LA CROSSE, WIS — Local Dad and self-proclaimed Menards aficionado, Fred Arapas passed an important milestone Thursday when he accumulated his ten thousandth dollar in unredeemed Menards rebates.
“I love shopping there because of the savings,” Arapas said. “It seems like every other week they’ve got an 11% rebate offer on literally everything in the store. Sometimes I’ll even stop there for drinks and snacks instead of going to Kwik Trip just because of the savings.”
The savings aren’t just on small items for Arapas
“Last weekend I put in a new sink and vanity in our bathroom. With the rebate the whole thing only cost $489.50, a savings of $60.50 from the $550 I would have spent. With that savings I was able to buy myself a new level, which also had an 11% rebate. It was the rebate on the level that pushed me over the $10,000 threshold.”
There is a catch to the savings, one that’s all too easy to overlook.
“I haven’t actually redeemed any of the rebates, yet,” Arapas admitted, “but I do have most of the receipts and forms and they’re all ready to go. There’s some I filled out, but didn’t have an envelope for. Some that I had an envelope for, but didn’t have a stamp for.”
Arapas had roughly 1,000 rebate forms and receipts of various values. The majority of them are stored in two office file cabinets, both of which were bought from Menards with their own rebates.
“I’ll get to them someday, and then I’ll be sitting pretty. They actually updated the rebate process so you can now do it online, but I’ll still have to scan or take pictures of all the receipts.”
Unfortunately for Arapas, the problem with the rebates doesn’t stop there.
“The rebates aren’t cash or check, they can only be redeemed for more purchases at Menards,” said Bill Tembles, district manager for Coulee region Menards. “Also, given how long Mr. Arapas has been accumulating the rebates, I doubt that we’ll accept most of them, since the dates to redeem them have almost certainly lapsed. It’s actually the main reason we do them that way. It’s too much hassle for most customers to actually do. In fact, if everyone redeemed every rebate form every time they shopped we’d go bankrupt almost immediately.”
That doesn’t dissuade loyal customers like Arapas.
“It’s such a great store, you can get most necessities there. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed roofing nails, painters tape, five pounds of circus peanuts and the complete series of Mama’s Family on DVD. Normally I’d have to make at least three trips to get all that, but Menards had them all. I’m planning on building a deck with my $10,000 in rebates. And if I wait for the 11% rebate sale it’ll only cost me $8,900.”
Reporter DJ Bigalke contributed to this article.