There are so many apps and websites that claim to help you save money, but sadly many turn out to be scams and end up costing you money. That’s why it’s wise to check out any app that makes such a claim and if you’re reading this, you already know that and we congratulate you. You’re making a smart step by researching first, especially in this case, because you found this article when researching a company called Ebates. Why may Ebates make someone nervous enough to research it before using? Because they say they will give you cash back just for using their app or website to shop at stores you already shop at, which may sound just too good to be true and why it’s good to investigate the truth behind that offer. So let’s get down to it. We’ll look into what Ebates is, how safe it is to use and if Ebates is a scam and then finally answer this question: Can you really get money just by using Ebates?
What is Ebates?
Let’s start with a very quick overview of what Ebates is. Ebates is a company that created an app and website and partnered up with over 2,000 stores, online and brick and mortar, in order to offer shoppers cash back on their purchases. They basically have made a name as an instant rebate company. If you’ve ever done a rebate, the type you have to buy the product and then submit your receipt and and other proof of purchase for and then you usually waited weeks to get a check in the mail, you know what a pain that whole process can be. Ebates uses their name to denote that they basically work on this premise but you’re not waiting for your rebate.
How they really work though isn’t exactly as a rebate site, but as an affiliate or a site that gets a commission from your purchase. What does this mean? That is that they set up an agreement with the retailers and in exchange for sharing the retailer’s website and its coupons on their app or online site, and basically encouraging people to shop with them, the retailer will give them a percentage of your purchase, They then share part of this percentage with you. For example, if you shop at Walmart through Ebates, you will get 2% back from your total purchase and Ebates may also get the same 2% or more or less, whatever percentage they’ve worked out with the store. Ebates also gets special coupon codes from the retailers and they share these as well on their site.
Is Ebates Safe?
Ebates actually has a kind of interesting back story, one that helps you to feel a bit safer when using it, and that is that it was founded in 1998 by two deputy district attorneys in Silicon Valley that were actually prosecutors of those that were perpetrating online fraud, scams and identity theft. Due to this past experience and a zeal to ensure their users are safe, Ebates says that they are very diligent about the safety of their website and app and that you’re information is safe with them.
What information do they get? If you only use Ebates for online shopping all the information you give them is your name and an address to send the check to. If you prefer to be paid through PayPal, you can enter your PayPal email but they have no access to it. They also can pay you in gift card form, and again, that means no major personal information is getting out there.
However, if you do want to use Ebates with a local store you can set up a credit card with them to keep on file that they will only use as proof of purchase. This way when you use your card at a retailer, say Walmart for example, it will automatically let Ebates know that you shopped at Walmart and then apply the percentage that it’s currently offering back into your account. Since you will have credit card information stored on their site it’s wise to make sure that they’re protected. How can you tell? If a site has a little padlock icon next to their name in the URL or search bar and starts with ‘https’ (the ‘s’ being important) the site is protected and okay to use for financial transactions.
Bottom line: Is Ebates safe? Yes, it is absolutely safe to use and well protected. Can they be hacked? Certainly, any website can, but Ebates has a good record of no loss of personal information and has so far been extremely well protected. If you have any concerns at all, just limit your shopping through them to online shopping and this way they will not have any of your financial details.
It’s Safe But Is Ebates a Scam?
For anyone that may first come across Ebates it certainly does seem too good to be true, after all it’s the promise of free money. They tell you that all you have to do is shop through a retailer you were already going to shop through and in exchange for you coming to them to click ‘shop now’ instead of going directly to the retailer they will give you a percentage of your purchase back.
This may sound too good to be true, but it’s actually not. It’s all about money, they’re not doing this out of pure goodness of heart, they too are making some bucks on this or they wouldn’t do it. As explained earlier in how Ebates works, they figured out a way to have a partnership with the largest retailers online and in exchange for encouraging you to click the retailer’s link through their app instead of you going directly to the retailer they get some money and then they shared a part of that money with you, too. This keeps them and you happy.
Bottom line: Ebates is not a scam. People have been using Ebates for nearly 20 years now without issue. One note on this: When first using the site some get upset if they don’t notice their cash back from a purchase immediately. It takes time for the merchant to tell Ebates about your transaction so it’s good to just be patient. But, if you notice one of your purchases isn’t showing up after a few days it’s very easy to rectify. We found that they have an amazing customer service and with just a few clicks in a help form they add the funds to your account almost immediately after contacting them.
So, Can You Really Get Money Just From Using Ebates?
So, that’s it. Ebates is not a scam, it’s safe to use and you will indeed get money just for using them to shop through. In fact, many of us here at TheHighTechSociety.com use Ebates with just about all of our online shopping purchases and have gotten our money back through PayPal or check. If you like shopping online, love getting a good deal or saving money, we think you’ll like it too, but if you don’t, we definitely want to hear from you so we can be aware of any issues so please be sure to comment below.
This isn’t the end to our information on Ebates. If you’d like to know more about how to save money with this service we encourage you to read our article tomorrow on How to Save Money with Ebates so you can see more tips and a bit more how to use it and earn even more cash back.
Want to sign up for Ebates and get $10 for doing so? They have a deal going on now where you will get $10 after your first $25 purchase.
*TheHighTechSociety has no affiliation or partnership with Ebates. This article is our honest review and opinion of the company after research and trying it out ourselves.