Joey Lim from ShopBack Singapore shares with you on the growing phenomenon of cashback sites and how you can save on your monthly shopping bills.
You may have chanced upon advertisements for cashback websites while browsing the internet or heard about them from friends, who claim that shopping online through one will give you deep discounts. You are uncertain because it all sounds rather dubious – What are cashback websites? How do they work? Are they reliable or even legal? Will you be at risk?
Such are the hurdles that the companies behind these cashback websites have to overcome – customer unfamiliarity, the novelty of the concept in the SEA region and general sentiment that it all sounds too good to be true. Cashback websites can indeed help online shoppers to save their money but they require some understanding: . How they work is that they partner with hundreds of online merchants and give discounts to shoppers in the form of cashback. To “earn back” your cash, simply change your point of access by first going to the cashback website, which will then redirect you to your desired shop page – after that, complete your purchase as per usual and wait to see money returned to your bank account. Once a user has figured out the system, it’s easy and convenient to use.
Electronic World, Online Savings
Online shopping has become one of the predominant ways that people buy their goods now. For female shoppers especially, online shopping has become one of the best ways to save money while looking chic. From homeware to electronics, luxury items and even food – there are very few things that cannot be purchased online these days. In fact, global e-commerce sales have soared to nearly 1.5 billion in USD according to Statista, which means that more and more people are spending the bulk of their money via online purchases. If you are part of this rapidly growing group of consumers, cashback websites can make a great difference in your spending. As with physical coupons or credit card rebates, cashback websites can help you to save money but have the added advantage of partnering with hundreds of merchants. Such numbers often exceed credit card privileges, which are tied to a limited number of partnerships.
If you are uncertain about starting to use cashback sites, take some time to visit some and you might be surprised at the high quality designs and the attention to detail. Many cashback companies focus on user experience and try to make their website layout as simple as possible not only for user-friendliness but also to suggest transparency. Prominently displayed video tutorials, reviews and visual guides are just some of the several methods employed to assuage consumers’ fears and encourage them to take their first step towards using cashback websites.
Sieving out the best cashback websites
Since cashback sites are a really efficient and cost-saving way to shop, they come highly recommended to shoppers who enjoy the convenience and fun of shopping online. Since most cashback websites advocate setting up an account and accumulating the savings within, it is crucial to select a reliable cashback website that is value for money. In considering to use a cashback website, shoppers can keep in mind this set of criteria to sieve out the best:
- Percentage of cashback and merchant variety
Naturally, you would select a cashback website that partners with the merchants that you usually shop with. However, bear in mind that many cashback sites collaborate with the same merchant, but offer different cashback rates, so be sure to find the one that will give you the most bang for your buck. Merchant variety is also closely tied to the home base of the cashback company, which means that international cashback websites will have a larger number of partnerships with worldwide merchants while regional ones will focus more on the shopping patterns of the local majority and collaborate accordingly. Ultimately, it boils down to your own unique shopping pattern so do some research!
- Possible membership fees
Most cashback websites allow online shoppers to start using them for free – everything from the setting up of an account to how often you use it is completely free of charge, so do avoid any that are trying to make you pay more than you should. The whole idea is to save money and cut costs so avoid
- Cashback Threshold
Nearly all sites have a cashback threshold, which refers to the minimum sum of savings you have to accumulate before you can transfer that money into your bank account. You and I both know that it’s probably because they want shoppers to shop more frequently but it’s actually usually a low target like $10. Nevertheless, do some calculations on your own to see if you will actually be shopping that often or if your budget allows it. Big purchases like plane tickets are guaranteed to give you a substantial amount of cash back in just one bill while shopping for clothes once or twice may not produce sufficient savings to enable cashout.
- Cashback Timeline
It can take up anything from two weeks to three months for the cash to be transferred to your account. This has to do with the transaction details between the merchant and the cashback company itself so make sure you’re aware of and comfortable with the waiting period for the cashback before purchasing anything.
If you still feel doubtful of using cashback websites, check online reviews and complaints. Chances are that other people have already used their services and can give an honest review of the site.Or you could consider calling any cashback website’s customer service hotline to enquire about their services in more detail.
Different cashback sites suit different types of shoppers and some are better than others in their service and website layout so it’s definitely worth your time doing a little research to find out which ones are best suited to your own shopping habits. It pays off to try something new and cashback sites can really help shoppers accumulate substantial savings in the long run, especially for those who do the bulk of their shopping online. In any case, it seems that quite a few cashback websites have proven themselves trustworthy and shoppers are slowly warming up to this new concept of online savings. Such a phenomenon is equal parts reassuring and impressive; cashback sites are definitely here to stay for some time and online shoppers and merchants will both stand to gain from their success.
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