New Rewards Program Review

June 27, 2006 · 2 comments

Jellyfish Review – Update, 2/2009:  Site closed – read more here

Please click here to join. launched in beta on 6/26/06. It’s open to U.S. and Canadian citizens 18 years or older.

There are currently over 1,000 merchants participating in the program, and although there are some big retailers not currently participating in the program, the site’s blog promises that they’ll be adding, “thousands of additonal retailers” as the beta period continues.

Jellyfish has a $10 minimum payout. You can choose either PayPal or check, and you can request payout at any time after that $10 threshhold has been met. Their procedure is to put your shopping rebates earned into a pending status until the merchant pays them, which they say could be 60 to 120 days.

Jellyfish’s rates are outstanding. In my 2007 Shopping Rebates Comparison Chart, Jellyfish had the second highest rebates out of 21 programs reviewed.

What really makes Jellyfish unique, however, is that it adds to its rewards program a comparison shopping tool. If you know that you want to buy an iPod Nano, plug that into the search box, choose your model, and what comes up next will be a list of merchants that sell it, sorted by total price after tax and shipping less the rebate to your Jellyfish account. This is a TREMENDOUSLY useful feature for diehard shoppers looking for the best deal available.

Now if, on the other hand, all you know is that you want to buy an MP3 player, you can do a search by category, choosing Electronics, Portable Audio, MP3 players…then you’ll see the price ranges of the various models, and when you pick one, voila! You get the same total price sort as above.

We can’t see it from the end user side, but Jellyfish uses an advertising model that gives merchants an incentive to drive down product prices in order to achieve higher listing on the price search results. However they handle their merchant accounting behind the scenes, the end result is that Jellyfish shoppers will get better prices than you can find elsewhere…in addition to the rebate!

If the prices are still a little too high for your taste, you can set a Price Alert that’ll let you know when that item drops below a maximum price you select.

Most shopping comparison sites also have something in place to show how reputable their merchants are. Jellyfish does this a little differently — they ask all shoppers to come to them with any problems that they can’t seem to resolve with their merchants. Then Jellyfish will “become your advocate,” and work with the merchant to resolve the problem to your satisfaction.

If they can’t help, they’ll take a point off the merchant’s satisfaction score. A score below 80 gets the merchant kicked off Jellyfish, so it’s in the merchant’s best interest to make you happy.

In November 2006, Jellyfish added Smack Shopping, where a limited quantity of some really cool item is placed on a reverse auction, and the rebate percentage increases over time, dropping the final cost after rebate, until the item is sold out. See the Related Articles below for more information on the Smack Deal!

Summary: is new and feature-laden, with an emphasis on giving consumers the information they need to make the best deal with the retailers they feature. As the site continues and eventually emerges from beta to a full launch, expect to see more advertisers and more products added and site functions tweaked. Their director of business development has responded quickly to several inquiry emails I’ve sent, and the whole group seems very receptive to suggestions. I think this site has incredible potential.

Related Articles: 2007 Shopping Rebates Comparison Chart, Cyber Monday Promo at, Jellyfish Black Friday 24-Hour Smack Fest, The Full Scoop on the Smack Shopping Deal of the Day, Jellyfish Smack Shopping Deal of the Day, 2006 Shopping Rebates Comparison Chart

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Harrison June 27, 2006 at 7:02 pm

A nice looking site with some very strong rebates (and some notable ommissions), but worth all the hype?


Harrison June 28, 2006 at 10:56 am

As far as I can tell, Jellyfish will not have lower prices than what the merchants offer at their stores, only lower “bottom line prices” (the price after the rebate is paid). The rebate % is where stores will compete in the auction format. Of course they can lower their prices too, but these will not be specific to Jellyfish customers.
I continue to wonder whether this is really different from the standard cash back model or just a clever spin on the same concept. I think it’s notable to point out that rebate %’s are store-specific, not product-specific, just like any other cash back program – so how effectively can this system work if a merchant has to discount its entire inventory across the board, rather than on products where it’s particularly strong?
What’s clear is that Jellyfish has been very effective in its marketing campaign thus far and has an opportunity to capture an audience that up to now has been largely underserved by the current crop of rewards programs, largely due to its excellent user interface. Whether under the hood it is truly different than other cash back programs is an open question, imho.


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