Free Coupons Equal A Cash Refund

Clark Hinkle gives an overview on how you can make money by sending in labels and coupons for cash refund through the mail.
By Clark Hinkle
November/December 1970
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There's a surprising number of "checks" and "vouchers" with your name on them just waiting to be picked up. 

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People who don't send away for cash refund often say, "What's the use of spending that time . . . you only get back a quarter." 

Right, only a quarter. But ask any child. Most of them will stand and trade nickles for quarters any day. If you send in four refunds and get $1.00 back, you've spent 24¢ postage and realized 76¢ for your time. Eight quarters back will net you $1.52. Invest $2.40 in postage and net $7.60 out of your $10.00 return. 

Refunds are also for halves, dollars—even $2.50 and $3.00—and the postage remains the same. So you can easily "invest" some labels and $2.00 in postage to get back $12.00 . . . and clear a $10.00 cash refund. Few investments will give that return in, say, a month . . . from "trash" you'd throw away anyway.     

Making Money Through Cash Refund

The interesting thing about recycling is the number of variations on the game. I mean, there's nothing wrong with combing trash piles for good, useable items from our throw away system: It conserves both the planet's resources and your hard earned dollars. But, as long as you're digging in the dump for useable things, you might as well make some dollars by picking up the cold, hard cash that's buried there too.

If you know what to look for, there's a surprising number of "checks" and "vouchers" with your name on them just waiting to be picked up, anytime, anywhere. NO investment necessary. It's the closest to "something for nothing" I know. All you need is a mailing address and access to a high class set of trash piles.

The lady that turned me on to this idea told me she was making from $70.00 to $90.00 a month for about an hour's work each day. Another showed me a score sheet indicating she had netted $50.00 for a month. Anyone can do it and make money and—like everything else—the more you have going for you, the more you'll make. You are the key and you can make as little as you like or . . . try a little harder.

What we are discussing is the cash refund bag as it is handled today by manufacturers in an effort to get you to try their products. To quote some of the current offers: Maxim Freeze-Dried Coffee will pay you $1.00 for the inner seal from one of their jars of coffee plus the label from any breakfast product. H. J. Heinz offers a refund of 25¢ for six soup labels. You can get a $1.00 refund from Salada for the tops of three packages of tea. Ultra Brite offers $1.00 for the panels from two tubes of toothpaste.

At any one time, approximately 50 companies are paying cash refunds to promote their products. The average consumer sees only a tiny portion of these offers because store managers just do not display information on all possible refund offers. Some promotions are published only in newspapers or certain magazines.

Fortunately, for those who want to dig deeper into this source of cash, there is a small bulletin published monthly that covers the field. The bulletin is Quick Silver  published by Eggleston Enterprise in Milford, N.Y.. The bulletin is about three typewritten (both sides) pages, lists almost all available refund offers, sells for 35¢ a copy, $1.00 for 3 months or $3.50 per year. And you can earn back the subscription price by sending the editors information on refund offers in your area. They'll give you 25¢ for each tip they use. They also guide you as to which offers require an official refund certificate and which do not. Approximately 90% of the listings are valid without certificates.

Many of the promotions specify one to a family and the big refund operators that I talked with, were using up to ten different addresses in order to milk an offer for that many dollars instead of a single buck.

The refunds are made on dog food, soap, coffee, frozen foods . . . almost everything sold in the leading chain stores, across the nation. The newspapers are full of coupon offers for 5¢ to 50¢. These are certificates that are presented at the register for a discount. In many cases you buy an item for 50¢ and give them a coupon worth 10¢. You then send in the label of the item and get a cash refund of 50¢ and another coupon to buy something else. There have been several offers where, after the initial purchase, a product is free for the next few weeks while the offer lasts.

The back of supermarkets, restaurants, and other trash piles offer wonderful picking for labels and box tops worth cash refunds. Sunbeam was offering $5.00 for the front panel and a sales slip from the purchase of an electric razor. A rubbish pile in the rear of a store provided two panels and some fast work with a pencil made the sales slips. Two addresses, and $10.00 was on the way home.

I questioned one lady about her trash pile picking and tried to find out if it bothered her to be seen foraging through the empty boxes in back of a supermarket. "What would you do if you saw a dollar bill laying in the trash?" she asked.

The price was right, I decided. You don't really get something for nothing . . . but then you don't lose anything either, if you work at it, scout out a source of labels and box tops and set up a couple of friends to receive mail, you can soon be getting quarters, half dollars and dollars in exchange for the debris from our Great Consumer Economy.

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Post a comment below.


12/27/2014 2:15:54 PM
Spend all that money on junk food and then use those tiny refund checks to pay for my cholesterol and diabetes medication. Oh wait, I also used a coupon for that junk food. No thanks. I'll just stick to real food like fruits, veggies, beans, grains and get my refund in my good health.

5/5/2012 11:57:52 PM
Would be great to see fresh research and an updated article... these 'home business' ventures may not work as well any more. Articles from the 70s and 80s pre-date many changes in business including the fact that now a lot of receipts are electronically printed and verified and the fact that most stores won't let anyone pick through their trash and some have gone as far as locking the dumpsters or trash enclosures. Same for picking and selling botanicals... do companies still outsource or have they turned to cheap overseas farms/labor for this? Inquiring minds want to know!

5/3/2012 3:10:25 PM
Ha ha ha, I knew when I read this it must have been written YEARS ago. Can't mail anything today for 24 cents.

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