Saturday Question: Do You Use Cashback Sites?

It is not a strictly related to perfumes question since most of niche perfume sites do not participate in that type of promotions, but some do. And it is useful in general: money saved elsewhere can be used to buy perfumes, right?

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #67:

Do You Use Cashback Sites?

Do you use them ever? How often? Which sites? Do you have any strategies? Do you use browser plug-ins? Did you get any money back?

If you do use those sites, share your personal links for those sites that give bonuses for/to friends who sign up.

 

My Answer

When I do not forget, I try to use cashback sites. I have several that I’ve been using for years, I know that they track purchases from the supported stores accurately for the most part, so I usually check them for stores where I plan to place an order, choose the one that offers a better % cashback and click to the store from that cashback site.

Since I do not use just one cashback site, and I prefer not to give any site more information than is absolutely necessary, I do not commit to any one of them – that’s why I do not install browser plugins that offer to track my movements “not to miss any cashback.” I’m fine remembering it on my own (or not remembering, as it happens sometimes – but I’m fine with it).

While I used just two sites, I was usually checking them directly to see if they supported the store I needed. But since recently I subscribed to a couple more, whenever I’m checking who gives the best cashback, I do not go directly to all the sites but instead I use one of the cashback monitoring sites. I used to like one specific site, but it doesn’t track most of the newer sites, one of which I recently joined, so I’m checking out a couple of new sites to see whose technical abilities to keep the list up to date is better. Over years I got back about a thousand dollars – not too impressive since it was distributed over many years, but it is more than I would have without using those sites.

Two tried and true sites that worked fine for me for years are MrRebates and Rakuten (previously eBates).

At the moment, Rakuten seems to have the best referral program: if you use my link (or any of your friends’ link) to sign up for the account before the end of June 2021, shop at one of the supported sites after clicking to it through your Rakuten account and spend at least $30 in the 90 days from signing up, both you and a person who referred you will get $30 cashback. US and Canada only.

MrRebates referral program seems to be broken, but the cashback they offer works fine, so you should sign up if you find that they have the best rate for the store you need.

Recently I subscribed to the TopCashback. I haven’t got anything from them yet (it’s pending), but sometimes the rate they offer is much better than from the other sites, so I decided to try. I do not see any promotions now for signing up, but here’s my link – just in case you decide to join.

 

What you need to know if you haven’t used these sites before:

1. You need to go through the cashback site to the site where you shop in order to get cashback.

2. Using coupons not provided on the cashback site for the selected store might disqualify you from getting cashback (but, in my opinion, working coupons that give you an immediate discount are worth risking the cashback).

3. The rate different sites give for different stores changes, so if you use more than one rebate site, make sure to check which one gives a better rate and click through from there.

4. If you do a partial return for the multi-item order, it might cancel the complete cashback transaction.

5. It takes a couple of months for a cashback to “clear,” and most of the sites I saw required you to earn some minimum before you could get money from the account.

6. Don’t spend more than you planned to hoping for the cashback, and be prepared not to get it (though, in the recent years these sites got better with tracking, and you can provide them the order # if you clicked through, completed the purchase but didn’t get it to register on your account).

https://www.topcashback.com/ref/member430287883357

Do You Use Cashback Sites?

30 thoughts on “Saturday Question: Do You Use Cashback Sites?

    • It is not as popular as in the US, but there are similar sites that work for Austria.
      Also, you might want take a look at Microsoft Edge: I don’t know if it works like that in your country, but here the browser now offers coupons for the sites that have those coupons as well as some cash back, though I haven’t tried it yet myself. But if it works in Austria, you won’t need to do anything special to use it, it’s supposed to work on its own.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I really have no interest in hussling around to save maybe a few dollars/euros/whatever. IF I shopped online, maybe. But I very rarely do. It is not that I don‘t wanna „save“ money. I always look out for the 25% off your total shop deals at the supermarket – that is how I buy my chocolate for the cookies you know? 500 bars with 25% off is brilliant. And twice a year there is 20% off in most stores for „Woman Day“, yes Woman. That includes perfumes too. Chanel Exclusifs, Malle, Lutens etc, and if I want something I will go to Vienna for it! But this whole online stuff. Big no.

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  1. I use Rakuten, when I remember. I try to check before buying to see if they have more than 6% back (just got 10% at Macy’s along with a Macy’s discount.) When buying clothing for my son online I tend to do well, as these purchases tend to be larger. I’m not sure how much I have gotten back over time but since Google is tracking everything we do online anyway it doesn’t seem like there’s much harm to getting something back from it!

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    • I do not mind Google or Bing. Smaller cashback sites are those that I trust less: if I were to install a plug-in, it would be tracking all my activity, regardless of whether those sites participate in the cashback or not. That’s why I prefer an explicit decision to go through the cashback site rather than allowing any of them to check on their own each site I visit.

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  2. I use Ebates, now Rakuten. I have had the best luck with Saks, I wait for the 20% return. I haven’t tried any other sites.

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    • I’m not doing it religiously, but when I remember, I check those 2-3 and choose the best. It doesn’t make sense to spread your purchases between more than that because it’ll take forever to get a sum that can be cashed out, but 2-3 work just fine.

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    • I also am signed up for the bonus bucks at Macy’s and Nordstrom. I seem to have hit the jackpot at Macy’s this year. I got $30.0l0 from them in June alone. Of course I bought a bunch of clothes for myself and for my son’s birthday when they were having double bonus points days so I got lucky.

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  3. I haven’t, although I will admit to searching for coupon codes sometimes. When I used to shop at Macy’s a lot, I would sometimes get cash back from them. After reading your post, though, I might consider it. Your picture is the perfect visual metaphor for this topic!

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    • Thank you! When I started writing the post, I remembered that picture. I took it several years ago when there were many those hearts around San Francisco. It was some project, and I liked finding them in different parts of the city and taking pictures. I have the whole collection of those.

      I do recommend signing up for Rakuten: the bonus they offer now is good. If you happen to shop in the next 3 months in online stores that are part of the platform, you’ll get those extra $30 for doing exactly what you would do otherwise anyway – just for logging in to Rakuten and clicking to those stores from it when you’re ready to buy anything. And if you do not shop, you won’t lose anything.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. No…life’s too short to stuff a mushroom or chase every last discount. The systems can be fiddly and unleash a blizzard of marketing comms for ever afterwards. Though, perhaps perversely, I always take back defective goods or disappointing food to the shop for as little as a pound refund!

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    • Wait… You don’t do stuffed mushrooms?! ;)

      I had a couple of times during this year when I wanted to take something back. But it would mean driving to the store in addition to our regular once every two weeks… So, I didn’t – though I felt that I should have.

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  5. I usually end up using Rakuten as I have a plug in that reminds me. I now have a new computer so I do need to check if that plug in followed. I should check to see how much I’ve gotten back over the years but I’m quite sure it’s way less than your $1,000.

    Curious to know why one would spend more though as the cash back sites I’ve used was always a percentage rather than $X off. Now if you’re talking about $s off during beauty events, I do try to consolidate my purchases to hit the most effective $s.

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    • “More” as in: “I don’t want to/shouldn’t pay X for Y (too expensive, I need money for something else, etc.), but it is 10% cashback, so it’ll cost just 0.9X – I should buy it.” Cashback that might never happen (something went wrong with cookies, the vendor didn’t report it, there was a fine print I missed, etc.), and even when works will come in 2-3 months after the purchase, should not be counted on when making a decision to buy or not to buy. $ off or store gift cards that you get as the result of a transaction of the certain level is a different animal: if you are shopping at that store and plan to keep shopping, it makes total sense to consolidate purchases so that you get the maximum return.

      I don’t think that your plug-in moved to your new computer. So, you’ll have to install it again. BTW, I would designate one browser to shopping and other “recreational” activities and another one – to banking and work-related stuff.

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