Let's Talk About Shopping & Saving
I rarely pay the listed or original price for clothing, accessories, home goods, or electronics (they're marked up anyway).
How? I use Ebates EVERY time that I shop, whether it is for clothes, electronics, make-up, or housewares. In the last 2.5 years of use, I've received checks totaling nearly $800. This is a significant amount for items that I would buy anyway. If you don't already use Ebates, keep reading to learn how you can get money back too.
HOW EBATES WORKS
The company partners with a long list of well-known retailers, and basically gives you a percentage of your spend back. Depending on the store, that percentage varies and that percentage may fluctuate over time. Ebates updates their website daily so you always know what percentage is being offered.
WHY I USE EBATES
Because it makes a difference.
Even if I only get $1 cash back for a purchase, it is worth it. When consistently using Ebates, those $1 add up over time. There are months where my cash back total is only $10-$20. However, when I'm about to make a large purchase that single purchase could mean hundreds of dollars. Is there a luxe handbag that you've been eyeing? Or a new OLED TV that you want to get your husband? The cash back is tangible.
Case and point: last year, I splurged at Saks Fifth Avenue while I was in the store. I ended up receiving over $100 back (below) from that purchase!
HOW TO USE EBATES
ONLINE/MOBILE PURCHASES: Let's assume that you've signed up for Ebates and have either downloaded the app to your mobile phone or have Ebates pulled up on your browser. All you have to do is search the name of the store on Ebates app/website, click the red "SHOP NOW" button, and you're all set! There is a back-end process that creates a "shopping trip" (a unique id to identify the purchase) and then Ebates verifies that purchase amount with the retailer. You get cash back credit for the purchase in 1-3 days.
IN-STORE PURCHASES: Being able to use Ebates while you're shopping in a store isn't new but still a relatively new function (and not offered for all its retailers). You need to have the Ebates app on your phone and register the credit card that you're going to use for the purchase. Once that is complete, and you're about to check out, go to the app and click the red "SHOP NOW" button for your store. Then check out normally at the store's registers. You get cash back credit for the purchase in 1-3 days.
HOW OFTEN YOU RECEIVE CASHBACK
Ebates cuts you a check once every three months. You can opt for a transfer to your verified Paypal account OR get a physical check mailed to you. Cha-ching.
Full disclosure: The links above contain my personal referral link. When you sign up, use Ebates (spending at least $25), then you will get a $10 credit and I'll get a credit too.
SHOPPING TIPS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR CASHBACK
Always check that your store is eligible on Ebates (no brainer).
Get familiar with the average cash back amounts for your favorite stores. And wait to buy, if you're making a large purchase. Depending on the retailer, the cashback percentage can fluctuate often (like every other day or week). Although there isn't any guarantee that the percentage will increase, I find that you can catch a retailer on a "better" day.
- Wait for special cash back days. There are "Double Cash Back Days" periodically which is exactly how it sounds: where the normal % cashback is double (i.e. Macy's is normally 5%, but is temporarily 10%). Sometimes, there are even "Triple Cash Back Days".
- Check which cashback option is higher. I have often found that there is a difference in the cashback percentage when buying in-store vs. online/mobile. In my experience, 90% of the time online/mobile is higher. So if you're in-store and the online/mobile is greater than in-store cashback then account for shipping cost and delay in time. If the math works out, order online.
- Finally, don't forget to use coupon codes on your purchases online/mobile. Ebates' site has active coupon codes listed. You can use both eligible coupon codes AND get Ebates cashback. Woot - savings from two places!
Are you already an Ebates user? Let me know what the best cashback deal that you've gotten so far.
Disclaimer: This is not sponsored by Ebates. I just LOVE this company so much that I had to share and want to make sure you're getting money back too.