Sure, I had heard of Ebates before.
It’s hard to miss the TV commercials and ads that pop up around the internet.
I heard how Ebates can save me money on purchases I already make, but for whatever reason I never checked Ebates out.
A couple months ago, that changed. I finally signed up for Ebates. I can’t believe how much money I could have easily saved if I had just signed up earlier.
Don’t make the same mistake I did. Read on to find out how Ebates works and how you can start saving money today.
My First Ebates Experience – Earning A $10 Walmart Gift Card
On a whim, one day I decided to test out Ebates. I heard I could earn a $10 Walmart gift card for making a $25 purchase through one of their links, so I figured I would give it a try.
I was about to purchase a pair of curtains for my son’s room for $29.99 from Amazon.com, so I went clicked through the link on my Ebates homepage and made the purchase.
While Ebates said I wouldn’t earn any cash back from the purchase since it wasn’t in one of Amazon’s current cash back categories, it did qualify me to earn the $10 Walmart gift card.
Ebates notified me my gift card was on the way two weeks later and I received the card in the mail a few days later.
I earned a $10 gift card by making a purchase I was going to make anyway. How sweet is that?
My Next Ebates Experience – $9.32 Check For Ordering Curtains
For months, my wife and I have been searching for curtains for our master bedroom. In addition to the fact that our windows were taller than most, my wife and I have a hard time agreeing on decor items.
We finally found curtains both my wife and I agreed on and decided to make the purchase. The curtains weren’t cheap, so we did some thorough price shopping before finding the best price on Overstock.com.
We did a quick Google search and found a coupon code, which we applied to our order. The total was going to be $233.08. Not cheap, but not an awful price to pay for four sets of curtains after months of searching.
Right before I was about to check out, I remembered about Ebates.
I logged in, clicked through their Overstock.com link, refilled my shopping basket and added my coupon code again. On this purchase, I ended up earning 4 percent cash back, or $9.32, for an order I was going to make anyway.
I figured it’d be a while before I ever saw the money. As a first time Ebates user, I thought they would have a high minimum check amount before I could cash out. However, a little less than two weeks later Ebates mailed me a check for $9.32.
It turns out their minimum is only $5 and payments are made four times a year.
How Ebates Works – It Isn’t A Scam
At this point, you may be thinking Ebates is too good to be true. Thankfully, Ebates is the real deal. Now that I run a website, I have a better understanding about how sites like Ebates work and make money.
First, sign up for an Ebates account and choose your bonus. Currently, Ebates is offering a $10 Walmart gift card or a $10 Ebates cash bonus if you’re a new member and make at least $25 of qualifying purchases within 90 days of becoming a member.
Next, visit the Ebates site before shopping online. Make sure you go to your web retailer of choice’s website by clicking on a link from the Ebates website so you get credit for your shopping trip.
Another way to do this is downloading the Ebates browser extension. When you visit a website that Ebates offers cash back on, it will have a small button pop up that asks you to activate your cash back. Simply click on the button to register your shopping trip.
Place your order and Ebates will calculate your cash back and send you a check once a quarter. Not bad for simply clicking on a link or a button before you do your shopping.
How Ebates Can Make Money AND Pay You
But how can Ebates pay me? How does Ebates make money? I’m glad you asked. Companies pay Ebates a fee to send shoppers to their websites. The fees can vary, but usually they’re a percentage of each sale.
By clicking on the Ebates link, you’re telling the retailer that Ebates sent you to their website. That allows the retailer to credit Ebates with the commission on each sale.
Ebates makes money through these commissions then shares part of the commission with you.
They’re able to command higher commission rates than other websites because they send so much traffic to the retailers that they get extra bonuses which Ebates often passes on to you.
In the end, Ebates ends up making money. However, you usually don’t have access to these cash back options yourself, so even getting a part of the commission is a great deal. You’re basically making a little bit of money on a purchase you were going to make anyway.
Downfalls Of Ebates
Overall, Ebates is great. That said, using Ebates isn’t all puppies and rainbows and everything nice.
While Ebates does offer a huge selection of stores to shop at, their cash back percentages change on a regular basis which makes it hard to plan your shopping to match up with high cash back categories.
Another common issue is with Amazon, one of the retailers I shop at most. While Amazon does allow Ebates cash back in certain categories at different times, you don’t always earn cash back when shopping at Amazon.
As with any cash back service, you need to make sure you’re not making purchases simply to earn cash back. If you are, you’re going to end up spending more money than you save using Ebates.
The last small issue is remembering to go through the Ebates portal. Sometimes when I’m looking to order something quickly, I’ll forget to go through Ebates and won’t earn cashback.
I have since installed the browser extension, which I highly recommend, and it has cut back on the times I forget to use Ebates.
Sign Up Today
If you want to start earning cash back for purchases you’re going to make anyway, you can sign up for Ebates here.
I suggest signing up using your email address and a password so you don’t give Ebates any of your Facebook or Pinterest profile information, but using Facebook or Pinterest is quicker.
Then, simply make a $25 order to qualify for your free $10 gift card or bonus cash. It’s that easy!
What is your thought on Ebates? How much cash back have you earned? Let me know in the comments!