Using Rebate Programs for Online Arbitrage (OA)
If you do any shopping online, you should consider signing up for a rebate program. In fact I use two - Ebates and Mr Rebates. Let's look at the reasons to use these programs and how they work.
Update: I now also use TopCashBack as it often has the highest rebate amount for several stores.
Why I Use Rebate Programs
There are 2 good things about using Ebates and Mr Rebates. Firstly, they pay you cashback on your online shopping. The amount of cashback ranges from 1% to 15% depending on where you shop. If you are a "normal" online shopper that could amount to some nice change. Imagine if you spent $400 a month online and received an average of 5% in rebates, that would amount to $20 of free money every month. Now what if you were an Amazon or Ebay seller who buys for online retail arbitrage. In March 2-14, I spent about $3000 on online arbitrage. At that rate, my cash back would be $150 - not bad for free money. I aim to spend at least $5000 monthly on online retail arbitrage, so the rebates could add up to several thousand dollars a year!
The second way I use these sites is to find places to source. I don't know even 2% of the online stores available in the US, but through Ebates and Mr Rebates, I am able to access the list of over 1000 stores that they have a cash back tie up with. Now all I have to do is spend the time and effort to systematically trawl through these goldmines to strike gold!
How Do They Work?
Many online stores have an affiliate program where any referral to buy from them is given a small commission. For example Amazon's Associate program pays between 4%-8.5% referral fees for referral sales (this is taken from the 15% fee Amazon charges their sellers to sell on their platform). Ebates and Mr Rebates are affiliated with thousands of such online stores and essentially share part of the commissions they earn with their users.
To get these cashback, all we have to do is sign up for a free account at Ebates and Mr Rebates. By signing up through the links on this site, you will receive a bonus sign up cash reward of $5 (might vary from time to time). After opening an account, whenever you want to purchase online just remember to go to either rebate website first, compare the rebate rates and click through the link to your store of choice. The rebates will then be automatically credited on your purchase amount.
How Do You Get Paid?
Payouts are usually by check or Paypal transfer at fixed quarterly dates for Ebates and 3 months after your purchases for Mr Rebates. The time lapse is to allow a buffer in case buyers return their purchases, which would void the rebate eligibility.
So what are you waiting for? Don't leave gravy on the table! Sign up for TopCashback, Ebates and Mr Rebates right now!