Each time I do some online shopping I get extra cash. Ever heard of a cash back website? Well Ebates is one of the many such websites and that is where I buy my stuff. For this, they give me a check after a few months though their checks resemble the mail-in rebate checks, I do not have to complete a rebate document or make a copy of the UPC. In addition, I do not incur the cost of snail-mailing it the manufacturer. I am only required to land on their website, Ebates.com, and log in prior to buying.
There are well over 1500 stores that Ebates has direct dealings with. Here is how it works. Supposing Ebates has directed a customer to target.com, Target will pay a percentage of the customer’s spending to Ebates which will in turn Ebates will give a portion of this pay to the customer.
It is a win-win situation and it is such a good opportunity that it doesn’t sound real but I am yet to benefit. There are so many people who are not taking advantage of this opportunity. Just in case you haven’t made up your mind, here are some tips that can help you make an informed decision.
Two things have given me some valuable experience with cash-back websites: one is when opening my account at Ebates and the other one is while helping my mother, to whom this technology is new, to use this account. You can use these few tips to get started.
Create your own account with Ebates
Follow this order if you are looking for some money back:
- Create an account at Ebates
- Click to the URL that leads to the store you wish to shop from Ebates.
So if you want to buy something from Target, you must first sign in and then click on Ebates’ link to Target. You can’t just type www.target.com into your browser. That sounds so basic, but it’s easy to surf store sites and forget to go back through Ebates for your cash back. My mother finds it helpful to close all other browser tabs before logging into Ebates to buy something. If you are looking forward to purchasing an item at targets, you can’t go straight to target.com. You need to go to ebate.com and then click to Target from there. If you are really unsure, you can close all other tabs and only open Ebates just like my mother does.
Utilize double cash-back offers……
Here are several ways to do this.
You can subscribe for the ‘Daily Double Email’ so that you will be able to tell which store is getting the double cash offer. There are usually some hearts alongside your most visited stores; Ebates can add these stores to your favorite list if you click to these hearts. Once this is done, you will be getting emails to inform you of double cash back offers or when the cash back is huge.
It is also worth noting that Ebates doubles cash back during the festive season and holidays to many stores. I bought all my stuff for the 2011 Christmas at Cyber Monday to increase my cash back. I can tell you that this was really easy for me and the best part is that they paid me for shopping!
I am however not compelling anyone to use Ebates as I do because it is not paying to write this article anyway. Sites like Extrabux and Big Crumbs are also cash back websites that will pay you to shop. In fact most of them are recent compared to Ebates that started way back in 1998.
Most money back websites function almost in the same manner, but it is wise to read about how each functions before creating an account with them. The slight difference comes in the manner they pay you and how frequent you get the cash backs. For instance:
- Ebates will use PayPal or give you a check after every three months but you need to have gathered a minimum of $5.
- Big Crumbs doesn’t require you to accumulate the cash to $5, instead, you are paid through PayPal every month if the amount has reached $1
- With Extrabux, you get paid when you want to. The catch here is that you must have earned at least $10 so that you get the payment either by PayPal or check. You however have to note that they use the term withdraw to refer to getting cash back, so don’t get puzzled there.
There is also a cash-back website aggregator: Cash Reporter will tell you what percentage of cash back you can earn at several different cash-back websites by shopping at a given store. Of course, this is only useful if you’re willing to sign up with multiple cash-back websites. Personally, I feel that an occasional extra percent or two is not worth having to manage multiple accounts. But that’s just me. The good news is that there is a website known as Cash Reporter which tells you just what portion of cash back you get at different websites when you shop at a particular store. This will however work only if you create accounts with multiple cash back websites. With me, I don’t find it worthwhile running many accounts just because of the extra percent that comes rarely. But anyway, that is me.
Are you are a regular user of cash-back websites apart from Ebates? If so, please let us know which one. Would you recommend it to someone?