Ebates Article in Washington Times

September 14, 2009 · 0 comments

Ebates (aff) got a nice write-up in the Washington Times today: “Ebates.com links shoppers, store sites — Coupons in a click.
In the article, Ebates CEO Kevin Johnson says that 8% of Ebates shoppers are millionaires, people who can afford to pay full price but don’t choose to. Making smart financial choices is probably part of the reason they’re millionaires in the first place, I would think. The median income of Ebates’ shoppers is $75,000.
Johnson says that the average Ebates cashback check is $120. That’s for 3 months of cashback shopping, as they pay quarterly. I’m surprised that it’s that high (especially these days), but maybe the average is skewed by a couple of big corporate shoppers. He did say that this quarter they cut their largest Big Fat Check ever, in the amount of $41,000! That check obviously didn’t go to one of the $75K median income households.
While the article sings Ebates’ (well-deserved, IMHO) praises, it does finally acknowledge that they’re not the only ones hooking up shoppers with cashback, mentioning Upromise (aff) and Bing Cashback.
It erroneously states that Upromise account earnings are added to a tax-free college savings account or that they go toward paying off student loans “instead of sending the cash directly to the shopper.” In actuality, the cashback from Upromise sits in your Upromise account until you choose what to do with it…which CAN be a transfer to a 529 college savings plan or toward an outstanding student loan, but it can ALSO be paid to the member by check.
The article also fails to mention — and I really think it should, since the article is subtitled “Coupons in a click” — the fact that Bing Cashback does not permit the use of online coupon codes. (Yes, I know that sometimes people do get credited for Bing cashback when using coupons, but it varies by the policy of each Bing merchant and they say in general not to use coupon codes with Bing.)
Ebates’ CEO Johnson acknowledges that it hasn’t entered the arena of offering grocery coupons yet, and I think the article should have mentioned a couple of websites that have the edge on them in that regard: MyPoints (aff) and QuickRewards.net (aff). These programs provide printable coupons for $.40 – $5 off groceries and health/beauty items in-store, and they also provide a small incentive to their members to print the coupons through their websites.
All in all, I think it was a fair representation of how cashback sites work, though, and I hope that it will encourage readers to go online and find out more about the savings they’re missing.

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