Thursday, July 28, 2011

Who says being lazy has no benefits?

I'm a big fan of online shopping.
Working retail for 10+ years will do that to you.
I dispise malls. Everything from the mass crowds that flock to them to the fact that I have to work through said crowds as they aimlessly wander around, seemingly lost. All while pushing a stroller and trying my best to avoid those annoying cart people that pop up in front of you begging you to try the latest lotion from the Dead Sea.

Shopping from the comfort of my couch in my yoga pants, with my favorite cup of coffee...pure bliss.

Last year, a friend, who knew of my online shopping compulsions, referred me to a site called Ebates. And a love affair began.
Now let me start off by saying I was skeptical. I gave her my best side eye and said, "What's the catch?". But after doing my research and hearing about it all over the morning shows, I decided to give it a go.

Here's the concept:
You join Ebates by entering your email. That's it. Then you simply go through their site to shop hundreds of stores. Each store offers a certain percentage cash back and every day there are a few stores that offer DOUBLE cash back. Most stores only offer anywhere from 2-8%, so while it may seem like small potatoes, it adds up.
Last year, I joined right before Christmas and in February I got a check for $45. Not bad pay for sitting on my butt and doing shopping I needed to do. In my opinion even if you only do a marginal amount of online shopping, Ebates is totally worth it.

Want to know more?

Here is what I've learned since joining:

*You can receive your cash back in lots of different ways. I opted for a check, sent every 3 months or so, but they also offer things like transfer to Paypal or even the option to donate the money to your favorite charity or organization!
*There is no need to search for separate coupons or online codes because they are built into the Ebates site. Just select your store, and click on the coupon you want to use. You'll be taken to the site and it is automatically applied.
*The hardest thing about using Ebates is REMEMBERING to use Ebates. So if you join, I highly recommend you sign up for emails, "like" them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter. That way you can see what stores are offering double cash back each day.
*Aim to shop on Double Cash back days. This is where you get the most bang for your buck. From what I've seen it is mostly random, but most stores offer double cash back at least every month or so. Also, there are usually pretty good offers around the holidays. This year there were a ton of extra deals for Mothers Day, and last year almost every store went double cash back for Black Friday. I ordered our Christmas Cards from Shutterfly for $55 with free shipping and they were offering 12% cash back!

Overall, since I've joined, I've collected a little over $100 in cash back. A big chunk of that came from buying my laptop from when they were offering double cash back, but I've also gotten quite a lot back from Sephora because I have a horrible addiction to beauty products!

 Happy Shopping!!

*I was not compensated to write this post, but I am a member of the Ebates affiliate program and do receive compensation for all referral's gained through links provided in this post. This post is based on my experience with and the opinions I've expressed are mine and mine alone.