Cyberrebate.com, Inc. was an online retailer founded in May 1998 that went bankrupt in May 2001, after the collapse of the dot-com bubble.
The company sold items at grossly inflated prices, as much as 10 times the list price, but promised customers a 100% rebate. The company relied on the assumption that 50% of its customers would neglect to apply for their rebate.
Joel Granik, Joseph Lichter and Athan Vadiakas started the website on May 16, 1998. By November 2000, the company claims to have rebated $39 million to its customers. In January 2001 it was the #3–ranked online retailer in the United States and had 7.7 million web users per month. In February 2001, before the existence of smartphones, the company provided access to its products on mobile phones. The company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 16 May 2001, citing $83.3 million in liabilities and $24.5 million in assets. Approximately $80 million was due directly to customers in unpaid rebates. At the time of the bankruptcy filing, there were 9 customers that were due pending rebates of $79,000-$100,000 each.
In April 2005, some creditors were awarded $0.08802 per dollar of allowed claims. A second, final disbursement was made to creditors in August 2006 for $0.0006276 per dollar of allowed claims.
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- Edmonston, Peter (May 18, 2001). "CyberRebate's Plan Costs Web Buyers Some Big Bucks". Wall Street Journal.(subscription required)
- Edmonston, Peter (February 26, 2001). "CyberRebate Bucks the Trend, Betting Its Future on Freebies". Wall Street Journal.(subscription required)
- Blank, Christine (May 29, 2001). "No More Checks From CyberRebate". DM Digital.
- "Free gifts at CyberRebate". CNN Money. November 20, 2000.
- Livingston, Brian (May 18, 2001). "Millions vaporized in CyberRebate collapse". CNET.
- "CyberRebate.com, Inc.(TM) Selects 2Roam, Inc. to Extend Online Shopping to The Wireless World" (Press release). PRNewswire. February 13, 2001.
- Tan, Shannon (July 23, 2001). "Failed company provides expensive lesson in online-rebate risks". Baltimore Sun.