Interview with Craig Cassata of Mr. Rebates!

November 12, 2012 · 2 comments

In the midst of ramping up activity for a busy upcoming holiday shopping season, the president and CEO of MrRebates, Craig Cassata, was kind enough to take time out for an interview about online shopping in general, about holiday shopping, about the benefits of shopping through the Mr. Rebates cashback program, and more!  Here is our conversation, and if you’re interested in joining MrRebates to get paid to shop online, please click here and you’ll receive a special $7.50 bonus as a thank-you for joining!

Hi, Craig!  Thank you for agreeing to do this interview on the occasion of‘s 11th “birthday.”  I’ve been using and reviewing cashback programs like Mr. Rebates for quite a while, and you’re no stranger to cashback shopping yourself!  How long has Mr. Rebates been in business? 

Mr. Rebates has been in business since February 2002.  We had a great ten year anniversary site promotion earlier this year where we gave away one winner a $10,000 grand prize in celebration of our anniversary.  We also did a slight makeover to the site to modernize things a bit but not take away the classic look and feel.

Funny fact: What was funny about the 10k giveaway was that we had an impossible time in contacting the customer.  We had to send certified mail to actually get through to the winning customer!

What made you decide to start your own cashback shopping program?  Were you an avid online shopper yourself?

Actually, I was more frustrated with the coupon concept in that you didn’t always have a coupon to apply to your online purchases.  It was “hit or miss” per se so a cash back loyalty mechanism works around that problem by giving a nice little reward on each purchase plus a possible coupon as the cherry on top.
I’d say I was a regular online shopper even at that time but my wife can take the crown as an “avid” online shopper!

My friends and family get sick and tired of listening to me sing the praises of cashback shopping!  There are quite a few holdouts that either won’t shop online at all for what they perceive to be security risks, or who do shop online but just don’t get the concept of cashback shopping — though they totally understand searching out coupon codes and don’t mind taking THAT extra step.  What would you say to the holdouts?

I think it comes down to the mindset of the customer in regards to “taking the extra step” for loyalty shopping.  You simply have some customers that will take that extra step and some that will not no matter how much you try to tout the benefits.  I think there is a lot of psychology involved in marketing and the customer itself and you have different strokes for different folks. 

Mr. Rebates runs some of the BEST promotions for its shoppers, with contests plus special increased cashback rates — and they are high already!  Can you give us a hint on what members may expect in terms of holiday promotions from Mr. Rebates this year? 

Well, the last count from our Business Manager was close to 500 stores participating in our “Cash Back Christmas” promotion!  Those stores will offer extra cash back over our regular cash back rates from 11/1/12 to 12/31/12.

I read a headline the other day that said that men are doing more online shopping because they just plain hate going to the mall.  Have you seen an increase in male shoppers through Mr. Rebates?  How would you say online shopping in general, and cashback programs in particular, have changed over the years Mr. Rebates has been in business? 

Yes, we’ve seen an uptick in male shoppers.

I’m sure that the confidence level of consumers has shot up since 2002 in the “safety” of online shopping.  That’s a given as I rarely hear that conversation any longer but in 2002 you’d hear it all the time.  As far as cash back, I think it’s the same phenomenon where consumers “trust” the loyalty system and it certainly doesn’t hurt that shows like “Extreme Couponing” and “Frugality” sites made saving money cool!

You’ve been awesome about attending my annual chats every year, and one of the things I enjoy when you visit with us is that you always share some interesting bit of trivia about Mr. Rebates.  Tell us something we may not already know!

Funny little story, our business manager (Bret Cassata) made a personal trip to give away an iPad to one of our Back to School winners since she was local to our area.  He drove up in his own “prize van”, knocked on the door and pulled an Ed Mcmahon with camera and all.  It was fun and cheesy at the same and the customer was very pleasantly surprised.

Thank you for taking the time to talk with me and my readers.  I’m a big fan of Mr. Rebates and it’s been an honor!

If you use online coupon codes to save money while shopping, you’re only taking advantage of PART of the money-saving equation!  You should really consider joining the FREE Mr. Rebates website and accessing all of your coupon codes there.  Not only will you be saving money with coupon codes but as you click through to the store’s website through Mr. Rebates, every order earns you REAL cash back that you can receive by check or by PayPal if you prefer!  I’m a long-time, very happy member of the site and I recommend it highly.  Give them a try!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ginger Jones November 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Great interview. I hope we see a representative at the chat bash this coming Saturday. :)


Becky November 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm

As a matter of fact…we will! ;)

Bret (mentioned in the interview) will be attending as a MrRebates representative and featured guest!


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