No, this isn’t another blatant advertisement for my auctions, but a legitimate offer for free money from eBay.
I find that Ebay periodically gives out some incentives for users to buy or sell products. Most often, those seem to be pushes for “Free listing weekends,” that allow sellers to put auctions up without having to pay the origination fee for posting them. I don’t follow up on those offers because they happen relatively frequently and because I have a sinking suspicion that those times are coinciding with times that other people aren’t listing on the site. My theory is that if people aren’t listing at those times of the year (often on holiday weekends), you’re also probably not getting as much traffic for similar reasons as people aren’t listing, and that results in fewer buyers and lower final prices for me. I’m not sure if my logic is at all sound, but that’s the reason why I don’t participate.
There are also a few holy grails that they throw out. On rare occasions (no more than once per year), eBay will just send a voucher that says you can take $XX off a final listing price. Generally it has conditions, like: $10 off your next purchase of $50 or more if you use it by a certain date. Still, prices on eBay are usually comparable to those found on Amazon for the same item, and are not uncommonly even a bit cheaper, so that $10 off coupon is really just free money to me. I can always find something I “need” by the end date.
But that’s not what this post is about. This is really about more consistent (albeit smaller) savings throughout the year using “Ebay Bucks.”
Before I get too far, I should mention that I don’t get any credit for this. There may be a referral program for this service, but if there is, I’m not aware of it and am not using it. I’m just letting you know that there’s free money out there for you.
Of course you have to spend money to make money, and this is no exception. The program basics are simple.
- Sign up
- Buy things
- Earn 2% back on “most items” (including any hobby related things, considering you’re coming to this blog, I assume your hobbies are similar to mine)
- After you earn $5, you get “Ebay Bucks” to spend
Really, it’s no different than most other rewards programs, except you’re not really giving up any personal information to do so. When you sign up for such a card from your grocery store, you’re giving them the ability to track your purchases back to you so they can target you with ads, etc. In this case, Ebay is already tracking that sort of information as it’s tied to your ebay ID, so signing up for this program doesn’t give them anything additional. Essentially, it’s just an opt-in program to earn 2% back on Ebay Purchases. If you’re skeptical, you can read the terms and conditions here.
I found out about the program late last year and I didn’t see any rewards until January. It didn’t turn out to be a huge amount of savings (specifically $7.71), but that’s money I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Now the shrewd observer will figure out that means I spent $385.50 on Ebay to get those savings. That’s sort of accurate, and sort of not. Ebay also periodically has 3x Ebay Buck deals that I always sign up for (but don’t always use). The program lasts for a couple of days and if you buy something during that timeline, you earn three times the bucks for those purchases. It’s a cute perk if you’re already buying something, but not something that will outright justify a purchase (I don’t even use it to sway me into purchases, but if it works out, why not?). I’m guessing these are really targeted at folks with less self control who will feel that just because they got an offer they need to go search for something to buy, and the simple act of searching is suggestion enough to compel them to purchase. Luckily, I have slightly more willpower than that, so this program turns into a plus for me.
I also wind up doing a fair number of purchases for my department at the office. Sometimes the best price/value item I can find is on ebay, and since my company doesn’t have an ebay account, that means I get credit for the purchases on my personal account. Again, it doesn’t amount to much, and certainly doesn’t influence my buying decision, but it’s a cute little perk that adds up over time.
To date, I’ve only saved $7.71 using the program, but considering all it took was a few mouse clicks, I think that was a good deal for me. Depending upon who you are and how much willpower you have, it might prove likewise good for you. Consider checking it out here.