Canon Rebates 2004
NOTE: For fall 2005 rebates see the Canon Fall 2005 Rebates Page. These rebates will run from October 15th 2005 through January 15th 2006.
[This article remains here in order not to break links, but is now only of historical interest - if it's of any interest at all!]
The Canon rebates which started on October 15th 2004 will end on January 31st 2005. A full listing of the rebates can be found on the rebates page.
The question everyone asks when rebates are coming to an end is whether they will be renewed, and if so whether they will be changed. Let me be the first to admit that I have absolutely no idea what Canon are going to do! I don't have any "inside info", all I can do is guess.
My guess is that if the rebates are continued, they won't get any better than they are now. A $300 rebate on an $800 camera is pretty good, so if you want a Digital Rebel, now (before Jan 31st) might be the time to take the plunge. You save $100 if you just buy the Digital Rebel, or $300 if you buy the Rebel with 2 eligable lenses.
Why don't I think the rebates will get better? Well, one reason is the weakness of the American dollar vs. the Japanese Yen. Take a look at this chart which shows how many Japanese Yen one American Dollar would buy.
Since the rebates began in mid-October, the dollar has dropped about 10% vs. the Yen, so Canon (Japan) are curently getting only 90% of what they were getting on a sale 3 months ago. This isn't an incentive for them to lower prices or offer larger rebates! What's worse is that currency speculators are predicting the drop will continue and the dollar will fall even further with respect to the Yen. Of course they don't know that will happen, but that's their prediction.
One reason that Canon may continue some sort of rebate program after January 31st is that the current Nikon rebates are good through March 31st 2005 and I'm sure Canon keep an eye on what Nikon are doing.
The Photo Marketing Association trade show takes place in late February (20th - 23rd) and I expect there will be new products announced. New products always mean new sales, even without rebates! Your guess is as good as mine as to what new products we will see, but I would not be surprised at a few new lenses, a bunch of digicams and maybe an upgrade for the Digital Rebel. However if that happens, I'm pretty sure you won't be getting one for $500 as you can the curent Digital Rebel (after rebates).
So my conclusion is that if you're seriously thinking of soon buying new Canon lenses, bodies or Speedlites, you're unlikely to lose out by doing so before January 31st. It's possible some rebates may be extended or a new scheme put in place, but you'd feel pretty bad if you waited on that basis and they weren't. My guess is that if rebates are extended, they won't get any better than they are now. However that's just a guess. You have to decide for yourself. I have no crystal ball, and no inside contacts at Canon!
Note added in fall 2005: This prediction was correct. Rebates stopped on January 31st. A lesser rebate program did run through the spring/early summer (a simple rebate program with no double or triple rebates), then that too was dropped. Finally on October 15th of the following year (2005) a double/triple rebate program was announced again. So it seems that Canon's pattern is good rebates in the fall, followed by a period with no rebates, followed by lesser rebates in late spring/early summer, followed by another period without rebates, followed by the good double/triple rebate progam in the fall.
Link to Canon Rebates
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