In Canada, Money, Shopping, Style

Ebates Canada Review: Worth it now what it is Rakuten.ca (Referral Code)

UPDATE: August 2018

Read my update here, it has been purchased by Rakuten and I am impressed.

Here are my tips and tricks on getting the most of out Ebates Canada.

Here is my Ebates Canada Referral for $5 in your account automatically!

https://www.ebates.ca/referrer?referrerid=RUKLesGAZDc%3D&src=Link

**********************

More than a few readers have written in telling me that I should really stop promoting Ebates Canada because they are just HORRIBLE.

I am fan of promoting coupons, savings and all that good stuff, but not if it is not worth the hassle and the headache.

I only know of them from the U.S., but apparently their debut in Canada has really gone off the deep end and they’ve pissed off more than just a few customers, mad enough to write in and ask me to write a post on it.

1. YOU DON’T GET PAID WHEN YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO

They pay out every 3 months which in and of itself is bullsh*t.

Someone wrote in saying that they’ve been waiting since December 2012 for a payment and now they’re telling him that it will be August before he gets paid because they’ve “reset” the limit on there as they’ve gone past the payout date of May 15th.

Note: He also “missed” the March 15th payout by the way.


Now it’s going to be August 15th and I’ll check back to see how they respond to paying him the money.

He writes: “Thank god it was just a small amount of about $25 but the time I’ve spent trying to email them to get a response has been horrific.

Ironic huh? Their motto is: “It pays to shop online” 😛

2. CUSTOMER SERVICE IS UNRESPONSIVE

Another person didn’t quite have the same hassle of not getting paid, but when she wrote in to ask a question, 2 weeks went by before she had to write in AGAIN to get a response.

3. THE DEALS AREN’T THAT GREAT

Sure you get 6% off when you buy something, but I did a little checking of my own and came to this conclusion: You are better off finding coupons and cheaper places to buy the things you want online and in-store, than to go through Ebates Canada.

I bought Persol sunglasses at about $350 (taxes included), a price tag that doesn’t quite sit well with me, so I did a little looking around and found them online for no less than $205 (taxes included) with FREE shipping.

That’s a savings of about $150, which is 42%, and far better of a deal than the piddly 6% offered by Ebates Canada to go through one of their confirmed retailers to buy the same pair of glasses.

Who in the right minds would decide to go with a crappy service that doesn’t give you your money back on time as promised, and doesn’t respond to your emails, to get 6% “cash back” when you can just save 42% right off the bat?

Not this girl!

OTHER WAYS TO GET GREAT DEALS WITHOUT EBATES CANADA FOR CANADIANS

  1. Buy it used or secondhand! Craig’s list is a goldmine.
  2. Use coupon sites with retailers like RetailMeNot
  3. Wait for a sale at a store that you know sells it if you don’t need it immediately.
  4. Look around online especially for things like sunglasses to find a good deal.

EBATES CANADA?

“It doesn’t pay to shop online with Ebates Canada”

I’ve taken down all the promotions and widgets for this site. Thanks to everyone who wrote in to warn me!

(Canadians always get screwed, this is not exception.)

———-

UPDATE: I emailed the readers to ask them to follow the advice below and email facebook@ebates.ca, and one reader wrote back saying it worked for him and he was paid immediately.

I still think it’s total BULLSH*T that people without blogs, using the company’s customer service the normal way (via contact forms) have to email someone else like me with a blog to complain so that I can write an article and warn everyone.

So you have to write a blog post, and THEN they take notice? This is too stupid for words.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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56 Comments

  1. fakeabuse

    Ebates.ca terminated accounts for my family members, they said abuse their rules. T/he most important is they closed all account without pay any cash back we earned from every orders.

    Reply
  2. Gary

    The issue with ebates is I believe some users just don’t read or understand how it works. Amazon is a good example where ebates may or may not work. Because Amazon sometimes acts as a middle-man and has 3rd party vendors (i.e. sold & shipped by XYZ) vs. being actually Amazon (sold & shipped by Amazon), some users may think they’re entitled to a cashback rebate. Well, it wasn’t Amazon that really sold you the item so you will not be getting any rebate. Another time I saw I got less back is when I purchased $50 shoes through SportChek. Shipping was free over $50 (normally $10 for shipping), but I only got a rebate back based on $40 rather than $50. It’s obvious that Sportchek factored in the cost of S&H and therefore would only report back $40 to ebates.

    Way I see it… It’s better to get some money back than none, because either way, I was going to buy the product through the company website regardless, so by going through ebates, at least I get something extra back.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Oh perhaps you’re right.

      Reply
  3. Pea

    I actually love Ebates Canada. I was getting “Big Fat Cheques” of a few dollars at a time but now I’ve linked my account to PayPal. If you’re going to shop online anyway, why wouldn’t you just go through Ebates first? Easy and 2% isn’t exactly “nothing”. I pay for an Executive Membership at Costco and my return is only 2% and I get back more than enough to pay for our annual memberships.

    Reply
    1. Pea

      Oh yeah, and once I forgot to cash one of my bigger cheques and I contacted customer service. They have an expiration date listed on the front of the cheques. So they just verified my transactions and issued me a rebate right to my PayPal account. Excellent customer service.

      Reply
    2. Star Oscar

      I didn’t know that you can do that? I lost one my cheque they sent me. This cheque wasn’t a huge amount because I was just learning how ebates works. It was something like $12. and some change. It was more then a year ago so very unlikely they can help me out. But good to know.

      Reply
  4. Laura

    Nice to know ebates.ca isn’t worth the hassle – even if I could get into my account. I have Firefox set the way they say to as far as privacy/options goes, and no matter how many times I’ve changed my password over the past few weeks, I still get the message that my email and password isn’t a valid combination on the site. Then I get locked out for 60 mins for too many failed logins, lol.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Some sites are very annoying like that.

      Reply
  5. Carrie

    Ebates.ca is a total rip-off. I wrote in to them and complained about missing cash-backs on purchases (and I did not use abusive or “bad” language) and they just closed my account and I lost all the cash-backs that I’d been saving. I’ve since switched to Great Canadian Rebates which has a slightly higher cash back value and so far, I’ve found them to be more reliable and honest about giving cash-backs.

    Reply
  6. Busy Missy

    SCAM!! Ebates will delete your account and not respond to you when checks are due to be issued. Very disappointed!!!

    Reply
    1. Cyn

      Yup, agreed! I just made 2 rather larger online purchases from them last week, I was supposed to get 4% cash back for both. I received $0.46 on a purchase of $116 and $.068 on a purchase of $76. Not sure who does their math, but wow, a little off I’d say!

      Reply
      1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

        It’s worth a shot but they aren’t reliable.

        Reply
    2. Erica

      How long were you apart of Ebates? I did not know they can just delete your account? How much were you supposed to get back? I have been with them for about 2 years and so far it has been good. They have paid on time for me. I am wondering if this will happen to me too then? Did you shop at a lot of different stores?

      Reply
  7. Yetunde

    One more thing: When shopping via shop.ca, the name of the actual retailer/seller is always somewhere on the webpage. I always check that it’s a credible/reliable company before making a transaction with them. For instance snugglebugz sometimes lists their higher end carseats and strollers on there. Those items are rarely discounted so getting them via ebates/shop.ca combo nets a good deal.

    Reply
  8. Yetunde

    I did my typical ebates store search on google and your post came up in the results. Didn’t realize you had reviewed them.

    I’ve used Ebates US& Canada for over 2 years now with no complaints. I find what works for me is I already know what I want to buy and from which store. I then use the ebates link to finalize my purchases and I usually get a cashback notification within days (and sometimes) hours of completing the transaction. This has worked really well for Gap, BR, the Bay, Amazon and my hotel bookings

    The one I consider a big shifty is buying from shop.ca which regularly has a 20% cashback deal. Because shop.ca is more like a middleman and the listings are from individual retailers, I find that the prices listed are usually overly marked up. Having said that, I did get $80 cashback on a $399 iRobot via shop.ca in 2013 so not altogether bad!

    I’d say take a second gander at ebates but only for things you were going to buy online anyways. To date, I’ve got $400+ from the US & CA sites and I get my payments made directly into Paypal to fund our Netflix subscriptions.

    Didn’t think I’d write a long missive but I did want to put it out there that my experience with Ebates Canada has be positive and beneficial.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I may look at them again but.. wow was the launch and my impression of them so bad.

      Reply
  9. Vanessa

    Major issues with them just deleting transactions and having to chase them. Very annoying and not worth it in the end as often sites with the biggest pay back (shop.ca) are charging way more than other stores for the same item. I’m currently arguing about $60 missing on my account after waiting 3 months to be paid and the purchases have just vanished. Sketchy business

    Reply
    1. Charlene

      If you where shopping on the Ebates Canada site I would contact the Beatter Business Bureau .If they are scamming you they are scamming other’s .

      Reply
  10. uncleden

    I have been using Ebates for more than two years now and have earned close to $800. A few notes, or hassles as some may prefer, from my experience: 1) You need to keep track of your transactions. If you ought to be paid for ten purchases, make sure you get just that. Sometimes there will be some cash-backs missing and you need to get on top of it and chase them back. 2) I too got skipped one or two pays. The money was still there pending, I just needed to wait for another three months. I did not contact CS for it for both times I did not realize it happened until a few weeks had passed and I did not bother to hassle as long as my money (pending) is still there 3) Speaking of money still being there, and this is the biggest issue I have so far, Ebates would delete your cash-back(s) without telling you. For some purchases not all items you purchase get cash backs, or not at the same rates of cash backs. What would happen sometimes is that you would be credited for those “nonlegit” cash-backs at first, and then after a period of time, I guess after investigation, Ebates would erase or deduct the “nonlegit” money from your pending piggy bank – without even letting you know. Insulted? You bet!

    Reply
  11. Shelina

    After all, Ebates is only an affiliate source that primarily provides an opportunity for companies to promote their business. These companies contribute a small commitment fee to Ebates which then Ebates make some commission. Then another small percentage of this commission is used to reward the members on Ebates. Considering all the unreliable companies that are promoted on there, It seems like to me Ebates only focuses on making money and not actually going through quality control before allowing certain companies to be affiliated with them. Majority of the high paying cash back offers are from companies which have received a lot of mixed reviews from their customers (mainly negative) in regards to not receiving orders.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      It just is too good to be true I think. Not worth the hassle.

      Reply
  12. barbara wakelin

    After watching your ad. on TV I am thinking of shopping on ebates. I just read all the negative reports and now not so sure. Barbara Wakelin, BC Canada

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Hi Barbara

      I am not from Ebates. I am just a former user.

      Reply
  13. Cindy

    I confirmed they are a total scam avoid this site. You are not making a good deal. I have been using them for over 6 months. I made purchases for a fews thousands of dollard worth (2000-3000). Never returned nothing. I had earned over 140$ in cash back. In august got my so call ”big fat check” for 41.39. Far from the 140$ + earned.
    – 6 out of 10 time I had to send request and receipt about my cash back not received for my transactions. Many time they found excuse to not grant the cash back. Such as saying that because merchant did not report or I use a coupon code (listed on the merchant site) and that since it was not listed on their site. Avoid this site. So far they made tons of money in profits with me but I cannot brag the same as for me with them. I am curious to see if I finally get pay in Nov. So far not a great experience unfortunatly. Not very honest.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I’d agree with this.

      Reply
  14. Reeno

    I’ve been using Ebates.ca and it’s been great. I shop at the online stores I normally shop at but just go through Ebates.ca to make a few bucks. I’m shopping online anyway so why not go through Ebates.ca? No hassle no problem. And it’s fun to receive My Big Fat cheques in the mail!

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      As mentioned in my review, it sucks and I had to really fight to get paid.

      Reply
  15. Elaine

    Worst experience ever, not worth the horrible experience

    Reply
  16. Michelle

    Glad I didn’t use ebates. Thanks for the updates and warnings.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      You’re welcome. It’s tempting but not worth it.

      Reply
  17. OnlineShopperMom

    I stumbled upon this thread and also wanted to comment that I’ve had no issues with Ebates. I’ve been using them for a little over a year and love them. Sure, there might be a shop out there that is not part of the Ebates program where you can find a great deal on a product, but most of the time, I find the best deals at Ebates shops. I had a question one time because the Cash Back didn’t show up in my account when I thought it should and their response helped me understand the program even more…. because orders take place on the shop’s site, Ebates has to rely on them to send over the order details. If they mess something up, or a take a while, Ebates doesn’t know that you are even waiting on Cash Back. Believe me, I think it is in their best interest to make sure customers are happy and find the program useful – or else – they still wouldn’t be in business.

    -a very happy Ebates shopper

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      That was not my experience at all but I am glad it works for you.

      Reply
  18. nan

    For some stores it is legit, while for others it is a scam. Ebates is not reliable. They don’t make good on all of their promises and if you contact a retailer to ask about thier affiliation with Ebates they are not very forthcoming to admit they endorse thier name being used by Ebates. You’d be better off finding discounts the old-fashioned way, with promo codes only.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I’d agree with you Nan. It is not reliable, their customer service is sketchy and it annoys me that they tried to nickel and dime.

      Reply
  19. Tania

    Wow, that really isn’t worth it from a time value of money and also the aggravation factor. No one likes to feel they’re getting screwed or will possibly get screwed. I don’t use ebates in the US but I do shop around alot before I buy anything and search for coupon codes. For clothes and accessories, I’ve also gotten into the habit of checking secondhand market sites/apps before I buy at retail (need to do homework there too though, some sellers are charging more than retail less end of season discount new). Also need to make sure not dealing with a shady seller.

    Do you have amazon in Canada? I find in the US they often offer the best price and I really like that they also offer prior season colors at a markdown (it’s worth it to click through all the colors to see if there is different pricing).

    Reply
  20. Lauren @ Cheapstudents.ca

    Never tried Ebates but thanks for the heads up, definitely doesn’t seem worth it and a bit of a scam. Always makes me sad that the Canadian versions are always second rate with most things.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Lauren @ Cheapstudents.ca: You’re telling me. We always get screwed as Canadians. If it isn’t jacked up prices (*cough* J. Crew *cough*), then it’s NO free shipping and returns, etc.

      Reply
  21. Rich Uncle EL

    I bought a few items in 2011 and still have yet to recieve a check. When I log in to my account it states already paid. But I think I will be old and gray before I see a check from them. Ebates in U.S.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Rich Uncle EL: You should email them at facebook@ebates.com . It worked for my reader, he got paid instantly.

      Reply
  22. Amy Nievera

    Bummer! I’ve used Ebates US for years and haven’t had an issue. Yeah, they only pay you every quarter, but it’s not like you’re making money from this. Waiting is fine. And yes, sometimes it’s not the best deal so I try pay attention and do the math if it would save more money purchasing from another company than using one of Ebates’ partners and getting the rebate.

    In the end, though, if they don’t pay you on time and the customer service stinks, eff it.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Amy Nievera: I think that Ebates in the U.S. is more established and professional. Ebates Canada is an offshoot but they are not organized or professional (read: intelligent and rational), and it shows.

      Reply
      1. Cathy

        @saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.:
        Just to let you know, Ebates in the States is no better then it is here in Canada. It has the same type of complaints as listed here. Go to Ripoff Report and you’ll see all the same complaints. In the States they are just as unprofessional despite being “more established” as you put it. Scammers are all the same despite where they started off.

        Reply
        1. save. spend. splurge.

          Phew. At least it isn’t just annoying us Canadians. I just avoid the whole system completely

          Reply
        2. David H Carrington

          You could not be more correct. Ebates is notorious for ripping off consumers in the US. They used to brag about their A+ rating when responding to online consumer reviews. Now, they have lost their rating. If you insist too much and your payout is too high, they will lock your account. They get paid, you don’t. Don’t let them use your purchases to get paid by retailers.

          Reply
  23. marmalade81

    Wow I thought I was the only one who has problems with ebates.ca. I had rebate sitting on my account for the longest time, then out of the blue they just reversed the rebate because apparently I returned the merchandise (I didn’t and can show the proof on my Shopbop account). It was a small enough amount that I didn’t bother to complain. Now I have another rebates sitting on my ebates.ca from another purchase and am sure they will come up with another reason to reverse it again somehow. I would not recommend ebates.ca to anyone!

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Email facebook@ebates.ca

      I received an email from the person I mentioned in my post and they said they were paid immediately.

      I just think it’s crap that people can’t just email the contact form and get the runaround until someone (me) writes about it based on emails I receive from readers.

      It’s utter bullshit.

      Reply
  24. melanie

    I have used bothe ebates.com and ebates.ca and have never had a problem receiving my cheques. I have been paid out 195$. This was for items that I would have purchased anyhow…trip on expedia, home depot purchases and the one I use most often Old Navy. If you are going to be buying stuff online anyhow, why not get the rebate.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Because it’s not worth the hassle.

      In my example above, I could find sunglasses for $150 OFF the retail price online for 42% as a rebate, versus going through Ebates Canada and only getting 6% off.

      Reply
  25. Ebates Canada

    Hi-

    I work at Ebates Canada and have just came across your post. This doesn’t sound like us! We would love to make this right and look into each one of the complaints and fix any problems you’ve received.

    To do so, any member who has shared their complaints with you should feel free to contact us at (facebookhelp at ebates.ca). This is an address that we use to assist members that post on our Facebook wall, Twitter, or blogs. We can assist with any problems you, or your readers have been having.

    Thanks,
    Ebates Canada

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I’ve forwarded your note to the people involved who are unhappy and from my point of view, if they are emailing you via your contact form (which most people do), and NOT posting on Twitter, Blogs or Facebook, then it should be the same people dealing with this.

      Reply
  26. Gen Y

    Thanks for the warning, I have actually been debating whether to use ebates.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Gen Y: Ebates Canada sucks for sure. I have heard good things about Ebates USA however. Use caution is what I say.

      Reply

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