Coupon Sherpa Blog

6 Ways to Turn Rain Checks into a Windfall

Rain checks needn't always mean gloomy weather. Coupon Sherpa knows how you can turn these little slips of paper into sunny days for your pocketbook.

A rain check is a ticket, coupon or the like, entitling a customer to purchase an out-of-stock item at a later date at the sale price. In essence a rain check is a paper "I.O.U." guaranteeing the same sale price at a later date of the customer's choosing.

For example, an electronics store advertises Dell laptops for $600 but you arrive and they don't have any left. You ask for a rain check and return when they've restocked the particular item. (Note some sale ads will note "No rain checks" or the sale item is only available at the reduced price "Until supplies run out."

Coupon Sherpa has put together six ways you can use rain checks to your advantage.

1. Hedge against rising prices: Hold on to your rain check until prices on that product, say diapers, have gone up. Then cash it in for the guaranteed low price. Some stores indicate expiration dates for rain checks but, typically, rain checks are valid for at least four weeks, and occasionally up to one year from date of issuance.

2. Combine with coupons: Delay the sale with a rain check, until you have a coupon for that product and can combine your savings.

3. Stockpile coupons: A rain check allows you to wait until you can find multiple coupons online or purchase them at a good price through eBay. Often, coupons are in demand because sales are more expensive on eBay. With a rain check, you can bid after the sale and get a better deal because you're not competing with many anxious bidders.

4. Manage your cash flow: Go to the store at the end of a sale when they're likely to be out of the item and get a rain check, then cash in therain check when you have room in your budget to stockpile the item.

5. Choose a substitute: Some rain checks indicate you can substitute similar items for the rain-checked items, such as a blanket in a better color or weave than the sale item.

6. Get the maximum number available: Even if you think you only want one item, you'll have a stockpile of rain checks in case a really great coupon comes along.

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