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Staples, Office Depot, and Office Max Chat

akatina 1,761 January 23, 2012 at 11:51 AM in Office & School Supplies (2)
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For all the D&S shoppers that venture out into office store land (or are thinking of doing so).

Community Wiki

Last Edited by KiLLAJaTT April 9, 2012 at 03:16 AM
General office store information:
There is a difference between a rebate and a reward.

Rewards are store credit coupons (like an ECB, +UP, or RR). You earn rewards at office supply stores through a variety of means: buying particular items, using special coupons, and sometimes recycling ink and toner cartridges.

Rebates are cash money (in the form of a check, prepaid debit card, perhas PayPal deposit) that you receive back from either the manufacturer or the store.
With that in mind you'll have the following types of items.
Free After Rewards items: You pay $X.xx today for the item and receive $X.xx back in store rewards. Sometimes you'll see a variation "1 cent after rewards" so you get $X.xx-0.01 back.
Free After Rebate items: You pay $X.xx today for the item and receive $X.xx back in a rebate.
Two types of rebates at Staples: There are Staples Easy Rebates (SER or ER) and manufacturer's mail in rebates. The ad or website will tell you which type of rebate is being offered. The majority of the time, it will be SER. These are very simple to do. You just need your receipt info (the long number above the barcode on the bottom of your receipt) and the rebate offer number. Enter these into your account at https://www.stapleseasyrebates.com/. You'll receive an email confirmation, and then you just wait 4-6 weeks for your check. You can enter your receipt as soon as you leave the store, no waiting for confirmation. The other rebates, manufacturer's mail in rebates, are mainly from software. Check the terms and conditions of the rebate before purchasing the item. In the past, Staplers have had issues with doing similar product rebates at different stores and not receiving their rebates.
Remember you don't get sales tax back, that's just part of the cost of doing business.



Staples Rewards: How to be a Stapler (hahaha!!!)

Staples is probably the easiest office supply store to start with. It boils down to a few simple steps:
  1. Earn Staples Rewards. You can earn Rewards by recycling ink cartridges or by purchasing specific items. You earn rewards for purchases in store OR made online.
  2. Use your Staples Rewards to by Free After Easy Rebate (FAER) items. Rewards will not lower the amount of rebate you get back! This is how you cash-out.
Staples and Coupons
  1. Staples offers many store coupons. Some are $x amount off an item or purchase amount (i.e. $10 off a $75 purchase or $3 off Ink Joy pens). Others are x% discounts. Occasionally they will also offer coupons that give you x% back in rewards on your transaction.
  2. Staples offers specific types of store coupons. Some are only for online use, some are only for store use, and some will work both online and in-store. Check your Staples coupons carefully!
  3. Staples also accepts Manufacturer's Coupons (MQs) for items they sell. MQs are commonly available for products they sell, such as 3M, Duracell, Charmin, and Bounty.

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Do Staples Rewards "roll"? Meaning: Can I buy an item with Rewards and get new Rewards? NO. Rewards do not roll.
  2. Can I buy a Staples Rewards item with a Staples store coupon? Can you? Yes. Should you? NO. A Staples store coupon will REDUCE the amount of Rewards you receive back for your new item.
  3. Can I buy a Staples Rewards item with a MQ? YES. MQs are a form of tender and should not affect your Rewards amount.
  4. Will I lose my rebate if I buy the item with Rewards? NO. Rewards do NOT lower the amount of rebate you receive.
  5. Will I lose my rebate if I buy the item using a Staples store coupon? NO. Store coupons do NOT lower the amount of rebate you receive. Use as many as you legitimately can, it's how you make money. receive.
  6. What counts as "money spent" towards Premiere Status? Cash, credit, debit. Staples Rewards and store coupons do NOT count as spending towards Premier Status. Money spent on tax also does not count. NOTE>> Use money from your rebates (Staples rebates or others) to "buy" items so you increase your money spent towards Premier without actually spending money OOP (out of pocket).
  7. Where can I get the $/$$ Staples coupons (which are often discussed in the Hot Deals Staples threads)?You can buy Staples coupons on Ebay or Ejunkie.com. Keep in mind that the majority of these coupons can only be used online. Office Supply store coupons can also be found in your Sunday paper (Office Max puts a paper bag in there every now and then to get a percentage off everything inside), local fundraiser coupon books, and more.
  8. Does Staples accept competitor's coupons?YMMV, but most Staples (along with Office Depot and Office Max) will accept each other's coupons, the most common being a $/$$ coupon. You will have to ask the cashier/manager. Generally, the only restrictions will be what is printed on the competitor's coupon. (So if you can't use Office Max's coupon on a Kindle at Office Max, Staples will not allow it either.)

Staples Rewards Benefits [staplesrewardscenter.com]
Quote :
Rewards
10% back in Staples Rewards on all ink & toner purchases
10% back in Staples Rewards on all case & ream paper purchases
10% back in Staples Rewards on all Copy & Print purchases
From time to time Staples will offer rewards on other purchases. These deals may include Free After Staples Rewards (FASR) items, or receiving X% back in Rewards for certain purchases.

Monthly Rewards
Earn an unlimited 10% back on qualifying purchases when you earn at least $10 in Rewards within a calendar quarter.

Staples Rewards are issued monthly when the value of the Reward is at least $10. Monthly balances of less than $10 will roll over each month until the minimum is met for that calendar quarter. If the $10 minimum for the quarter has not been met, the balance will expire at the end of the quarter.

Redeem your Rewards any way you'd like - online at staples.com, over the phone at 1-800-333-3330 or in any Staples® store by the expiration date.

Ink Recycling
Recycle any ink or toner cartridge, up to 10 per calendar month, and get $2 back in Staples Rewards per cartridge. Ink Recycling Rewards are issued monthly, separately from your other benefits.

FREE Delivery
Get FAST and FREE delivery on all orders of $45 or more.

Staples Rewards Premier
Get automatically upgraded to Premier status when you spend $1,000 or more on anything in a calendar year. Excludes taxes, delivery charges, coupons and gift cards.

Premier Benefits
  • Rewards are issued when you hit a $5 balance rather than $10
  • Longer Expiration Date – Exclusive! With Premier membership, you have more than five months to redeem the Rewards you earn.
  • Double Ink Recycling Limit – Exclusive! Recycle any ink or toner cartridge, up to 20 per calendar month, and get $2 back in Staples Rewards per cartridge. Ink Recycling Rewards are issued monthly, separately from your other benefits.
  • FREE Delivery – Exclusive! Get FAST and FREE delivery on all phone and online orders with no minimum required.
  • Easy Rebate Email Reminder – Exclusive! We’ll send you email reminders on Easy Rebate purchases so you never miss out on the savings.
  • Priority Customer Service Phone Number – Exclusive! We know your time is important, so whenever you have a question or concern, just call the dedicated Premier phone line at 1-888-891-3787 and we’ll serve you right away.
Once you earn premier status you keep it for that calendar year and the next one. So if you earn Premier in February 2012 you have it for all of 2012 and 2013. You must earn it again in 2013 to have it in 2014.

How does Staples' price–match guarantee work?
Quote :
If you find a lower price on a new identical item, just show us the lower price when you buy the item at Staples and we will match the price, or within 14 days of your Staples purchase and we will give you the difference.

Which competitors will Staples price match?
  • Staples retail stores will price match prices at brick-n-mortar retail stores and at Staples.com.
  • Staples.com will price match prices at select competitors' websites and Staples' retail stores. These select competitors are: Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Office Depot, Office Max, Quill, Medical Arts Press, Reliable, Sam's Club, Wal-Mart, WB Mason, and Xerox. Items must be sold and shipped by one of these competitors.
  • YMMV, but in general, Staples will not price match when a rebate or Staples coupon will make Staples' final price cheaper than the competitor. For example, if Staples has Quicken software for $100 with a $100 Easy Rebate (so FAR), and Office Max has the same software on sale for $75 this week, Staples will not price match the $75 because with the rebate, Staples final price is cheaper.
So how do I make money at Staples?

Cheap and easy way:
  1. Recycle some old cartridges at Staples in Month 1.
  2. In Month 2, get the Staples Rewards for those cartridges.
  3. In Month 2, use those Staples Rewards to buy something that is FAER (free after Easy Rebate)
  4. In month 2 submit the Easy Rebate for your item.
  5. Receive Easy Rebate somewhere around month 4.
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Office Max (MaxPerks)
MaxPerks info
  1. You earn MaxPerks based on the amount you spend in the store ($25 for every $500 spent).
  2. You can ALSO earn MaxPerks for buying specific special offer items in your weekly add.
  3. OM gives $3 per recycled cartridge up to 20 cartridges per month, BUT only pays for HP, Dell, and Lexmark cartridges. Qualifying cartridges are any visibly undamaged HP, Dell or Lexmark ink or toner cartridges. Excludes HP02, HP11, HP88 series and remanufactured cartridges of any brand. Qualified items are determined by OfficeMax at its sole discretion. Update on 4/1/2012 - OFFICEMAX will give you $2 per recycled cartridge of any brand up to 10 cartridges per month. Frown
  4. Your recycling Perks will only issue out if you have made qualifying purchases during the time period!!
    Quote :
    For example, if you bring in 20 cartridges throughout Month 1 and spend $50 on qualified purchases, your Month 1 recycling rewards earned will be $60, but the rewards that will be issued to you will be $48 (which is $3 for each of 16 cartridges). The remaining $12 for the last 4 cartridges will be held in your account in a “pending” status until you make additional qualified* purchases in at least $3 increments in subsequent Months or until January 1 of the following year, when the account balance will be reset to $0.

About MaxPerks
Quote :
How to Earn Rewards
Earn a $25 reward in your MaxPerks account every time you spend a minimum of $500 on qualified* purchases between January 1st — December 31st.

Your spending balance gets carried over month to month up to one calendar year or until you reach the $500 threshold in qualified* purchases, whichever comes first.

All account balances less than $500 will be reset to $0 on January 1st except for any member who enrolled October thru December of the previous year. Those purchases made in October thru December will carry over into the next full calendar year.

Present your MaxPerks ID card with all purchases to maximize your reward.

MaxPerks info and enrollment here [officemaxperks.com].

Help the Environment and Earn Rewards
OfficeMax is committed to supplying our products and services in a manner that is sensitive to environmental issues. To demonstrate this commitment, OfficeMax is excited to offer our Ink and Toner Recycling Program, with special rewards for MaxPerks customers. It's your chance to earn rewards and help the environment.

Earn a $3 MaxPerks reward for each qualifying visibly undamaged HP, Dell or Lexmark ink or toner cartridge you recycle at any OfficeMax store location - up to 20 ink or toner cartridges ($60 in rewards) per calendar month per member.

How to Redeem Your Rewards
At the end of each month, we review all accounts and issue any rewards you may have earned, electronically in your secure, online account. This reward will be issued by the end of the following month. Simply log in to your account, print your card, and visit any OfficeMax location near you to redeem your rewards. You can also redeem them online at officemax.com or by phone
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Office Depot (Worklife Rewards)Rewards
What are the Rewards periods?
You will earn Rewards during the following periods:
• January 1 – March 31
• April 1 – June 30
• July 1 – September 30
• October 1 – December 31
When and how will I receive my Rewards Certificate?
Rewards Certificates are issued when a minimum of $10 has been earned within a Rewards period. Rewards Certificates are now issued online within 30 days after the end of the Rewards period to members who have updated their member profile or completed their registration. Members who joined prior to January 2011 and have not updated their member profile will continue to have their Rewards Certificates mailed to them within 60 days after the end of each Rewards Period.

Shop & Earn Rewards > Online Rewards Received > Postal Rewards Received
January 1 – March 31 > April 15 – 30 > May 15 – 31
April 1 – June 30 > July 15 – 31 > August 15 – 31
July 1 – September 30 > October 15 – 31 > November 15 – 30
October 1 – December 31 > January 15 – 31 > February 15 – 28

What if I don’t want to receive my Rewards Certificate online?
With online Rewards you will get your Rewards Certificate sooner and can access them anytime, anywhere. You will get an email notification when your Rewards Certificate is ready to print. You can also access your certificate by logging in to your account and clicking “Get My Rewards".

205 Comments

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#3
Quote from akatina View Post :
For all the D&S shoppers that venture out into office store land (or are thinking of doing so).

wave

Saw your post in the RA chat thread. Can you recommend a good "primer" for Staples. Not sure I have the time to learn another store, but if I do Staples might be a good one for me.
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couponing roller girl...
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Original Poster
#4
Quote from thorndor View Post :
wave

Saw your post in the RA chat thread. Can you recommend a good "primer" for Staples. Not sure I have the time to learn another store, but if I do Staples might be a good one for me.
Howdy! I'm actually putting toegether a Staples starter in the wiki right now since they're the one I play with the most. Let me know what you'd like to see included!
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#5
Crying no staples for 85 miles Crying

laugh out loud
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couponing roller girl...
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Original Poster
#6
Quote from BadMoonRising View Post :
Crying no staples for 85 miles Crying

laugh out loud
You can still participate online!! I don't think you can do the cartridge recycling BUT it's still very doable to make money in the Staples game online only. I'm wiki workin' as fast as I can to get details up.
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#7
Thanks! Looking forward to this - the regular Staples threads scare me!
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#8
Quote from BadMoonRising View Post :
Crying no staples for 85 miles Crying

laugh out loud

Big Grin Staples & Office Depot are within walking distance of my home ( & each other) but Office Max is a good 5 miles away.

Good idea for a thread. Hope to contribute.

Last year Office Depot had a free standing display of Cadbury chocolate Easter eggs with a MQ tearpad --- I wonder if that will show up again? The MQs were better used at WAGs clearance & on CVS ECB deals Wink
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#9
Ummm ... hopefully they don't move this to the lounge....

Things get lost in there laugh out loud
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#10
I don't staples much, but isn't there a general rule of thumb that you don't buy FAER items with your rebate check? (I remember bunnies talking about it in the Target Chat thread). Or you technically CAN, but you won't get credit for the FAER you just bought?
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#11
Quote from tn_native View Post :
I don't staples much, but isn't there a general rule of thumb that you don't buy FAER items with your rebate check? (I remember bunnies talking about it in the Target Chat thread). Or you technically CAN, but you won't get credit for the FAER you just bought?
Sigh.
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couponing roller girl...
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Original Poster
#12
Quote from tn_native View Post :
I don't staples much, but isn't there a general rule of thumb that you don't buy FAER items with your rebate check? (I remember bunnies talking about it in the Target Chat thread). Or you technically CAN, but you won't get credit for the FAER you just bought?
Don't buy Rewards Items with Rewards (because rewards don't roll). So don't use ink recycling Rewards to buy, say, the batteries that are 100% Rewards back this week.

But you CAN buy Rebate items with Rewards (i.e. use your ink recycling Rewards to buy FAER software). And you can buy Rewards items with Rebate money (i.e. use a $50 rebate Visa debit to buy your Rewards items).
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#13
Quote from nipsyc View Post :
Thanks! Looking forward to this - the regular Staples threads scare me!
lol why
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#14
Quote from tn_native View Post :
I don't staples much, but isn't there a general rule of thumb that you don't buy FAER items with your rebate check? (I remember bunnies talking about it in the Target Chat thread). Or you technically CAN, but you won't get credit for the FAER you just bought?
There are 2 types of "Free" stuff at staples.

1. Free after rewards. You get a REWARDS "check" back for the price you paid. This "check" is a form of store credit and the registers treat it like a coupon. Price you paid is the actual amount you pay with cash, check, credit or debit card, or gift card. To get the price paid, you take your subtotal and subtract all staples coupons and rewards checks you used on the transaction. For example, if I buy a $10 free after rewards item and:
  • Pay $10 with cash, check, credit or debit card, or gift card, I will receive a $10 rewards "check"
  • Use a $2 coupon and pay the rest ($8) with cash, check, credit or debit card, or gift card, I will receive a $8 rewards "check".
  • Use a $7 rewards check that I earned last month, and pay the rest ($3) with cash, check, credit or debit card, or gift card, I will receive a $3 rewards "check".
2. Free after rebate. You will get a REAL check (or sometimes a prepaid visa or staples gift card, depending on the offer) for the amount stated in the ad, regardless of the amount you actually pay. This is a check you can actually take to your bank and cash. For example, if I buy an item that is $10 with a $10 rebate (also called SER for staples easy rebate) and:
  • Pay $10 with cash, check, credit or debit card, or gift card, I will receive a $10 real check
  • Use a $2 coupon and pay the rest ($8) with cash, check, credit or debit card, or gift card, I will receive a $10 real check.
  • Use a $7 rewards check that I earned last month, and pay the rest ($3) with cash, check, credit or debit card, or gift card, I will receive a $10 real check.


What you do is spend real money on things that produce rewards, then use the rewards to buy things that produce rebates. Then use the money from the rebates to buy more things that produce rewards and on and on forever.


NEVER use rewards checks to buy things that produce rewards. Use caution using coupons to buy things that produce rewards because, while it will reduce your oop it will also reduce the rewards you receive, so don't waste coupons this way unless you have a surplus.



Also, coupon use is prorated across an entire transaction. So, if you buy $100 of stuff, and $20 of that is free after rewards, and you use a $50 rewards check, it will look like this
$20 rewards stuff
-$10 coupon (previous rewards check)
=$10 spent on rewards stuff, so that is what you will get in rewards
$80 non-rewards stuff
-$40 coupon
= $40 spent on non-rewards stuff.
Thus, if you are paying with a coupon or rewards check, it is usually better to make 2 transactions, like this:
Transaction 1: $20 rewards stuff = $20 you will earn in rewards
Transaction 2: $80 non-rewards stuff - $50 coupon (previous rewards check) = $30 spent on non-rewards stuff. The oop is the same, but you will receive $10 more in rewards this way.

ETA: this information only applies to Staples, and Office Depot works pretty much the same way. Office Max is completely different.
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#15
Quote from damnyou View Post :
lol why
I just don't feel like I fit in with that crowd laugh out loud
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