Ebates: Scam or No?
You’ve probably seen the TV commercials for Ebates.com. Blissful people showing off the “big fat checks” they got just for shopping online.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Plus, they give you $10 just for signing up.
The TV Commercials Are Right
Using Ebates is easy. Create a free account on Ebates, login and you’re off! Do whatever shopping you would normally do.
- Browse the huge list of Ebates stores
- Pick the stores you normally shop, and then click the link Ebates provides to those stores.
- Then, stay in that screen on your browser and shop normally.
Once you buy your TV from Best Buy or your shoes from Footlocker or your lipstick from Sephora, Ebates will know you made that purchase, and you’ll get a kickback in your account, sometimes immediately but usually within a few days.
How big exactly are these big fat checks?
Rebate percentages vary by store, usually between 1%-25%. Because 25% cash back on something can be such a significant kickback, especially for expensive items, it pays to have a membership, even if you only use it occasionally for those purchases.
So if you’re buying a high ticket item, Ebates will put your comparison shopping on a whole new level. You can compare available rebates, in addition to shopping for the lowest price. Sometimes it will make more financial sense to buy something from one vendor at a higher price if they also have a higher percentage rebate.
Example: You want to buy a Plasma TV. Best Buy has it for $2000, and Sears has the same one for $1950. But today, let’s say that Best Buy is offering 10% cash back on Ebates, and Sears is offering just 2%. So your net price for the TV at Best Buy would be $1800 (because 10% of $2,000 is $200), and the price at Sears would be $1911 (because 2% of $1950 is $39).
So even though the TV price is LISTED as cheaper at Sears, when you’re using Ebates you get a much better final deal on the TV. Starting to see how this will add up yet?
My Experience With Using Ebates
I’ve used Ebates for two years, on and off, sadly only when I remember it (but I just downloaded their browser plugin so now I’ll always use it). I’m really kicking myself for not doing this earlier, because of all of the extra money I would have saved over those two years. But, ok, lesson learned – do what I say not what I did 🙂!
Even when used just sometimes (because I am a lazy scatterbrain) this is my lifetime total earnings from Ebates:
$868.85 isn’t bad for stuff I was already buying.
Included in that $868.85:
- about $40 back for a new clothes dryer
- $70 back from airline tickets to Amsterdam
- tons of smaller rebates for my purchases at places like Groupon, Walmart, Ebay, and Amazon
- A few referral bonuses for telling people about Ebates
Remember This Key Fact
You can get money back for your purchases with using Ebates pretty much anywhere you normally shop and anything you normally buy, because they have a really extensive advertiser network.
So, just for shopping as I do normally, I got back enough money for airline tickets somewhere else. Wooot! This is how it actually works. The Ebates TV commercials, while amusing and borderline insane, aren’t false advertising!
A+ Referral Program
Ebates also has a great referral program. You normally get $5 per referral, but they often have promotions to drum up new referrals. Sometimes, they even have pretty incredible promotions where you get $25 or even $50 per referral.
So, say you sign up for your free account on Ebates, collect your $10 sign-up bonus, and then share your referral link on Facebook or Twitter or your own website. Or just email it to your family and friends. Any new user who clicks your Ebates link and sets up their own account becomes a new passive source of income for you.
Ebates can be quite profitable for high volume referrals, so BLOGGERS pay attention!
Below, you’ll see the current (as of March 2017) “additional bonus” kickbacks offered when you reach various referral thresholds, and have told this number of people about Ebates (who then went on to sign up).
You can literally make $45,000 for getting 1,000 people to sign up. $45,000 is almost the median annual income in the USA – and telling people about a good program is hardly any work at all. More importantly, you can feel good about shouting it from the rooftops!
Feeling Good is Good
I mean it. I feel good about Ebates! Ebates is a free program that literally improves the shopping experience by saving us money on things we’re already purchasing online. As I showed above, with the example of someone looking to buy a new plasma TV, it also helps us make better choices as customers when buying high ticket items.
Money is valuable. We work like dogs for it, and when we spend it, we want to spend as little as possible to get as much as possible. Ebates is one tool in the toolshed to help advance this goal.
And since I (and most of the civilized world) have moved much of our commerce to the internet, this is just one more perk and strategy to get the lowest price of goods.
Overall: Ebates Is An Awesome Source of Passive Income
- If you only shop online occasionally, it’s true that you’re won’t make massive sums on Ebates, but you will get some of the money you spent back in your pocket.
- If you only shop online occasionally, but buy high-ticket items like electronics or airline tickets or appliances, you will make significant kickbacks when strategically using Ebates in your shopping.
- If you shop all the time online, but on small-ticket items, your Ebates account balance will add up faster than you can say MONEY. Most of my $868.85 came from small purchases made over two years, using Ebates only sometimes.
- If you also refer people to Ebates, it can be a POWERFUL stream of passive income for you. Even if you’re not a professional blogger, but you’re someone with a big Facebook network, or a big family, or a huge group of friends, SIGN UP NOW and refer everyone in your network. They’ll be happy saving more money and banking the free $10 new member bonus, and you’ll be happy with the referral bonuses.
Any experiences with Ebates? I’d love to hear your comments, questions, or ideas on how to make Ebates work even better. Thanks for reading!