19th April, 2007
Believe it or not, there are companies out there that really do value you as a customer. In fact some are willing to pay you to buy the goods and services that you would spend money on anyway.
We have already shown you how to generate an income from your own blog or website in our first make money from the internet article. Now we look at 'cash-back' websites that offer more rewards for the internet savvy consumer.
There are a number of cash-back sites out there – Quidco.com and Rpoints.com are among the largest - but others exist and the premise is the same for all of them. Shoppers register with the cash-back site and select from a list of retailers – anything from department stores to insurers. When they decide to buy something they click on the retailer they want to use and are taken to their website.
From this point, any purchases they make earn commission for the cash-back site. In turn, the cash-back site will pay some of this back to the shopper.
Quidco.com will give you a percentage or a set cash amount back on your purchases while Rpoints awards points for each purchase, with 100 points equal to £1. Other sites operate similar systems.
The amount of cash earned by each purchase varies. You might get 2% back from the price of a CD bought through Play.com via Quidco.com, while Rpoints gives you 500 points (£5) for registering and ordering at Amazon.com. But higher cost items will bring greater cash-back rewards. A car insurance policy might bring 3000 Rpoints (£30) and a credit card would give 1025 Rpoints (£10.25).
You continue to build points, or cash in an online account, and the sites will pay money to you – via a cheque or into a PayPal account – when you reach a certain threshold. Quidco.com takes an annual £5 charge – but only if you have enough funds in your account.
It can take time for the commission to trickle down to the shopper, as long as a month or more, but both Quidco and Rpoints boast that they will follow up on delayed payments on behalf of their members.
Pete White has been using cash-back websites since he was a student in Coventry. Now Pete, 22, writes a blog, imafish.co.uk, with advice on how to make money through them. He said: 'I started using cash-back sites to buy computer parts and CDs and the money would slowly build up. Now I search for things that you do not actually need to buy to get cash-back or points. Many retailers want you to just registers with them or open an account, but do not need you to spend anything.
'Now I would expect to make a few hundred pounds throughout a year from cash-back sites.'
Pete says that a quick way to build up cash is through opening accounts with gambling websites. In one example, it is possible to open an account with Cyberslotz through Quidco and claim £20 of cash back. Cyberslotz requires that you place £5 into an account with them, but they will then give a £5 free bet. So you can withdraw your £5 stake, keep your £20 cash-back and have a £5 wager on Cyberslotz for free.
Rpoints has a list of retailers and service providers that offer free points if shoppers, for example, register on a website or sign-up to a newsletter. The points on offer are small – you might get 200 points (£2) if you open an account with a department store – but it all adds up.
There is more to be made from items that you do spend money on. If you bought a Dell laptop worth £649 through Rpoints, you would get £22.71 back. A widescreen TV from Comet worth £1439.99 would earn cash-back of £28.80.
Richard Yendall, managing director of Rpoints, said: 'We have partnerships with over 1,800 UK merchants, and some of our members earn over £1000 in a year via the various cashback offers. But the site also has an important social side. The chat forums are very popular with members who like to exchange tips, special offers and discount codes to save even more money.'
We have pulled together some of the items you might typically buy over the internet to see how much you could really be earned in cash-back. http://www.metro.co.uk/money/46005-make-more-money-from-the-internet