ShopBack 101: The inside out of cashback on your online shopping

ShopBack, the online shopping rewards site offers cash rebates every time you shop at one of over 500 online stores via ShopBack. Is it worth the extra step?

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WHAT IT IS: ShopBack is a year-old local start-up that sweetens the online shopping experience by giving back a portion of what shoppers spend at one of over 500 online stores (including Taobao, Zalora, Lazada and Courts) every time they click through to these e-shops from Shopback.sg. Unlike discounts offered by the website themselves or credit cards, the savings on ShopBack are not restricted to a certain time period or items.

The GoodFree money! 
Shopback.sg is a local e-commerce start-up that offers cashback — anything from one to 25 per cent of your total purchase — when you shop at over 500 merchants. “Instead of going directly to Zalora to buy something, you go through ShopBack. It’s literally just an extra step,” explains ShopBack country head Josephine Chow. In other words, it’s a fancier type of shopping discount where you can literally see your bank account grow after you’re done adding to cart.

The Bad: You need to wait at least 30 days before you get ‘paid’.
The money is credited back into your ShopBack account within 30 to 45 days. You can opt to cash it out to your bank or PayPal account. Why does it take at least 30 days? “Some merchants like Zalora have a 30-day return policy, so [we enforce a 30-day period] to protect us and the merchants from scammers.”

The Complicated: To get more bang for buck, know exactly what you want.
While gadgets, especially from Taobao, are getting increasingly popular among ShopBack customers, the top products are still groceries. That said, the best value-for-money deals are in the Travel section, according to Josephine. A nine per cent cashback with Expedia gives you $90 back if you spend $1,000 on hotel bookings, for instance. For short stays and cheaper hotels, Josephine recommends Agoda where you get a fixed $15 with a minimum spend of $50.

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