Almost ten years ago, I wrote this article asking if people used cashback sites. I was around 38; our kids were just 1 and 2 years old. Our net worth was about a quarter of what it is now.
Back then, I was a little unsure about chasing pennies. You’d think that might even be more true today, right?
Maybe not. I’ll be keeping much of the article the same but adding in some new thoughts.
I’ve been on the fence on cashback sites for a long time. I read many trusted friends and bloggers who rave about them. However, because I purchase almost everything on Amazon, I don’t think they’d work out that well for me. Most cashback sites support Amazon, but you usually don’t make much through them.
As a blogger, I know that if they click on an affiliate link, Amazon will give them a little money, crediting them for the sale. It can range quite a bit depending on the category, but I think I typically get between 6% and 7%. Rather than use a cashback site and get 2% for myself, I prefer to thank another blogger using their links. You don’t have to buy exactly what the blogger is referring – you can just click on it and then shop around a bit.*
(By the way, if I happen to be one of your favorite bloggers, you can shop Amazon using this link. The link will still work even if you hate me.)
Ten years ago, I got an email from Rich at Dollar Dig. He wanted to tell me all about his great cashback site. I gave it a quick look, and the design looked more dated than Lazy Man and Money. (Lazy Man and Money perpetually has a dated look.) I made the too-quick judgment that there really wasn’t much to see here.
However, I love to help any kind of entrepreneurs who ask. He wasn’t really asking for help, just for promotion, but I’m the kind of know-it-all jerk who gives advice anyway. (Sorry! At least I’m self-aware. Also, I now charge a consulting fee, but Dollar Dig got my advice for free.) So, I shared my thoughts with Rich. That’s when I realized there was something different about this company…
… he actually listened and cared. This is a reflection of great customer service. I gave him a list of things that I’d do if I was in charge of the company. He went and implemented all of them and came back to me a couple of months later. The site looked great and still does today.
Looking good and having great customer service are important, but that’s useless unless the company provides value to its users. With that in mind, I asked, “What makes Dollar Dig different than the competition?”
Rich explained that they offer more cashback at most stores when compared to Ebates.com (now Rakuten.com). Back then, he also pointed out that CashBackHolic.com, the leading site that rates cashback sites, has great reviews. I looked up Dollar Dig on CashBackHolic and they have good reviews. One thing to note, though, is that it looks like CashBackHolic seems to advertise some cashback sites, so there aren’t any reviews in recent years. He also pointed out that Dollar Dig had grown 250% in the last year.
Rich said that support is prompt and courteous… replies usually within hours (sometimes minutes!) and a day at the most. If it’s anything like my experience in talking with him, they deliver.
As I pointed out in the introduction, I’m not a big user of cashback sites. Once every few years, I’ll see something on a deal site, and the post specifically mentions Rakuten, so I’ll do that. It’s typically when I’m buying a new laptop, and getting $50 or $75 back is worth it.
I did give Dollar Dig a look to see how it’s doing today. One of the first things that caught my eye is that they are offering 15.5% cash back at Temu. You might have seen Temu in Super Bowl commercials or through its advertisements on every website. I would be surprised if my advertising provider doesn’t have a Temu ad matching this article now that I’ve mentioned it. The staff at Temu is super cheap. I’ve heard mostly very good reviews about the site. I haven’t used it because there’s there’s a lot of concern about it being based in China and perhaps sourcing products in a shady way. I haven’t dug into the details, but it’s something to consider if you are looking into Temu. This wasn’t meant to be a Temu review, but if you use Temu, you might as well get another 15.5% back in your pocket through Dollar Dig.
You may notice that I’ve attached a referral code to the end of my links to Dollar Dig. Typically, that’s how companies can track who referred them and give them a commission. In this case, I’m not taking a commission or any money at all. We’re just tracking the traffic to see if people are interested in this kind of write-up.
* I hope this is still how Amazon’s Affiliate program works. I usually make less than $10 a month from Amazon, so I don’t follow if they make changes.
A previous version of this article was published on Dec 10, 2015.