7 On Your Side: Online Rebates - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

1/1/07

7 On Your Side: Online Rebates

Candice Norie likes to shop online.  She hunts for bargains for herself and also for her employer. 

"It's excellent and there's so many options. I like to search for different stores," say Candice.

And now, thanks to a slew of online rebate websites like E-bates.com, Fatwallet and Cashbackster, Candice actually earns money back on her purchases.

"I get discounts every single time," says Candice.

All you have to do is sign up as user.

The websites have agreements with hundreds of major stores. By going to the rebate site first, and clicking through to the merchant, you get money back.

"What we do is essentially give the sales commission that we get from our merchant partners back to our users," Alessandro Isolani, CEO of Ebates.com.

The sites have search keys that help you find the store or product you're looking for. When you click through you see the amount you'll save.

"This is great because it tells you about all the deals going on, what I can buy it for, the discount that I'm going to get via the cash back," Candice explains.

Rebates typically start at around five percent but can go much higher.

"You're stretching your dollars, getting an extra, 10, 20 30% cash back," says Isolani.

While many sites give cash back, not all do.  Some give airline miles, rewards points, or gift certificates. Some sites credit you within days. Some pay quarterly, while others require a minimum amount in your rebate account before they send a check.

"Be sure that you understand the terms and conditions," says consumer advocate Fran Mitchell.

Mitchell also stresses you still have to watch what you spend.

"Don't continue buying things just to get the rebate, though, which a lot of people fall into thinking 'Oh, well look what I'm saving,'" says Mitchell.

As for Candice, she's a big fan and every time she gives money she's saved back to the boss, she looks like a hero.

She adds, "I've gotten so many praises from my company and supervisors telling me how wonderful I am!"

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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