If you land on the RebateKey website, it states that you will never pay full price again, and you can get up to 100% exclusive cash back rebates and coupons from trusted retailers. This is quite the claim. According to the site, you no longer have to clip coupons nor do you have to mail in a UPC to wait for your check to arrive.
To me, it sounds too good to be true, but I have reviewed sites like this in the past and found them to work. However, they are a bit unethical and you can put your shopping accounts at risk. I will explain later, but you don’t have to worry about RebateKey as they are playing by the rules.
Whether you like the idea of freebies or you wanted to research this company more, I created this guide to let you know what it’s all about.
Should you sign up?
Can you really get free stuff?
We’re about to find out.
What is RebateKey?
The premise is simple. You buy a product online, usually Amazon, sometimes Walmart, eBay and Etsy, and you get reimbursed. I know it sounds too good to be true, but I will explain later on as to how the company makes money and how it works for sellers. For now, it’s as easy as buying an item and submitting your order ID to get reimbursed.
According to the about us page, RebateKey was created by more than 30+ eCommerce sellers who wanted a better way to share their best and newest products. They boast that they work better than older mail-in rebate strategies and they manage the entire rebate process for you. They also claim that they offer such high rebates because the sellers who post their products want you to spread the word via one of the oldest school methods of marketing in the book — word of mouth.
I couldn’t find much about the company in itself, but I did find a press release, where they stated they launched in 2017 and have paid out more than $20 million to date. The company was founded by Ian Sells, who, while growing his Amazon business, realized that rebates were a way to drive sales and brand exposure. Co-founded with Leo Limin, along with the support of 30+ other merchants, they built an easy-to-use platform to help you to receive up to 100% off your purchase.
The company does seem to be legitimate as they do have a physical address and additional contact information.
How to Sign up for RebateKey
Seeing you’re going to want to get a rebate, you will want to sign up as a buyer on the site.
As a buyer, all they ask for is your full name and an email to get started. You can also connect your Facebook or Google account if you choose to do so.
They just say that you should make sure you input your full name correctly as this is what will appear on your rebate payouts.
It only takes seconds to join, and at the moment, the platform is only open to U.S. residents. You will have to confirm your USA mailing address and phone number.
How Does RebateKey Work?
Once you confirm your account, you can then start to browse the many items up for sale as well as what kind of rebate you can receive if you were to purchase that item. On average, these rebates can range from as much as 100% to as little as a few percent, but most of the products for sale, at least from what I saw, were heavily discounted, most of them being free. And, if you’re looking for free items, you can do so by filtering the results. Just look at the top and sort your results by price.
Now, if you look at the screenshot above, this is only a sample of what’s available at the moment. When I was writing this review, for example, I could browse through more than 1,688 results. But, to make this easier, I just wanted to show you what the process looks like. The company is always adding inventory, so it’s always changing.
So, let’s say we wanted that organic charcoal toothpaste for free.
What you would have to do is click on the listing and then the “buy product” button.
On this listing, you can view the product description as well as how many are available. It also shows where the product is located, usually on Amazon, as well as the seller you’re dealing with.
After reading all of this, and you’re still interested, you can then click on the “buy product” button to start the rebate process.
The Rebate Process
After you decide to buy the product, RebateKey asks you to read a ton of instructions, most of which are easy to understand.
They claim you cannot use discount codes and you have to buy as is. Simply follow through to the purchase and just buy without using a coupon, etc.
You also have to make sure that you report back to RebateKey immediately with your order ID so that the seller can verify your purchase. If you fail to do this within the hour, your purchase won’t register and you will not get your rebate. After your purchase, Amazon or the retailer you’re using will provide you with an order ID, so make sure you report back immediately to save yourself the hassle.
After you provide the order ID, your rebate is pre-approved and you will find that it will be on hold for the next 30 days. After the 30 days expire, the seller can then approve or dispute your purchase, but RebateKey does nothing if the seller ignores your request. Once the 35 days expire, the money is credited to your account, in which you can then request a payout. I will get to that later on. The reason they make you wait 35 days is that this is usually the refund period. They do this so that you don’t ask for a refund and keep the rebate. That wouldn’t be cool for the seller.
Lastly, only one account per household.
The great thing about RebateKey is that NO REVIEW is required. That’s right. You can just purchase the item and you’re golden as long as you wait the 35 days. While some sellers may coax you to do so, it’s not required nor do you have to feel forced to leave one.
If you do use the website and make purchases, do let it be known that there are limits.
As I write this, you can only purchase up to five items a day; however, these quotas only apply to rebates over 80% off. It’s a lot, so I wouldn’t worry about these limits unless you plan on buying 50+ items a month. I find this highly unlikely, however.
Both rebate maximums are reset every day and month, so be sure to keep this in mind if you plan on making more than one purchase.
After you’re directed to the store, you will then make the purchase and add your order ID to your account.
The website will prompt you right away, so it’s best to add your ID as soon as possible. Once you do, your purchase will show up on your dashboard (the activity tab) with a status, updating you of your rebate.
As I mentioned, you will have to wait at least 35 days to get paid. This is to prevent you from claiming a refund and taking the rebate. In my case, I just cancelled as I didn’t want the item. If I kept it, it would say “pending,” and then “approved” once done.
And, as a quick note, RebateKey will not rebate you the sales tax, so you may pay a few dollars, depending on your tax rate and total value.
Once approved, you can get paid via PayPal or a physical check, whichever you prefer.
What Are Other People Saying?
Of course, these reviews aren’t always about my opinion. Because of that, I like to jump in and see what other people are saying online. With both good and bad things being said, as in all of my reviews, no matter how good they are, RebateKey is no different. Here’s what I found…
- you don’t have to leave a review (this is often seen as unethical)
- lots of items to choose from, sometimes 2,000+
- good customer service
- PayPal option
- inventory added daily
- free to join, no waiting period
- have to wait 35 days to get paid
- no guarantee the seller will accept your rebate offer
- some people find most items to be low in quality
Why Is RebateKey Doing This?
I know. It does sound too good to be true and you may be wondering why they are doing this.
Well, do you remember in the day when you could buy a product at a store and then mail in a rebate? This works in the same way, but let me explain how it’s a pinch different.
In the past, websites like this asked you to purchase a product and leave a review. Since this is against the Amazon terms, these websites soon shut down and those who purchased the items and left fake reviews risked their Amazon account. This isn’t the case with RebateKey as no reviews are required, however.
Instead, what sellers do this for is for a few reasons.
One is branding. Some sellers hope that your purchase can lead to word of mouth advertising. It’s no different than marketing. Maybe you will tell your family and friends about it, no?
Secondly, and probably the most important, are the sales numbers. Since Amazon places a huge emphasis on sales, sellers will want to sell items so that they can move up in the ranks. As part of Amazon’s algorithm, they may rank an item that sold 100 units in comparison to another seller that only sold five. In this case, they will want to essentially give their products away in hopes it rises in the ranks.
Of course, all of this is going to cost the seller, but it’s no different than a marketing budget.
As a buyer, I think RebateKey is awesome. Sure, you have to wait almost a month to get your rebate, it’s a great way to get a lot of items on Amazon, Walmart, etc for free. While you have to waddle through a lot of junk, you can find something good once in a while. Seeing the inventory is updated constantly, it doesn’t hurt to check out the site whenever you need something or you just want to browse.
Now, if a seller does ask you to leave a review, and you don’t want to, report it to RebateKey immediately as this is against Amazon’s terms of service. If you’re then threatened and the rebate is taken away because of this, then it’s best to take it up with Amazon as they will often give you a refund, even after the 30-day period. After they do, just chalk it up and never deal with the website again or that seller. I don’t think you will have much of a problem, though.
As always, I leave the platform open to you.
Have you used RebateKey?
Have any questions?
Whatever it may be, feel free to leave a comment below!
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