Ebates is kind of an interesting concept. The idea is that when you shop online, you go to their site first and search for the company you are going to shop at. You click through their link to that store, and ebates gives you a low % of cash back on what you buy there.
I (like you probably) wondered initially if Ebates was a scam. Since I didn’t need to give them my credit card information or anything like that though, I decided why not try.
Ebates is an Affiliate Marketing company. This means that they earn money by referring people to buy someone else’s products, and don’t actually sell anything, have any inventory, or have any part in order fulfillment. According to this page on Ebate’s site, they make money by:
They get a commission from the store where you made your purchase, and they share a portion of it with you.
My guess is that there is some add revenue and consumer activity/habits tracking and sales happening as well. That’s what I would do anyway. It makes more sense than a pure commission model, and they get TONS of clicks on businesses from people who are just browsing (I’ve clicked through to Nordstrom’s many times, myself.)
Anyway, why am I writing about them?
Because they have better issue/conflict resolution than I’ve seen from most other sites. They missed one of my orders (from Vitacost!) and all I needed todo was fill out the form, put the numbers (order and $) in the right spots, and BAM my $6ish showed up in my Big Fat Payment section. Nice. I didn’t have to fight or argue or anything (I’m almost always prepared for fighting and arguing when it comes to getting someone to give me money they may not think they owe me.)
Anyway, I’m also sharing because I think it’s a neat business concept, and because I’ve found out personally (via $ in my paypal account) that it’s not a scam and that they do pay out. Neato.
If you want to try, they of course have an affiliate program (what affiliate marketing company wouldn’t?) so if you love me, click here and they will give me credit for you joining. It looks like a you get $5 I get $5 situation, but there is also some mention of bonus payouts. Click here if you love me.