Ebates offers the consumer the ability to get cash back when you purchase merchandise through one of their affiliate links to a variety of websites. These include monster retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, Lowes, Nordstrom and many others.


What Is Ebates?

Ebates was founded in Menlo Park, CA back in 1998. The founders, Alessandro Isolani and Paul Wasserman were two former district attorneys.

When they launched in May of 1999, they offered up to 25% cash back from approximately 40 online retailers.

After just one week of being in business, Ebates.com was getting 100,000 hits a day. Primarily through just word of mouth and the publicity they received.

By the year 2000, Ebates said they had over two million members, with 300 retailers that participated online.

Their initial growth allowed them to receive $25 million in funds from various venture capital firms like August Capital, Foundation Capital Canaan Partners, and Rembrandt Venture Partners.

In 2013, Ebates members spent approximately $2.2 billion in shopping. In 2014, Ebates was purchased for $1 Billion by Rakuten, Inc.

Ebates has an affiliation with more than 2,000 online businesses. No, you probably won't visit all of them, but you definitely have a a lot of options to choose from.

One of the best things about going through Ebates is you don't have to pay them a dime.

All you do is sign up with them by using your email address. Immediately, you will be given the opportunity to choose a gift card valued at $10. This gift card gets sent to you once you make a purchase for $25 or more.

After you log in to Ebates, you will have a ton of places that you can purchase items from online.

If for some reason you don’t see something that interests you, all you have to do is hit the “All Stores” button to check out the huge list of alternative stores you can browse through.

You are able to click a link that brings you to to a shopping mall directly, or you have the option to install the Ebates Cash Back feature right to your browser.

After you are done shopping, your points get added automatically to your account. This will usually happen within 24 hours.

How Does Ebates Extended Cash Back Works?

Ebates has a Cash Back Button that is basically a browser extension which alerts shoppers whenever there is cash back to be claimed, or when the cash back is activated at the participating store's web sites.

In October of 2013, an Ebates App for the iPod Touch and the iPhone was introduced.

In addition to cash back and the deals that you can find on the website, the app features push notifications, one-click price comparisons, social sharing options and a deal board .

Ebates simply allows you to earn cash back whenever you go through them to make the purchases that you might normally have to go physically shopping for.

By using Ebates, you can get the items you need or want, without having to leave the house. Plus, you get points, which translate into savings. It's a good deal no matter how you look at it.

The Opportunity

Since they started up in 1998 Ebates has paid its members over $325 million in cash.

With all of their increasing opportunities for members, combined with ease and convenience of shopping online, Ebates will continue to be a great way to shop in the long run.

The way you get paid through Ebates is pretty much hassle-free. However, it's important for me to point out that you will only get a check every three months.

This is kind of slow in my opinion, considering that everything is done over the internet.

Especially when you may have gotten accustomed to getting everything paid instantly to your PayPal account. Sorry, that's just the way they operate.

You have the choice to either go through PayPal, or having a check delivered to you through the mail.

My personal recommendation is to use PayPal because it’s quicker and you don't have to worry about a check getting lost in the shuffle.

You also have the chance to make money whenever you refer someone else to use Ebate.

Their referral program is quite generous. You can make $50 when you refer two friends, and $5 for every additional friend.

The Verdict

The fact that they give you get cash back, makes it hard to find a better reason than to do your shopping through Ebates. You are going to shop for items throughout the year anyway, why not makes some extra cash doing it?.

It doesn’t cost anything, except for a little bit of your time to log in and filter out where you can get paid cash back. Sounds pretty enticing doesn't it?

A possible problem for some though, is the fact that when you get the cash back depends entirely on when the retailer pays Ebates. This however, really isn't Ebates problem.

I did see complaints that basically said that Ebates wasn't free and was actually a scam, attempting to sign you up for a service that you get charged for, like a “free credit check.”

This may turn into various subscriptions, with monthly service fees, which can add up rather quickly. Of course, the choice is yours if you decide to subscribe.

Ebates will never ask you for a credit card number. I like this, because I think it definitely reduces your chances of getting charged for something you didn't order. A fairly common problem when shopping online.

Don't ever give out your credit card number at any time while you're shopping on their site.

Once you install the Cash Back Button, your shopping becomes less intrusive and before long, you will forget that you are doing your purchasing through Ebates.

I like the fact that when you shop with Ebates, you don't have to install any software. Unless, you want to use the mobile app., which isn't difficult.

It's important to remember that the cash back payments usually are held for up for 30 days. Then another 30 days at minimum will go by before the total is actually paid.

The reason for this, is so that Ebates can make adjustments for any returns, or illegal sales. Basically this means… if they don't get paid, you don't get paid.

They don't charge you a penny to use Ebates when you shop, and while a 1-6% cash back might seem like a big deal at first, but if you do a lot of shopping, these numbers will add up pretty quickly.

I found that some of the more common complaints were about missed payouts. But these were easily solved by either Ebates’ customer service, or contacting the Better Business Bureau.

The other problems seemed to revolve around the fact that there are limited categories from certain websites that you can shop from.

These guys have been around quite a while and they do pay cash back.

However, they try to hook you with the idea that Mom is earning a healthy check on a weekly basis.

Again, remember that they only pay you four times during the course of a year. This is after waiting for 45 days minimum.

Some specialty stores often advertise “up to” whatever percent. Be cautious when it comes to these types of offers.

If you were to buy $200 of merchandise, you would only get $8 cash back. So, even if you did this every month, you would only be making $32 every four months. This isn't the way they portray things in their commercials.

So if you take all these things into consideration, I feel that if you do a lot of shopping online, and you are fanatical about shopping with Ebates, then you can definitely get some cash back, which is always nice.

I don't see a problem with making a little dollars a few times a year. But please don't be fooled into thinking that you will be receiving thousand dollar checks.

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