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I know you don't know me, not unless you're one of my three real life friends, but I'm hoping you'll read this post, look around on my site, check out my life, and go, "This chick would not try to steer me wrong." (read more)
I'm telling you this because I really think you'll love EBates, but I know what I thought the first time I heard about EBates.
It was something like: "Hey, Sheila. You need to try EBates. You get cash back on stuff you already buy."
My response: "Uh, no thanks."
Really, I probably said, "Awesome! I'll have to look into that!" Because I don't like hurting people's feelings.
But, in actuality, if you say, "You get cash back" to me, it automatically goes into a little file in my head called, "this is a scam".
I don't like scams, I don't like being promised something only to find out it's something else, and I hate feeling like a schmuck.
So, I didn't try EBates, not for a REALLY long time.
Probably not until one of my three real life friends said, "No really, I use it, Ebates is legit!"
That was like...nine years ago or something, I'm not totally sure. I could probably look in my EBates account and tell you. The point is, I did sign up, and I'm glad I did, because (and I'm about to show you something from my ACTUAL EBates account), I've gotten this much money back since I started using it.
See that number at the top in the center? The one that says $543.73?
That's how much money I've gotten back from EBates.
It's not fake money, it's not money you ONLY get if you spend it on certain things. It's YOUR money. It goes into YOUR PayPal, or into a check in your mailbox, whatever you prefer.
OR, if you're like me and you love all things Amazon, you can even elect to get an Amazon gift card when EBates offers that opportunity.
I mean, what? Heck yes, and then some.
Now, I've given you the basics, but I'm going to go in to much greater detail, so keep reading.
WHAT IS EBATES?
And more importantly, is Ebates safe to use?
EBates is a website that has partnered with THOUSANDS of online retailers. Basically, they allow the retailers to put their deals on EBates, and in exchange, the retailers give EBates a percent of the profits when YOU and I spend money on that site.
EBates then takes a percentage of THAT percentage, and gives it to you.
I guess it's their way of saying THANKS!
Which stores participate? Let's talk about that.
WHAT KIND OF STORES?
There really are too many to list, so I'll give you an idea with the categories:
You can expand categories from there, making it easy to find that perfect item.
You can also search for things like Double Cash Back, Hot Deals, In-Store Cash Back, and even Travel & Vacations. All of these options will be in the toolbar at the top of your account, so navigating them is easy.
HOW MUCH DO YOU GET BACK?
Probably your question before this is going to be, "Is Ebates Free?"
The answer is yes, absolutely, 100% free.
Now, as for what you get back, I'm just going to say first that if I get anything back from shopping, I'm calling it a win.
I mean, I'm buying this stuff anyway, with or without cash back. So when I look at my $540 over nine years and go "Well, that's only like $60 a year." The other part of me goes, "That's $60 more than I would have gotten without using EBates."
The amount you get back will depend on the retailer. Let me give you some examples.
At Disney, you get 1% cash back:
At Hulu, you get $5.00 cash back. You can see by looking at my account picture that I recently signed up for a Hulu account, and I did indeed get my $5.00.
So, it all depends. It depends on the store, it depends on the day, it depends on the department in the store. But, if you shop, and you're not using EBates, you're not getting any of this cash back.
So, how do you know who offers what as far as cash back? It sounds SUPER CONFUSING!
Let's talk about that.
EBATES WEB EXTENSION
"A web what? I don't need anything installed on my web."
*backs away slowly*
No no, come back, come back. It's okay! Remember the part where I told you I wouldn't lead you astray?
The EBates web extension is simply something you download that sits on the right side of your website browser bar, like so:
See that little purple E? That thing just sits there, looking pretty, as you browse the web.
And then, when you hit a site where you can get cash back, it starts flashing!
This is me on the Shutterfly website:
See how that E is all lit up? It doesn't just light up, either. That thing blinks like mad so you NOTICE it.
Then, all you do is click it, and this happens:
You click that button that says, "Activate 5% Cash Back", and then you wait a second while the site opens up again.
What's happening here is that the site is QUICKLY linking to EBates, then opening Shutterfly for you, just like that. You don't do anything, you don't open or close anything, you just sit there a moment, sip your tea, and go, "Man, I'm about to get some money back!"
It's that easy.
How do you get paid? Let's talk about that.
GETTING YOUR BIG FAT CHECK
Big Fat Check is not something I'd come up with on my own. No, I've taken that directly from EBates because that's what they like to call it.
As you can see, you have two options for getting paid.
PayPal or A Big Fat Check!
Now, like I said, sometimes they'll offer you other options. It's not uncommon for them to partner with one of their affiliates and say "Hey, if you take an Amazon gift card, we'll give you an extra $5!" or something.
If it's Amazon, I take it.
I think I've only ever been offered this option with Amazon. If you don't want to do it, you just do nothing. In that case, they'll automatically pay you via whatever payment method you've chosen when you signed up.
For me, that's PayPal.
See, there's my payment from last month, all deposited. I didn't have to do a thing.
You do have to have $5.00 in earned cash back before EBates will send you a check or deposit to your PayPal. So, if you've been shopping, but haven't gotten paid, don't freak out.
Go check your balance. That'll probably clear up your questions, but if it doesn't, they have an excellent customer service department.
How does EBates benefit in other ways? Let's talk about that.
REFER YOUR FRIENDS
See that picture below? Make sure you find that once you sign up.
Then, when you tell your friends all about how much money you're getting back, you can give them the link.
Once they spend $25.00, they get $10.00 added on to their Big Fat Check, and YOU get $25.00 added on to yours.
ARE YOU READY?