Re: Cashback sites.
Another sceptic here who does not use such site. As Losos rightly states, the money has to come from somewhere. The reality is that the money comes from the companies selling the actual products, i.e. the affiliates of the cashback companies.
So by helping generate lots of sales for company X, sites like TopCashBack get bonuses paid to them by Company X and they hand a small portion of that bonus over to their customers.
You'd have to be pretty much a loon or uncaring shopper to not realise that nothing is free. If Company X is going to pay other companies bonuses for generating sales then those bonuses are CLEARLY going tobe factired into the business model of Company X which means the prices of their products will be adjusted accordingly.
Thus partakers of cashback sites are exercising kidology.
How exactly are you saving anything if your £10 cash back received by buying a THING is actually embedded in the sale price of that THING? Only one person is getting fooled and is out of pocket here and it sure ain't the manufacturer or the cashback sites !!!
There are also some clear dangers associated with cashback sites. Many have gone bust so it's importnat to never leave any cashback money in the cashback site's account. ALWAYS withdraw the money as soon as you can.
Also, there's a temptation to buy things through the cashback sites instead of doing the normal amount of buying research.
As always with anything relating to finances and money matters it is worth going to MoneySavingExpert.com which has tons of advice and customer testimonies in their forum.
Here is their article on cash back sites:
They site these 2 examples of things to beware of:
: You want a new telly. A cashback site brings up Korma Electricals, offering 5% cashback, which means a £20 discount on a £399 TV. Yet two minutes using a shopbot would've found you the same TV on sale at £299.
: Your car insurance is up for renewal. You spot the Commander Insurance £100 cashback offer on a cashback website, so grab its £540 policy via the site. Yet if you'd used a car insurance comparison website, you'd have found an equivalent policy from Chamberlain Insurance for £370. As Chamberlain is also on a cashback site, you could've got a further £25 off, saving £95 in total.
In the end there are no free dinners, only a total fool would believe otherwise.
You may perceive that you are getting product X cheaper because of the cash back, but unfortunately product X has already been marked up to take account of the cash back bonuses the company give to cashback sites. As I said, kidology.
In the end, all you are really doing is wilfully allowing other companies to track all of your purchasing habits and record all of your data for pretty much nothing. If a man came up to you in the street and asked if they could have all your details and make a list of all your buying habits and asked for your permission to pass that data to lots of other companies . . . . would you do it?!
No I doubt it.
But wrap it all up as a "cash back" exercise where it APPEARS that you are saving money, and people seem to fall for it. Not for me.