Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ebates, you are my favorite friend

I discovered Ebates a while ago, and can honestly say that it's the greatest thing since online shopping was invented. How it works:
  1. Register for free with
  2. When you online shop at certain stores, log into Ebates first so they can track your purchases
  3. Buy stuff you would anyway, and get a percentage of that money back from Ebates
That's it. Take your money to the bank and feel like you got away with something.

I haven't used Ebates a ton, because I don't buy a ton of stuff, but I recently replaced my cell phone, and it was pretty awesome.

I hate cell phone salesmen--they seem to be the last holdout of the "aggressive salesman" model, at least among people that I have to deal with semi-regularly. Two years ago, when my previous cell phone died, I went to the kiosk in the mall to buy a replacement battery, and got sold a whole new phone. The new phone was a total lemon and for two years I hated it and the man who sold it to me. He also failed to mention that there would be all kinds of fees for changing phones, that the service provider I have basically doesn't stand behind their products and won't help you out if you get sold a lemon of a phone and generally made me feel very uncomfortable.

This time around, I did lots of web-based research, and found the phone I wanted. Because My contract was up, the phone was free, and because I bought it through Ebates, I got back $15. The money was delivered right into my paypal, no muss no fuss, and all for something I had to buy anyway.

I also recently found out that you can purchase Groupons through Ebates-- so you're basically getting cash back for buying a pre-paid great deal on something. Does that even make sense? For example: This past weekend's Groupon in my area is for a 51% discount on the Amica Marathon, Half-Marathon and 5k. This fills me with rage because I've already registered for that race and not gotten 51% off, but no matter. If I were registering for the 1/2 marathon using a Groupon, I would already be paying only $30 instead of $60, but if I did it through Ebates, I'd save another 6%, or in this case $1.80. That's not a ton of money, but it's savings, and takes very little time to get.

I love Ebates.

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