You’ve most likely arrived on this page because you went to Google and typed in “Ebates Scam.” You’re probably a little confused about Ebates because it seems too good to be true. Good job! Doing your research is an important part of the process of getting into any venture. Fortunately, Ebates is actually not a scam. I’ll say it again: there is no Ebates scam!
What is Ebates?
Ebates is a company that gives you cash back if you click through the links of the stores listed on their site.
The company is an affiliate to many online stores. What’s an affiliate? An affiliate is a person (or company in this case) that makes a small commission for referring people to businesses.
How can you start?
When you’re ready, search for the store you want to purchase from, then click on the store link and it will set up a tracking code. Once you have visited the online store from Ebates, you have thirty days to purchase what you want.
Example: Wal-Mart gives Ebates 2% of every sale that gets referred from their website. So if Ebates sends a customer to Wal-Mart, and that customer buys a $500 computer, Ebates will make $10 on that sale.
Wal-Mart is basically paying Ebates to advertise. Ebates then takes that $10 (the money Wal-Mart paid them) and they give you half ($5). This results in a 1% cash back rate.
It’s a pretty sweet deal! Online stores (e.g. Wal-Mart, Target, BestBuy, etc.) win because they get the sale. Ebates wins because they get a commission from that sale, and you win (as an Ebates user) because you get extra cash for basically doing nothing at all.
Why is it legal?
Ebates is an affiliate to over 1,600 online stores. Almost anyone with a website can become an affiliate to these stores. Here’s an article from Wikipedia with a more thorough breakdown of what affiliate marketing is.
This is way over simplified, but if you’re confused, think of it this way: online stores are paying Ebates to advertise on Ebates.com, then, Ebates splits this money with you.
How do I use Ebates?
I’ve been an Ebates member since 2011, and I’ve done quite well. I doubt you guys will have the same kind of success I’ve had, but you can still make a lot of free money. Most of my cash back came from buying web hosting accounts ($30 cash back from each) and other large items.
Here are my earnings from August 2012:
Last year’s earnings
How long does it take to get the cash back?
Once you click on the link to the store, and check out at the store, it’ll take 1-5 days to appear inside your Ebates account. From there your cash back will need to go through a holding period (to basically make sure you don’t return the item you purchased).
After your cash back is sixty days old, you will be paid on the following dates: February 15th, May 15th, August 15th, and November 15th.
You can either have them send you a check in the mail, or have the money directly deposited into your PayPal account. I prefer the PayPal method.
My beefs with Ebates
- They used to let you use eBay to get cash back, but that’s no longer allowed. While this isn’t Ebates’ fault, it still sucks.
- There’s almost nothing on Amazon that is cash back eligible.
It’s annoying that cash back isn’t offered at these two places, but there are still 1,600 other stores to choose from. The reason for the lack of cash back from these two places is because Amazon and eBay have a “no incentive rule” as part of their affiliate terms of agreement.
This seems pretty self-explanatory: if Ebates says they’re giving you 1% cash back for shopping at Wal-Mart, guess how much you’re going to get back? Wow, you’re good!
I see people get confused all the time when I show them my earnings. They see it and they think they’ll instantly do as well as I did.
How can I be sure there’s no Ebates Scam?
Well, Ebates is a Better Business Bureau accredited company with an A+ rating, and they have their own TV commercial. They must be legit if they’re on TV, right?
If you sign up through my link, and then go on to make some purchases through Ebates, I will eventually earn $5. This in no way affects you, but I just wanted to be transparent about this. If you don’t think I deserve the commission, and you still want to use Ebates, no problem with me. I just want to help you out.
The best part about being a first time member of Ebates: when you sign up, they will give you a choice of $5, or a $10 gift card to one of your favorite stores.
What are the exact steps for cash back?
Step One: Sign up for Ebates.
Step Two: Search for the store you want to shop at.
Step Three: Once you find the store, click: “Shop Now”.
Step Four: Ebates creates a tracking ticket for you. You now have thirty days to complete a purchase through the store you’ve picked (in order to be eligible for cash back).
My Final Take
Ebates is free, and they’re willing to give you free cash. So why not take it? It doesn’t cost a dime to sign up, and all you need to do is go to Ebates.com before you make a purchase, search for the store you want, make the purchase, and you’re done!
In my mind, it doesn’t make sense to pass up taking advantage of this opportunity. Just shop for the things you would normally shop for, and get paid for doing it. Sounds like a good deal to me!