Ebates was the first rebate site I used. I've been a member since 2002. The site has been around since 1998. That's last century, if you're keeping track.
I use rebate sites all the time. Every chance I get, as a matter of fact! For a miniscule amount of extra work, I can save a few dollars or even more than a few on a lot of online purchases.
Using Ebates is simple:
- Sign up for an Ebates account, which is free.
- Log into Ebates before you shop.
- If Ebates offers a rebate on purchases from your favorite stores, go through EBates to get to the store instead of going to the store directly.
And that's about all there is to start accumulating your rebates!
Briefly behind the scenes
You may be wondering where Ebates gets the money to send to you in the form of a rebate. (No free lunches, right?)
The short answer is that the store you bought from sends the money to Ebates in the form of a commission. Ebates referred you to the store, so they get the commission, but then they turn right around and share part of it with you. The part they retain is their profit for making it all happen.
Features of Ebates
Ebates has been around longer than most rebate sites, but there are a number of other competing sites now. Still, Ebates has unique features, even though the look and feel of the site seems just like I remembered it in 2002! Here are the special features that make Ebates different:
- Low minimum payout. The minimum amount required to receive a quarterly payment from Ebates is $5.01. That's low for the range of rebates sites.
- Daily Double. One store a day is the Daily Double. For one day only, the rebate for that site is … wait for it … double what it normally is. Truth in advertising at its finest!
- Seasonal extra rebates. Depending on the time of year, a whole bunch of stores will qualify for extra rebates. This time of year is approaching back to school time, so a number of clothing stores have higher-than-normal rebates going on.
- Browser add-in and apps. The browser add-in and apps will detect whether or not your store qualifies for a rebate, and makes the sign-in process even easier to get to saving money.
- Product search. If you're looking for a particular product, you can try the keyword-based product search feature. It draws from the inventory of rebate-eligible sites and shows which sites have the item, and how much rebate you'll get when you purchase it there.
- Periodic sign-up bonuses. Occasionally Ebates offers a sign-up bonus for new accounts.
But, as I mentioned, this site has been around a long time. It was around when the Internet's inventor was Vice President! (Well, not quite, but it has been around for 16 years!) You don't stay around that long time by not paying your rebates, and I don't see Ebates going away any time soon!