You already know you can shop for pretty much everything imaginable online.
Ebates isn’t exactly a shopping portal on its own. Rather, they give you cash back if you shop through their affiliate links to various websites, including the big-name retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, Lowe’s, and many more.
What is an affiliate? It means Ebates get a commission for referring you to merchants you shop from. Then Ebates split that commission with you, paying you a percentage. It’s a win-win-win for everyone involved; merchants get money from you, Ebates get money from the merchants, and you get money from Ebates.
Ebates is affiliated with over 1,500 online stores. While you might not shop from all of them, you sure have a wide range of choices.
Best of all, it’s free to use and you don’t have to pay a thing to Ebates.
All you have to do is sign up for Ebates with an email address. Right off the bat, you’ll be given a choice to pick a gift card that’s worth $10. Your gift card will be sent to you once you complete a purchase of $25 or more.
When you sign up for Ebates, consider getting paid in PayPal. In order to do that, the email address you sign up on Ebates should be the same as your PayPal email address.
When you log on to Ebates, you’ll have a variety of places you can shop from online. If you don’t see what you like, click on “All Stores” to see the exhaustive list of all the places you can shop from.
You can click on a link to an online shopping mall directly, or you can install an Ebates Cash Back Button on your browser. The first way requires you to sign in to Ebates each time you shop.
After you complete your shopping, your points will be automatically added to your account, typically within a day.
The payment scheme on Ebates is hassle-free, but do note that you only get a payout 4 times a year. That’s really slow in the age of the internet, when you’re used to getting everything instantly in your PayPal account. Alas, that’s how Ebates operates.
You can either get a check mailed to you or get paid through PayPal. The latter is highly recommended since it’s faster and the chance of a lost check in the mail is reduced to nil.
If you’re feeling extra charitable, you can have your payout sent to a charity organization or a family member.
Ebates handles all mailing and transaction fees (in the case of PayPal).
You can also refer someone and earn money. Ebates’ referral scheme is pretty generous. You can get $50 for referring two friends, and $5 for additional friend.
Is there a better reason to shop through Ebates? You get cash back for shopping you would’ve done anyway! The best part is that it doesn’t cost you anything except a little bit of time logging in and filtering where you can earn cash back. If you install Ebates Cash Back Button, the shopping is less intrusive and after a while, you won’t even know you’re shopping through Ebates.
There is no question how much cash back you’re going to get. The list of stores clearly displays the cash back percentage you get, and the amount is reinforced when you click on the link to a shopping portal.
For example, if you click on the link to book a hotel on Hotels.com, this is the page you see:
When you go on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, you’ll see some complaints against Ebates. What’s remarkable is how they’re resolved. A vast majority of the complaints are about not getting payouts. It takes time but Ebates does seem to do their best to resolve any issues.
Ebates has been around since 2000. In the age where things disappear fast if they don’t live up to people’s expectations, they wouldn’t have survived for so long if they were out to scam people.
Ebates is a simple to use online cash back website, that rewards you for shopping through their links. It doesn’t cost you a thing to use Ebates to make purchases. While getting a 1-6% cash back seems minuscule, if you’re a big shopper, the amount adds up overtime.
The best thing about Ebates is that it doesn’t consume your time, other than the time you would spend shopping anyway. Unlike survey sites where you have to spend time answering questions just to see if you qualify, with Ebates, you’re simply taking advantage of your existing habit.
The most common complaints are missed payouts, which you can solve with Ebates’ customer service or BBB, and the fact that the payouts are only four times a year. You also only get limited categories to shop from on certain shopping websites.
To optimize your experience on Ebates, it’s best to stay organized and not shop unnecessarily just for the sake of getting cash back. It makes no sense to spend a dollar so you can get a nickel back, wouldn’t you say?
You also have to keep in mind that some cash back amounts are “up to” a certain percentage. Just because you see “up to 6% cash back” doesn’t mean you’re going to actually get 6% back.
It seems a little confusing and down right deceptive, but Ebates is clear in their wording. Just assume you’ll get 1% on everything and you’ll avoid disappointment. If you get more, it’ll turn out to be a nice surprise!
If you can get past these shortcomings, Ebates offers an incredibly easy and painless way to earn a little bit of cash. It’s completely legitimate and many people online have reported successes.