I was given an interesting offer after my latest Black Friday purchase. I bought an external hard drive and was submitting my $20 rebate when they gave me two options for receiving my payment
- Receive $20 and wait 8-10 weeks for my rebate.
- Receive $18 and expedite the payment and receive it in 1 week.
This decision is not a big deal, but it presents and interesting question. At what point would I rather have the money early? $2 isn’t a lot of money, but saving 7-9 weeks is a decent amount of time. But in this situation, time doesn’t matter to me at all.
As Lauren put it when I asked which one she’d rather have, “We’re not living hand to mouth, just wait a few more weeks.” It’s true, what’s the difference between waiting a week and waiting 8 weeks? For me, not much. Once I send out that rebate form, I don’t think about it until I hear back. So whether it’s 1 week, 8 weeks, or 3 months, it’s out of my mind until I get the money from them.
However, there is a point where I would rather take the money instead of waiting for it. If they could give me the money instantaneously, for example, I would gladly give up $2. Knowing that I have the money in my pocket and not having to wait for it, hoping my rebate goes through is worth it to me.
What if they offered either a $20 gift card to Starbucks instead of $18 on a pre-paid VISA card? I think in that case I would prefer the Starbucks card because, while I don’t drink coffee, I occasionally go to Starbucks to get an iced tea, so it would go to good use at some point.