Tag Archives: Ebates

Earn money while shopping on Cyber Monday

The focus is turning from retail stores to the Internet for Cyber Monday, and there are lots of ways to save on your online purchase.

1. Look for discount codes
Retailmenot shows promotional codes that will save you money your purchase and shipping. If there is a discount code, Retailmenot typically has it listed. You can also search the store you are shopping and “promotional code” in Google to find a discount.

2. Shop with Ebates
Ebates is one of my favorite sites. I earn money for shopping. Every quarter, I get a check in the mail. To qualify, sign up for an account. Then, when you’re ready to shop type in the name of the store. You’ll see if it participates in the program and the percentage you will earn back. Not every store participates in the money back program, but many do. When you find one, click on the link from Ebates and start shopping.

3. Get free shipping
Retailmenot will also let you know if free shipping is available. Also, Google your store and “free shipping” to find a discount code. Many stores require you spend $50 or $100 to earn free shipping.

If you are shopping Amazon, consider a monthly membership to Prime if you think you’ll do more shopping in the future. The membership was once only sold for a year, but recently the e-retailer began offering month long memberships. It might be worth it to join for a month or two at $7.99, and then cancel your membership after the holidays. You get two day free shipping in qualifying purchases.

4. Look for discounts on social media
If you’re looking to buy a certain product from a certain company, consider “liking” their Facebook page or following the business on Twitter. Exclusive deals are given to friends and followers on social media. Read more on publicizing your purchase to save money

Also, look in your Facebook news feed for deals. While some deals are only for followers, others are publicized through social media. Perhaps you’ve seen these coupons in your news feed when a friend of yours claims the offer. Toys “R” Us has an offer right now for 20% off a regular priced item.

Once you claim the offer, it shows up in your news feed so your other friends see it. It’s a way for businesses to promote their sales and deals and it’s a way for you to find out about sales.

Third, consider linking your credit card to your Facebook or Twitter page. American Express allows you to Tweet and Facebook your way to savings. These offers are limited, but offer more significant discounts like $10+ off your purchase.

Related links you may like:
Ebates pays you to shop
Publicize your purchase to save money
Tweet your way to savings

Mother’s Day savings

You can get your mom a beautiful gift this Mother’s Day without breaking the bank. Lots of online florists are offering 50% off deals including ProFlowers and FTD. That’s just the start of saving.

ProFlowers is offering a LivingSocial coupon for $15 off a $30 purchase. FTD is offering a Groupon for $20 off a $40 purchase.

In previous years, there were issues with the FTD deal.  In February of 2011, users who bought the deal were directed to a special website to buy the flowers. Shoppers complained the prices were higher so the offer really wasn’t a deal. Plus, you couldn’t take advantage of other discounts or promotions which are common with these online flower sites just for visiting the website. Sometimes you don’t even have to enter a special promo code to get a free vase or a percentage off your oder. To deal with the issues, customers were allowed refunds if they complained.

That previous issue made me leery to take advantage of the ProFlowers deal, even though it’s a different company and I’ve had great luck with ProFlowers delivering a high quality product. A few times they’ve missed on the flowers. Call it a bad batch or whatever, and the company made it right.

I read the fine print on this year’s deal, and found ProFlowers setup a special website to deal with this coupon. That was the issue that got FTD in trouble because the prices were different. I perused the prices on the special site. They appeared the same, and reluctantly I clicked “Buy.”

I’ll note this year’s FTD deal does not use a different site for purchase. You simply go to FTD.com if you use the Groupon deal.

While there is a special website setup, I bought the flowers with the deal without going to the special site. I did that just to make sure I wasn’t paying any additional fees. The promotional code was accepted.

Deals are really the only way to buy flowers from these online sites because the handling charges and shipping charges add up fast. If you buy a $30 arrangement, expect to pay close to $45 with all the fees. Consider the promotion you bought as a way to cover all the excess fees you’ll be charged online. Also, you don’t see all these fees until after you enter all your information on ProFlowers. At that point, you’ve already invested a lot of time. Are you really going to shop elsewhere if you don’t like the price?

If you can, I’d skip online and head over to Costco or your local florist. You’ll get a nice looking arrangement for $15-20 at Costco. Your local florist won’t charge you excess fees either because you’ll be delivering the bouquet.

If you have to order online, take advantage of multiple deals. Use Ebates. It’s a great way to get paid for shopping. I earned an additional 16% back on my order. Plus, if you click through from Ebates, you’ll get a free vase.

Also, look for promotional codes. You might be able to save up to 20% more.

You don’t have to spend a lot to save a lot this Mother’s Day. You just have to know where to look for the savings.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you why balloons might break the bank this Mother’s Day and a trick to keep the cost down.

Publicizing your purchase to save money

Retailers are looking for new and creative ways to advertise as mass media shifts from television and print to online. Social media plays a huge role in making nothing — something. Tweets, re-tweets, and shares on Facebook are great ways to expose a new product or service to potentially new customers.  Special promotions are often offered to followers or those who like a page. Now, companies are finding ways for you to make money by sharing their product on social media sites.

When you buy a product online, you’re asked if you want to let others know about it. You can share it on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter , and other sites. Soon, your news feed will be filled with more than just the news story your friend read, game they played, or the music they listened to. I think it’s a matter of time before our feeds are filled with items people bought at stores as more and more people share their purchases. Their may be good reason to share that purchase — it may earn you cash!

American Express is offering a program it calls “Tweet your way to savings.” However, this takes the marketing to a whole new level because you have to sync your eligible American Express card with Twitter, and tweet special offer #hashtags to get exclusive savings on your card. The savings are great, but is it really such a good idea to link your Twitter account with your credit card information?

To answer that question, it depends how much you value a deal.  American Express says it doesn’t share your card information with Twitter. Instead, the company said a unique identifier is used to link the accounts. That’s one thing to consider.

Also, consider the work you need to do to cash in on the savings. Is it worth it, and are you buying something to simply save money? Only certain companies participate in the promotion. To find the offers, you have to go to American Express’s Twitter page and read the Tweets under the Favorites section.

Here’s a look at some of the current offers: Zappos is offering $10 back on your next purchase, H&M is offering $10 on a $50 purchase, Gulf Oil is offering $5 back on $25 purchase, Whole Foods is offering $20 back on a $75 purchase, and Virgin America is offering 10% off a main cabin ticket. For example, for Zappos you tweet #AmexZappos and you get your statement credit within a few days as long as you meet the minimum purchase requirement.

This is not the first coupon venture for American Express if you link your card to a social media site. In July 2011, I wrote about their “Link, Like, Love” Facebook promotion. It works in a similar fashion in that you link your American Express card to your Facebook page, and based on your interests and your friends interests you’ll get special offers and deals. You can also browse the promotions.

I think this is the wave of the future. It’s the latest way for companies to get their product in front of a broader audience. All, for free.

Other ways to make money online without publicizing your purchase
The linking of my credit card to a social media site, even though they say it’s not shared, makes me a little uneasy. I think I’ll stick with other ways to make money. When I shop online, I look to Ebates or my credit card company to see if they have a special promotion with the company I’m shopping. I seek out the savings when I’m ready to buy rather than buying just because I see a good deal.

On Ebates, I earn cash back if I link to a retailer through the Ebates site.  They don’t credit my credit card because they don’t have that sensitive information. The money comes in the form of a check each quarter. Of course, someone is making money because they’re tracking my purchases. So, that’s not exactly the most private service but it’s nice to get that check in the mail every quarter.

With my credit card company, they already have my personal information and if I link through them to a retailer I earn more points than I normally receive. Sometimes, the offers are 3 and 4x more points than I normally earn.

Both of these money saving and earning options are potentially not as valuable as the $10 offer from American Express’s social media savings programs, but there are no strings attached. Plus, I don’t overbuy because I don’t have to make a minimum purchase. Finally, there are far more retailers participating in these other offers. That may change as the marketing changes as I think American Express is on to a new trend.

For now, I’ll spare my social media connections tweets and Facebook posts about my purchases. Will you? Click comment below and share your thoughts on this new type of marketing.

Free Shipping Day is Friday

If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping, why not wait a little longer and save on shipping. Friday, December 16th, is Free Shipping Day. More than 2,000 merchants will offer free shipping and guarantee delivery by Christmas Eve.

During the holidays, whether you buy on the designated Free Shipping Day, or when it’s convenient for you — shipping is something you should try to avoid. If one store won’t offer it to you, go to one that will. I’ve bought some gifts valued at $30 and $75 this holiday, and haven’t paid for shipping yet.

I always google the company I’m using to make a purchase and the words “free shipping” and “promotional code” to find more ways to save money. There are often promotional codes that will take 10-20% off your order floating around on the Internet. There are entire websites, like Free Shipping, that give you the inside scoop on the promotional codes you need to enter at checkout for free shipping.

You can also earn money to do your holiday shopping online. Simply, sign up for an account through Ebates. When it’s time to shop, find the store through Ebates and if they participate in the cash back program you’ll earn 5-20% cash back on your order. I’m an infrequent shopper and this year I got a check for more than $50 since I earned a percentage back everytime I shopped.

Click here to see if your favorite retailer is participating in free shipping day

Cyber Monday shopping options – Facebook or earn cash back

If you skipped the Black Midnight mania, today might be your day because it’s Cyber Monday. Shoppers will have more places to shop online including Facebook.

Retailers like Express are offering their online store on their Facebook fan page. You can share the item, which of course the store wants you to do, or simply buy it.

I think this is going to take off. Facebook news feeds used to be filled with gamers playing Farmville. Now, you can see the news stories your friends read on Yahoo. As shopping on Facebook takes off, you’ll be able to see the new accessories your friends are buying. For someone who hates to shop, maybe I’ll let someone else do the hard work for me.

Retailers are also trying to get you to shop online at the mall. According to Daily Finance, Walmart launched pop-up stores in some California malls. It’s hardly the only retailer doing this. Daily Finance says Sears, Kmart, and eBay are offering shoppers similar experiences. There are even ads in subways and airports that have QR or quick response codes on them that allow you to get more information about the toys or products you saw in the ad you just passed.

Technology is driving a lot of these changes. I wonder if malls will even be around in 10 years. While these are unique experiences that are hardly mainstream, there are mainstream ways to cash in that few people know about.

Earn cash back to shop online
I do most of my holiday shopping online, and make money doing it courtesy of Ebates. If I want to buy something at Macy’s or Amazon, I go to Ebates and log in. I enter the store I’m looking for like Macy’s and click on the provided link to earn a set percentage back on my order. During the holidays, there are often promotions that will earn you more than the traditional 3-6% cash back.

It takes seconds to link through Ebates, and in this case I think the time is really worth the money. Last year, I earned more than $50 cash back. That’s $50 I didn’t have before.

To earn the money, obviously my order is tracked. However, what isn’t tracked online these days? Soon we’ll be sharing our finds on Facebook as that becomes a mainstream way to shop.

Cash back email is NOT a ripoff but raises privacy concerns

I got a surprising email in my Inbox that promised me money. I was convinced it was too good to be true, but I was wrong!

I am familiar with the cash back programs like Ebates that reward you with a check for shopping online. You just have to link to the online retailer through your Ebates account, and you earn back a portion of the sale.

Ebates is a great program that’s saved me money. However, I wasn’t familiar with Bing cashback. Yet, the email said I was entitled to just over $8. I had no idea what it was, so how would they know what I bought? I was ready to write a warning to anyone else receiving this email that promised a check. Upon checking it out, I realized it was a legitimate program.

Bing cashback worked until July 30, 2010. According to Bing, the company provided cash back when you searched for a product and saw the golden $ sign next to it or when you clicked on a sponsored link with the $ sign. I don’t remember the $ sign, but apparently I clicked on it once and Bing kept a record of that shoe order in 2009 and is offering to pay me for that purchase in 2011. Kudos to the company for reminding me that the offer I didn’t know about is about to expire.

Consumers have until July 30, 2011 to redeem their cash back. I don’t remember signing into any accounts, and obviously didn’t provide Bing much information because I didn’t have an online account with them and they didn’t know my address to send me the check. Bing simply knew my email address.

The orders were likely tracked through the use of cookies. They are the little crumbs you leave behind when you surf online. While having no privacy netted me money this time, it’s another reminder to erase your digital footprint by browsing privately. It’s easy to do by checking the tools, options, or safety feature on your browser. It varies based on the browser you use. It’s your best bet until Congress gives the FTC power to create a do not track list similar to the do not call list.

If you got this email, I hope you didn’t delete it. Cash in before July 31st.

Related links you may like:
Earn cash back when you shop online
Cash for your electronics
Money saving sites
Steps to reduce your digital footprint

Earn money while you shop

Thanks for all the support. I hope many of you held your loved ones tighter yesterday, and I hope in the future you won’t let money get in the way of your life.

I try to find you easy money-saving tips that won’t get in the way of your life. They’re quick and easy ways to save so you’ll have more money for those big memory-making trips.

There are ways to earn money while you shop, and I’m not talking about those secret shopper scams. Those are not legitimate. This is.  The next time you shop online, take a detour first.  Go to Ebates or another cash-back site, and link to the site you want to shop through Ebates.  That quick detour will earn you cash back based on how much you spend.

During the holidays, I started using Ebates. If I was buying something on Kodak or Amazon, I’d link to those sites through Ebates. Depending on the individual business offer, I’d get a percentage of my order back in cash. It typically averages about 4%.  It adds up.

I learned that earlier this year when my first check arrived in the mail.  Then, I got a Home Depot gift card for signing up for the service.  It’s one of those offers that sounds too good to be true, but really works.

The sites are able to send you a check because they make money too. They earn a commission from the store you shop, and part of it is shared with you.  It works similar to online ads. If you click on one of those, most of the time the referring site gets paid a small amount.  You just don’t realize that’s happening.

There are other sites that work the same way, although, I haven’t used them to know all the ins and outs so read the fine print.  Mr. Rebates is one, and Big Crumbs is another.

Fat Wallet offers promotional codes and cash back options for shopping.  This is a pretty well known site, and I know money-saving consumers that have used Fat Wallet with great success.

It’s all about finding a site that works for you.  It shouldn’t be too cumbersome to use, and should not take a lot of time to navigate.  Also, read the site’s privacy policy. While you’re earning cash and that’s the fascinating part about this, your shopping habits are also being tracked. You earn money based on the size of your purchase.  The sites know how much you spend and where you spent it.  The sites use tracking cookies to follow your purchase. They’re commonly used online, it’s just that you don’t know you’re being tracked. Click here for ways to erase your digital footprint after your browsing or shopping is over.  It’s often as simple as erasing the cookies when your session is over.

If you’re concerned about your privacy, these cash back sites may not be worth it.  If you’d like to make some easy money, give it a try.

Just another quick and easy money-saving tip that will give you more time to make memories that will last a lifetime with your family.

Related links you may like:
Money saving sites
Rules of the road for saving money on deal sites
Erase your digital footprint

Free shipping day one week away but no need to wait

 The official Free Shipping day is one week away, but there’s no need to procrastinate. You can do your holiday shopping online today and still get free shipping from many retailers.

On Friday, December 17th, more than 1000 online retailers will offer free shipping for delivery by Christmas Eve. You can check out the retailers on the Free Shipping Day website.  The site claims more than 60% of participating retailers will offer free shipping on all orders.  To me, that means no minimum orders to qualify for free shipping. If you spend $5, you get free shipping.

If you don’t want to wait until the last minute, shop now. Many retailers are already offering free shipping deals. Most of these offers have minimum purchase orders or only certain items qualify. Most of the minimum purchases are between $30-50 which is easy to do with holiday gifts.  Click here to search for free shipping codes for your retailer.

Don’t forget my recurring tip for this year — use websites like FatWallet and Ebates to purchase your items. Before you go to Amazon.com or your retailer of choice, go to Ebates or FatWallet. Search for your retailer, click on the link, and you’ll earn cash back. Many of the retailers I’ve shopped this year are offering 10-20% cash back for the holidays. They’ve definitely sweetened the pot and that check I’ll get next year will make me feel even better about my holiday shopping.

Click here to read more about money saving sites for the holidays, and click here to read about sites that can save you money on all purchases all year round.

Money saving sites

Whether you’re looking for airfares or hotels, you’ve probably used a search engine to find a great deal. There are obvious search engines to save money, and a few newbies that are less obvious.

There are so many great deal sites that offer emails delivered right to your Inbox every morning. It’s a good idea to create an email address specifically for deals if you don’t want to deal with a cluttered Inbox every day. That way you can check the offers when you’re in the market for a deal. Or, just hit delete each day.

iDine Deals is only available in Houston and Cleveland. It offers daily deals of 50% or more off restaurants. Like so many of the other sites, you can have the deals emailed right to your Inbox.

GROUPON — this site offers daily deals for businesses and restaurants close to your home.

The other catch — the daily deal is only offered if an unspecified number of people sign up for the deal. You sign up by giving your credit card. It’s only charged if that minimum is met.

The plus – Groupon groupies say the savings are extensive off the retail price.

Living Social is similar to Groupon. The big difference — you don’t need a certain number of people for the deal to go live.

Hey Butler allows you to search for savings and discounts at local businesses. You can search by category and see buy one get one free offers and so on.

Kudzu offers discount coupons for local businesses. It’s not currently available in KC, but does link you to local businesses by category.

Restaurant dot com provides great discounts to local restaurants. Several times a month, the deals are almost too good to be true. You can buy a $20 gift certificate at the restaurant for $2. You just need the promotional code, which is easy to find by searching Restaurant.com promotional code in a search engine.

The really good restaurants typically sell out fast, and there are exclusions for some restaurants including alcohol and days of the week that you can use the coupon.

WOOT – Woot also offers a discounted item every day. However, some users find it difficult to navigate and report that the deals are not as consistently money savers.

If you like the site, you can follow it on Twitter to find specials that are launched certain hours of the day. Woot calls them Happy Hour specials.

The deals are placed on the site at 12 a.m. Central time every day of the week. Once the item sells out, the deal is done until the next day.

KASHLESS – This Web site allows anyone to post or receive free stuff while earning reward points. The goal is to reuse and recycle products with a reward. You earn points that you can cash in to receive free items.

The Web site says, “By providing a comprehensive platform for reuse, Kashless extends the useful life of products, diverts significant amount of items from the waste stream, encourages local consumption, and reduces raw material resource demand.”

Consumers can browse by city, neighborhood, and category. Some of the deals are a bit unusual like jigsaw puzzles and baby wipe containers.

ToolzDo – The Web site is a self-described “Swiss Army™ knife for building community.” The site provides tools for neighbors to meet each other and rent, swap, or give away items.

The site says it can be used for neighbors to share crime information, organize a block party, find non-profits near your home, or ask local business experts a question. Again, you need to join but it’s free.

VOYIJ – It takes the deals from all the other travel websites and puts them in one location for you to search. You put in your departing city, general travel dates, destination, deal type, and budget.

You can also subscribe to its Twitter feed to find money saving deals.

KAYAK – It also searches the airline sites and money saving sites to give you one stop shopping for the best deal. It lists times and prices, and gives you a link to the site where that deal was found.

Promotional Code Savings
There are websites that offer rewards programs to give you cash back when you use a certain number of promotional codes or links. Fat Wallet If you link to a store through their site, you can save money and earn cash back. Most of the stores are national chains.

Ebates works in a similar fashion. It offers promotional codes, coupons, and cash back when you click on the link to the store through the Ebates site.

Do you have a favorite money saving site? Share it with our community.