You might have heard of cashback sites before.
You’ve seen an add, heard your favorite Youtuber promote one of them, or a friend tried to sign you up for it, but you weren’t sure if it’s a scam. Well, they’re not scams, but “free money” does sound a bit dodgy.
So to clear up how it all works, here’s a step by step guide to using cashback sites and how exactly they work.
Register for a Site
There are different kinds of cashback sites – some are free, and some are premium, meaning you have to pay a small initial fee to register. Remember that just because you have to pay a fee doesn’t mean it’s a scam. Either way, you’ll need to set up an account with some basic information and confirm your email.
Some sites will ask for your payment details on sign-up, while others will ask for it whenever you get the first payout. Either way, you’ll need to give the details, and if you’re a bit unsure, going through PayPal can be a safer option.
See What You Want to Buy
The cashback sites will have everything they offer listed right there on the site, often divided by categories that you can browse through. This is one way you can get the deals, but once you see what brands are represented on the site, you can go there directly and browse easily. It’s not always available, but as we can see in this review from DyerNews.com, some cashback apps will display a sign next to the website when you search it on google. This is a great addition and will help you find deals a lot easier.
So how to cashback work? The point is that you have to access the thing you’re purchasing via the link in the cashback site. They know this by checking your cookies. Cookies are often mentioned on websites (that annoying banner you have to accept), but a lot of people don’t know what they are. They’re just tiny pieces of information about how you got to the site, what you clicked on and where you went afterward. They are how websites gather data about you.
You might think it’s a breach of privacy, but here it works in your favor because it’s how the cashback site knows that you made a purchase through their link. This means that if you’ve browsed the retail website directly, you’ll want to clear your cookies first, so there’s a clear trail of how you got there. If not, the cashback site might not register your purchase.
The way it works is every time you make a purchase through the cashback site, a small portion of the price (it usually works in percentages) is collected into your account. The more you shop, the more you’ll collect – but this isn’t free money, it’s just a portion of the money you spent, so don’t go too crazy.
Some sites will offer periodic payments, meaning you’ll get the money every two weeks or every month, regardless of how much money it is, while others will do it once you reach a certain sum. Either way, remember that it takes some time to process the payments, so you might be waiting for up to two weeks for the money to reach your account.
On a lot of cashback sites, you have the option to refer a friend to the site, and if they sign up using your code, you’ll receive a cash bonus when they reach a certain level. The more friends you refer, the more cash you can get, as long as they actually use the service.
It Doesn’t Always Work
Cashback sites aren’t an exact science, so the transactions won’t always work. You’ll sometimes have an issue where your browser or antivirus program doesn’t allow the site to collect the cookies and register the transaction, or there might already be a discount on the item you want to buy, in which case you can’t apply a double discount. You should never think of the cashback app as a source of income, but more like a way to get back some of the money you put into the things you buy.
Cashback sites are a great way to feel a bit less guilty for splurging on something online, and you’ll actually get a small sum of money periodically, which can be used as a good way to save up for a treat. So feel free to register to a site of your choice and start getting some money!