Microsoft Live Cashback Changes Names to Bing Cashback; My Critique

June 1, 2009 · 0 comments

First it was Then it was Live Cashback. Now, yet another name change (though this time, there’s no change in ownership — it’s still Microsoft but by another name), to Bing Cashback.
The switchover happened around midnight, and while it’s cosmetically a little different, I don’t see any other big changes to the program. If you’re used to going to the site by typing in, it will automatically redirect you to the new address ( To see all stores and their standard cashback rates, click the orange tab on the top left to “cashback stores” — or on the top right click “Shop cashback stores.”
As was the case with Live Cashback, there are still hidden cashback rates to be found by going directly to (vs. and doing a search for specific terms. Most of the search terms I mentioned in my post last Thursday still result in an offer for bonus cashback or cashback at an unlisted merchant, with the exception of “cosmetics” and “watch” (Drugstore and Overstock, respectively). It wasn’t unusual for to have hidden cashback search terms appear and disappear from time to time, so I fully expect Bing to follow suit (in other words, try these and other terms later and you may get the cashback offer then). Update, 6/2: While Ebay sponsored results are showing up offering 8% cashback, when you click through, the green banner on top of Ebay saying that “cashback is active” is no longer there. Waiting on word for whether they will honor cashback at Ebay without the banner — will update when I get a response.
Using Bing to do price comparisons with cashback factored in is pretty much exactly like how it worked way back in the Jellyfish days, except that in addition to a “compare prices” tab, there are tabs for user reviews, product details, and expert reviews. I’ve never liked the price comparison function because it leaves out too much information — I want to know what the product sells for (not just what it is after cashback, because I need to know how much I’m out of pocket upfront), I want to know how much shipping is, and I want to know whether sales tax is charged and if so, how much it’ll be.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
Look at the Bing Shopping results for a Canon Rebel XSI:
It tells me that the cheapest price is at CentralDigital, that I’m getting 6% cashback, and that the “price” is $647.66. But when I click through to the store,
I see that I’m actually out of pocket $689.00. (Though I still don’t know if these guys are going to charge me tax, so it may actually be more.)
The final cost of the item after cashback is important, yes, but it’s also VERY important to know how much I’m going to have to float for 60 to 90 days, until my cashback is available.
And what if these guys charge tax? We have an almost-10% sales tax where I live. That may be an extra $69 tacked on. Theoretically, the number two listing (Digital Foto Club, for $671.95 after cashback) could be a better deal if their shipping cost is low and they don’t charge tax.
This isn’t a problem unique to this latest incarnation of JellyBing; it’s been like this from the start, but I had really hoped to see an improvement in this aspect of the cashback program and it’s just not there. Yet. (A girl can dream!)

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