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We cover a tool I use to passively earn 2-5% back on all my online purchases. It’s a nice start to the holiday shopping season and should passively generate a few hundred dollars a year.
Back in May, I wrote about a tool I had discovered called Ebates. With the holiday shopping season around the corner, I thought I’d revisit the discussion particularly for all the new readers.
I do almost all my shopping online, and I recently discovered a cool tool that’s putting more dollars in my pocket, which I thought I’d share with you. It’s called Ebates, also known as “Here, have some free money.”
Free money, you say?
Yeah, I was skeptical, too. I first heard about it on a well known blogger’s site. Then I heard about it from three separate friends. Then I stumbled onto it again from another blogger I follow. That convinced me that the site was legitimate enough for me to check out on my own.
What It Is / How They Monetize
Ebates is a portal that includes coupons and cashback offers at most major merchants including Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, and Macy’s. There is no charge to use it. They make their money from affiliate relationships with these major sites. When you click through one of their links to visit the site and make a purchase, they receive an affiliate fee from the merchant, and they turn around and share some of that with you.
Despite my earlier misgivings, I’ve done my diligence and determined it is a completely legitimate site. In fact, Rakuten, a major Japanese conglomerate, purchased Ebates for over $1 billion in 2014.
How It Works – The Lazy Version
I’m pretty sure they found my identical twin out there for their focus group, because this thing is tailor made for people like me. Read: frictionless and simple for lazy people. You visit the website and shop through the portal to the merchant you want, picking up any other special discounts along the way. Then you get your cash back either via a check in the mail or through Paypal. That’s not the real gem, though. For the laziest of lazies, there is a Chrome browser extension which will notify you if you’ve visited a merchant that participates with Ebates, so you can get your cashback rewards without having to even visit the Ebates site. Not all the deals appear to get picked up by the plug-in so visiting the site itself is worthwhile. But as a back-up, the plug-in alone should save you meaningful money if you can’t muster the energy to check.
- Download toolbar
- Collect free money
- Visit the ebates site directly if you want extra coupons to save. Some of the better deals are only in certain departments so visiting the site can be helpful.
Pops up on any site you visit that is eligible, without you having to do a thing.
How To Get It – Plus An Extra $10
Hopefully you, too, can motivate yourself to five minutes of action to make several hundos. If you’re ready to pick up a few hundred dollars every year with this tool, use this invite link to sign up and it will give you an extra $10.
I think I’m pretty late to the Ebates game because half my friends apparently have been using it for months. If you’re like me, it’s not too late to add this to your arsenal. For ten minutes of time setting up the browser extension and checking your favorite sites on the portal, you can make several hundred dollars each year shopping exactly the way you did before.
You can also check out some of the comments on the original article for other folks’ experience with the tool. Go forth, and collect all your free money. Happy saving.