Published on September 7th, 2015 | by Chuck13
Best Shopping Portal for eBay Purchases
We often post about gift card deals on eBay, which always entails going through a portal first. Most portals offer 1-1.2% cashback for eBay purchases, but there are occasional promotions to get a higher rate in certain categories. Be sure to check one of the cashback aggregators, such as Cashbackmonitor or Cashbackwatch, to find out the best rates available at any given time.
Let’s take a look at the details and best practices for portal cashback on eBay.
The Devil is in the Details…
Missing Cashback Claim
Many portals say in the fine print that you can’t file a missing cashback claim for eBay purchases in the event that it doesn’t track automatically. It seems that with eBay cashback the portals have no way of following up on a claim and can only access what posts automatically.
Here’s a list of some of the major portals who mention this: Befrugal, Shopathome, MrRebates and Extrabux. The Shopathome portal mentions that they can only file a claim for purchases $1500 or more; the others apparently won’t file a claim fordd any amount.
Purchases paid with an eBay gift card
BeFrugal lists an exclusion in their terms that cashback is not eligible on purchases made with an eBay gift card. This exclusion is not mentioned by any other portal that I’ve seen.
Ebates has a general rule that they won’t stand behind cashback on any purchase when you pay with a gift card. For this reason, it’s best not to use Ebates when paying with a gift card.
Gift Card Exclusion
Ebates and Fatwallet don’t always offer cashback on the purchase of third-party gift cards. Check at the time of purchase to see if they are or aren’t offering. (Recently, this hasn’t been an issue.)
All other portals that we’ve seen do not have this third-party gift card exclusion and work to earn cashback for such purchases.
Ebates, Topcashback, Shopathome, and Fatwallet have a max cashback amount of $50 per transaction. You can make multiple smaller transactions so as not to hit this limitation.
The $50 limit is tough to hit. Typically, the cashback rate on eBay hovers around 1%; you’d need a $5,000 purchase to get past the $50 limit in that case. Still, there are often temporary bonused rates, up to 5% or more, and it would then be easily possible to hit the $50 limit.
The Upromise portal has a different kind of limit; they limit us to earning cashback on only the first $5,000 in purchases we make using their portal.
Disregarding the payout rate, the best option would usually be Topcashback. They are the only portal which allows missing cashback claims, always allows gift cards, and allows the use of gift cards. They do have a max $50 though, as mentioned. If another portal has a higher rate, you can often get them to match the rate, as mentioned below.
- Ebates and Fatwallet are usually good options if you aren’t paying with a gift card.
- Mrrebates, Befrugal are good for very high dollar purchases since they don’t have a stated max cashback amount. That said, you are risking it since you won’t be able to file a missing cashback claim.
- Shopathome is good for purchases $1500 and above since they allow missing cashback claims on those purchases, but they do have a $50 max to be aware of.
Gift Card Exclusions
- The portals exclude the purchase of eBay gift cards from earning portal cashback. (Topcashback no longer mentions this exclusion, but it’s doubtful if the portal credit will come through for physical eBay gift cards.)
- We mentioned in the past that eBay e-gift cards purchased from Paypal Digital Gifts have been earning portal credit. The e-gift cards aren’t affected, apparently, by the eBay gift card exclusion. Physical gift cards have not been earning cashback.
- Third-party gift cards sold on eBay are typically eligible for portal cashback. Ebates and Fatwallet have occasionally removed the gift card category completely; be sure to double-check at the time of purchase.
Aside from the eBay gift card exclusion mentioned above, here are a some other exclusions:
- eBay Motors (including Vehicles, Motorcycles, Boats, and Powersports; excluding Parts & Accessories), any form of Real Estate, Bullion, and Heavy Equipment within the Business & Industrial category. Note: Ebates, Fatwallet, and Topcashback don’t mention these exclusions. It’s unclear if these categories will earn cashback in practice or if it’s an unintended omission.
- Only purchases made from the US eBay site are eligible for cashback. (Some portals may have a separate link for foreign eBay websites.)
- ‘Cash on Collection’ purchases are mentioned by Topcashback in the exclusions.
- The use of coupon code can sometimes negate portal cashback, although I haven’t found this to be an issue with coupons used on eBay.
- For auction purchases, “cashback is not available on bids placed with a sniping service/tool”. This doesn’t make any sense to me since the purchase is made after winning the auction and it’s at that time that you go through the portal. It shouldn’t be affected by the medium with which the bid was placed.
Portal Credit Card
The Upromise portal and the Ebates portal both have their own co-branded credit cards which offer bonus cashback when using the card in conjunction with the portal.
- Ebates offers 3% cashback, besides the standard portal cashback
- Upromise offers 5% cashback, besides the standard portal cashback
Both portals currently offer a standard 1% back on eBay purchases. Add another 3% or 5% on top of that and you’re getting a great deal.
Highest Rate Guarantee
We’ve written before that there are a few shopping portals which guarantee the highest cashback rate and will credit you the higher rate if you find one, see Highest Cash Back Guarantee for Online Shopping Portals. This guarantee is offered by BeFrugal, Shopathome and Topcashback.
Note that Shopathome does not offer the guarantee for tiered cashback rates. For that reason, the Shopathome guarantee won’t necessarily be able to work on eBay purchases.
Guarantee claims with Befrugal and Topcashback should work fine for eBay purchases, including the purchase of third-party gift cards. However, with Befrugal you can only use this Guarantee once per merchant as we wrote in the original post on the topic and Topcashback will now only match select portals.
Other eBay/Paypal Posts
- Ebay Bucks, Gift Card Deals, & Timing Your eBay Purchases
- Six Ways to Purchase eBay Gift Cards at a Discount
- eBay Gift Cards and their Limits
- The Obscure Limits of Paypal Digital Gifts
- The Various Levels of Paypal Accounts