Do you shop online? Then you need to be shopping through Ebates.
Ebates is a portal to other Websites and every time you shop there, you can earn up to 25 percent back on your purchases. You can shop at more than 900 stores through Ebates, including Barnes and Noble, Target, QVC, Gap, Macys, Nordstrom, Wal-Mart, JCPenney, Kmart, Sears, Home Depot, Snapfish and the list goes on.
And just for signing up, Ebates will give you a $5 credit -- and maybe a free gift card, too. (I've seen both offered on the site.) And for every friend you refer to Ebates, you can receive a $5 referral credit if they sign up.
Every three months, Ebates sends out Big Fat Checks to its members. (You'll get a check if your cashback earnings total $5.01 for the quarter. If they don't, don't worry. Ebates will roll that money over to the next payment period and send you your check when you hit the magical $5.01 threshhold.)
In addition to offering cash back on all your purchases, Ebates has great coupons for the online merchants that are affiliated with its site. So, just as you might do in a store, you can stack deals -- use a coupon and still earn cashback credit.
I'm a big online shopper, and I'm just kicking myself for not signing up for Ebates sooner. I could have pocketed a lot of money over the years for all I've bought from Nordstrom, Target and QVC and other online merchants. Drats!
But I'm earning that money now. I bought my husband the "Bull Durham" DVD for Father's Day as part of a baseball-themed gift -- (we're going to see Kevin Costner's band in concert at the Durham Athletic Park in celebration of July 4 and the 20th anniversary of "Bull Durham.") And I earned cash back on that. Ditto for the stick vaccuum I bought today at QVC. Man, I wish we had an Ebates account when we bought a portable air conditioner for our office from there. We would have earned a nice credit on that purchase.
I encourage you to sign up for Ebates if you regularly shop online. You'll have to get into the habit of going to Ebates first if you want to buy something online, but that should be easy enough if you're always in the mindset of saving (and earning) money.
Getting paid for shopping -- now that's my dream job! And I'm living it now, thanks to Ebates.