Greetings all! So last week I wrote a post about easy ways to make money online. There are many ways to make money online, requiring varying amounts of time, effort, and/or talent, but the three that I mentioned in last week’s post were taking surveys, using Ebates, and using Swagbucks.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links.
I thought that these all fit the bill as being easy ways to make money online. I did, however, receive some comments that indicated to me that not everyone agrees that these things are worth the effort. Basically, a couple commenters suggested that there are more lucrative ways to make money that may be more worthy of their time.
I think that’s a fair criticism. After all, I am sure that not very many people out there have become rich by just doing these things (if you have become rich by doing just these things- and nothing else- let me know in the comments because I definitely want to hear from you!)
However, the point of last week’s post was to point out EASY ways to make money online, to show folks that there are in fact easy things they could be doing from the comfort of their own homes that would bring in money- and more importantly, often by doing things that they are already doing.
That’s right- by doing things that you are likely already doing.
My favorite comment on last week’s post was from Stephanie, who blogs over at The Broke and Beautiful Life. I think that her comment sums it up perfectly:
I really need to start maximizing shopping portals. That’s one way I’m really leaving money on the table.
What Stephanie is referring to here is the fact that I had mentioned in the post that both Swagbucks and Ebates contain shopping portals on their sites. One of the ways that you can earn rewards on those sites is by going to their shopping portal, clicking on the online retailer that you would like to shop, and entering that retailer’s website and shopping as you normally would.
And Stephanie is exactly right- if you think about it, MANY of us do a significant portion of our shopping online. You earn ZERO rewards if you just type the retailer’s name into your browser and shop directly on the site. The way to earn rewards for your online shopping is to utilize shopping portals.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Online Shopping Dollars
There are LOTS of shopping portals out there. Not only do Swagbucks and Ebates contain shopping portals, but many airlines have shopping portals connected to their websites. Another commenter on last week’s post also mentioned Mr. Rebates and Extrabux, which she has used and likes.
So is it a pain to use shopping portals? Not for me! For example, I am a planner when it comes to holiday shopping. Starting around September-ish, I start thinking about what to get different family members for Christmas. As I go through the fall I start making a list of what I’m going to get for each of the people on my list- and if it’s something I can buy online, I figure out which shopping portal to buy it through (I usually wait until Cyber Monday week to get the best deals though).
For example, this year I already know that I am going to be buying my hubby’s gift online through the American Airlines AAdvantage eShopping mall. That’s because hubby wants something from a retailer that is affiliated with that shopping portal. AND it’s because in October this year, American Airlines sent me an email saying that my 4,000-some frequent flier miles that I have with them are going to expire in March 2015 if I don’t participate in a “qualifying activity” before then.
Annoying, yes. To me the email basically said, “Throw us some money if you want to keep your frequent flier miles.” But the fact remains that I DO want to keep my frequent flier miles, so shopping through their portal is the way that I will make that happen. (Yes, I do know that American has a credit card with nice rewards, but we’re not in the market for another travel credit card right now).
Two birds, one stone. It’s not going to cost me a cent more to keep those frequent flier miles. And I would be shopping online for hubby’s Christmas gift anyway.
As for the rest of my holiday shopping this year, I will be using either Swagbucks or Ebates shopping portals depending on the rewards deals that they have going the week after Thanksgiving. But I will probably be checking out Mr. Rebates and Extrabux as well to see how they compare.
If you are interested in checking out my full Swagbucks review, click here.
Do you use shopping portals for your online shopping? If so, which one is your favorite?
CMF’s favorite FREE money management tools!
Some of the best online tools out there for money management are at Personal Capital, and the awesome news is that they are all FREE! Cash flow tracker, 401(k) fee analyzer, investment checkup, net worth monitoring, and many more! I’m a net worth junkie, so the net worth monitor is my favorite. Check out my Personal Capital review here, or click here to check out all the awesome tools for yourself!