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More about Menards

September 30th, 2006 at 12:21 pm

My previous blog entry had me raving about the terrific free after rebate deals at Menards. This entry is about how easy it is to get even more out of these deals.

First off you will need to get the Menards credit card. It's called the BIG CARD. Why get their card? Two reasons - first, they send you a scratch off certificate (usually worth $2 but it can be more) and second, you will get a certificate worth 2% of your purchases somewhere down the road. I just got my certificate enclosed in my cc statement for $10! Oh, I forgot - with each credit card statement are 2 pages of Menards coupons just for their Big Card customers! There is usually a FREE item amoungst those as well!

The FAR items are free BUT the rebate checks that are sent out are to be used against additional purchases at Menards. In other words, you can't cash these checks at your local bank. Menards wants your business and your money and they've come up with an ingenious way to get both. Doesn't matter. I'll show you why in a bit.

Menards has even made tracking rebates easy. They've set up a site www.rebateinternational.com where you can see if your rebate is pending or whether the check was issued. This site lists all your rebates for the past year. Wonderful.

If you're thinking this is too good to be true, well, you're right. Menards does have quantity limits and if you're doing the FAR deals they want you to buy an additional $10 worth of non-rebateable items. So, what do I buy for $10 of non-rebateable items? A Menards $10 gift card! Takes care of everything.

Let's say that you're hooked and on board for all these deals and are swimming in rebate checks, Menards gift cards and Menards reward certificates. Too many to juggle and keep straight. What do you do then? Since I'm somewhat ADD here's what I did - added all the dollar values up, which came to just under $100, went to Menards and grabbed (2) $50 gift cards and bought those cards using the rebate checks, reward certificate and smaller value gift cards plus a couple of bucks out of my pocket!

What am I going to do with my $50 GCs? The most obvious thing would be to keep rolling this sum into FAR deals but then I'd be missing out on the 2% from charging the purchases on the store card. So I'm thinking of offering them as a trade for other store GC's. I understand there is a website for doing just this. Gotta find it.

Menards is the hardware store equivalent to Walgreens health and beauty rebates. Love it!

86 Responses to “More about Menards”

  1. Jack Randich Says:

    You may be all gung ho about Menards but I'm not. Their credit card policy is one of the worst in the business. First they print out their statements on Friday and then don't mail them until the following Monday. It take 4 to 7 days to get your statement, and by this time you've lost at least 7 days of your grace period. 2nd, you then have to mail your payment back 7 to 10 days before it is due, in order for them to register your payment as received on time. If they open your payment beyond the grace period you are charged a late fee!

    In addition to this horrendous policy, you can't make a payment in their own stores. "The system does not take cash payments." How antiquated is that in the year 2006? Is it possible to accept cash payments? Absolutley! Afterall you can return merchandise and have it credited to your account. Why not give them cash and have it credited to your account?

    Regarding rebates. All rebates are for in-store purchases only. The mark up on items in the store are at least 100%. Meaning if you get a $2.00 rebate certificate, it's true value is $1.00. Because you can only use it in their store. Real rebates come in the form of a cash checks not in-store certificates.

    Menards makes it all seem wonderful, but the bottom line is that the whole system is designed to get you to use your Big Card, so they can make their money on interest and late fees. If Menards was truly for the customer, why don't they make it more convenient to make a payment on your card in the stores themselves?

    For the record Home Depot, Best Buy, Kohls, Sears, JC Penney, and Lowes all allow you to make payments on your credit card in their stores. Menards is all about money, cheap products and fan fare. I use Menards for ancillary things and Home Depot for true quality merchandise!

  2. Bob VanNatter Says:

    Do you really think their mark-up is that high. If so you are pretty ignorant to retail. And by the way, Home Depot sucks the big one!!!!

  3. BV Says:

    Jake, can you say "Stupid". I'm pretty sure you can. I have one question, " Who is higher in the Forbes 100 list? Gee, if I was John Menard would I want to rank high or low on this list? Think about it, DipShit.

  4. cathy Says:

    so where do you go to to find out menards rebate info?--i keeo looking but can not find a site--just looking for the status of my husbands rebates

  5. katwoman Says:

    To check the status of your submitted Menards rebate go to www.rebateinternational.com.

  6. Brian G. Stafford Says:

    To John Randich 11/6, if you even have a Best Buy, Lowes or Home Depot credit card you would know that you can't make a payment in store on them either. They are all cards managed by 'Retail Services' and you have to pay them direct. As for getting with the 2000's why don't you try it as you can pay any bill using internet banking unless you only know how to use paper money or check writting. And as far as prices, I used both Lowes & Home Depot for years and since I moved here and Menard's is available I will use it solely as it has the best prices of the three home improvement stores. And where else can you get a product "FREE" after rebate even with your so call 100% mark up. Free times 100% still means "FREE" to me.

  7. spanky Says:

    i love the rebates ,to the point of addiction!

  8. couponqueen Says:

    I LOVE the Menard's Rebates! I get free stuff and save them as gifts for friends/relatives. Another idea: I put free tools and other misc. stuff together in a "free" tool box and then donated it to a local charity for their auction. Someone I know usually needs an extension cord, screwdriver, or other tool; then I don't mind giving them something, 'cause I didn't have to pay for them (only the 5% sales tax). I also supplied my church with needed supplies for their utility room (tools, power strips, tape, etc.). I use my rebates to "buy" other "free" stuff. Works for me! Smile

  9. menardsemployee Says:

    I work for menards, and I can tell you that they don't accept payments for the Big Card at the store beause they go through a seperate finance company to handle all credit issues. If you don't want to mail in your payment or are worried about it being late, pay it online. Then you don't even have to pay the 39 cents for a stamp. Also, because menards uses a finance company for the Big Card, they do not recieve any compensation for late fees and interest. The credit card company recieves that. That is how credit card companies stay in business. As for your so called 100% markup thing, you obviously don't know much about retail. Any store you go into, there are going to be items that are marked up 100%, and many more items that are marked up only 10-20%. Occasionally, but not often, items are even sold below cost. Clothing stores mark up their items much much more (Do you think it really costs Abercrombie $100 to manufacture a pair of jeans?) The bottom line at any retailer is going to be to make money, otherwise they would not stay in business. Therefore items need to be sold above cost. Menards truly is for the customer. Does Home Depot offer Free after rebate items? Do like the majority of "rebaters" do and use your rebate checks to buy more free items. And seriously, it is not hard to spend the extra $10 to recieve your items free. Everyone needs little things like garbage bags, lightbulbs, toilet paper, etc. The problem with rebates at menards is that they try to do what they can to help the customer and keep them shopping there by offering these free items, but there's always some scrooge who doesn't think free is good enough.

  10. Mary Says:

    The only annoying thing about the Menards card is that you can't make payments in the store. With my Home Depot card, we are able to make payments in the store. We do it every month, it is more convenient. And the other thing is that you have to schedule your payment so early online because it takes 2 days to process. None of my other credit cards are like that, you post a payment before 8pm and they get processed that day. And they CAN do that, becuase if you "rush" the payment, which I am quite sure is not an inconvenience for them, then it posts that same day as long as it is before 10pm CT. But the problem isn't really with menards, but with HSBC. Maybe they should have picked a different credit company. Hmm...

    But the rebates and coupons are nice.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    The customer service and prices at menards bury both home depot and lowes put together. I know - I used to work for home depot and lowes is more expensive than home depot- put the two together and what do you get? Thankyou!

  12. hinty Says:

    Menards is all about taking your money. Their interest in service, doing correct work, giving correct advice, handling their own mistakes, etc., etc., is all about nothing but extracting money from you. Menards really needs to get run out of business. They hide behind their small print and policies while they rob you blind with substandard products, substandard employees and substandard customer service. It is always a mistake to go to Menards. Don't do it. Don't do it!

  13. Gmoney Says:

    Menards rocks... I can not even stand walking into home depot. Prices are much more. Trying to check out is such a aweful experience that you can feel yourself growing old just waiting. The only area that home depot has even a glimmer of hope againt Mendards is in the tool selection. You might as well go to the Dollar General and buy tools instead of buying them from menards. Hands down for service and questions about a project Menards takes the cake. If you dont have a Menards in your area ( only a Home Depot) I feel sorry for you.Frown

  14. Anonymous Says:

    I guess the reason I like menards so much is it's innocence in the fact that it is still a young and growing company, unlike Lowe's or Home Depot. This makes it a better place to shop because it's head hasn't got too big yet and the employees are still loyal to customers because the beauracracy of working for a bigger company that publicly trades stock on the stock exchange hasn't corrupted it's company's workforce yet and they still treat customer's genuinely. You can also buy a fully entact log cabin and have it built all direct from the store. I don't think Menards or Lowes offers anything comparable to this? I know this because I used to work for home depot and they treat their employees with disrespect, unless of course, you're a minority and then they cannot get away with it. I guess that is the nature of every business though, nowadays. It's a good thing I am going to college now and so I don't have to put up with dealing with the uneducated again. I learned my lesson the hard way.

  15. gunnZ Says:

    hinty,

    Of course Menards is about taking your money. I work for them. Think about that statereement and apply it to Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, Meijer, Walgreens, and every other retailer out there. Sure we are there to provide a service, but the bottom line is making money. John Menard didn't get into the business over 50 years ago for any reason other than to take your money. Thats not just Menards, thats any business.

  16. Chelsea Parker Says:

    Maybe a little known fact that should be made public... Menards may treat their employees well but they treat their vendors like second-rate citizens. They are well known for being "nice guys/ladies" when they work in the store but as soon as they get to the corporate level, they get their kicks by calling vendors and yelling at them for made-up issues. Ask any Menards vendor and they'll tell you the same story. It's like they are groomed to be that way. I heard one such conversation while shopping last month and wrote a letter to the store manager. I'm not holding my breath for a response.

  17. Beth Driscoll Says:

    Oh correction, menards treats us employees like shit, i'm living proof of that!

  18. Critzy Says:

    Why can't menards provide a rebate form similar to ACE where they have all rebates listed as an excel sheet and all you have to do is fill out one form and attach the rebate reciepts. Also they do not have a 800 or non-800 number to call to find out status of rebates. I have been trying to track my rebate for month and a half now since I have mailed, and am not able to find it online. Where do I go? My only option is to either write it to them or mail them everything back.

    They try to make it hard for you to not get a rebates (I guess). I have no complains about the price front, but I know ace provides lot of rebates for free, they send the checks which can be cashed anywhere and the rebate checks usually arrive within 30 days of filing. Here I have 45 days and I cannot even see my rebates yet online.

  19. hammerhead Says:

    I like Menards, but watch out for "same as cash" credit plans. We bought a "same as cash" item and every month paid the balance in full, which went towards new charges as well as enough to chip away at the "same as cash" amount. But I noticed that new charges were applied to the "S-A-C-P", so I paid off the full amount leaving zero balance. When the next statement arrived it showed new charges applied to the "S-A-C-P" and "no minimum payment". I called and told them of the mistake and they said it was no mistake and that as long as I made monthly charges even though I paid off the balance in full every month, I'd still be stuck with the interest. I canceled the Big Card account.

  20. John Randich Says:

    Thank you all for your great comments about Menards. I did some double checking and found that:
    1. To Brian Stafford, I've personally made credit card payments at both Home Depot and Best Buy.
    2. To Menard's employee, Finance companies do make their money per what you said, but it is up to the company as to what kind of contract they make with "retail services" and can easily opt to allow payments in store. Thank you for confirming the 100% markup on store items, and you are right many are only 10 - 20%.
    3. Van Natter pay attention to #2 above
    4. To BV, excellent use of low-level terms. An individual uses terms such as yours when they don't have anything intelligent to say.
    5. To Gunz, you are right, but John Menard could let his customers make their payments in his own stores couldn't he? After all, what is the right or decent thing to do?
    6. To Matt, sorry for your unpleasant experience. In most workplaces, there's always one bad manager who has a God complex.
    7. To Mary, thanks for confirming my experiences.
    8. To Coupon queen, Can you say loss leader? Many companies put items on sale at below cost prices to get people in their stores. Even free, it is still a tool to get you in the store. Haven't you ever seen eggs for 19 cents a dozen at Easter time - they might as well be free? Or Turkeys for 29 cents a pound at Thanksgiving time? The Free stuff is to get you in the store. Are these items expensive to start with or are they cheapo things? They're loss leaders. Give something away and you'll get'em in the stores, customers will come out with more than just the freebies!

    In conclusion, I am definitely biased. Perhaps I've run into more knowledgeable people at Home Depot & Lowes. Maybe I've fallen for the Oak Floor sale that turned out to be a laminent oak floor, maybe I've spent 45 minutes in the paint section because the lady who was helping me didn't know what she was doing, or maybe I went to buy a simple hardware item and Menard's didn't carry it. Maybe I've had to bag my own merchandise and had to make sure I took my own receipt because the store is set up to save money by making the customer do it. Maybe when I read the phrase "rebate", I expect to get a check in the mail rather than another marketing instrument to get me to go back to the store. I don't know, all I know is that somewhere down the line Menards has let me down more than their competitors.

    Have a great day and thank you all for your comments.



  21. Vernice Ankerstjerne Says:

    Help!
    I need a rebate form for a Bowman Plymouth Handle and I can not find it anywhere on the rebate international website. I bought the handle at Menards and they did not have a form!

  22. Robert E Watson Says:

    I thought I was going to find out about my rebate.

  23. annoyn Says:

    I am a current employee at mendards in the management training program.
    To even think they mark things up 100% is nuts... with the competition from lowes, home depot, and other big box retailers, they wouldnt stand a chance.
    mendards will guarantee an 11% lower price then anyone. Home Depot, by far the largest mega hardware retailers can buy HUGE amounts of products for an unbelievably low price (its another walmart), if we promise an 11% lower price, were lucky if we make 3% profit on an item over $500.

    However, there are some very reasonable critiques here. The rebate center isnt what people want. people want cash back, not store credit.
    Next, the payments in cash on the big card in store. There is no reasonable explanation on why this cannot be done. EVERY OTHER MEGA HARDWARE RETAILER does this.
    i will have to ask this during the next meeting.
    The knowledge of employees. Menards has recently put in place a new policy that requires a department to now review one type of item a month. It includes going into details on how an item works, the most common questions asked by customers, and other various related items. There are a few problems with this.
    #1. The training is only for items within that department. Hardware will never review a plumbing item.
    #2. The majority of workers at menards are people under 25. This is usually the person first job, it could be that they are part time workers home from college, or just people who want a paycheck. With the high turnover rates, it would be nearly impossible to inform every new employee about the item.
    My final point is that menards has a pretty liberal view of workers. they are satisfied (to an extent) withemployees as long as they continue to show up at work on time. If i had it my way, you do a bad job, you are out the door.. i wish the store would follow this policy.

  24. jdubisapimp Says:

    i work at menards also and i think its a great place to work and as an employee people dont usually complain like most of you babies are right now. They treat me great and all of there guests are treated very well also. And i see that alot of you are upset about the rebates and how you cant find the forms. If you just ask somebody on duty they will gladly help you find a form or even print one off for you if they are out at the designated area.

  25. You are RETARDED Says:

    John Randich

    Just my opinion but you seem to be a Home Depot Employee!Many of your facts (fairy tales) are just untrue!!! A little more research and a little less talking! You sound smart but you truly are retarded!!!!

  26. Kevin Says:

    Thanx for the insight on www.rebateinternational.com I was now able to find a rebate I didn't realize I had recieved. Because of information gleaned here via the 4 digit serial number, I now see (on another submission) where I had used it. I always try to use these checks to buy more things from menards, to assist in future tracking. I scan EVERYTHING!

    Note: if you keep good (say scanned) records be sure to scan the checks when they come in. I was once able to spend the balance on one (printed out) that had not been returned to me by some new trainee. The courtesy counter simply scanned my printout and gave me the odd amount on gift certificate.

  27. rick Says:

    rebate deal ripps people off, bought 1 bag of grass seed for a 2.00 rebate, when I picked up the rebate form it said a limit of 4 so I went back next day and bought 3 more bags and sent the receipts together, received the check and it was for 1 bag only, said they only take 1 receipt and of course they take the lesser of the 2 receipts what a freakin ripp off, never again lowes only!!

  28. T Parkhurst Says:

    Im suprised that anybody who works for any of these stores like Lowes, Home Depot or Menards is even writing on this site. Im suprised that you can even afford a computer, dont htey kinfd of pay kinfd of crappy, I mean like $8.00 per hour or something? I havent made that kind of crappy money since high school and that was more than 25 years ago. My opinion of course.

  29. Vicky Says:

    Hey thats funny. I worked for Menards for eight years and yes the do treat their employees like shit. I only made $9.95 and worked there for that long. Once you top out on the pay scale thats it you get no more raises. They suck! Everyone is just a number

  30. tom Says:

    Menards is full of Easy Girls thats why i love it!! like spanky

  31. John Randich Says:

    Well it's great to continue to hear from everybody. I still stand by my 100% markup on many items. It is true, the markup on a $500 tub is not that big, but the profits are made on all the pipes, wires, elbows, clamps and every other little thing that you make 10 trips back and forth to get right.

    Menard's makes big money on their lumber. Any business major knows that you don't dedicate that much square footage on products with minor markups. It is not economical nor cost effective. A store has to average a certain dollar profit per square foot or it won't survive.

    The bottom line is that Menard's is the bottom feeder. They are the Walmart of home improvement stores. (Both of which are making a ton of money). I originally wrote because their credit card is one of the worst in the industry and I stand by this. As far as Home Depot and Lowes. I guess I like to go into a store with some class rather than one that makes you feel like your an inconvenience.

    Also this semester I talked with 5 of my students who work at Menards and the general consensus is that they pay lousy (like Walmart) and it's just a job.

  32. bill hill Says:

    Menards doesn't have a phone number to call to get a hold of someone in customer service to talk to in person. You have to use e-mail and hope Ray gets back to you. I find this very odd that a large company like this would insulate themselves from their customers. What are they trying to avoid?

  33. John Randich Says:

    Dear You Are Retarded,

    You are incorrect. In the future please do not make assumptions, back up your statement with facts.

  34. juliet18283 Says:

    to everyone who says that menards pays crappy... where the hell are you from? I live in Ohio, and let me tell you, a part time job that pays you $9 per hour plus an extra $2.50 on the weekends is nothing to sneeze at! maybe it sucks if you live in Chicago or something where the standard of living is higher, but where i'm from, finding a job at all in our current economic situation is outstanding. Not to mention that if you are full time you start out at $10.50 and department managers make somewhere around 50K, and a GM can make from 80K to 180K per year or more (depending on profitability of your store and how long you've been with the company).

    Having been in the workforce for about nine years now (and I have worked at many different places) I have yet to find a part time job that pays that much. So don't generalize, folks. Did those people on here who said that Menards paid crappy even know how much they pay? Do I want to make nine bucks an hour for the rest of my life? No way. But for now its fine, and if I wanted to stay with the company, I could live quite comfortably as I moved up the ladder..

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