It always blows my mind when I find out there are people shopping online without using Ebates. It’s like paying more for stuff on purpose. It’s like being offered discounts everywhere you shop, and refusing all of them. It’s like paying extra money to shop; money that you could have kept in your pocket for something else. It’s like flushing cash down a toilet.
It’s not even like Ebates is hard to use, or takes extra time. Ebates isn’t even inconvenient. Years ago, you had to go to Ebates website before you started shopping in order to get credit. Now you don’t even have to do that anymore.
You can just get the Ebates Button on your browser bar. Then every time you buy something online Ebates automatically gives you the credit anyway! (For readers in the U.K., there’s an alternative available in the U.K. called Swagbucks. they have a Swag Button that does the same thing, and pays just as well).
Eventually I discovered that a lot of people have never heard of Ebates. A lot of people have heard about it, but don’t know what it is. A lot of people are too suspicious to use it, because they don’t know how it works, or they don’t know that it’s free. And they’re all giving up collective millions of dollars that all of these online shoppers could be saving by just going through Ebates.
So let me break this down, to make this clear…
How Does Ebates Cash Back Work?
It’s pretty simple really. Almost every online business out there has what’s called an affiliate or referral program. You can usually find the affiliate program of a brand by scrolling to the bottom of their website’s homepage.
This is a program that will incentivize you to recommend the business or products to your friends (or really anyone). They will pay you a commission every time someone buys something through your recommendation.
There are people who actually make a full-time living by promoting brands with referral programs!
This is basically what Ebates does. If you buy everything through THEIR referral or recommendation, they’ll split the commission with you. It’s kind of a win/win. It doesn’t cost you anything to use their referral links, and you and Ebates both get cash back in the form of a commission.
There’s nothing sketchy about it. No fine print. Everybody ends up with more money than if you had just shopped directly through the store.
The amount of cash back you’ll get varies a lot, depending on the store you’re buying from. Super established businesses, like Amazon, Ebay, and Walmart, don’t really need much help from affiliate marketers. They don’t pay Ebates much, and you don’t get much cash back. They’ll typically pay from 1% to 6% cash back.
BUT businesses that are newer, smaller, or don’t yet have as big of a presence online tend to pay a lot for referrals. I’ve had as much as 50% cash back on single purchases!
This can be a huge advantage, especially when you’re already taking advantage of sales and discounts. The extra 8% Ebates will give you back on Groupon purchases, for example, can make a sweet deal even sweeter.
Not too complicated, right? If you aren’t already a member, MAKE SURE YOU JOIN EBATES before you do any more online shopping. They’ll send you a check every 3 months with your earnings. It’s extra cash in your pocket. GO for it!
If you want more details on how Ebates works, here’s a more in-depth review. If you’re looking for other great ways to save on shopping, take a look at THIS LIST! And if you’re looking for a more diverse alternative to Ebates available outside of the United States, take a look at Swagbucks.