You’ve heard about it, but what does it mean? Being paid to shop online? How is that so?
Let’s take a company like Sears – they have an online component to their business, although they have retail locations too. In the Internet marketing world, they work a lot with affiliate marketers to get their brand out there and to make more sales. An affiliate marketer is someone with a website or blog that promotes Sears or their products and has specific links assigned to them, so that when you buy a treadmill, for example, through that link, you will get a percentage of that sale.
So rather than keeping all the money themselves, a website like Ebates or Upromise says, more or less, if you buy through our affiliate link, we will give you cash back to do so or sites like Swagbucks, give you Swagbucks for shopping at online retailers through their affiliate links.
So then you might be wondering – ok, so I want to buy something from Sears, but do I go through Ebates or Upromise? Well, in fact, this website, evreward, allows you to enter in the online store that you plan on shopping at – and then it will tell you which rebate site (like Mr. Rebates or Ebates) will give you the most back. See the screenshot below to see what I mean:
You can see that Upromise and Ebates offer up to 5% back at Sears, whereas ShopDiscover offers up to 10% back. ShopDiscover is the affiliate program through the credit card company Discover – so in other words, instead of cash back, you get your Discover points or however the program works. Airline companies also use this affiliate program to their advantage – and if you buy through their links, then you can get miles added to their mileage program.
Just make sure that you click through from the site you’re trying to get a rebate from, like Ebates, otherwise Ebates will have no other way to track it and prove you did it.
Sometimes I forget to go through Ebates or Upromise or whatever and get so freakin’ mad because it’s like going to the store and not using a coupon you already have!
Here are a few videos I made of this process: