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Confession: I usually shy away from “quick money” like this. For some reason I always feel there’s a catch, like my inbox will be inundated with spam emails or I’ll get charged $200 for a full year of something after a free trial period or, God forbid, have my identity stolen. Neurotic? Maybe. But who said everything I did was reasonable?
However, when I came across this program and researched the business behind the business, I found no reason not to jump at the free cash. And guys, I’m so glad I did because your girl just got a $90 check in the mail, and it’s $90 each and every one of you could have in your bank accounts, too. And there was no catch.
LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO…
This program I’m talking about? It’s called Ebates, and I’m sure many of you (especially the ladies) have heard of it before. In fact, I even give it a shout out as one of my shopping hacks in this article.
Essentially it’s a website that helps you save money on all of your online shopping purchases. You use the Ebates referral link listed on their website, make an online purchase, and BAM! You’ve just saved 2-15% on your purchase.
Now, it’s a legit business model because Ebates also gets a kickback from those online vendors for every purchase stemming from a referral to their site. Win for Ebates. Win for you. Let’s pop the bubbly.
However, getting discounts on your online shopping isn’t where you are going to get that large check in the mail (even if you’re a serious online shopper). Where you’ll make that roughly $100 is through their referral program, and you can work the system to do it so easily. I mean, even a 10 year-old could figure this out. Here’s how:
STEP 1: SIGN UP AND EARN $10
Literally, all you have to do to earn this $10 is to sign up using my link below and then spend $25 within 3 months on an online purchase through Ebates.
I know, you’re thinking, “Wait, I have to spend money to earn money?” And yes, essentially, you do, which is why you should only do this for things you already have to buy.
For instance, let’s say you have your cousin’s baby shower in a few weeks or your husband/wife’s birthday next month. If you were already planning on getting them something that you could buy online (you can even earn money buying gift cards!), then wait to sign up with Ebates –the link doesn’t expire – and use it when you need it. I certainly don’t want you making a $25 purchase just to save $10. Even you all who hate math know that’s not a smart decision.
So whenever you’re ready to make an online purchase, go ahead and sign up using my link below – easiest $10 you’ll ever make!
Sign Up to Earn $10 through Ebates! (via TeamDuffy)
STEP 2: PICK THE LOW-HANGING REFERRAL FRUIT
That was the easiest $10 and now this is the easiest $75+. Who’s ready to buy themselves a new swimsuit? (Again, me slowly raising my hand…)
Ebates offers a legit referral program where if you send someone your referral link, you can earn $25 for the first 3 people who a) sign up and b) spend $25 through Ebates. It’s that simple: you send your link, they shop, you earn cash.
Now, what’s better yet is that all you need to set up separate accounts is a new email address. What does that mean? Well, basically that you can manipulate the system in a completely unmanipulative way. Let’s say you initally sign up for Ebates under your email address. You can then send your referral link to your husband/wife, have them sign up using your link under their email address, make a $25 purchase, and you’ve essentially earned $35 ($25 for you for the referral and $10 for them for signing up). Um, how awesome is that?
Or, if you’re like me and have multiple personal accounts, you can do the same thing. Use the personal referral link from your first account to create a new account under your second email address, and earn $35 (again, $25 on your 1st account for the referral and $10 on your second for signing up) on your first purchase of $25 or more. Literally just did this, and it worked like a charm.
Then, send your link to your mom, best friend, aunt, co-worker, etc., and earn $25 when they sign up & spend. If you follow this plan, you’ll have earned $95 by the end of it all ($10 for signing up on your 1st account, $75 for referrals, and another $10 for signing up with your 2nd account).
Don’t you love when companies throw cash at you just for helping others save money?
While those are likely to be the biggest payouts you’ll receive, you can still continue to use Ebates to save on everyday purchases. I mean, Target is on here, ladies. TARGET. And not only your typical clothing stores, but you can also use it to book travel, buy books, and send flowers. Here’s how I’ve integrated it into my shopping strategy:
I went thru the ebates site to my Amazon page then saved that page into my browsers Bookmarks as Amazon Ebates so I can easily click back to it. You can do that for all the frequent purchase sites you go to.
Anytime I’m doing online shopping and find something I want to buy that's a more expensive purchase, I go to the Ebates website to check if they are offering a discount for that store (or a similar store that may offer the same item). If a discount is available, I click on the link, which directs me back to the online store where I was originally shopping. Then, I just find my item, make my purchase, and my discount is automatically added to my cash back balance on my Ebates account.
Easier yet? You can install the Ebates extension on your browser, which will automatically show you whether there is a discount available when you’re on the online store’s website. Then, all you have to do is click that little button and the discount is automatically applied, meaning you don’t have to go directly to the Ebates site first. To install, just scroll to the bottom of your Ebates home page and click on “Ebates Button.”
Now, Ebates isn’t only for online shopping either – you can actually use it while you’re out at the mall shopping, too. I’ve included a link to a short (~1 minute) video that shows exactly how it works, but if you want to fully utilize it, I suggest downloading the app as well. Then you don’t have to be a mind-reader and know which stores you may buy from ahead of time – you can just add the discount while in line to checkout ;)
How to Earn In-Store Cash Back
And there you have it! The easiest $100 you could make. Just another word of caution: don’t use the referral bonuses or discounts as an excuse to buy more stuff. Only use this for purchases you were already going to make, discount or not, and you’ll come out on the other end better off.