How to get paid for shopping online

How to get paid for shopping online
Angela Davis, founder of Frugal Living NW.

Cashback websites sound too good to be true.  But they’re actually a little-known way to make real money by purchasing products online that you’re going to buy anyway.

Angela Davis is the founder of Frugal Living NW.  She says cashback sites are for real.  Popular ones include Big Crumbs, Extra Bux, Top Cash Back, and Davis’ favorite, Ebates.

These sites are like the outside walls of a mall. You open the doors and walk in. Then you shop like you normally would at your favorite websites. The difference? The cashback sites pay you a percentage of your total purchases.
    
“What happens is merchants’ websites give a commission to other websites to bring customers to them,” explains Davis.  “What Ebates does is they make a deal with the merchants, and they say, ‘give us a little bit higher commission, and we will bring you a large number of customers’.”

“To the consumer they say, ‘go through our site first, and we will split the commission with you’,” adds Davis.

You end up paying exactly the same for a particular product going through cashback websites as you would going to the store’s website directly.

Nearly all the major retailers are inside these virtual malls.

At most cashback websites, you still can use your other money-saver strategies, like discount and free shipping codes. 

The percentage back ranges from one to 50 percent, depending on the store, and it fluctuates, especially around the holidays.

So ultimately, how much could you bank this holiday season?

“I think if you did most of your shopping online for Christmas, and you used the cashback sites, you're probably looking at $50 to $100,” estimates Davis.

Ebates sends you a check every quarter.  Also, when you sign up with Ebates, you get a $10 gift card of your choice. Sign up friends, and you’ll earn even more.