getting a little extra cash back from online shopping – my thoughts

For the last few weeks I have been doing online shopping with Top Cashback.

Originally saw this company mentioned quite a bit on MoneySavingExpert.com, so it is a legit operation and its quite popular now, it offers you cash back from buying anything online.  Most of the time its things I buy from retailers I use regularly.  It cost absolutely nothing to join and doesn’t need any commitment of any kind.

The way this works is you have to go onto the the Top Cashback web site first then do a search for a type of product (ie: car insurance, DVDs etc) you want buy or a retailer (Boots, HMV, confused.com, etc)   and then go and buy what you want, your browser relays what you have bought back to the web site who give you something back, easy.

Open this picture bigger and you can see what I have been using it recently.

So is it worth it?  Well, its not a get rich quick scheme, but I have got back nearly £3 which isnt too bad, as I have only signed up since about the beginning of this year.  This might not seem much, but BIG amounts of money can be made on things like insurance or a mobile contract (£50, £100 or more)   so this is definitely worth considering.   I havent bought much seeing as I am not employed, I have bought a few computer bits of ebay in order to fix some old computers up to make them saleable.  In doing so, I probably only get 30 pence for £5 I have spent.   Ebay’s cashback is something like 40% of their fees they charge the seller, that the buyer can get back.  You can see I bought a bus ticket to get from Luton airport to Stansted airport as I will be getting off one flight onto another to go to Spain in May, this ticket cost me £11.70, so 70p back isnt bad, usually (when I am normal employment) I get a bus from Portsmouth to London about 3 or 4 times a year to go shopping, see friends or go to a museum which is about £13 return, so a bit of money back there pays for a bottle of coke or something.  Play.com (I think they must be second to Amazon now, for biggest online retailer in the UK)  give you 1-8%, they tend to be the cheapest place to get DVDs anyhow without this, here I just bought one CD for £7.99.   I used Vodafone to get a pay as you go SIM card which was free and doesnt get you any incentive as I wanted to switch from Orange due to their poor service lately, but O2 and Orange offer a small (50p or so) amount of cash back for free issue prepay SIM cards and a very good amount for a new phone contract.   In some cases two seperate offers can work together for even more savings.   If you are a first time user of Tesco’s online food shopping service they can give you £10 of £50 (if I remember correctly) but more money off on top of that if you use the discount codes that are widely on the internet and click to join from topcashback.

To make the cashback work successfully you need to check your computer can ‘track’, this means using the test tracking feature on the web site to ensure that your PC will tell the retailer that topcashback have sent you there, so they can acknowledge that you should have some payment.   Sometimes when buying this might not work, so there is a manual way of chasing up any money that doesn’t show on the list of things bought recently.

The way they can afford to give the public back their money is if you think of a real physical shop which has middlemen who earn a commission in between a product comes from a wholesaler to your shopping basket, so does the online retail industry.   Therefore companies, Google being the biggest of all earn a small portion of something you pay for if you go and search for buying something via Google’s site or one of their ads.   So imagine if one of those companies actually shares some of the commission with you, the customer and you get to keep it, well that is quite nice really.   They just want to pay a bit to someone who can point them in the direction of new business, it also happens that car insurance and mobile phone stores pay their salesman good fees if they make a sale, and at the same time you have some of that cash for yourself if you know where to look.

Tips to gain cashback successfully:-

  • – Always click onto Topcashback web site then search for the retailer’s site from there, otherwise it won’t work.
  • – Don’t change things on your browser settings (like clearing cookies or settings) whilst shopping online, this might remove the evidence you have bought from that particular shop.
  • – If the cashback tracking records doesn’t show up anything, check their web site for help on how to chase it up.

So, in all I would recommend that may be 6 months worth of casual small spending on popular online retailers could get you enough money to get a discounted DVD, or with more generous deals maybe quite a bit more.   Either way I wont bother earning points with Airmiles any more I reckon. 🙂

Online   Cashback

Of course, they offer me a small commission of £1 if someone gets a recommendation from me and goes to collect £5 worth of money back from places you have spent at.   If you (UK residents only) could be so kind to click the above banner and join even if you are just casually curious, this would be most helpful to provide a tiny bit extra to my travels to Israel in a few weeks.

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One comment on “getting a little extra cash back from online shopping – my thoughts

  1. Pingback: Guide to volunteering in doing overseas charity work. Part 1. « Brit In Jerusalem

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