Sign up for Ebates here and receive $10 free

Now that I’ve got my shameless referral link plug out of the way, let’s get down to business.  If you’ve watched TV at all recently, there’s a good chance you’ve seen one or several Ebates commercials like the video above.  Ebates promises to pay you money for shopping online.  Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it isn’t.  I was once a skeptic like the people in the video.  I figured there had to be a catch, or Ebates was a scam altogether.  Turns out there isn’t, and it’s not.  Ebates is legit.  They’ll send you a check for basically adding one step to your online shopping process.

I could dump a bunch of filler in this post and go on and on about how Ebates works and why it’s not a scam, but I’ll just keep it simple.  Ebates makes money through referral agreements they have with thousands of e-commerce sites.  They’re like a glorified electronic salesman.  They tell these sites that they’ll drive traffic to them and increase their business, and in turn the merchants give them a cut of the total sale for every completed transaction.  Ebates turns around and gives you a cut of that cut.  That’s it.  That’s how Ebates makes money and how they can afford to pay out their members.

If anyone is getting screwed or scammed here, it’s the online merchants paying Ebates.  I’m not sure how successful they are in generating additional business for these online merchants, of if they even accomplish that at all.  Many Ebates members (like myself) only check to see if an online merchant has an agreement with Ebates after they’ve filled their cart.  You can even add an Ebates extension to Google Chrome and a little button will automatically appear in the upper right corner of your browser if the website you’re on is an Ebates affiliate.  Click it, complete a transaction, and you’ll get money back.  It’s that easy.

If you’re trying to maximize how much money you get back, Ebates has special promotions from time to time, and the rate of return is always fluctuating for affiliate sites.  You can go to their site and see what’s popping on the front page.  You can also search for specific online merchants from the front page if you don’t see something you like.  Personally I like the Google Chrome extension better, but if I’m on my phone I’ll go to the mobile site and search for the online merchant I’m already shopping at. 9 times out of 10, they’re on there, and I’ll be getting free money back for something I was already doing.

So if I’ve convinced you that Ebates is legit, do me a favor and sign up with my referral link.  You’ll get $10 after you make your first online purchase, and I’ll get some loot, too. Gotta keep it 100.  Hook your boy up.

I do want to point out a few things from the Ebates Privacy Policy that you should be aware of before signing up.  A lot of people just sign up for shit or download shit on the internet without reading the terms and conditions (read them, always).  The Ebates Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy are pretty cut and dry, and no different from most sites, but take a look at these statements from Ebates:

We may also share Transaction Information on an anonymous basis with our corporate affiliates (companies commonly owned by Rakuten, Inc.) in order to understand industry trends. This anonymous Transaction Information may be aggregated with other information and shared as general shopping analysis and trends.

We share this Transaction Information as needed with our affiliate network partners and merchant partners in order to confirm your Cash Back faster and more reliably, and we use it to provide you more relevant and interesting offers.

We share your Personal Information with third parties only in the ways that are described in this privacy policy. We do not sell your Personal Information to third parties.

That last part is important.  They don’t sell your personal information.  If they did, I would not recommend joining Ebates.  But they don’t.  So it’s all good.  Sign up already and start getting a check for clicking one additional button when you shop online.

Basically, Ebates keeps track of what you buy so they can let online merchants know what’s hot in the streets.  They probably break it down by demographics and make all sorts of graphs and charts and shit and have board meetings about it.  Personally I couldn’t give two shits who knows what I’m buying online (spoiler alert, it’s sneakers), so I’m cool with it.  For what it’s worth, I’m also cool with targeted ads. I’d much rather see pictures of Yeezys and Space Jam 11 Jordans on the sides of my internet browsers than the generic random shit that would be there if I wasn’t being targeted.  So go ahead, Ebates.  Tell your affiliates how I bought 3 pairs of the same sneaker.  IDGAF.

One last time. Use my link to sign up.  Thanks in advance.