Living the Life at Half Price

Living the Life at Half Price

Monday, May 2, 2011

Amazing Ebates

So I realize that I have this terrible habit of promising posts and never actually writing them (I promised a post about Rent the Runway, and even before that, a post on vacation-saving tips, both of which are forthcoming!).  I also promised a post on Ebates.  And I decided it's time to put an end to my empty promises.  Today, I'm going to tell you about the miracle that is Ebates.  A lot of this post will probably seem a little exaggerated but that's just because I really really really love this site.  And why shouldn't I?  They pay me for shopping!

I have mentioned Ebates a few times before, though only in passing.  To quote from Ebates' own site, it is "a great Web site that pays you cash back every time you shop online (up to 26% back!).  Ebates works with 1,200 stores... so you are sure to find your favorites."  Once I discovered Ebates, I was hooked.

The way it works is that you go on Ebates' site, and you click on the store or site you want, and Ebates redirects you to that site.  Anything you buy in that session is recorded by Ebates, and you'll see the cash back amount reflected in your account.  Every 2 months or so, Ebates will mail you a check with the total amount of cash back you've accumulated in that time period.  Actual money, not a credit that you have to use somewhere.

And so many stores participate, even high-end ones like Bloomies, Nordstrom, Saks, and Barneys.  In fact, I would say, most of the stores you would buy something from are Ebates participants, with a few exceptions.  Group buying sites like Groupon and BuyWithMe even participate.  I actually got 7.5% back on TurboTax, which I used to do my taxes this year.  The one thing for which I haven't used Ebates yet, but am very excited to, is travel!  Sites like Orbitz, Priceline, and Expedia participate, as well as hotel chains, airlines, and rental car companies.  Now that's where you can really get a substantial cash back amount.

The cash back you get varies by store.  I would say that the average amount is less than 5%, but that does add up!  Some stores are more., for instance, gives you 7.5% back.  I have no reason to use Zappos anymore with that incentive from Endless (plus better prices in general, I think).  You want to order flowers for Mother's Day?  Go through Ebates to Teleflora or FTD and get 20% back!

So the moral of the story is that the next time you want to buy something online, go to Ebates first to see if that site is a participant.  Because why shouldn't you get paid for shopping too?

P.S. sorry for the lame title.  Mondays drain the creativity out of me.

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