September 2006 Archives

September 29, 2006

092906blogbeer_1Even if you're not in Munich this week, why not experience a little Oktoberfest magic at home? All you need is some wienerschnitzel, a little currywurst, and, of course...beer.

Several merchants at Ebates carry the Mr. Beer Deluxe Home Microbrewery Kit. I've never considered making beer at home before. I wonder if it's any good?

According to Wikipedia,

"One of greatest draws of homebrewed beer is the opportunity to enjoy beer that is 'live'. Since almost every beer available is pasteurized, it is almost impossible for the average beer drinker to enjoy beer in its natural state... Commercial brewers collect the boiled off alcohol, mix it with the pasteurized beer and force carbonate the brew...Therefore, the beer tastes considerably dissimilar from ‘live’ beer. Homebrew is never pasteurized, therefore the carbonation present is naturally produced by the yeast, the taste is a more natural flavor, and the beer will age, changing in taste, texture and color over time. Without homebrew, the general public would not be able to enjoy beer in its natural state..."

Sounds pretty good, huh? Almost as good as doing this.

Ok, maybe the lederhosen are optional.



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September 28, 2006

Have you noticed this banner on the Ebates homepage?:

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"I need to fatten up my what?"

If you're new to Ebates, this can be confusing. No, we're not asking you to lock a check in a tiny cage and gorge it with grain and full-fat milk. We're telling you that September 30th is the deadline to earn Cash Back for your next Big Fat Check!

To earn Cash Back, you have to sign in to Ebates, then click on a merchant link to shop. The percentage listed next to the merchant's name is how much Cash Back you'll receive when you make a purchase. Remember, though, that you have to click through Ebates to get the Cash Back!

I've earned some Cash Back. Where's my Big Fat Check?

We send out Big Fat Checks quarterly, but you must have at least $5.01 in Cash Back from purchases made through Ebates in order to receive your check. This quarter, the Big Fat Checks will be mailed on November 15th.

Ebates is run by human beings, and occasionally errors are made. Do we have your current address? Is your PayPal account still active? If for some reason you don't receive your Big Fat Check, we have a very attentive Customer Care department. You can submit a question here and you'll get a quick response.

Ah, the Big Fat Check. Guess this means you'll have to hurry and buy those new shoes you've been eyeing before September 30th! The things you've gotta do sometimes...



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September 27, 2006

092706blogspiritmonkey_1"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth."

Well, maybe I'm not that serious about my Halloween costume shopping, but I sure was glad to find a great wig for my Chrissy Snow getup on BuyCostumes.com. Don't buy anything without the coupons and Cash Back available through Ebates. Coupon code 5alive gets you 5% off your order of $40 or more!

If you want to splurge, check out the theatrical quality costumes at Spirit! They've also got some very plush looking Lil' Animal costumes for babies. I'm in love with the Lil' Elephant and Lil' Monkey- so cute. Remember, Spirit also offers Cash Back through Ebates! 

Disney Shopping has some of the best deals I've seen on Halloween costumes for kids and adults. Not only does Ebates offer coupon code EBTIER10 that saves you $10, you can get 4% Cash Back AND get the money off discount offered by Disney. They're marking down costumes up to 50% off!

To see all stores that carry Halloween supplies, visit the costumes section on Ebates!



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September 26, 2006

It's Double Cash Back Tuesday at Fossil!

If you're new to Ebates, I'll explain. Basically, we give you a percentage of Cash Back when you make purchases from hundreds of online merchants (who you can find on our site). Every Tuesday, we pick one merchant and double the amount of Cash Back that we give you.

Today, Fossil is the merchant for whom we're doubling the Cash Back. Usually you get 8% Cash Back from Fossil, but today you get 16%! This offer expires tonight at midnight, so do your shopping now.

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September 25, 2006

Last Tuesday, a few of us here at Ebates met in the board room to select the finalists for the Summer Vacation Photo Contest.

Um, excuse me? We had no idea we were giving Cash Back to such an adorable group of folks!  We should make it mandatory that, each time you sign in,  you have to send in a cute picture of your puppy. Or your baby. Or your baby holding puppies. In front of a sandcastle.
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Oh, the agony of choice! We went around and around the table:

"But look at the defiance in the kitten's eyes!"
"I think this baby's butt reflects the nuances of the sunset more effectively."
"Hey, there's a watermark on this one that reads 'Zazzle.com'. That's weird."

Ok, so there were only a couple bogus entries of stock photography. Overall, we received nothing but amazing, cute or funny submissions. We could only pick six, though, and boy are they good.

If you haven't voted, do it now! You might win a $100 travel prize from Expedia!



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September 22, 2006

092106blogscaryjeanseditYou may have thought your skinny jeans were long forgotten (along with scrunchies and shoulder pads), but think again! For months,skinny jeans have been the It item of 2006!

According to USA Today , "Designers Nicolas Ghesquiere, Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney have included skinny jeans in their collections for the past two seasons, but the look is just beginning to intrigue mainstream America."

There are some great skinny jeans out there, from a range of designers: Levi's, Armani Exchange, plus a bunch from eLuxury. We've seen them look cute tucked into boots, dressed up with stilettos and even with a simple pair of flats. But have skinny jeans gone too far?092106blogkneesockjeansedit

I'd like to direct your attention to  CLD Knee Sock Jeans. Worn with boots, they look perfectly harmless. But take off the boots and socks, and- hey! What's this?

That's right. Those stripey socks are attached to the jeans. Attached, as in sewn-together. As in footie jeans.

What do we think of this? Sure, it can be a little tricky to tuck jeans into boots, but do we really need our socks to be inseparably linked to our pants? What if, upon arriving at the home of a new acquaintance, you are ordered to remove your boots at the door? What then!?

And finally, there's Cheap Monday. Please, have a look and if you can explain to me what the bleep is going on with these pants, I'll give you a prize. And by prize, I mean a jpeg of The Hoff that I swiped from Google's image search. It's ok. You can thank me later.



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September 21, 2006

Congratulations, Vicki! You are Ebates' biggest fan! Blueribbon

We loved Vicki's enthusiastic entry on why she loves Ebates- she may have been skeptical at first, but is now a loyal Ebates shopper! Enjoy your $500 gift card to Viator.com!

(Don't forget to vote in the Summer Vacation Photo contest- voters have a chance to win a travel prize from Expedia!)

Here is Vicki's winning entry:

I was just sitting at home buying my Christmas gifts and came across Ebates' website. I sat there and started reading all it offered to me...Yes, ME!  It was not for the stores or to win some so-called "FREE" gift card if you go to 60 websites and buy 20 items.  This was actually for MY benefit. It was sooo simple: Just buy what I was going to buy anyways...and get paid!!  I just couldn't believe it.  In the back of my head I was saying "Whats the catch for this website?". So here I go. I started to sign up. Wait, they haven't asked me to buy anything yet? Wait, they haven't asked for my credit card? Whats going on here? Could this be for real? Alright, I'll try and buy something from their website and see what happens...WOW! Nothing was asked of me except from the merchant I was buying from. OK, well let's see if that "Fat Check" really comes. It sure did...and has been coming faithfully ever since. This is the NUMBER ONE EASIEST way to make money on the web...all you do is buy as you normally would, just use EBATES' website....THANKS EBATES!

We had a lot of great entries from Ebates users. Here are some excerpts:

"...I really gush with enthusiasm when I tell someone about EBATES. I feel that if someone is empowered with the knowledge that they can receive money back with the ease and variety that is offered through Ebates, it would be foolish not to give Ebates a try." -Lynn

"Well, I'm getting ready to pass my $500 mark in Ebates cash back!  That's a pretty hefty chunk of change for 3 years of membership. My friends and family tease me because I JUMP to purchase online anything anyone wants just so I can get the Ebate!" -Kelci

"Anyone who doesn't even try Ebates or even take a minute to see if the merchants they shop online with is simply overpaying and cheating themselves.  This is truly a no brainer!" -Cindy

"Ebates centralizes the buying experience and then they (get ready for this!) give you money back on your purchases. And you get to watch the dollars add up and find their way back into your pocket for a change. It's free. It's easy. It's the smart thing to do." -Michelle

"I have to be Ebates.com's biggest fan!  I was skeptical at 1st when I saw the ad saying you'll get 5 or 6% back, but believe me, I have deposited checks into my bank account and this is the real deal!" -Jason



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September 20, 2006

Elmotmxstanding_1 Remember the Tickle-Me-Elmo craze of 1996? Well, this time, you can stow your brass knuckles.

Elmo T.M.X, the tenth anniversary edition of Tickle-Me-Elmo, was just released on Monday, and, according to CNN, "Elmo fans should grab the new toy while they can, because industry  analysts are already anticipating a shortage of Elmo T.M.X. over the  holiday shopping season".

As amusing as it may be to imagine thousands of surly soccer moms pillaging the local Wal-Mart, why not give peace a chance? Buy your Elmo T.M.X now, and you'll still have enough teeth to fully enjoy your holiday desserts.

Where can you buy Elmo T.M.X? Well, Target still has them in stock, but you have to buy IN-STORE. So hurry! (Or sign up for boxing lessons. You'll be glad you did.)

Check out Elmo T.M.X's "International Debut" on Good Morning America:

               

Have any of you gotten your hands on Elmo T.M.X?



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September 19, 2006

This past weekend, an Ebates staffer named Hector took a trip to Union Square in San Francisco and decided to take a few shots of his favorite stores on Ebates.

If you're wondering about the H&M poster, it's here for two reasons: First, uh... it's Madonna. Why wouldn't you take a picture? Second, H&M is pretty much the biggest thing to rock San Francisco since the 1906 earthquake. Touch!

Oh, and Hector swears that Beard Papa pastries are so scrumptious that you can't eat just one.

Maybe one day Beard Papa and H&M will both have affiliate programs! Then we can all lounge around gorging on cream puffs dressed in affordable, chic skinny jeans by Stella McCartney. Though, we may not actually fit into the skinny jeans...

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Pictured above, left to right: The Container Store, Macy's, Old NavyPuma, Gap, Nordstrom, Saks, Macy's, Madonna for H&M, DisneyCompUSA, Sur La Table, Lucky Brand Jeans, Orvis, Beard Papa


Edit: Upon request, here is a pic of Sephora (you'll notice the crowd out front- that's for the trolley.):

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September 15, 2006

In the spirit of the recent travel bug going around Ebates, I thought we could look at TSA's current security restrictions on carry-on items. Take a look and tell me what you think:

Online Poll Using WebSurveyor


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September 13, 2006

I'm almost too embarassed to write about this- almost. Having left the jungle gym behind years ago in favor of pilates classes and Six Feet Under marathons, I thought my days of playing Nintendo were long gone.

Boy, was I ever wrong. I'd like you to meet the Nintendo DS Lite:

090806blognintendodslite_3

Isn't it cute? It's sleek and sexy with an iPod-glossy white finish (or pink...or onyx). With the stylus that comes included, It has the ambience of a personal organizer with all the fun of smashing Goombas and diffusing Bob-ombs (which is a fancy way of saying you can get away with playing Super Mario Bros. on your subway commute even if you're wayyyy out of puberty).

This is the first Nintendo game system with a touch-screen and, get this: the microphone responds to your breathing. You can blow up balloons and make the characters float just by blowing into the mic!

Now, I understand how someone may not be interested in the DS Lite if they didn't grow up with the Super Mario Bros. series. Fair enough. But it's never too late to learn the joy of the ever-popular Madden '07.

Now, be honest: Is it weird that, as an adult, I've played DS in public? During my commute? While shouting out the occassional profanity when my Kart gets knocked out by a Cheep Cheep?

Is it weird that I use these terms so casually? It's ok- you can be honest with me.



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September 11, 2006

Ever felt confused about Ebates? Have you ever had questions like:

"What is Cash Back?"

...or, "If I give you my email address will you feed me more spam than a World War II housewife on her last two points of the ration book?"

SpamFirst off, we at Ebates hate spam. Hate it. That's why we don't participate: it's rude and intrusive. We don't sell your email address to anyone, nor do we send you unsolicited emails. When you join Ebates, you can opt out of the Ebates newsletter (an easy way to be notified of our latest deals, so you should probably stay subscribed). In other words, the amount of contact you get from us is your call.

What are some other things you'd like to know about Ebates? Even if you've visited once and really have no idea what it is, ask away- you don't even have to give your email address to respond to the blog!



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September 8, 2006

090806blogwinkleHere in the Bay Area, it's been foggier than a London sauna- without the heat. With fall fast approaching, it's time for dog owners to cover their pups and protect them from the crisp autumn weather.

The ASPCA says if your dog is a short-haired breed, "Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear."

I've got mixed feelings about this. There's something slightly annoying about a bichon frise in a dickey, but if it's necessary to keep them warm and protected, then I guess you've gotta do it! Do any of you dog owners dress up your dogs for the winter? Holidays? Bar mitzvahs?

If you're ready to buy some doggie duds, Ebates has a variety of pet stores to pick from! Even if your dog is much too proud to wear pink stripes (like the dog pictured here...and no, that's not Mr. Winkle), Petco has more functional-looking options for the athletic pooch.



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September 7, 2006

Today I thought I'd showcase some of my favorite websites and blogs. Some are product-specific, some help you save money, but they all relate to shopping in one way or another!

  • Shoes2Clothes and Accessories: Manolo's Shoe Blog, Daily Denim , The Bag Blog. Most of the products featured in these blogs are pretty high end (read: not cheap!) but they do make a point to feature some bargains from time to time. Plus, Manolo (not to be confused with Blahnik) is simply hilarious. The good news is that as an Ebates user, you don't have to pay retail price! With several merchants carrying designer apparel , you can get Cash Back when you splurge on deluxe duds.
  • Saving Money/D.I.Y: The Pink of Perfection. In this vlog, Sarah and Sebastian are a team of crafty hipsters who can make anything look easy (and beautiful)! They have a great philosophy: "'Thrifty,' isn't necessarily about doing things the cheapest way possible, but rather knowing when to splurge, when to pinch, and always being happy with the charming imperfections of doing things yourself." I couldn't agree more!
     
  • Doryn2Health and Beauty: Spa Black Book . Written by Doryn Wallach, an American expat living in London, Spa Black Book is a reincarnation of her former blog, Doryn's Dish. The Dish met a sad demise a couple months back, but Doryn is picking  up right where she left off, focusing her blog on spa and beauty products in both London and New York. Her reviews are thoughtful and honest. You can find most of the featured goods on Ebates in the health and beauty category.
  • Tech: Apple Insider, MacRumors. If, to you, juicy gossip involves cool new widgets rather than the first ever photos of Suri Cruise, these sites are right up your alley. Of course, these are mainly for the Mac users out there, but the rumors are juicy enough to appeal to even the most die-hard PC user.
  • CatsterPets: Dogster and Catster. Ever worry that others will think you're weird for talking 'for your cat'? Not on these sites! They've got great forums for everything from health care to pet fashion! Speaking of...have you been to the Ebates Pet Stores page?
     
  • Just for Fun: Dooce, Perez Hilton, The Superficial. If you haven't read the Dooce background story, she was "Dooced" (fired for writing about work on her blog) from a certain big-name web startup whose name she won't reveal. Since then, she has become a stay at home mom and one of the most popular bloggers in the blogosphere. Perez Hilton and The Superficial are both pure guilty pleasure celebrity gossip blogs- why pay for US Weekly when you can get fresh juicy gossip every day for free?


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September 6, 2006

We've got the travel bug here at Ebates! Not only are we running a contest for a cool prize from Viator, but today we launched our  Summer Vacation Photo Contest!

These prizes are big, too- the four best photos win Expedia prizes worth $700, $500, $400, and $300 PLUS...one voter gets a $100 gift card!

Just think of the possiblities: A Vegas vacation, a relaxing cruise...it's the perfect excuse to take off for a couple days!

Now you're wishing you had been a little more careful about putting your finger in front of the lens back in June, huh? It's ok- Photoshop works miracles. You can just say that flesh-colored blob was an ancient ruin of unknown origin that somehow happened to get in the foreground of your picture.

Choose your photo carefully and good luck!

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September 5, 2006

TargetdoublecashbackI know I've said it before, but I love Target! No longer a tawdry den of puffy-painted abominations, Target  has revamped their image and offers affordable and stylish wares to  impress even the most discerning discount shopper.

There's no better time  to buy; today is Double Cash Back Tuesday at Ebates! When you buy from Target.com, you'll get 8% Cash Back!

If you want to save cash but stock up on unique, exotic home furnishings, then  Target's Global Bazaar is a great option, especially if you're a Pier One or Cost Plus World Market shopper (neither has a Cash Back program). They've got cool pieces inspired by distant locales from South Asia to Eastern Europe, and you don't have to risk a case of Delhi Belly to get them!

They've got a cute new line of women's apparel called "Paul and Joe" which features french-inspired fashions geared toward younger women. If you're not sure you can pull off the green houndstooth miniskirts, then check out the ever-popular line by Isaac Mizrahi!

To top it all off, Target is offering free shipping for a limited time on all bed and bath items and on women's apparel if you spend $50 or more!



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September 1, 2006

Update: This contest has ended. Check back in a few days to find out if you are the winner of the $500 prize.

090106bloglvballoon Are you the Biggest Ebates Fan? Prove it!

We want you to put on your writing cap and tell us why you love Ebates! Maybe it's the Cash Back, the 800+ popular stores or the great coupons! We want something short and sweet: 300 words or less.

What's in it for you? A $500 gift card to Viator.com! Only the best entry will win.

Be sure to check out the terms and conditions before entering, but when you're all set to write your entry, go to this page, and get started!

If you haven't heard of Viator.com, you're missing out! Viator is an easy way to book all kinds of cool activities at worldwide destinations. They've got everything from the Napa Valley Wine Train to a cruise down the Rhine River to a show on Broadway!

If you're not planning on taking a vacation to a far-off locale, you could always book tickets to something fun close to home! You could splurge on a luxe Champagne Brunch at a nearby port, or take the family to the local aquarium!

$500 is a nice chunk of change, so choose your words wisely!



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