I do a lot of online shopping. A LOT. It’s so much easier than strapping the kid in the car to go to the store especially if it’s raining or cold or even too hot. I also shop online a lot because I can find better deals, and I don’t have to keep track of paper coupons. My favorite tool to save money shopping online is definitely Ebates. You get cashback just for buying whatever you were going to buy in the first place! Here’s how to get the most out of Ebates and save the most money shopping online.
What is Ebates?
Ebates is an online shopping deal database that gives you cashback for shopping at certain online stores. Don’t worry! There are a bunch of big stores to choose from. To get the cashback, you just have to start on the Ebates website or app and click through their link to the store you want. You make a purchase, and Ebates will credit you a percentage of the total sale. Every quarter you get a check if you earn over $5.
You’re probably wondering how they can afford to pay you for buying stuff when you’re not paying over the retail price. Well, friend, they get paid in the same way that many bloggers get paid: by referring people through affiliate links. But since Ebates is such a large company, they probably worked out deals with major retailers to get big enough profit margins to be able to pass part of it on to its customers.
Which means, BOOM. Free money for you just for shopping online.
Get the Ebates browser button
If you’re forgetful (LIKE ME!) they have a browser button to remind you about Ebates when you’re on qualifying websites.
So, say you’re shopping the Kohl’s website on your lunch break looking for more clothes to wear to work. You forgot to go through the Ebates link. The browser extension will popup to remind you that Ebates is a thing and you can whatever percentage cashback on the site you’re currently on.
All you have to do to get the cashback is click that button! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! (Did I really just say that? I’m a dork. Don’t mind me.)
Take advantage of double cashback stores
Ebates also offers special double cashback for a few stores as a promotion. Check out the double cashback stores first.
My mom likes to shop Kohl’s and got 30% off with her Kohl’s charge plus 9% cashback from Ebates during the double cashback promotion. So essentially she got 39% off her purchase!
Shop different stores to maximize saving potential
If you’re looking for something in particular (like a toddler swing) and you want to get the best deal, try looking at different online stores. Target may have it at one price, but Walmart’s is lower. Then look at how much Ebates cashback you can get from both stores to figure out which one is saving you the most money. Maybe Target is having a double cashback day so it’s saving you an extra percentage even though the original price is higher.
It’s all about comparison and shopping around, my friend. I normally shop Amazon for toys but I ended up finding better deals at Macy’s once. Macy’s! Who would’ve thought? The retail price was a little higher than Amazon, but they had a sale and I had extra cashback from Ebates so it ended up being about $10 cheaper.
Refer your friends
Yes, Ebates will pay you to refer your friends to their program. You get $5 added to your cashback for each person that you refer. They have to spend over $25 through Ebates first before they qualify. But it’s pretty easy to spend $25 in one shopping trip!
They also have a bonus for the first two people you refer every quarter. They give you an extra $20 per person so if you refer 2 people that qualify, they’ll give you $50! YES, I SAID FIFTY.
Not only do you get money, but your friends do too. They get $10 added to their cashback when they spend over $25! So basically they get whatever percentage of cashback off plus another $10 off.
My friend bought some toys for his daughter for Christmas which totaled about $60 from Kohl’s. He used a Kohl’s coupon, got 9% back from Ebates, and $10 cashback from Ebates (since I referred him). So all in all, he paid about $20 for $60 worth of toys. BOOM. That is how you shop!
Get In Store Cashback
If you actually go out in the real world and shop, you can also get in store cashback. All you have to do is link your credit card or debit card info on the Ebates website then choose an in store offer before you shop. Don’t worry, you can select the offer from the mobile app when you’re in the store so it’s not like you have to do it from home.
They don’t have a whole lot of stores you can shop from in person, and the cashback percentages tend to be a little lower than if you were to buy online. But if you really want to go to the store and it’s listed, why not get extra cashback? You get the item right away, you can try it on (if it’s clothing), and you don’t have to pay for shipping.
But here’s a trick if you want to save extra! Try on what you need to, find what you want to buy, then buy it online through the Ebates mobile app while you’re in the store. This works especially well if the store you want doesn’t offer in store cashback or you get a higher percentage online.
Some stores will let you ship to store or pick up from their inventory. So if you’re already in the store, select those options to see how quickly you can pick it up. They may have it ready for you within a half hour! Others you might have to wait for it to be shipped and come back for it. Or have it shipped to your house.
Take advantage of Bonus Offers
On the Ebates homescreen, there’s a little notification icon next to your name that says Cash Bonuses sometimes. Check out what those are. They’re usually for specific stores and if you spend over a certain amount they’ll give you an extra $5 or $10! They might not be there all the time so when they do pop up, take a look.
They’re usually for smaller specialty stores so don’t expect an Amazon one. But if it’s a store you like or one you can get gifts from, go for it! I wouldn’t normally shop at Teavana because I don’t like tea. (I’m a coffee person, yo.) But I could totally get a gift for my tea drinking friend Kelly there. And I’ll get $10 back. So win-win!
(Note to Kelly: I’m totally not getting you anything from Teavana for your birthday. YOU DIDN’T SEE ANYTHING.)
End up with a big fat check of cashback!
Ahh, your online shopping training is complete, young padawan. Go forth and save money. Just remember to compare everything: retail price, if you have store coupons, cashback percentage, and bonus offers. You’ll get your big fat check in no time.
They send you a check in the mail (or Paypal if you’re cool like that) every quarter that you qualify. To qualify you just have to have earned $5 in cashback within the 90 days. Oh, and cashback doesn’t mean bonus money. So your $10 bonus for signing up and any referral bonus money doesn’t count. You still have to spend enough money through Ebates to get $5 of cashback to get all of the extra money. But that’s usually not very hard. Especially if you’re like me and shop online constantly!
Where’s your favorite place to shop online and what are your saving strategies?
Let me know in the comments below!
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