Let’s talk about earning money via retail and arbitrage through Rakuten (formerly Ebates). But first I want to give you a hypothetical sourcing scenario. Let’s say you have a BOLO list of great items to buy from Walmart, and all you need to do is get to the store and buy them to send in to FBA. You only have time and money to go to one Walmart today and get this shipment sent in, and there are two Walmarts equal driving distance from your house. Both stores have the exact same items in stock in sufficient quantities for you to buy and make a great FBA shipment. The catch: One Walmart has prices 5-10% cheaper than the other. Which store would you choose? No question, you’d choose to source at the Walmart with the cheaper prices.
Now, we all now this is a hypothetical situation because Walmarts in the same geographic area typically have the same prices, so set that component of this scenario aside. I’m just trying to get you thinking about this concept: if all other factors are the same, every one of us FBA sellers would choose to source items at a lower price. If we didn’t, we would be wasting money and leaving profits on the table.
This exact scenario is the choice you face every time you make an online purchase and don’t use Rakuten as you complete your purchase. If you use Rakuten, you can be earning a percentage of cash back on every purchase – so essentially, if you don’t use Rakuten, you’re paying a higher price for your purchases than you need to.
How Rakuten Works
Rakuten is a cash back website that allows you to earn a percentage of money back on every online purchase you make when you visit websites through the Rakuten link. Online stores pay Rakuten a commission for sending customers their way, and Rakuten shares that commission with you, the customer.
Are you more of a retail arbitrage reseller? Rakuten lets you link your credit/debit card to your Rakuten account so you can earn cash back with RA purchases too!
It’s so simple – you shop at your favorite stores (over 2000 to chose from), you accumulate cash back in your account, and you get paid through a check or PayPal once a quarter. You don’t need to do anything differently with your online purchases other than make sure you’re visiting online stores through the Rakuten link. It doesn’t take long for your cash back total to start adding up to a nice Big Fat Check (the name Rakuten gives the checks they send out once a quarter). Be sure to read to the end of this post to find out about a $10 welcome gift for new Rakuten users.
Benefits of Using Rakuten
- Increase ROI on resale purchases – For us, the number one way we earn cash back from Rakuten is through our online arbitrage purchases. We do a significant portion of our FBA sourcing through OA, so we get a large chunk of cash back every quarter on those purchases. Earning cash back is one way to increase your ROI (return on investment) and make more money in your FBA business. Connect your credit/debit card to Rakuten to get cash back on your RA purchases too!
- Cash back on your business supplies and travel expenses – You can also use Rakuten to earn cash back on business expenses, such as office supplies and travel expenses. Rebecca uses Rakuten to book our hotels and flights on websites like Travelocity and Priceline, and the percentage discount for our travel can add up quickly.
- Cash back on personal shopping – We also use Rakuten for our personal online shopping as well, whether we’re looking for clothes for the kids or gifts for various occasions. This time of year (Q4, as I write) is when Rakuten can be golden – all your holiday gifts and Black Friday purchases can be earning you cash back!
- Simple process if you use the Chrome extension – The Rakuten concept is already pretty easy – just go to the Rakuten site, search for the store where you want to shop, then click their link to begin shopping. But the process becomes even easier if you use the Rakuten Chrome extension or Safari button. With one click of the extension, you can activate Rakuten on your purchase directly from an online store, without having to navigate to the Rakuten website first. What could be easier?!
- Coupon codes when available – Rakuten also does the boring work of looking up coupon codes for you. Once you’ve activated the Rakuten extension and you’re getting ready to complete your purchase, Rakuten will give you a notification if there are coupon codes available for that online store. You can save even more money with Rakuten’s help with coupon codes!
- Triple cash back opportunities during special events or holidays – During certain times of the year, stores will offer an even higher percentage off for Rakuten customers, as a way to encourage shopping on their site. You should be on the lookout for percentages as high as 15% cash back around Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and both double and triple cash back on other big online shopping days.
There really is no good reason not to sign up with Rakuten and start earning cash back now. The cash back process really works and is so simple. Our family loves earning cash back from Rakuten and saving it to go towards our family vacation each summer. In 2016 we used Rakuten to take our kids to their favorite vacation spot in the Davis Mountains. In 2017 we used our Rakuten cash to take them on an unforgettable trip to the Grand Canyon. Each year, Rakuten helps us go on vacations.
Are you already using Rakuten? If not, you should sign up today! Don’t let any more shopping get by you without starting to earn cash back. As a welcome to the program, Rakuten is offering a $10 gift if you sign up through this link. That’s free money on top of free money, and you can’t beat that.
Are you using Rakuten? If so, let us know in the comments below how much you’ve enjoyed your Big Fat Checks!