Lately, whenever I do have to make an online purchase, I’ve been checking eBates first before I buy whatever I need – sneakers, flowers for my Mom, a new stationary bike.
It’s pretty simple: it gives you rebates on things you buy from their participating units. The nice part, though, is they start you off with an automatic $10 as long as you make a few qualifying purchases in your first few months.
I find it interesting to use these kinds of sites, since they rely on the idea that once you start using their interface, you’ll end up shopping more: that is not Monday Motivation for me.
Instead, it seems like eBates offers someone the opportunity to receive discounts in moderation, specifically on items they’ve decided they needed without looking at eBates first. My rule of thumb is that I don’t let an eBates deal be the reason I make a purchase; I make the plan and then I find the best deal available on eBates.
Other people really love finding the best deal and snagging a sale item at much less than the original price, before also receiving a rebate check later that month. I can support that too, but I know myself: a little shopping can lead to a lot of shopping and impulse buys!
I have goals to be a frugal person, and on the surface, coupons and rebates help with that. However, I have to make sure that I pay attention to why I’m making purchases, so that I get all the benefits of the item on offer, without compromising on my goals and values.
So this Monday, I encourage you to do one specific thing and one abstract thing: get signed up for your free $10 at eBates (no worries even if you don’t end up using it! You can always unsubscribe.) and try to note how things that are being sold to you (like rebates!) can benefit you without getting in the way of your goals.
And if eBates isn’t your thing, that is a good decision too: it’s in line with your values and goals, after all!