An easy, easy level of savings, because it requires no work on your part. No codes to remember, no coupons. If you are going to do any shopping online – and that is ANY shopping online – gifts, stuff for you, clothes, office supplies, books and movies, anything, at the very least try to get a net savings by signing up for an online rebate.
I signed up for Ebates, which will send you a check if you earn a minimum of $5. All you have to do is sign up for Ebates, then remember that before you go shopping online, just go to the Ebates page first and click on the name of the store in the Ebates page. Their link to the store will get you the cash back at the end of your transaction. It affects nothing about your experience on the website, you don’t have to remember any codes or do anything different. I’m always kind of surprised when I get my check, because I didn’t work for it like I work for my grocery savings!
I also like Ebates because there are other convenient things about the site. I get ideas for shopping if I am looking for something in particular. I was online comparing dishwasher prices, and typing in “dishwasher” in the search box brought up several retailers who offered dishwashers, then from there, I could compare the rebate percentages and pick the best one.
Even if you are looking for something more obscure, like a plaid horse blanket or a clock with a propeller for hands, try the search terms first. The rebates are anywhere from 2% to over 20%. I’ve ordered office supplies, food gifts, stuff for the house, and clothes and the rebate check is a nice goodie that comes in the mail with no extra work on my part.
I’ve also discovered interesting sites that I never would have found otherwise. They don’t just have the major ones like JC Penney and Home Depot, they have lots of smaller ones that are more specific and have lots of fun items. With a cash-back bonus.
Also, I recommend sign up for the Daily Double alert. Every day, they will pick at least one retailer and double the bonus. It might be LL Bean, Sears, Office Depot, or who knows what. It’s always something interesting. On several sites, I have a ‘wish list’ already picked out and saved under my name, and as soon as the offer is good enough, I’ll buy it.
Another great thing about this, since it doesn’t change your shopping experience, is if you use Ebates to get money back, you can STILL use coupon codes and discounted gift certificates to buy the stuff you want to buy and really get the most for your money.
One other thing that I like is that if something comes up suddenly, and you don’t have time to plan, you can still get a better deal than full price. This happens more than I would like. I try to be prepared with my discounted gift cards and coupon codes and staying on top of newsletters and wish lists, but sometimes something comes up RIGHT NOW and you don’t have the chance to get your strategy together. If something comes up and you need a particular thing right now, just search on Ebates and at the very least, you’ll get your cash back check so you won’t be out the full price.
Ebates also lists coupon codes per site if they apply. Like I said, these can be used WITH your cash back and does not change how you shop on the site. If there’s a coupon code, you’ll see it on the Ebates page, and when you click on the link to the website you want to go to, it will open in a new window, so you can just glance back on the Ebates page for the coupon code when you are ready to check out.
Here’s an example –
I had picked out a few pairs of pants to give a relative from LL Bean. Original price was $98. I had a coupon code for 20% off plus free shipping, which brought the price down to $78. I used a discounted gift card that I had bought online through Cardpool for 12% off the face value, so the $78 became $68.64. Ebates normal cash back is 3%, but on daily double day for LL Bean, I got a check for 6% back (off the amount I paid which was $78, 6% is $4.68), which means I paid a net of $63.96 for $98 of merchandise from LL Bean. For other, less premium stores like Old Navy or JC Penney, you can do even better than that, but this particular relative really likes LL Bean so I just had to wait until I had the perfect opportunity to make the best possible price happen. This was about a 35% discount off a site that rarely discounts anything.
For JC Penney, they frequently run 25% discounts on merchandise, and their clearance section is terrific. I get their gift cards anywhere from 25% to 28% off, and the Ebates recently was 8% off. The net would be paying $48 for $100 in your shopping cart, or 52% off.
This is all you need:
Click on my link here to Ebates and sign up. After you get signed up, just remember to go to the Ebates page first before you do any shopping, and you’ll automatically get your cash back check when you go through their link. They cut checks once you reach $5, which is crazy easy to do.
And if you shop regularly at certain stores, get your discounted gift cards first from Cardpool.