Truth time: Shopping is one of my favorite pastimes. When I heard I could get paid to shop, the (usually silent) pessimist in me stepped up, but nonetheless, I had to at least check into it. Like any savvy shopper, I love a good deal and have make a sport of saving money. And so far, so good.
 
In the past few months alone, I’ve made more than $200 $350 doing exactly what I’ve always been doing – without committing to a thing, and without spending a single cent. You can, too. Say hello to my little friend, Ebates.
 
 

What is Ebates?

Launched back in 1998, Ebates is the true pioneer of online cash back shopping. Their concept is simple: provide you with the best coupons and deals online and they pay members cash back every time they shop online. So far, they’ve paid over $325 million in cash to members. That’s a lotta coin.
 

Here’s how it works:

 
1. Become a member, free
Go to Ebates and sign up as a new member.
 
2. Visit Ebates every time you shop online
From now on, before you shop online, visit Ebates to see what cash back rewards and coupons they have for you. Once you click on your store of choice, they open what’s called a ‘shopping trip’ for you. You’ll save the designated cash back on everything you purchase on that ‘trip’ to the store. Better yet, they even automatically apply the best available coupon code to your order for you. You save money AND get cash back every time you make a purchase (up to 15%!).
 
3. Get $10, free
If you open an account using this link we get a lil sumthin’ sumthin’, but so do you. How does $10 in free cash sound? (We thought so.)
 

 
 

Is Ebates a scam?

As I said earlier, I began my relationship with this company with more than a fair amount of skepticism. As someone who fancies themselves a seasoned online shopping vet, I’m always leery of anything that promises ‘free’ rewards or cash back. This was no different.
 
A trusted friend referred me, and even though I was concerned initially that this was going to be another one of those ‘too good to be true’ deals, my curiosity got the best of me. When I scoured their site and couldn’t find a ‘gotcha’ or a caveat, I signed up to get the $10 bonus and haven’t looked back. To date I have saved literally hundreds of dollars through the program. True story.
 
 
 

What’s in it for them?

Why would a company have a business model that pays strangers to shop at stores that they don’t own? It’s simple, really. Ebates has affiliate partnerships with thousands of vendors big and small. When you shop at any of their affiliated stores and go through an Ebates link, Ebates gets a commission. As an incentive to help them get their commission, they’re willing to share a cut of it with you in the form of cash back rewards. After all, they wouldn’t have had that sale without you.
 

Ebates makes a commission. The retail store gets a sale. You get cash back. Win/Win/Win.

 
Not to mention, the constant flow of traffic has led the website to a ginormous amount of traffic, thus upping their rankings and it’s value right along with it. It’s an ingenious concept, really.
 
 
 

What’s the catch?

To get your $10 bonus cash, you must be a new member and make minimum qualifying purchases totaling at least $25 within 90 days of becoming a member. That’s it. No problem, right?
 
Other than that, there isn’t one. Seriously. It costs nothing to get started and it’ll cost you nothing in the future. You don’t even pay postage to mail your check or fees to have your funds deposited in your Paypal account. Just sign up and go. Just make sure you visit Ebates before you shop so you guarantee your cash back will be recorded.
 
If you’re a forgetful sort like me and are worried you may not remember to click through the Ebates website first, you can add the Ebates extension to your toolbar to help you remember. It’ll alert you every time you’re on a site offering a deal or coupon savings. The button automatically activates cash back directly at store websites and instantly applies the best promo codes currently available when you checkout.
 
 
 

Show me the money

Now for the fun part, getting paid. Every 3 months, they send you a cash back payment for purchases posted during the previous quarter.
 
You can get paid in one of three ways:
1. A paper check (free to have mailed)
2. Via Paypal (no fee to you)
3. You can give it away (send your cash back to a charity, organization, or family member of your choice)
 
One more thing. To sweeten the pot even further, Ebates will pay you an additional commission every time you refer a someone through your link and they sign up and make a qualifying purchase.
 
 
 

Bottom Line

Ebates is a great money making tool for anyone who does a lot of their shopping online. Don’t expect to get rich or pay your bills with your earnings, but it is nice to get some cash back for doing what you were going to do anyway. I earned a pretty penny just from doing my Christmas shopping online last year. Coincidentally, ‘Santa’ left me a little treat under the tree I would never have been able to justify otherwise. (Mom guilt, gone).
 
Not everyone likes shopping online, but that won’t stop you from earning. As of last year you can earn cash back for shopping in-store, too. Just add your credit and debit cards to your account in the ‘wallet’ section, and save on the go.
 
Note that the cash back percentage and coupons available fluctuate from store to store all the time. Some days it’s double (or triple) what it was the day before. If you don’t need something right away, sometimes it pays to wait for a better deal (literally!).
 
 
 

What are you waiting for?

I’m sharing my experience with you through this review because I know as a mom and an entrepreneur your time and your funds are in great demand. This offers you an opportunity to conserve both. If nothing else, head to Ebates and get your $10 cash back. Once you’re over there, poke around the site and investigate the possibilities. You’ll be really glad you did.
 

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

 

How are you going to spend your newfound cash? Let us know in the comments.

 
 

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Melissa Bolton

Brand Therapist™ + Copywriter at Melissa Bolton
Melissa is a Brand Therapist®providing neurobranding and conversion copywriting services to solopreneurs and micro-business owners looking to truly connect with their right people. Leaning on proven psychology principles, she helps clients create a brand presence that's not only explicitly unique, but highly memorable. She offers 25 years of extensive sales and marketing experience through her proprietary brand therapy methodologies. You can learn more about her and how she can help you grown your own brand, right here: MelissaBolton.com
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