Bing to Increase Ebay Cashback to 15% Starting Monday, Other Increases Confirmed; A Loophole?

August 8, 2009 · 0 comments

Update, 8/11: Read my recap of the issues related to this promotion, including Bing’s failure to live up to the 15% eBay cashback promise, here.
According to Microsoft’s Bing Cashback Facebook page, cashback for Ebay purchases WILL be included in the increased cashback offer starting on Monday, at an impressive 15% rate. Although it’s not as good as the 35% that we saw last fall, it’s still much higher than competing rewards programs offer.
For the uninitiated: no, you won’t find Ebay on the Bing Cashback merchants listing; you have to find a “sponsored ad” in the search results on that triggers the cashback offer. As of this writing, a Bing search for gift cards is triggering the Ebay cashback offer, but the search terms do change, so you may have to try something else, possibly related to video games or electronics, if gift cards doesn’t work for you.
Other cashback increases to begin on Monday have been confirmed on Bing Cashback’s Facebook, including 30% at Ebags, 25% at, 20% at Shoebuy and, 15% at HP and Sears, and 12.5% at Tiger Direct.
A potential loophole in this promotion was brought up in response to a Facebook poster’s question of why Bing’s wording on their Facebook posts is “up to x% cashback” rather than just x% cashback. Bing’s response: “We announced that Sears will be offering ‘up to 15% Bing cashback’ because although Sears will be offering 15% cashback on Aug. 10th, all of our participating retailers have the right to lower the cashback percentage that they offer for specific products at any time. I hope that this helps to clear up any confusion. Enjoy the back to school extra cashback!”
With Bing paying for the double cashback, why would a merchant request a lower rate on “specific products”? And how would you know what those specific products were if you shopped through a sponsored link that popped up in a search?
I don’t like this verbiage at all and am concerned that it gives Microsoft/Bing, and their merchants, way too much wiggle room to avoid paying the promised cashback increases.
So, be forewarned that this loophole does exist, but hopefully it won’t be an issue. You may want to take a screenshot of the sponsored results that show the increased cashback before you click through to the merchant, as well as the order confirmation page showing the amount eligible for Bing cashback, just in case. ;)

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