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Friday, May 23, 2008

Review: Ebates

I mentioned at the end of last year that I learned a whole lot about shopping online and saving money during the 2007 holiday shopping season. One of the things I learned was to never, ever shop without going through some kind of rewards portal if at all possible.

In the last few months, my favorite shopping portal has become Ebates. The premise is simple: each merchant gives you back a percentage of your purchase. The percentage depends on the merchant, and some give back more than others. Every three months, Ebates sends you a check or deposits your cash back into your PayPal account, as long as you've accumulated more than $5.00 in cash back from purchases (in other words, credit from sign-up bonuses and referrals don't count toward the $5.00 minimum).

Ebates has hundreds of merchants signed up, and the process of shopping through them is super simple. All you have to do is go to their site, find the merchant, click through, and shop like you normally would. You can also use coupon codes for extra savings. Ebates will even tell you that coupons are available when you call up the merchant, so you can elect to apply the coupon automatically when you click through. This worked well for me when I bought a bouquet through Teleflora for my mom for Mother's Day a few weeks ago.

I got my first payout earlier this month, and it went straight into my PayPal account without a problem. (I would have reviewed Ebates earlier, but was waiting until I had received a payout. And I have!) It's very easy to select PayPal as the payment option: just click on "My Account," then scroll down to the bottom of the page to edit "Payment Options."

I'm sure someone will comment that FatWallet is also a great shopping portal and I don't doubt it. I've been told that some of the merchants give more cash back at Ebates and others give more at FatWallet, so it pays to sign up with both sites. I just haven't felt the need to join FatWallet yet, but I might before this year's holiday shopping season. If I do, I'll be sure to review it for you.

In the meantime, if you want to sign up with Ebates, they are currently offering a $10 bonus to new members. (Update: I think you have to make a purchase by June 30 to get the bonus.) If you sign up through this affiliate link, I'll also get $10 and possibly a $10 Target giftcard. So if you use the affiliate link, thank you! (It looks like there is no sign-up bonus if you don't use an affiliate link, I'm not sure why. If I'm wrong about that, please let me know!)

Have fun shopping!

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  • At 5/23/08, 1:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ebates is great however when you download the program its gives your computer spam. Don't get me wrong its great but this is apain to deal with.

  • At 5/23/08, 1:23 PM, Blogger Chief Family Officer said…

    @Anon - I don't think I've downloaded anything from them. Now I'm going to have go investigate! Can you give me more details?

  • At 5/23/08, 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have been keeping meticulous track of what I've purchased through ebates, and I've had a few glitches that are making me wonder - my big ticket items (Expedia airline tickets, rental car & hotel) have NOT shown up yet. I called Ebates and they said it would happen once the travel was completed, but it hasn't. I'm a little irritated, esp. as I've recommended Ebates to EVERYONE. I would love to hear from others if this has happened to them?

  • At 5/23/08, 9:25 PM, Anonymous Ebates Customer Care said…

    Great blog! Just wanted to say that no download is required to use Ebates, and we certainly don't have a download that generates spam.

    True, some travel Cash Back does not post until after travel has been completed. However, if any order doesn't track for any reason, please let us know after your trip, and we'd be glad to look into the issue for you.

    Happy shopping!

    Ebates Customer Care

  • At 5/24/08, 10:00 AM, Blogger Clean ClutterFree Simple said…

    I love eBates! It's easy, and most of the places I shop online are part of it. We saved using eBates for faucets for our recent kitchen remodel. The only problem is that I have to constantly remind DH to go through eBates--no idea why he's reluctant to save $$. Anyone have that problem with their sweetie??

  • At 6/10/08, 8:34 PM, Blogger fooemery said…

    Just wanted to clarify (I posted on 5/23/08) I spoke to Dylan at Ebates and he resolved the issues I was having - so I'm back to being a big fan of theirs!

  • At 6/14/08, 4:43 AM, Anonymous Barbara said…

    I signed up through your link and it said we both get $10. And $10 cash back shows on my account.

  • At 6/16/08, 9:06 PM, Blogger Chief Family Officer said…

    @Barbara - Thank you for letting me know, and for using the link!

  • At 9/18/08, 4:03 PM, Blogger Candy said…

    Have you seen:

    Although it was written almost four years ago, it still makes me wonder. I decided not to buy through Ebates because I'd rather spend a few extra dollars than have my computer tampered with!!! Thanks for bringing up the subject -- I wouldn't have thought about it unless I saw your comments. Cheers! --Candy

  • At 11/11/08, 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I just bought some ink jets via the ebates with 17% cash back, and it turn out to be around $3 each (including the sales tax and shipping charge).

  • At 2/24/09, 1:57 PM, Blogger Prepster said…

    I've had great Ebates experience check my blog for my personal review!


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