What is Ebates and is it really legit? The short answer is that it is a cash back shopping site, and it is totally legit. If you have never heard of cash back shopping before, you might need a better explanation.
Cash back shopping just means that Ebates gets a commission for referring customers to merchants, and Ebates shares part of the commission with the shopper. It might seem like a scam, but it is a completely legitimate process that benefits all parties.
The merchants that partner with Ebates benefit from the arrangement because customers get an extra incentive to shop at their stores. The cash back shared with shoppers is usually a small percentage of the sale, so merchants still have room to profit.
Ebates benefits because they keep part of the commission, and the customer benefits by getting cash back just for doing the shopping they were going to do anyway. There are over 1,200 stores on Ebates, including most well known stores, so you should be able to do all your shopping through them.
I have been using Ebates since 2008 and have saved tons of money over the years. Every store has a different cash back percentage, usually ranging from 1% to 25%. Around the holidays, a lot of stores offer double cash back.
It is completely free to use, there are no sign up fees or any charges for using the site. When you sign up, they just ask for your email address. It only takes a few minutes. You also get to pick a sign up bonus, either a $10 gift card or $5 cash. You can sign up by clicking the form below:
Once you get signed up and are ready to shop, all you have to do is click through to the store you are shopping at from the Ebates site. This activates a tracking link, which tells the merchant that Ebates sent you.
That way they get credit for the sale and get the commission. Without clicking that tracking link, the merchant will have no way of knowing to pay the commission, so you will not get your cash back.
An important thing to know about these tracking links is that they are posted on tons of sites all over the internet. If you are doing research before you shop, you may inadvertantly click on a tracking link from a different site. This can interefere with the Ebates tracking link and prevent you from getting your cash back.
For example, let’s say you are interested in bying a netbook computer. You find a website that compares a bunch of different kinds of netbooks, and there are links to view the product details. You click on one of those links, and it takes you to a store where you can buy the netbook. Chances are, that was a tracking link and it puts a cookie into your web browser so the store knows that site referred you.
If you want to use Ebates successfully, it is a good idea to clear your cookies first in order to make sure that the tracking link works. Just a suggestion to be extra careful.
You can track your cash back earnings by signing into your account. Payments are made every 3 months, and you can choose to be paid through PayPal or by check.
Another cool thing about Ebates is that they give you referral bonuses for recommending the site to your friends and family. You get $5 any time somebody signs up through your referral link and spends at least $25 at a partner store for cash back. They also have bonuses every quarter if you hit a certain number of referrals. If you get 5 friends to sign up, you get $75, and if you get 10 friends to sign up, you get $150. The bonus keeps going up the more people you get to sign up.
If you still haven’t signed up, what are you waiting for? Click the form below to get started: