Hi everyone! Say “Happy Birthday” to my Mum, please 🙂
Tell me something, readers, is this cash-back thing a really well-kept secret, or have I just been oblivious to the whole movement?
Recently I signed up for a cash-back website, as part of my Money-Making Challenge.
Essentially, instead of buying things directly from a shop’s website, you find a link on the cash-back website, which tracks your purchases, and gives you cash in proportion to how much you spend.
The only snag to this approach is that, as with discount voucher websites, you have to be very disciplined in only buying what you would have bought anyway – deal or no deal.
So, for example, I’m in desperate need of a new pair of shoes for work. Rather than going straight to the retailer, I go via the cash-back site to the same page. I buy the shoes, with free delivery and am also given 6.5% of the price off the shoes, in cash, for making the transaction. Mental, or what?!
There’s another money-spinner on the website. Once you’ve downloaded the free app onto your phone, you “check-in” whenever you get to a shop featured on the site. This action of clicking to check-in earns you between 5p and 15p. Yes, okay, it won’t make me a millionaire overnight, but it all adds up very quickly. If you’ve got time on your hands, you can spend ten minutes walking in and out of shops, clicking, and earning yourself a couple of quid.
Getting paid for window shopping? Now that’s what I like to hear.
I realise several of you will be worrying about the Orwellian feel to this; retailers track everything I buy from one centralised site. My movements are also followed, by that apparently harmless act of “checking in”.
From my perspective, retailers already have much of this information. Think of those side-of-page adverts that show you the dress you were just looking at on another website yesterday. Or CCTV, which could follow our movements up and down the country, if anyone felt like doing so. Equally, my Nectar card has already categorised me into one of six groups, as a result of each and every purchase I have made, from paint at Homebase to milk at Sainsbury’s. Tesco’s Clubcard, and other loyalty cards, do exactly the same.
This is just one more option for Big Brother to watch me, and it doesn’t feel any more or less sinister than those other ways.
Sorry, freedom-fighters, I’ve lost my integrity: I’m opting for the cash these days…