10 Things Menards Employees Won’t Tell You

Menards is famous for their low prices, but there are tricks to make the most of your trips. Here are 10 tips that Menards employees won't tell you!

Menards is a family-owned home improvement retail chain with more than 300 locations, primarily in the Midwest. Their slogan, “Save Big Money!” is legendary. And their employees will tell you there are ways to save big money that not everyone knows about. Here are 10 examples.

1. When is the Next 11 Percent Rebate Sale?

Menards is best known for their 11 percent rebate promotions. During these sales, everything in the store is eligible for an 11 percent mail-in rebate, in the form of a store voucher. This is clearly a huge savings, but the sales are announced with little to no fanfare until the day they begin. Why? Because Menards doesn’t want people waiting until the sales period to make purchases.

Though Menards employees know when the next sale begins, they’re under strict orders to keep that information classified. But savvy shoppers will notice patterns. In recent years the sales have happened more often, sometimes as frequently as every two weeks.

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2. Mis-Tints

If you need paint but are flexible on the shade, check out the Menards mis-tint selection. Mis-tints are custom paint colors that didn’t come out quite right. Rather than throw these away, Menards sells them at a massive discount.

They don’t exactly advertise this selection, and there’s no guarantee they’ll have what you want among the mis-tints. But if you only need a single gallon or quart of paint, this is hands-down the cheapest way to buy it!

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3. That 11 Percent Rebate? It’s Stackable!

This is sort of a graduate-level course in Menards hacks. The 11 percent rebate sales give you an in-store voucher for in-store purchases. And naturally, you can use that voucher anytime. But here’s the thing: The voucher functions like a cash card. So the best time to use it is at the next 11 percent sale.

Because it doesn’t reduce the price of your initial purchase, that means that you will get an 11 percent rebate on your 11 percent rebate! Buy $1,000 of material at one rebate sale and you’ll get a voucher for $110. Spend that $110 at another 11 percent rebate sale and you’ll get a voucher for $11, and so on. It’s a great way to maximize your savings.

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4. The Rebate has some Wiggle Room

One more thing about the 11 percent rebate. Although anything purchased outside the rebate sale doesn’t qualify for the rebate, if you purchase an item right before the sale, you can take the receipt to the customer service desk and request an adjustment form. The store manager has discretion on whether or not to grant this adjustment, but chances are good that you can get your rebate even if you didn’t make the purchase during the sale.

5. Groceries

Menards carries a wide range of groceries at a good discount. Yet the general public still views Menards the same as Lowe’s or The Home Depot — a big hardware store rather than an all-in-one shopping experience. Next time you’re in Menards for home supplies, cruise through the grocery section. You may save yourself a separate trip to the supermarket by grabbing some pantry staples along with the stuff for your current DIY project.

6. The Secret Work-Around for a Missed Mail-In

While the purchase date for the 11 percent rebate has some wiggle room, the window to mail in your receipts does not. If you miss the deadline, you technically will not get the rebate. (Some shoppers have reported success mailing in late receipts, but it’s not guaranteed.)

One work-around that store employees would prefer you didn’t know about: Repurchase the item during the next sale, then immediately return it using the old receipt. You’ll still end up with one copy of that item, but now you’ll have a new receipt that you can mail in and collect the 11 percent voucher.

7. No Receipt = No Return

Because so many Menards sales events involve turning in receipts for rebates, they have a strict policy: No returns without a receipt. This makes sense to prevent people from returning an item and still capturing an 11 rebate rebate. But it also means keeping a close eye on your receipts, because the Menards return policy is less customer friendly than Lowe’s or The Home Depot. (There is some leeway to do a straight exchange, especially if an item was clearly defective.)

8. Lowe’s and The Home Depot Price Match

Speaking of Lowe’s and The Home Depot, you’ll probably be surprised to know that many of those stores will take the Menards 11 percent rebate into account when they price match. So rather than going through the hassle of mailing in a rebate and getting a voucher for store use later on, you can simply take a Menards ad to another home improvement store and they will give you 11 percent off the Menards price. No rebates required.

(Note: This policy often does not apply in regions where there are no Menards stores.)

9. Ray’s List

If you stroll through your local Menards, you’re sure to see items marked for clearance. A mixture of floor models, open-box and discontinued items, these are some of the best deals in the store. But wouldn’t it be great if you could shop these items without coming in to the store? It turns out you can!

On the Menards website look for “Ray’s List,” hidden among the list of departments. There you’ll find a full selection of great deals. You can even select specific stores to see what they have on deep clearance.

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10. Sell that Receipt for Cash

Here’s one that Menards definitely doesn’t want to advertise. When you leave a Menards during an 11 percent rebate sale, you may be approached by someone offering to give you cash for your receipt. The buyers hope to purchase the receipt for a few dollars, then mail it in, capturing the 11 percent rebate for themselves. Sometimes they have a “cover story” about working for a charity or school. Other times they are surprisingly upfront about what they are doing.

If you know that you won’t be sending in that receipt, it may be worthwhile to just sell it to that buyer. But beware! Because of the “no receipt means no return” policy, if there’s something wrong with your items, you can’t return them.

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