If you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ll see I frequently mention Shop at Home and Ebates when I feature online specials. I’ve gotten some questions before about what these sites are and how they work, so I thought I’d take the time to explain.
What are “cash back” sites?
Shop at Home and Ebates offer you cash back on your online purchases. You’ll want to start by creating a free account with each of them (I’ll tell you why I have both accounts in a minute). When you’re ready to make an online purchase, simply visit Shop at Home or Ebates FIRST. Log onto your account, search for the retailer, and click the link provided. If your retailer appears (and there are hundreds), you’ll note how much cash back to expect. It is usually a percentage. Then, make your purchases as you normally would. A few days later, your Shop at Home or Ebates account will be credited the appropriate cash back amount.
Will I see a discount at checkout?
No. You won’t notice anything different while shopping or checking out. However, when you click on the retailer link from the cash back site, you should see a “tracking ticket” pop up briefly before being redirected. Your cash back will be credited to either your Shop at Home or Ebates account.
How do I get paid?
Both cash back sites require you have a minimum balance of $20 to receive payment. I really like Ebates because they pay you via your PayPal account once a quarter. I’ve recently signed up with Shop at Home and it appears they’ll send you a check 60 days after the end of every month, provided you’ve met the threshhold.
How else can I save through these sites?
You can often find coupon codes at your favorite retailers through cash back sites! AND you can use these in conjunction with the cash back you’ll receive! Think of it like using a coupon and getting a rebate. I’ve learned to NEVER just head to an online retailer and start shopping. I ALWAYS check for coupon codes and cash back offers. You can also install a free toolbar at Shop at Home to make sure you automatically get any cash back available.
Why should I sign up with both Shop at Home and Ebates?
The cash back will generally differ between both sites, so having a free account with each one gives you the greatest opportunity to save. I always check to see who is offering the best offer before proceeding. If you’re new, Shop at Home will add $5 to your account. In checking Ebates, looks like you can opt to receive $5 cash, OR a number of gift card options, including a $10 Home Depot gift card.
My thinking is this: at some point, you’re likely to need to buy something online. Why not save some money in the process?
What have your experiences been with either of these sites? Have another cash back site you’d like to share?