How Does Ebates Work?

Most people who first hear about Ebates cash back shopping immediately wonder “how does Ebates work?

It sounds like it could be too good to be true, so maybe it is some kind of scam? Ebates is a legitimate company that is very open about how they are able to offer cash back for shopping online.

Ebates gets a commission from stores for referring shoppers to their websites, and they share that commission with you.

Here is how it works:

1. Sign up for a free account: the only information you have to give is your email address

2. Click the Ebates tracking link to your favorite stores: the merchants track this link and pay Ebates a referral commission based on a percentage of your purchase (Percentage commission varies by store)

3. Get cash back: Ebates shares the commission with you, depositing a percentage of your purchase into your account

4. Receive check in the mail or PayPal payment: every 3 months, Ebates sends out payments for purchases from the previous quarter.  (If you want payments by check, you need to provide your address)

So that’s how it works.  It’s free to use, there’s no rebate forms to fill out, and you do not have to give any personal information besides an email address for your PayPal payment or physical address if you opt to get checks in the mail.

You also get a $10 gift certificate or $5 cash bonus for signing up, once you make your first $25 purchase.

If you are a frequent online shopper, there’s really no reason not to use Ebates.  You shop as your normally do, except you can get some money back each time you shop.  You can also find coupon codes to stack on the savings.

You can get started by clicking the form below:

How Does Ebates Work

How Does Ebates Work?: Everybody Wins

That answers how does Ebates work, but you also may be wondering why this arrangement is beneficial to all the parties involved. It is really very simple when you understand how it works and why everybody wins.

Ebates makes a commission for referring you to the stores, they share part of the commission with you, and it encourages you to shop at the stores that partner with the rebate site, so they get more business.

There are thousands of mainstream stores that participate in cash back shopping, so you probably shop at a lot of them already. You can do a little research and see how much cash back is offered at the stores you shop at the most to see how much money you could be saving.

I am the kind of person who will spend an extra ten minutes to look for coupons and try to find the best possible deal when I am shopping online. With Ebates, I can save a little bit more in addition to the coupons I use, and every little bit saved helps.

If you shop online a lot, it is worth your time to search for coupons for the stores you shop at. By signing up with a cash back site, you can get access to coupons and also get a percentage of your purchase back, saving more in addition to the money you save with the coupons.

For example, you may find a 20% off coupon at a store, and also get 5% cash back, saving a total of 25% off your order. An extra 5% might not seem like much, but when you shop online a lot, it really adds up quickly.

I hope this helped clear up the question how does Ebates work. I love Ebates and have been using it since 2008. If you have any doubts about it, I can assure you that it is legitimate. I’ve never had any problems using the site and have always received my cash back on time. They even send it to your PayPal account now, so it could not be any easier.

You can get a $10 gift certificate or $5 cash bonus for signing up by clicking the form below:

How Does Ebates Work

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  1. I would like to join Ebates. I would like to know how we pay. I like PayPal, that’s what I use for Ebay.

    • Ebates is free to join. Once you start shopping through Ebates, all payments are made directly to the stores (not Ebates). Ebates is just a shopping portal that gives you cash back for the shopping you do at stores online, and Ebates itself is not a store. You never have to pay anything to Ebates.

    • Through ebates you can get paid through a check or paypal. I prefer paypal also because it practically accepted everywhere. Although keep in mind that you have to accumulate at least $5 before they will send out your money. In addition they have pay periods, which are approximately every 3 months. Hope this helps.

  2. The cash back earned from shopping is it giving back in form of cash or in a coupon for next online purchase ?

  3. Do we pay out the pocket for it or what???

    • Not quite sure what you are asking here, but the only thing you pay for is whatever purchase you made. Ebates earns a commission on the sale for referring you to the store, and they share the commission with you. You don’t end up paying anything more than what you would have normally paid for the purchase, but you get a little cash back thanks to Ebates sharing the commission with you. Hope that answered your question!

  4. Can you use ebates for in store purchases? I would like to get a new ipad at target and the site indicates in store only.

  5. How do you pay for whatever it is you are shopping for?

    • You shop on regular merchant sites so you pay with whatever methods the merchant site accepts (usually all major credit cards).

    • You pay with credit card, debit card or paypal. I’ve used ebates before and it is the one cash back site that is actually legit. They will send you a check or transfer the money to your Paypal account. The first time you use it, you can request a $10 giftcard from Macy’s, Walmart, Target, Home Depot and another retailer I can’t remember.

  6. Do you have to pay for anything you purchase from ebates?

    • You do not actually purchase anything directly from Ebates. You shop at third party stores, and pay for your purchases as you normally would through their websites. Ebates then shares a referral commission with you in the form of cash back, as a reward for shopping through their site.

  7. How do u earn cash back?

    • Make sure to click the “shop now” button on the Ebates site, and make sure you see the Ebates tracking ticket right before it redirects you to the merchant site. That is how they track your purchase. Then just shop like you normally would. It’s really simple. You should see the cash back in your account shortly after you make your purchase.

  8. So this is only for online purchases?? You can’t get cash back for in-store purchases? I rarely shop online, I like shopping in the stores. So I can’t use this website for in-store purchases?

    • You may be able to get cash back for in-store pickup at some stores, but you have to make the purchase online. Click here to read an article on the Ebates blog about this, but be aware that this article is from 2009 so policies may have changed.

  9. I am buying an air conditioner from Sears and would like to know if I can use Ebates for cash back. I can not purchase the AC online. A Sears Rep comes out to your home and the AC is purchased throught an “inhome sale”.

  10. What if you return an item you purchased from a store through Ebates?

  11. when you say “Click the Ebates tracking link to your favorite stores: the merchants track this link and pay Ebates a referral commission based on a percentage of your purchase (Percentage commission varies by store)” do you mean the “shop now” button because I made two purchases already and they are not reflected in the ebate account summary. Where is the tracking link you are talking about? Thanks.

  12. XxHaimBondxX says:

    Stumbled upon your site by accident. We bought a fridge from Sears and there was a promotion for 3% off and 5% in points, if using my sears card, plus a few other things and a coupons. A few days after the purchase I remembered about ebates, which also offered a 3% cash back. Does that mean we missed out on additional 3% cash back, or that’s all the discounts we were going would get?

    • Unfortunately you can’t go back after you’ve made your purchase already. It sounds like you could have gone through Ebates to get an extra 3% cash back, as long as you had purchased it online. Those other promotions should not have interfered with your ability to use Ebates.

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