Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Why You Should Be Using eBates - Don't Leave Money on the Table!

How would you like a little extra paycheck every month?  If you shop on-line and you're NOT using eBates...well, you should be!  I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I just learned about eBates a few months ago.  I had heard of the site but never took the time to check it out, assuming it was one of those annoying and messy sites where you have to plow through dozens of ads in pursuit of an elusive discount.  Boy, was I wrong!  eBates is probably the most straightforward easy-to-use rebate site out there.

eBates provides one convenient place where you can look up cash back percentages from over 1,700 retailers. These percentages can vary widely, from 1% to 30% or more. On average though, you will get between 1% and 7% back from major retailers.

Chances are most of the websites you frequently shop participate on eBates. They are listed alphabetically, by category and also by product. There are different ways to filter the results that various search terms produce.  Once you locate your store and see the corresponding cash back amount, just click on the red "Shop Now" button. You'll instantly get a confirmation screen that shows what cash back percentage you'll be getting, then you're taken straight to your chosen store's website.  Any purchase you make during that shopping session will be eligible for the advertised cash back percentage. 

Cash back discounts earned generally post to your account within two to three days. Under "My Account", there is a dashboard which clearly shows the amounts you have earned and what payments have been made.  Once a month, they send you a check with your accumulated cash back total for the previous month.  It's really that simple!

Many of the stores you probably already shop are listed on eBates. Although the cash back amounts change frequently, here are a few current ones:

Avon - 6%
Barnes and Noble - 1%
Bath and Body Works - 1.5%
Bed, Bath & Beyond - 2%
BH Cosmetics - 7.5%
Bloomingdale's - 3%
Cheryl's Cookies - 9%
Clinique - 4%
Colorful Images - 5%
Crabtree & Evelyn - 5%
Crate and Barrel - 2%
Dollar General - 2.5% - 4%
eBay - 1%
Ghirardelli Chocolate - 5%
Kohl's - 3%
Lancome - 10%
Macy's - 3%
Marriott Hotels - 2.5%
Plow and Hearth - 4%
Sephora - 8%
Stein Mart - 6.5%
Target - up to 2.5%
Toys 'R Us - 2%
Ulta - 8% 
Victoria's Secret - 1%

This is just a random sample of some of the bigger sites. There are HUNDREDS of others. In general, it seems that the narrower a store's focus, the higher the cash back amount. The big box stores appear to have the lowest percentages.

A few of the monthly subscription boxes and vendors that I regularly review on this blog also have cash back discounts available:

e.l.f. Cosmetics - 4.5%
FabFitFun - 8%
Glossybox - $2.75 cash back
Total Beauty - 8.5%
Wantable - 10%

Another section on the eBates site shows hundreds of coupon codes, organized alphabetically by store. It just makes sense to check here first before making a purchase on any website. There are other websites that do this but I haven't seen any as well organized as eBates.

On eBates' home page, they show the stores where you can get double cash back every day and the deals of the week. You can also subscribe to the Daily Double e-mails to stay current. As an example, Vision Direct, which normally offers 8% cash back, was advertised at 16% on the day I checked.

When you create a free eBates account, you'll be given an option to download a toolbar which pops up on any shopping site where a cash back benefit through them is available. Since I'm not used to always thinking of eBates BEFORE making a purchase, this reminder feature has been very useful.

eBates has several other cool features, not all of which I have explored yet.  For the moment, I am focused on those cash back percentages and am quickly getting addicted to my monthly check! 

Just to be clear, the cash back amounts available through eBates are completely separate from any other discounts or coupon codes you may be using.  So if you've scored a terrific 15% off discount code at a site that offers a 5% eBate, you get the benefit of both.

eBates is pretty much a no brainer. The only downside is thinking about all the purchases you made BEFORE discovering eBates.  Sign up now and you'll be getting your first check in a few weeks!

Thanks for reading,


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