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Are you a self confessed shopaholic? Even if you are not a full time shopper, do you prefer buying your goods online so to avoid the hustle and bustle of hot shopping centres and rainy high streets? If so the emerging phenomena of cashback websites are the way to go!

One in every 10 retail purchases in the UK is now made over the internet, according to figures from the Interactive Media in Retail Group. However if you are as cynical as me, you will believe that you never get something for nothing. However this is where this marvel of cashback websites is blowing that theory out of the water. On most cashback sites, they will give you money for actually joining and for referring friends. This can range from 5p to £5 and the money can be taken out once you have a certain amount of money in your account again ranging from £15 to £40.

This is how the money can be made:

Go to the cashback site you are a member of, and log in.

The cashback site will refer you to the official retailers website that you wish to purchase items from (giving you 100% peace of mind that the purchase is safe and secure via the official site)..

Buy your item

A % of money is then added to your total spend. For example, you buy a DVD player from a retailer and the cashback site will give you 5% of your total spend so the DVD costs you £100 and once tracked, you receive £5 in your cashback site account.

Cash can also be earned back for activities such as opening bank accounts and credit cards or taking out insurance.

So, the cynical ones out there are still thinking WHY are these cashback sites able to give me money for buying items through their sites?

Well, the current form of encouraging people to buy their products, visit their shops and websites is through TV advertising, newspapers, billboards and internet. However the new process of persuading consumers to shop with a retailer is through ‘cashback’.

These cashback websites arrange deals with the retailers so that they pay the website owners to advertise their products and in turn the owners of the website then give the consumer a proportion of the money. This is also known as affiliate marketing. There are some cashback websites that claim to pay up to 100%, however you may not be getting the best deals around and also it may be a case of if its too good to be true…..!.

So that is the benefit of using cashback sites, but however there are a few things that some people may see as a ‘con’ as opposed a ‘pro’ to using these sites:

Retailers: as its still a new concept, not all high street retailers are on cashback sites, however more and more companies are being added everyday.

Threshold on the accounts: The websites have a certain amount of money that you have to earn before you can claim your joining fee, refer a friend fees and cashback from purchases. This may seem a catch but if there wasn’t a threshold then the owners would be paying people to join and then they wouldn’t bother buying anything through the site therefore the owners losing out.

Time it takes for the money to show: generally the money that has been earned through the site doesn’t show immediately in the consumers account as once a product has been bought, then the cashback site has to confirm with the retailer that the transaction has been successful and that the person has not bought a product, taken cashback and then returned the product. Therefore it can take up to 6 weeks for the money to show in the account and subsequently be withdrawn.

Some last tips:

You are always advised to read the terms and conditions of any site that you choose to become a member of. Never pay out money to a site that claims to show you how to earn incredible amounts of money from the internet for a fee. Furthermore, you should never have to pay to receive money. There are many scams out there that get people to pay many under the premise of receiving more back…but, of course, they never do receive any! So please beware.

Always remember if to go through the cash back website’s links. They log a harmless cookie onto your computer which tracks the sale and in turn this will then be credited into your account. However, be cautious when choosing a cashback site as although the cookies generally do track all your sales, if they don’t work for any reason you need to make sure that the site you use has very fast and efficient customer service otherwise you may lose money you are entitled to. For example, one site I am a member of that has very good customer services is http://www.poundpig.co.uk, effectively dealing with a query I had about tracking times.

Do agree to receive the cash back website newsletter because they will send you the latest offers. Some give you 25pence or so to complete free competitions and surveys, many of which have to be filled within a few days.

So, that is an overview of how cashback websites work. As mentioned above I am a member of –

Cashback Websites

Cashback Websites