If you go to a store looking for an advertised product on sale and they’re out of stock, you can request a rain check — a slip of paper that will entitle you to the sale price at a later date.
Intimidated to ask? Don’t worry about it! Once you know how to do it, it’s quite easy.
1. Be aware of restrictions.
You can’t get a rain check on clearance prices or limited-time offers (doorbusters, Black Friday sales, liquidations, etc.).
The easiest thing to do is check the stores’ websites for their policies.
2. Ask an employee if they have extra stock somewhere in the store.
If they have product in a different spot or in the back, it saves you the hassle of requesting a rain check and coming back later to redeem it.
3. Let your cashier know you’re going to ask for a rain check early on.
Save time by being upfront — the cashier will either write the rain check there, let you know if you’ll need to head over to customer service, or have a manager come over to issue one.
4. Make sure you know the rain check’s expiration date.
Rain checks usually last 30, 60 or 90 days from their issue date. Have the store ad with you and opened to the corresponding page to be able to direct the person helping you to the sale you’re looking for.
5. If the store is still out of the product by the rain check’s expiration, ask for an additional rain check.
Some may allow it, some may not, but it’s worth asking.
6. Most stores only issue rain checks for current ad sale prices, not promotional offers.
So if you’re buying something that’s on sale and is part of a promotion (like “spend $10, save $5”), make sure that special promotion is going on beyond the sale date before you put in for a rain check.
Rain checks only apply to sale prices, not the special promotions (unless they’re permanent).