Dell scraps mail-in rebates for Dimension desktops
Just three days before Black Friday, Dell has decided to do away with mail-rebates
for its Dimension line of desktop PCs. Presented as a way to make holiday season shopping easier, the move is a continuation of Dell's plan
to transition away from mail-in rebates. Already rebate-free are Inspiron notebooks, Dell TVs, and "other products," the company says.
The addition of services and the desktop computer line is the second milestone in a plan to reduce use of mail-in rebates, and remove complexity of promotions and discounts for Dell consumer products and services. The net effect is list-price reductions and instant savings that result in the same or better overall value customers have come to associate with Dell.
In its announcement, Dell also takes a jab at competitors who might advertise a PC for $99 when it actually costs $689 at the register, "requiring three separate rebates and the requirement to enter a cell-phone contract with a third-party vendor." Dell isn't really exaggerating, either: Circuit City was recently seen
advertising a $99.99 notebook that cost $679.99 and required a mail-in rebate and a 12-month Vonage subscription to sink below $100.