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Why You Should Get Rain Checks closetsamples
If you are a thrifty shopper, you probably peruse newspaper ads, inserts, or other sales promotions to locate specially advertised "sales" that offer discounted merchandise. But often these products are not sufficiently stocked and rapidly disappear from the retail store's shelves. 
Grocery stores are required to offer rain checks unless the advertisement clearly states that "quantities are limited," or unless the store can establish that advertised items were ordered in time for delivery and were in sufficient quantities to meet the public's reasonably anticipated demand. This rule gives grocery stores the flexibility to advertise bargain items that they are unable to stock in large quantities or at certain outlets. Such items may be seasonal products, like specialty holiday foods or perishables.
What does it mean when someone says raincheck? The definition of a rain check is an assurance of a deferred extension of an offer especially: a document assuring that a customer can take advantage of a sale later if the item or service offered is not available (as by being sold out). 
Basically, a rain check is given by the store when they run out of an advertised item so that you may return to the store at a later date and score the same deal. I know that I often find an empty shelf near a product that I was looking forward to getting. I can get mad and be disappointed that I didn't get it, or I could take action and wait for the product to come back in stock at a later date.  
A "rain check" will allow you to purchase the desired item at a later time at the bargain price. Instead of a rain check, stores are permitted to offer a substitute item of comparable value to the sale item, at the sale price.   
To get a rain check the store doesn’t have to be out of every product. They just need to be out of the type you wanted to buy.  You want to grab Pop-Tarts and there are 23 (or some other crazy number) different flavors.  Odds are one of the types you wanted will be out.  You are still able to get a rain check, and don’t have to make your kids suffer through some horrible type.  Your rain check won’t be written for the specific type so you could get others later. 
Rain checks can be given at the customer service desk. Some stores will even offer them right at the register. After you receive your rainchecks, you’ll want to hold on to them until the item comes back in stock. Keep them wherever you are likely to have easy access and won’t forget about them.

Quick Raincheck Tips:

  • Make sure you have an ad with you. Employees cannot possibly be aware of every deal going on. It is important that you have the ad and are prepared to have a smooth transaction with the cashier. First, point out the item and ask if they have any more stock. If they do not, ask for a rain check.
  • Be sure the ad doesn't state that item is excluded from rainchecks. Also, get clarification on the time frame you have to use this rain check by.
  • Sometimes a store will offer a substitute item in place of giving the rain check. The only downfall to this is if you are using a coupon for your item you will no longer be able to use it. Once when I explained that to the manager, he took my coupon for the substitute item - no complaints here!!!
  • As you wait for the product to come back in stock, be aware of new coupons. You may actually end up with a better deal using your raincheck and a new coupon 2 weeks after the sale!
  • Always ask for the maximum quantity allowed on a rain check.
  • If you use this product often, you can ask (doesn’t always work) for more than one rain check, each with a maximum qty. 
  • Do not feel obligated to buy the maximum quantity on the rain check. If there is no expiration, you can purchase a couple at a time as your budget and storage space allows. Cashier, manager, or customer service will adjust the quantity or give you a new rain check to account for what you’ve purchased. Be sure you don’t leave without it.
  • If a rain check is about to expire and you have not had luck getting item(s), ask for an extension or a new rain check.
  • Combine sale price on rain check with valid coupons when available. This means increased savings to you!
  • Increase savings by submitting for rebates with programs like Ibotta.
  • Keep a copy of the sales flyer of the original sale.

How to Redeem a Rain Check

Make sure you’re following any guidelines set in the rain check. Check item limits or expiration dates, and head to the register! Hand your rain checks to the cashier so they know ahead of time. Scan the items as you normally would. Most cashiers will be familiar with rain checks. If you have a new employee or someone not familiar with them, you might need to request a manager. They’ll be sure the transaction to make sure it flows smoothly (although you likely won’t run into any problems). 
Keep in mind coupon expiration dates. Rain checks do NOT extend coupon dates.
When you go to the store to redeem your raincheck. you can even use coupons with it and save even more money!  If the coupon expires before they restock you will need to find another coupon or ask the manager before using an expired coupon. As long as the coupon was good the day the rain check was written you may continue to use it until the rain check expires. 
Remember that every store has a different policy on rainchecks. They will expire at different lengths, have different limits, etc. Understand your store's policy before redeeming them so you aren’t frustrated at checkout. 
Also, in 99% of stores rainchecks do not have to be used in the actual store that issued them. If you get a CVS rain check for soda (next week there’s a great 12 pk. deal) you could drive all the way to the beach and use your rain check at a CVS there rather than hauling soda cross country with you!
NOTE: Instead of a rain check, stores are permitted to offer a substitute item of comparable value to the sale item, at the sale price. Or the store may offer some form of compensation that is at least equal in value to the advertised item. If you cannot find an advertised product on the merchant's shelf, ask for it. If the store has run out, you should ask for a rain check, a substitute item, or other equivalent compensation.
Tip: Staple the ad section showing your product on sale with the rain check, that way in a couple of weeks when you are attempting to redeem it there is no question.

Raincheck FAQ's

Does Costco do Rainchecks? 

NO. Costco does not have layaway, payment plans, or rainchecks for items bought in-store or online. However, Costco does offer daily bulk discounts and monthly discount coupons to its members on a variety of items such as furniture, jewelry, and appliances.

Does CVS offer rainchecks? 

YES. The raincheck will extend the CVS/pharmacy coupon expiration date. Both the CVS/pharmacy coupon and raincheck must be presented at time of purchase. The raincheck will be attached to the CVS/pharmacy coupon by store personnel.

Can you get a rain check on Amazon?

NO. They do not offer rainchecks for items that run out of stock.

Does Best Buy offer rain checks? does not offer rain checks for products sold online. Best Buy stores may offer rain checks when advertised products are out of stock.

Does Woolworths do Rainchecks?

NO. Woolies does not offer rainchecks. From Wednesday 11 March 2020, rainchecks will not be available on any advertised stock purchased until further notice. 'Advertised stock' includes any product advertised for sale, or which is on promotion in store at a Woolworths Supermarket or Woolworths Metro store.

What do rainchecks look like?

Rain checks are pieces of paper that you request when an item on sale is out of stock.

(Update 2022)

Are rain checks still a thing? 

YES. You are still able to get a raincheck

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