When a great sale item is out of stock, you should definitely think about requesting a rain check. They’re easy to request and an awesome way to get in on a deal—however, there are times to opt out of getting one.

Before requesting a rain check, ask an employee if they have extra stock in another location (such as an end cap) or in the back. When they have more, it avoids the hassle of requesting and redeeming, in addition to the benefit of getting the product right away.

1. Know expiration dates

Make sure the coupons to be used on the rain check item won't expire before the store restocks. Most stores do not accept an expired coupon with a rain check.

2. Understand promotion guidelines

Don't bother getting a rain check for a product that is also included in a promotion such as "Spend $10, Save $5 Instantly" or “Buy 2 products, receive a $5 gift card” unless it is certain the promotion extends beyond the sale date. The rain check is valid for the sale price only.

3. Confirm the sale price and policy

The majority of stores only issue rain checks for current ad sale prices, not everyday ones. If it’s not on sale, skip the rain check request (you don’t want to pay retail price anyway!)

There are no rain checks on clearance prices or limited time offers (doorbusters, Black Friday sales, liquidations, etc.), so try and shop sales early and have your coupon binder ready in case there is an unexpected bargain!

3 Things You Should Know Before Requesting a Rain Check