DON'T Buy It Now on eBay without using Live.com cashback
You've been saving money with your online purchases thanks to Wise Bread, but wanna save even more? I know that got your attention.
Periodically, eBay and Microsoft's Live.com run a joint promotion to award you cashback. It's plausibly beneficial for them because it drives traffic and ad revenue to Live amidst Google's dominance. Whatever the reasons, here's basically how it works:
- Sign up for a Live.com account.
- Do a Live.com search for a keyword match like "bullion". A special link notifying you of a % cashback offer appears.
- Click the link and purchase an eligible item — so far, they've been "Buy It Now" with PayPal, not regular auctions.
- Cashback either gets awarded within a 60-day window, or in some cases (apparently random), instantly.
You can read the terms and conditions, which include a limit of total cashback and transactions.
Too good to be true?
At one point, I was skeptical — 35% cashback!? — but this is from eBay and Microsoft, not some shady fly-by-night operation. Alas, today the cashback is lower, at 10%, but up from 8% in days earlier. (But down from 14% that.) How do I know?
Use these tools
There's a useful tool called MS Live.com eBay Cashback % Notifier, thanks to a "Waffle S.S." aka Abe Voelker. It does what it claims: enter a target cashback value and your email address. When it hits or exceeds that mark, you'll be notified as I was today:
I've earned over $600 cashback since my purchases last year — heck, that's enough to buy a Mac mini, or a combination of things you deem valuable. Each of us has our priorities; just don't go spending on eBay without this advantage.
- Many retail stores, including Buy.com and Tiger Direct, and specialty goods like Nova Musik, have eBay presences in addition to their dot-com webshops. Compare the prices, and if they and other factors are equivalent, you'll save by buying through eBay with cashback.
- With competing listings around the same total price range, focus on where shipping is included in the "Buy It Now" price and (often) advertised as "free shipping". Why? Because cashback applies to the item price but not to shipping. Try asking a seller if they'd be willing to make a change for you.
- Watch cashback phases like a hawk, because when it ascends to a lucrative percentage, many eBay sellers jack up their prices to nullify any cashback advantage.
- On occasion, some keywords return higher cashback than others. Stay on top of these, too.
- Don't hold out too long if it's a matter of a few dollars; it's a sort of gamble, as the people waiting for 14% cashback to climb to 20% or higher recently found out when it dropped to 8%.
Have you saved big with eBay's Live.com cashback? Have tips for using it more effectively? Let me know in the comments!