Cash Back Sites
ShareMyDeal.com is the latest addition to the Cash Back sites, and I really like the new stuff they brought to the league. It's no longer a traditional Cash BACK only site, where you get money from your own purchase. It also pays for your contribution to the site, such as Poster Cash Reward or Referral Reward.
For example, if you find an incredible deal out there and decided to share with others. ShareMyDeal is a good place to post to, because you would receive Poster Cash Reward on a transactional, unlimited basis, which may pay off your own spending on that deal. Nice, isn't it?
Another thing to note is their transaction based referral structure. Well, everyone else is doing it, you may ask. Indeed, but there is a subtle difference here, which is you don't get stuck with one referrer for life. Whoever sends you the latest deal become your referrer and it could be anyone even the person who just created an account at ShareMyDeal with your referral. You know sometimes traditional referral puts a bad feeling to your mouth knowing someone will always make a dollar or two of your purchase. On the other hand, I think it's fair to reward my referrer for the deal that he/she forwarded to me, once. And ShareMyDeal made it the way I liked.
And because you could easily determine who your referrer is, you can pretty much get both Buyer Cash Back and Referral Cash Reward on your purchase. For me, the whole referral thing is just a way to reward people with more cash back if you know how to play the game. Thus when I compare cash back rates, you may see I list both Buyer Cash Back and Referral Bonus under the ShareMyDeal.com column, so you know what the true combined rate is.
If anything, their interface is a little bit old fashion. But I am perfectly fine with it. As long as the color is easy on the eyes, I rather have more information on one page than a few flashing images which needs more click to find what I wanted to know.
I will say this, ShareMyDeal.com offers great rate when you combine buyer and referral cash back rate and the website is designed for professional shoppers.
Cashbaq is relatively new in the league and it has pretty slick interface. They also give instant $5 sign on bonus, which is nice. The cash back rate I would say it's a little bit above average, but again it is on a store by store basis. I suggest my readers keep open mind on these cash back sites, you don't really have to stick with one.
Plus, their store selection is huge!
Some says their customer service is bad, but I personally don't have issue with them. The competition out there is pretty intense, so these cash back sites have to maintain a certain level of customer satisfaction to keep you there, especially for a relatively new business.
If there is one thing that that I don't like, which may not be even a bad thing for a lot of people, it's their referral structure. They have 10% referral bonus for 1st gen, 5% for 2nd gen and 2% for 3rd gen of referrals. That's probably an over kill. Although multi-level marketing is legitimate marketing practice, any time you notice such referral structure, the business just looks fishy.
Overall, I like the service provided by Cashbaq.
Mr. Rebates also has long history. Their Cash Back rate is not too bad among all these cash back sites and some says their service is decent too. I used them once for personal purchase just to test their work flow and the transaction gets report correctly. Their site though certainly isn't my type. It is way too greenish and yellowish for me. It just gives you a feeling that the website is designed for kids (from the 80s). It's surprising the interface hasn't been changed much since day one. Seriously the owner probably should hire someone to redesign the interface, but who knows he could be saving every penny so he can offer the best cash back rate to you. Yeah, right...
Regardless, the process is pretty much like eBates, register an account there, go to store, shop around and then they will credit your account a couple of days later. The only difference is eBates sends you a check every quarter and you would need to request a check from Mr. Rebates to get paid. For someone like me who constantly move, I actually like this option.
Oh, did I mention referral? Both EBates and Mr. Rebates (and most of the other sites I am going to discuss here) support referral feature, with that you can make money off someone else's purchase.
I really want to talk about eBates first as it introduced the cash back concept to me, when I started to do some of my shopping online. Back in 2004, eBates was supposed to be the best cash back site, out of 2 or 3 cash back sites and I cannot remember where the other sites went.
The process is pretty straightforward, you sign up an account there, find the store and click their link, then go to the store website and do your thing, eBates will then credit your account a couple of days later.
They have a pretty big selection of stores and rebates from most participating stores are in the 2-6% range. A few stores pay back even more, as you can imagine those high margin stores such as magazine subscription sites may rebate as much as 25%.
They will cut you a check every quarter if your balance reaches $5.
And that's pretty much about it. There are several other sites offer similar service and remember what matters to you is who give you the best rate.
Then there is Microsoft Bing, who is a totally different animal. Sometimes they have promotions like 50% cash back for a particular store, that's correct, 50%, as you can imagine, any other Cash Back site wouldn't get you that much cash back. Because of its size, Microsoft has these retail stores agreed to pay part of the cash back and that's how you find these insane cash back offer from Bing.
Except for one thing, Microsoft Bing is also notorious in removing people's cash back without notice or even worse, closing account for no reason. That's why a lot people rather take a lower cash back from somewhere and not bother with Bing.
And because the way Bing reports on transactions are different than other cash back sites, there might be a chance to double dip. I wouldn't recommendation this though.
I created CashBackRate.com to track and compare rates that different cash back sites offer to maximize cash back earnings. But many may question what exactly cash back is and how it works.
So for regular online shopping, you go to the store website and place order directly. But there are serveral third party websites out there that if you click their links then go to the store where you are going to place your order, you will receive a certain percent (or fix amount) of order total amount back from these third party sites.
So where is the catch, people just give money to you? Actually there is not much catch here. The fund they have to pay you cash back is part of the commission they receive from those stores on sales led by them (orders that you placed). Most of the websites, blogs and forums are affiliated with the store anyway and make money off your purchase. That's sales commission, and in my opinion, nothing evil, really.
The cash back sites are returning part of the commission to you in hoping you will come back and shop with them next time, which I think it's good strategy and it works for a lot of people, so eventually it's a win win situation for both you and the cash back sites.
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