Ebates | Can You Really Make Money After Shopping Online Using Ebates or is It an Outright Scam?
As the world becomes more digital with technological innovations, we are gradually changing our behaviors to befit the modern world. That being said, shopping is one of the areas of life that has been revolutionized through tech. The internet is rapidly replacing the conventional physical market in most industries.
From physical products to services, you can purchase virtually anything online nowadays. Due to the ease of running an online enterprise, competition in the online market is quite stiff. For this reason, online stores work closely with advertising agencies and websites to drive customers to their websites.
Ebates is somewhat of an advertisement company that pays you to shop at specific websites through Ebates referral links. As such, Ebates is essentially an affiliate revenue-sharing website. In this Ebates review, we will focus on investigating whether you can really make money with this site or not.
At LegitWorkOnlineForReal, our mission is to help our community of online entrepreneurs find legit work online, at home job opportunities. We understand that there are as many online scams as there are legit online gigs. Our goal is to help you and other online job seekers differentiate between legitimate online businesses and online scams.
This review is divided into the following segments:
- When was it started?
- What is Ebates all About?
- What does it cost to join?
- How to make money with Ebates
- The referral program
- How were users paid?
- What we liked about Ebates
- Good vs. Bad qualities
- What are internet users saying about the website?
When Was It Started?
Ebates was founded in 1998 by a duo of Deputy District Attorneys, in Silicon Valley. Before registering Ebates, the two lawyers made a living prosecuting identity theft and online fraud. With that history, you can rest assured that you are doing business with a legitimate company.
The company was later acquired by Rakuten, a Japanese e-commerce company, in 2014 for $1 billion. As the founders sit pretty enjoying their new-found fortune, Ebates takes up new leadership and management under a different name, Rakuten.
In this review, we will focus more on explaining what Ebates used to be, while providing some insights into what Rakuten is doing today.
What Was Ebates All About?
Ebates, now Rakuten, was a website that offered it’s members a legitimate opportunity to earn money by making online purchases at specific e-commerce platforms. As an affiliate marketing company, Ebates had over 2,000 affiliate stores including Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, and Target.
So, how did the business model work? Well, the partner affiliate online stores would pay Ebates a commission for directing customers to their online stores. In return, Ebates would share some of this commission with it’s member’s for using Ebates affiliate link’s to shop at the featured stores.
To put it differently, Ebates served as a middleman between online stores and customers. The relationship among the three parties was symbiotic – it was a win-win for everyone. Instead of signing into your favorite online store directly, you would log into your Ebates account, find your preferred online store, shop, and get your rebates or cash back.
P.S: Rakuten works pretty much the same way!
What Did It Cost to Join Ebates?
Signing up or creating an account with Ebates was absolutely free. Yes, this opportunity was granted to it’s members free of charge! While some online businesses require you to pay a registration fee, Ebates would award new members a sign-up bonus for simply opening an account with them. Lucrative, right?
There were two sign-up bonus options: a $10 Ebates cash bonus or a $10 Walmart gift card. In the same vein, Ebates had three sign-in options: Google account, Facebook account, or email address. The website was open to everyone, including those not residing in the US and Canada.
However, you had to ascertain that the featured online stores shipped to your country of residence before signing up. Members had to be at least 18 years or older.
How To Make Money with Ebates
The primary way to make money with this site was through cash backs, after making online purchases. However, that was not the only money-making avenue. Members could also make money by referring others to join the website.
The referral program:
The Ebates referral program allowed members to earn extra income in the form of referral bonuses. For you to earn a referral bonus, the person you had referred would have to maintain an active account. This meant that they would have to make a qualifying online purchase of at least $25 within the first 90 days, after acquiring membership.
With an Ebates Cash Back Visa Credit Card, you could earn an extra 3-4% rebate whenever you used it to make purchases. The Ebates Credit Card was free – with no annual charge or anything. However, only those with a healthy credit score were eligible to apply for the card.
How Did Ebates Pay Its Members?
Payment options happen to be one of the vital elements that one must check out when contemplating signing up with any online job platform. Ebates offered three payment options and paid it’s members quarterly.
After exceeding the set minimum account balance of $5, you could choose to receive your money via check, PayPal, or contribute to charity.
What We Liked About Ebates
Below are some of the facts that stood out to us, concerning this affiliates marketing website:
Unlike most online affiliate marketing websites, Ebates was a popular brand in the industry. As of 2013, just before the merger with Rakuten, customers had trusted the website with over $2.2 billion. Ebates members enjoyed the peace of mind, knowing that they were using a legit site.
Multiple Payment Options:
Another added advantage was that members had three ways to cash out their earnings: via check, PayPal, or charity donation. There is nothing that beats having the power to choose how to get paid when dealing with online business sites.
Good vs. Bad Qualities
Though a legit affiliate marketing website with a track record of paying its users, Ebates had it’s advantages and disadvantages. Below is a breakdown of the site’s pros and cons:
- It was free to join
- It was available globally
- It offered multiple ways to make money
- It offered multiple ways to receive your money
- It offered cash payments
- Featured many online stores
- You had to be at least 18 years old to use the website
- Members would have to wait for a long time before receiving payments
- The earnings were relatively low
What Are Internet Users Saying About Ebates?
As of this writing, Rakuten has a 4.27/5 star rating from over 2,140 reviews on SiteJabber. The high rating is an indication that most of the site’s users are happy with it’s offerings. Below are some of the comments published by users on Sitejabber:
Our Conclusion For Ebates:
Ebates (now Rakuten), was a legitimate website that allowed users to make money through cash back after shopping online. Ebates.com was free to join and available in all countries where the partner stores shipped. Though Ebates was rebranded to Rakuten, the new website offers pretty much everything that Ebates used to offer.
Although cash backs are a cool way to earn an extra $20 or $50 at best every month, the earnings are not sufficient to pay your monthly bills. If you are looking for an online job opportunity that will help you pay most of your bills, you should check out alternative online jobs such as Wealthy Affiliate, Freelancer.com, Upwork, Fiverr, and more (We have reviewed these websites here at LegitWorkOnlineForReal).
Having come to the end of our Ebates review, you are welcome to share your experience and comments with us in the comments sections below. Thank you and see you in our next review.
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