Pay it Forward, Kick it Back

Use KickItBack's rebate program to earn cash back for you and your buyers.

by staff writer
- Sep 04, 2008

It's an inescapable fact that prices are going up—be it the price of gas, tuition, groceries, even online selling fees. In every aspect of life, it seems, costs continue to climb.

To relieve the pinch on their wallets, cost-conscious consumers increasingly are taking advantage of coupons, rebates and credit card or buyer "rewards" programs that give customers points or cash back for every purchase.

If you're a frequent user of eBay, you might consider using a similar approach to help cut your online transaction costs. Rebate programs such as KickItBack let you earn up to 1 percent cash-back credit on most eBay purchases.

What's appealing about this particular program is you don't even have to be involved in the transaction to get rewarded. KickItBack is not just a buyer rewards program, it's also a referral program. So whether you buy something yourself or you simply refer someone who makes a purchase through KickItBack, you get paid.

Easy money

The basic program works like this: Navigate to, open a free account, and when you use KickItBack to make a purchase on eBay—whether an auction, Buy It Now or store listing—1 percent of the purchase price (not including shipping cost) is automatically credited to your "KickBack" account. You can cash out whenever you feel like it, or let your balance continue to grow.

The more eBay users you refer to KickItBack, the more cash you can expect to land in your pocket

Of course, the more you buy, the more money you'll earn back. One percent of $200 is two bucks. If you buy as well as sell on eBay, this could take a nice bite out of your PayPal or final value fees.

But here's where the deal gets really sweet: The more eBay users you refer to KickItBack, the more cash you can expect to land in your pocket. The program not only pays you rewards for purchases made by your referrals, but also those made by their referrals and people subsequently referred by them.

"We call this your 'friend circle,'" explains Robert Green, KickItBack's product manager. "If you get five people to sign up and each of them also refers five people who do the same, your circle of friends has now grown to 155 users."

The reward paid to you is a bit smaller at each successive tier. But if every person in your circle spends $200 on eBay through KickItBack, that five bucks you earned on your purchases could quickly grow to $60.

Don't worry—it's not a pyramid scheme, because you don't have to pay to get into the program and no one gets scammed by never being able to recruit enough referrals to cover the initial cost.

KickItBack earns money from sellers for the additional exposure the site brings eBay listings. KickItBack shares this commission with individuals who do the buying on eBay and/or refer others who do the same.

To start referring buyers to KickItBack, generate a referral link. Choose whether to download one of two different logos, no logo or a plain-text link. Click the button to generate an HTML-coded link specific to your account, so that anyone who clicks the link to join KickItBack becomes part of your circle.

You can then copy and paste the HTML code anywhere you like. For example, add it to your eBay AboutMe page, Auctiva Store, off-eBay Web site, blog, discussion board posts, or social networking page (e.g., MySpace or Facebook). The more places you paste it, the higher your potential for earning cash back.

Choose your shopping method

To get credit for your eBay purchases, you have to first pick up a "cookie" from KickItBack. So you have to enter eBay through KickItBack and make a purchase on that visit. But the program makes this convenient for users by offering a number of options to suit different shopping preferences.

The most obvious way is to log into your KickItBack account and do an eBay search right from the site or click the "Start Shopping on eBay" link. Any purchase you make on that visit will count toward your rewards. You can also click on the Deals tab—which brings up a gallery of the hottest items on eBay and allows you to filter them by category—and make your purchase from there.

Whether your focus is purely on selling or you also use eBay to source products for your online business or personal use, rebate programs like KickItBack are an easy way to reduce your overall expenditures

You can also use the KickItBack Watch List page, which tracks items you're watching on eBay. Or if you sign up for KickItBack alerts, you'll get periodic e-mail notices that highlight great deals on items relevant to your recent eBay buys. You can click through any of the items to get to eBay, and if you make any purchase on that visit—even it it's not the original item you clicked on—you will get cash back.

For an even easier alternative, download the KickItBack toolbar button, which will show up as a small icon on your Internet browser toolbar. Click the icon anytime you want to go to eBay, and you're automatically logged into KickItBack. If you buy something while you're there—you guessed it—1 percent of the purchase price comes back to you.

There's yet one more way to shop through KickItBack, without ever opening an Internet browser. If you download the KickItBack desktop widget, you get the ability to search eBay right on your desktop. Of course, any purchase made through the widget earns you the 1 percent KickItBack cash-back reward.

The one hitch is KickItBack doesn't work with sniper tools. KickItBack can't track sniper purchases because they are not made directly from your browser. Other exclusions from the program include purchases on eBay Motors and "Make Offer" listings. But for most purchases, there's no good reason to not use it.

Whether your focus is purely on selling or you also use eBay to source products for your online business or personal use, rebate programs like KickItBack are an easy way to reduce your overall expenditures.

About the Author

Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.

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