, a shopper may be offered a $50 cash rebate when purchasing a particular product.

There are several advantages to using rebates as a shopper. One of the most significant benefits of rebates is that they often offer higher savings than discounts. For instance, a manufacturer may offer a $50 rebate on a product that costs $300, which represents a saving of 16%. That is more significant than the same product being discounted by 10% at the point of purchase. Additionally, rebates can be used to motivate shoppers to make a purchase when the price of an item is still higher than they are willing to pay.

Which is better?

The choice between a discount and a rebate will depend on individual circumstances and the specific products or services being offered. There are some cases where a discount will be a better option for shoppers. For example, if the product being offered is necessary, and you do not want to wait for the rebate to be processed, a discount is a better value for money. Plus, discounts are often advertised and promoted more frequently, so finding a discount when you need it is relatively easy. However, if the product being offered is available for a long time or is not urgent, a rebate may be a better alternative, as it offers higher savings.

It is crucial to note that there can be some complications when using rebates. For instance, shoppers need to fill out a rebate form accurately, provide proof of purchase, and wait for the rebate to be processed before they can receive the money. This can be time consuming, and there is a risk that the rebate might not be processed correctly. It is, therefore, essential to read the terms and conditions of the rebate, understand the timeframes and ensure that you comply with all the requirements.


Overall, both discounts and rebates offer benefits to shoppers, but the circumstances and specific products being offered will determine the best choice for consumers. Discounts offer immediate savings, while rebates offer higher savings, but shoppers need to wait for the rebate to be processed. It is vital to read the terms and conditions of the rebate or discount, consider the value for money offered and to ensure that buyers comply with all of the requirements to avoid any issues with the offer.