DON'T Buy It Now on eBay without using Live.com cashback

by Torley Wong on 8 May 2009 8 comments
Photo: Torley

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:

  1. Sign up for a Live.com account.
  2. Do a Live.com search for a keyword match like "bullion". A special link notifying you of a % cashback offer appears.
  3. Click the link and purchase an eligible item — so far, they've been "Buy It Now" with PayPal, not regular auctions.
  4. 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:

If you'd rather not do that, you can setup a Deal Alert at SlickDeals.net which'll inform you of epic threads like this.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW

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.

Tips

  • 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!

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Guest's picture
Mkcoy

Thanks for these tips. And thanks for the link to the Cashback % Notifier. Very useful. I've set an alert and will wait see what happens :)

Guest's picture

It should also be noted that a person can only get cashback from eBay for a limited number of purchases. I think the limit is 12 and I have not personally verified this limit but I have read about it in other forums (dealighted, fatwallet).

http://cool-mo-dee.blogspot.com/

Guest's picture

Aaron from the Live Search Cashback Team here...

This post does a fantastic job of explaining Cashback, but if anyone has any questions, you can post comments here, and then tweet us on Twitter @cashbackdotcom. Wise Bread has a great Twitter page to @WiseBread. Love your guys' tweets.

Thanks for this GREAT article on Cashback Torley :) and that's awesome that you got $600 back... I think I would go for a trip if I could ever find some time...

Torley Wong's picture

@Mkcoy Yay! Alas, it dropped from 10% back to 8% recently, so many eyes are watching for a climb.

 

@Adam Yes, I think that may've actually changed over time, which is why I linked to terms and conditions.

 

@Aaron Oh yay, thanks for commenting and making your presence known! I didn't know you were on Twitter, and I appreciate you sharing this so Live Cashback fans can communicate better and directly with you!

Guest's picture
Sandy

My brother and I both have eBay businesses and we advertise this within our auctions so that our customers can save money. We don't jack up the price like some others do so we've had some success with this. :) The only problem is that some of our customers don't think that it's legitimate or expect that we are the ones giving cash back and expect us to lower prices immediately.

Otherwise, great program!

Guest's picture
TJ

the notifier tool you linked is no longer working as it shows 0% cashback even though bing.com shows 8% cashback now.

The alternative is http://www.cashbackr.com which lists keywords that currently offer cashback and has cashback notification as well. It has a nice cashback trend page

Guest's picture
shellyagal

I am a regular online frugal shopper and mostly use cash back portals like Bing, ShopAtHome, AAfter Search and Ebates.

Guest's picture

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