Kohl’s Deal Results: What I Learned & How It Turned Out

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A few times per year, Kohl’s sells small kitchen appliances at a steep discount. With card category bonuses, shopping portals, promo codes, and rebates, it works out to better than free – especially if you can resell them. It’s the ultimate in deal stacking.

I ordered 40 appliances. (Do I sound crazy yet?)

kohl's deal results

“What have I gotten myself into now?”

While I’d love to say the whole thing went off without a hitch, that’s not exactly true. Here’s what I learned about stacking. And how it all turned out.

Stacking is like jenga

If the blocks aren’t exactly perfect, it starts to fall down.

I wanted to stack the following. Here’s what I expected and if it worked out:

  • $480 back as Visa gift cards – GOT IT
  • ~$125 from Discover It and Discover Deals portal – KINDA SORTA
  • OR ~3,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (~$30) and ~2,000 Alaska miles from the Alaska Airlines shopping portal (~$40) – DID NOT DO THIS ONE
  • 15% off with promotion code SMS1871 GOT IT
  • 1,500 United miles from a $500 gift card through MileagePlus X app (~$30) – GOT IT
  • $110 back as Kohl’s Cash – GOT IT
  • 600 Kohl’s Yes2You points (worth another $60) – GOT IT
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The cash payment was for ~$625 – but how much did I get back?

So, it all worked out except for the entry marked “Kinda Sorta” – that’s because of the Discover gift card I bought through the MileagePlus X app.

It usually codes reliably for its respective category bonus – but NOT with Kohl’s. So I didn’t earn the 5% cashback (which would’ve been doubled because I got a new Discover It card). Instead, I just got 1% cashback (really 2% after The Dublin).

But, the ~$125 I put directly onto the Discover It card did earn 5% back (really 10% back because the card is new).

So 2% on $500 plus 10% on $125 = ~$23. And I got ~$58 ($29 x 2 because it’ll get doubled) by shopping through the Discover Deals shopping portal.

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~$29 for shopping through Discover Deals, which will be doubled

For a total of ~$81 cashback with the Discover It card. Not the $125 I was hoping for, but still respectable.

When you add up all the stacking, it comes out to $761. Considering I paid $625 for all 40 appliances, I came out ahead by ~$136. So not only were the appliances free, but I made a little by:

  • Finding a promotion code
  • Using the right card with a category bonus
  • Clicking through a shopping portal
  • Mailing in the rebates

About that last one…

Cutting out UPCs can be extremely zen

I fired up my X-acto knife and got to work cutting out 40 UPCS from cardboard boxes – highly, highly recommended if you ever do this.

MVP

MVP

I carefully sliced the 4 sides around the UPC, then pried away the rectangle like a beating Visa rebate heart. Over and over.

Throw them all in the same pot

This is what 40 UPCs looks like

I had to do it segments of about 10 each. If you’re in a weird mood, it won’t work. You have to zone out and let it flow – even then, your hand will still hurt from gripping the blade and slicing through the cardboard.

I don’t know of a better way to extract a single piece of cardboard from a box. But it left clean lines. I figured if I wanted to resell the appliances, it would be worth it to keep them relatively spotless.

Removing all the UPCs probably took me an hour.

Then, I had to mail the rebate form and UPCs. I bought a cheap padded envelope at Walgreens for about a buck and mailed it for about $5. But that still took my time and a few extra dollars.

And somehow, I loved the sport of it. The thrill of the deal. Seeking it out and getting it.

Some peeps despise managing a project like this, but me? I was happy to spend part of a Saturday cutting out UPCs and mailing them away blindly. (If I didn’t sound crazy before, what about now?) :p

This was by far the most tedious part of the whole process.

When they say 8 weeks, they mean 8 weeks

I was on pins and needles about getting that Visa gift card in the mail.

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So relieved when this came

I placed the original Kohl’s order on October 1st. And got the gift card in the mail on December 3rd – nearly 8 weeks to the day.

Sending in that form with all the UPCs felt like sending a package into a black hole. Part of me expected it to get lost (even though I added tracking and delivery confirmation).

I was most nervous about this because the $480 was by far the biggest piece of my “reimbursement” puzzle.

So if you get in a Kohl’s deal with a rebate, patience is key. They received it and will take their sweet time processing it. But it will eventually arrive.

I particularly loved that they sent one gift card for $480 instead of – god forbid – individual gift cards.

Check for more discounts in the meantime!

About a week after I placed the original order, I noticed the prices had fallen $2 per item – well within the Kohl’s price adjustment window.

$2 doesn’t sound like much, but when you buy 40 items, that’s $80!

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$80 for a phone call

I immediately rang them up and got my $80 back.

That brought my overall earnings for this deal to $216 (the previous $136 + $80 more). Which is obviously sweet.

I freaking love Kohl’s

It takes a certain personality type to love online shopping at this particular department store. They’ve engineered it to give you that thrill when you think you’re getting a good deal.

And in a lot of cases, you really are. You just have to be judicious and keep your impulsiveness in check.

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I used my Kohl’s Cash, baby

To get the most from a Kohl’s deal, you have to be ready to purchase other items with your Kohl’s Cash. Because it’s use it or lose it.

My modus operandi the whole time was getting a new duvet cover (so hint: have an ulterior motive of something you really want to buy).

With my Kohl’s Cash and Yes2You Rewards points, it was free. So I added a comforter and a hand towel (the latter to trigger free shipping), and called it a day. Kohl’s ultimately got me to spend more money with them because of the Kohl’s Cash.

But in terms of the deal, I still came out ahead despite this purchase. And it made me love Kohl’s all over again. Also, I love my new comforter. It’s on my bed right now.

I also got 20% cashback by using my Discover It card and clicking through the Discover Deals shopping portal. Suh-weeet!

Reselling is a PITA

My original post wrongly assumed it would be a breeze to resell these appliances.

I posted a couple of Craigslist ads for a bulk purchase:

My ever-so-enticing write-up

My ever-so-enticing write-up

Guess how many responses I got? Not a single one.

In the end, I:

  • Sold a couple to friends for $10 each
  • Took a couple to my Airbnbs
  • Gave some to my little brother when he moved into a new apartment
  • Gave some away as Xmas gifts
  • Donated the rest to charity

All that to say, they were on my hands for longer than I would’ve liked. I offloaded most of them and even sold a few.

I gave my little brother and his friends some of them. And gave the rest to charity.

Even still, I profited.

Would I do it again?

Yes. When I have the energy.

If I had it to do over again, I’d earn points & miles instead of cashback because I think ultimately, they’re worth more with how I redeem them.

I’d also be sure to have a sharper X-acto knife and schedule a solid hour to cut out the UPCs and send them away all in one shot so it’s not some lingering project for several days. Because your time is valuable. I also enjoyed managing the details of this project (typical Virgo) – but not everyone will. So consider if you’d even enjoy this before you begin.

If the answer is no, skip it. There are plenty of deals out there.

Bottom line

I made a couple of hundred bucks with the Kohl’s small appliance deal.

Yes, it was tedious. No, it wasn’t perfect. Yes, it takes a certain personality type. No, I wouldn’t do it every time.

When you can find a perfect storm of category bonuses, promo codes, shopping portals, and rebates, it’s definitely worth it. You just need a couple of hours to cut out the UPCs and send them on their way. And to distribute your bounty to friends or wherever you want them to ultimately go.

I mostly wanted to test the deal-stacking waters and this seemed like a low-risk way to begin. I’m still not sure if I’d move up in risk level beyond this.

If there’s another super easy deal, yeah, I’d do it. But I’d focus on points instead of cashback. And I’d have a better plan for unloading the merchandise.

All-in-all, it was super smooth. Most things did work. And now I know what to look out for and expect if I ever do it again.

I know a lot of peeps got in on this deal. Now that the dust has settled, did your experience go as easily as mine?

What did you do to unload your purchase once it arrived? I’m curious if there’s a better way to go about this – when and if this deal returns!

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Dallas.

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  1. I tried this on a much smaller scale (nephew was getting married and had several of the appliances on his registry). I did not understand how quickly the Kohl’s point expire; the email was sent to me while I was on vacation and I did not read the email until after the points expired.

    Even with that loss, I was happy to score wedding gifts for aImost free. I purchased a Kohl’s gift card from Staples and received 25% back from AMEX, received portal payouts from Staples and Kohl’s, and I score points from the amount charged to the Freedom card to supplement my Kohl’s gift card.

    Next time. I will channel my Virgo skills and execute better now that I understand how it all works. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • Yeah, you gotta use the Kohl’s cash within a week or two. That’s why it’s good to have other items in mind you genuinely want to purchase.

      If I’m not sure, I see what shoes they have on sale. Or undershirts. Or I get a a gift for someone to give later. Just ideas I keep back of mind.

      I’ll definitely be better prepared for next time. And thanks for sharing your experience, too! 🙂

  2. I did all 0. Got the rebates & cashback, after the purchase price dropped by $2 more on each item. Spoke to Kohls and they credited $80 back to my account. Reselling was an utter flop but I was prepared for that. Sold very few. Gave away some to friends and the rest were XMas gifts and charity. Overall win win.

    • Wow, we did the exact same thing. Except you wrote yours out much more succinctly than I did lol.

      Agree, overall win-win. I might look into better ways to resell for next time though.

  3. I did this deal with 35 items (5×7 different small appliances). I only got a rebate for one of each different item, so only 1/5 the amount I was expecting. I’m following up with the rebate center to get it straightened out, and fortunately I have pictures of all the documents/UPCs I submitted if I need to send them in again.

    I did not bother trying to sell the appliances. An organization that helps women escape domestic violence was collecting and I donated them there.

    • Good call on keeping copies of everything!

      I hope it goes quickly for you – they are not the quickest with the processing.

      Sucks that you have to deal with them and wait longer.

      I’m glad to hear you donated the items – good karma. 🙂 And wish you well for getting your full rebate. Sending good vibes your way!

  4. I did this last year with 20 appliances and agree it was a PITA. Listed them on CL:
    1ea for $5
    3 for $10
    $50 if someone would take all 20

    A nice older couple came by and bought them all for a nearby food bank. People struggling to get back on their feet have a lot of resources for getting food, but not a lot of the tools & appliances (or knowledge) to regularly cook meals at home. I actually liked their story a lot, so I ended up donating the $50 back to the same food bank.

    I’m sure this is a question for an accountant, but I would think these would be considered tax deductible charity contributions, which would further add to the “value” of the deal, and it feels good to do some good as well.

    I was too busy to mess with it this time around, but if the deal comes back I’ll probably jump on it and get rid of them via donation.

    • Excellent idea, Andy!

      You can definitely get a slip and write them off as a donation. You know, I might look into doing that as well.

      Thanks for sharing that!

  5. You can also use a box cutter which is a lot less fatiguing on your hands. Just cut the top layer of cardboard and you can peel off the UPC cleanly and it leaves no gaping holes in the box.

    Yay comments are working again!

    • Ooo, a box cutter – I like the sound of that! 😉

      I was afraid I’d rip the UPC trying to peel it and didn’t know how stringent they’d be on that. So I just sliced through the whole dang box. I’ll try your way next time.

      And yessa, feels so good to have comments back! Thank you thank you for sticking by through that little debacle!

        • Must’ve been right around the same time when the comments migrated over.

          Thank you for subscribing again – and once more, for sticking by throughout this lil hiccup!

  6. I dId the deal as well and needed/wanted a few of the items. Sold 32 of the items for a flat fee to a warehouse store locally. Made a hundred and fifty cash for the lot. Easy sell and money.
    As for the rebate card what a hassle. They totally lost my submission and I had to resubmit. Just received rebate two weeks ago. Glad I made copies of everything.
    Also I taped a copy of the UPC back on totally aped box making it easier for totallyapedhehem to resell in their store.
    It was fun and we’ll worth it.

    • This round, Black Friday sale, worked out well for me. Ebates portal tracked, Discover card 5% catagory spend went through, all 50 items arrived within days, Kolh’s CSR received correct Kohl’s Cash and Yes2You rewards amounts, and rebate processed and was paid out at the correct amount. The reselling part went better than it has for me in the past probably due to my listing of all the items within the weeks leading up to Christmas.

      I listed everything on Facebook Marketplace and on a few local FB yard sale pages. I sold the Toastmaster items in 5 sets of 8, one of each appliance per set, for $75 a set and the 5 Slow Cookers and Griddles for $15 each. I decided to try it this was since the last time I did the Khol’s Toastmaster deal it was a really hassle selling the items individually time wise and I ended up with a couple can openers no one wanted to purchase. This time around, all 8 sets and the griddles were sold in just over a week and the Slow Cookers were gone by the week of Christmas. Facebook Marketplace turned out to be a great way to market the items compared to my previous use of Craigslist and the LetGo app.

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