What is a Cashback Site?Posted on 01 May 2012
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the concept of cashback sites. Unless you are new to the Internet and rarely purchase items via the Web, you have probably already heard the term cashback in reference to Internet shopping. Despite their popularity, cashback sites are still under-utilised, with the majority of people tending to go direct to online retailers, rather than purchase via a middleman.
If you are unfamiliar with this method of shopping, put simply, cashback providers pay you for shopping on the Web. The provider will earn a commission, and you will, too. Shop throughout the year using this method and savings of over £100 or above can be made.
The concept works as follows: Before purchasing a product online, visit one of the various cashback providers to determine if your chosen retailer is available. After completing a quick registration, click through to the retailer via the cashback site and then purchase as normal. At this point, the cashback site recognises a purchase has been made and credits your account with money. Note: this credit can vary significantly depending on the price and type of product purchased, and it is also dependent on other factors, such as which cashback site you decide to use. Some sites are more generous than others, so it can be worthwhile shopping around to find the best deal.
Why will they give me free money?
When a product or service is purchased online, the cashback provider will earn a commission (either a percentage of the sale or a fixed fee). This is the affiliate marketing business model. They will then provide you with a small commission each time a purchase is made. As such, this results in a win-win situation for both the cashback provider and customer. By and large, the higher the purchase price, the more cashback you’ll receive, and the greater commission paid to the site. However, all these factors depend on the terms and conditions of the affiliate campaign and generosity of the cashback site.
Where can I get cashback?
There are literally dozens of cashback providers online, but two of the most prominent include Top Cashback and Quidco. Billed as “the UK’s most generous cashback site”, Top Cashback provides access to over 3000 different merchants, from telecom and utility providers, to online electronics, fashion, food, and gadget stores. As is commonplace with most cashback sites nowadays, voucher codes are available to help you further save on online purchases. The site is completely free to use and there are no hidden fees.
Quidco operates on a similar principle and again features over 3000 online retailers, plus provides access to voucher codes to enhance your savings. You can earn cashback on all kinds of purchases at Quidco, including car insurance, clothing, household goods, mobile phone packages, and virtually anything else you can think of. It is also possible to get in-store cashback so now you can save when out shopping on the high street as well!
More cashback tips:
Providers may restrict the amount of money you can draw from your account so it is worth investigating the terms and conditions before registering. Although some sites will let you withdraw as little as one pence, others may require a sizable amount to build up before you can transfer to your bank account.
On this note, remember to withdraw money from your cashback account as soon as you are able to do so. This way, you can be sure the money you’ve earned is safe and secure.
Some sites - but not all - will keep a fee of your earnings per year as a means to cover operating costs. Although these fees are usually very small (e.g. £5 per year), this is also something you may wish to look into before completing a registration.
Don’t just rely on cashback sites to give you the best deal. It still makes sense to shop around as you may find better value elsewhere, either via a voucher code or otherwise.