It's that expensive time of year again. No need to be coy. We all know that by this time in January we are all going to be enjoying a series of evenings at home for a while as we stack our paper. It is just the way things are! But what if I told you that you could make money Christmas shopping this year?
Let me take a step back and tell you a little about how my holiday shopping has morphed over the years. And this awesome new tool I have incorporated into my strategy.
5 Years Ago:
I was still going into stores for Black Friday. Wandering aimlessly down aisles, and looking for products that I always seemed to be at the wrong store for. Holiday shopping would take me a month or more to find gifts for my friends and family. I ended up spending way more money and time than I expected to, and my gifts were just ok.
2 Years Ago:
After thinking back to the struggle of wandering through stores for gifts, I said I would not do any more holiday shopping in the store since it just took up too much time, energy, and money. Why do that when I could just create wishlists at my favorite stores online and have them all shipped to me, wrapped and ready to go? I made a vow to do the majority if not all my holiday shopping online. I would also create a holiday budget I could stick to. Shopping online made this easier since I could also compare stores for the lowest price on an item.
Last year was the final game-changer with my holiday shopping in regards to saving money and time. I not only did 100% of my shopping conveniently online, but I also managed to get cash back on almost all of my purchases! Yes, I actually learned how to make money Christmas shopping. How? I used a cool tool called Rakuten, formerly known as Ebates.
I've been using Ebates for a few years now, and I've already earned $287.46 this with them. This is before my Christmas shopping for this year!
That just goes to show you how awesome this tool actually is. Who wouldn't want an extra $300 after making a big holiday purchase? Let me tell you a little about what Rakuten does.
What the Heck is Rakuten? And Why Do They Pay You to Shop?
Ah, yes so you are probably wondering what the heck is Rakuten, and why would they pay anyone to shop? Good questions!
Rakuten is the largest cashback site that partners with over 2,000 of biggest name brands Sephora, ULTA, American Eagle, Macy’s, Walmart, Gap, Kohl’s, JCPenney (to name a few) to bring you cashback, coupons, and promo codes—all for free!
No, that was not a typo. You do not have to pay anything for this service, and as a matter of fact, they will pay you just for signing up!
So here is how it works.
When you make a purchase using Rakuten, Rakuten receives a commission from the retailer. Rakuten, in turn, shares that commission with its members. No catches, no gimmicks. You just click on links found on Rakuten and then shop on the stores’ websites like you normally would. You get money back for the shopping that you were already going to do.
Even easier, you can download the Rakuten chrome extension (this is what I do) which alerts you whenever you’re shopping at a store that offers cash back, so you don’t have to visit their website first.
Just click “Activate, ” and you’re set, this way you’ll never forget to earn cashback on your purchases. You can also download the app for easy shopping on your phone, plus they offer app exclusives that you don’t want to miss.
You just shop like you normally would online and Rakuten pays you all of the cash back you earn every three months in the form of a check or through PayPal. But, I'd like to mention my most favorite part about Rakuten.
Before you check out online, Rakuten will search your basket, then the internet to see if there are any promo codes out there that you can apply to your order. It tells you how many they have and will automatically try each one until they find which one saves you the most money. So not only will you make money Christmas shopping after your purchase, you will save money too! Exciting stuff, right?
What Stores are on Rakuten?
There are over 2,000 stores associated with Rakuten. And if you are hesitant about adding the Chrome extension to your browser, you can check out the variety of different deals they have available below.
Double Cash Back Stores 2019
If you are looking for how you can get the most bang for your buck with Rakuten, this list has you covered. There is no need to pay full price for your gifts this year because your gift receiver will not be able to tell the difference. Rakuten can help by giving you coupon codes and deals for the hottest holiday gifts at more than 2,000 of the stores you love! Check out how you can get double cashback here.
Earn In-Store Cash Back If You Shop in Person 2019
I know this goes against my whole plan to shop online only. But the benefit of this is that you will always earn cashback even if you do not click the link to do so. Just link the card you typically use to shop on here and they will track to see if any purchases need to get cashback. Easy. Check out how to get cashback when you shop in person here.
Buy One Get One Free Deals (BOGO) 2019
Two gifts for the price of one? Sign me up! I love that Rakuten will list out all their Buy one Get One Deals (BOGO) in one place. Not only can you get cashback, but you can expect to get something else too! Sold. Check out the Top BOGO Deals here.
Free Gifts 2019
Similar to the BOGO deals, the free gifts allow you to get something for free when buying. They list out all the items you can get for free for buying one. That should cut down on the cost of shopping right? Check out the Free Gifts on Rakuten here.
There you have it. My little secret I use to make a little extra money while Christmas shopping. While I often spend mine on more gifts, one thing you can do with the extra cash is save it for the new year. Get your Christmas budget for 2020 in order nice and early. Let it be an ongoing trend going forward that you will not only make more money during the holiday season but will also be prepared with a budget ready to go!
You got this!
Ready to get your $10 welcome bonus when you sign up with Rakuten? You can sign up with my link here