This post may contain sponsored or affiliate links.
I told you in Part 2 about how many amazing deals come out through online sites during the major shopping seasons, specifically Cyber Monday. Many of those deals will include Free Shipping, but some of them won’t. Many sites that you may have credit or a gift card for will allow the gift cards to cover shipping, but some won’t. Even if they do, why waste that money on shipping. So, it is VERY important to have Free Shipping.
There is a site called Shoprunner and they will give you free TWO DAY shipping to many stores that we will see deals for during the holidays. You can get a free 30-day membership when you sign up. So, I don’t encourage you to do that just yet. I will remind you to do so right before Thanksgiving and explain it a little better at that point. That way, the 30 days should cover you through the majority of the shopping season. But, I want you to be aware of and familiar with it. I actually scored a YEAR for free in January, so I am excited to have it through the holidays this year and am hoping that the same deal comes up again! You will see the picture below if your items are eligible for Shoprunner benefits:
This is something that you will look for at the end of a transaction and it could save you SIGNIFICANT money on shipping AND time, since it’s 2 day shipping and many sites standard is 5-8 days. So, keep this in the back of your mind and we will visit it again soon.
Now, something that you can do on the FRONT END of an online transaction, is to shop through a site that gives you cash back. There are two major sites that I use. The first is Ebates.
EBATES is an online shopping site that provides rebates to many, if not all of your online purchases.
How it works:
When you log onto EBATES, there is a list of hundreds, if not thousands of websites. They have everything from Walmart to small sites that you may have never heard of. Travel, clothing, eBay, Shutterfly….literally thousands! You click on their link to whatever site you want to shop on and you will see what % you will receive back. Once you click on “SHOP NOW”, the new site opens and EBATES goes away after showing you a tracking ticket. Then, you proceed through checkout just as normal. The difference is that EBATES keeps track of your online spending and gives you that designated percentage back. You will also get to choose a $10 gift card upon sign up and you will receive it once you have made a qualifying purchase of $25 or more. You will get this in addition to the rebate that you earn on that same purchase and any others made that quarter.
Get in the habit of checking there first before buying online. If you are checking prices between different sites, check all of those sites’ cash back rate, too. Then, once you determine what is the best price, go through EBATES for the actual purchase.
Search all stores (on left – top) – Alphabet for narrowing search.
**You must have $5.01 in actual rebate money before your quarterly Big Fat Check is released. Rebate money as opposed to referral money. You can opt for your rebates to go to Paypal and this money is available quicker than having a paper check mailed.
**Referrals – $5 referral credit is added to your account once they purchase.
**Referral bonus – There is always a referral bonus going on Currently -Referral bonus – There is always a referral bonus going on Currently (7/1/14 -9/30/14)-If you refer JUST TWO friends who sign up through your referral link and makes a purchase of $25 or more, you will receive an additional $40 bonus! (This is in addition to your standard $5/person fee, making it $25/person for those 2!) You will get this money with your Quarterly Big Fat Check which will be issued around mid-November. These bonuses are usually triggered when you refer AT LEAST 3 or 4 friends. So, to get FIVE times the standard bonus for JUST TWO friends is well worth it! DO IT!
Here is the payment schedule (I have paypal and usually get my payments around the 13th):
|Purchases Posted Between||Big Fat Check Sent|
|Jan 1-Mar 31||May 15|
|Apr 1-June 30||Aug 15|
|July 1-Sept 30||Nov 15|
|Oct 1-Dec 31||Feb 15|
Keep track of what you should be getting in case it doesn’t show up. I used to have a problem with certain rebates posting. So, keep track of what you should be getting. You can submit for a refund if they miss one, but you must have the tracking ticket #, your receipt and all of the dates and times have to match up. You should be able to find all of this info in your account history and you can find your tracking tickets stored on EBATES.
Consider ordering your big-ticket items, i.e. appliances, expensive toys,travel, hotels, etc. from the stores’ websites by way of EBATES. If you can get free site to store shipping, this is a good way to save an extra $20 to $30. I have done this with motherboards for my refrigerator and oven as well as a power wheels toy and my new LG washing machine!
**I currently have made $3277.00 through Ebates since 2007. But, being in the situation that we have been for the past few years, I haven’t shopped much. A large majority of this was referral bonuses, meaning pure profit, no rebates. This is not a scam. It is completely legitimate and if you shop online, it is just Free money back that you would have spent otherwise. Check it out here and start piling up those rebates!
The 2nd site is very similar to EBATES. It is called ShopAtHome. It is a good one to have, because sometimes their rebate percentages may be higher to the same store than EBATES is offering. Other times, vice versa. So, it is good to be connected with both. The other major difference in the two is that ShopAtHome requires $20 in rebate money to release your check. But, once you hit that $20, their checks are issued the next month. I personally have lots of referral credits, but have never received a check from ShopAtHome because I haven’t hit that $20 threshold yet. So, be aware of that. You will also get a $5 bonus upon your first purchase with ShopAtHome.
So, to sum it up, you can add savings on both ends of many of your online purchases. Find your item, then check both Ebates and ShopAtHome to see what percentage of rebate they are offering at the store you are shopping. Choose the higher one and be sure that you click through their site when you are ready to check out so that they track your actual purchase. Then, look for the Shoprunner logo to save the shipping fees! Go ahead and sign up for these two (EBATES here and ShopAtHome here) as they are free all the time and you can always use these sites. Be sure to tell your friends about them, too! You will get $5 for each friend that signs up and makes a purchase!
You will see me mention all three of these sites more and more as we get closer to that “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”!