Are you an entrepreneurial person who loves shopping online? Perhaps you are seeking the best business opportunity you could find that’s legit and easy to start. There are a ton of options out there, but many options require huge start-up fees, and there’s no guarantee of success.
Starting a Cashback website is actually within grasp, although there’s no guarantee of success you can start a site very similar to an Ebates or TopCashBack reasonably easily. You’d be surprised how many people do not know that Cashback websites are essentially Affiliate Marketing based businesses. Before we dive into the whole path of starting a Cashback Biz, you should get yourself familiar with Affiliate Marketing before you continue with this post.
Once you’ve scanned through these posts, you should be ready to start your Cash Back website!
Disclaimer!! I’ll admit…I tried starting my cash back website several times, only for it to fall flat on my face. It’s a lot harder to get customers than you think! The guide below will eliminate any problems starting a site. We’ve laid the blueprint. The hardest part of this kind of business is getting new customers, not starting the business.
1: What is a Cashback Website
Cashback websites are businesses that will reward a customer for purchasing through their website. For example:
Susan is shopping on your Cashback website called: CashBackMommyofTwo.com. Susan see’s that there’s an offer for Macy’s at 2% Cash Back. When Susan has successfully signed up to CashBackMommyofTwo.com, then clicks through to that Macy’s 2% Cash Back and ends up buying something: She’ll Receive 2% of her Money Back from her Purchase!!
For you, the owner of the business, you’ll receive some money as well for getting Susan to buy something. This is done through Affiliate Marketing.
2: Why Start a Cashback Website
For many who want to get into the online business world, they try many things like MLMs (Essential Oils and other B.S.) meanwhile the stuff that works well and requires what appears to be more technical, when it’s not, is often overlooked. There are only dozens or maybe hundreds of Cash Back websites, and we can tell you that the opportunity is real if you can attract loyal customers. It’s almost like rewarding Free Money for those looking to shop! So in essence:
- Competition is Low
- Start-Up Costs are Minimal
- Easy to Start
- Real Opportunity with Excitement
While this sort of start isn’t free, the cost to get started is pretty minimal, plus once you get started the costs die down pretty quickly!
3: Cost to Start a Cashback Site
There are a few things you’ll need in order to get things rolling with your new Cash Back Site. For one, you’ll need Web Hosting. Web Hosting is where you’ll place all of the Cash Back setup and installation files. We recommend:
Both of these hosting services offer a Free SSL certificate and a Free Domain. Remember these fees are annual, so you’ll need to renew every year.
Now that you’ve got hosting you’ll now need to get Cash Back Software. This is the part where only a few people know about. Not many options exist that help you start a website like this, while also eliminating most technical needs. By getting the software called Cash Back Engine, you’ll get the everything you need on how Cash Back Websites track the user from shopping, logging into the system, and much more!
Through Cash Back Engine, you’ll easily be able to manage customers, retailers, customer service and much much more! I’ll let you in on a secret…cash back companies pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to get this kind of functionality…you can get it for $199!!!!
4: Customizing Your Cash Back Site (Optional)
Before you start adding retailers and doing business stuff like getting customers through Facebook and Email, you may want to customize the way things look on the site. Cash Back Engine’s admin panel is super flexible and efficient software. The same unfortunately cannot be said about the appeal of their customer-facing website. It looks dated, and don’t look too much into the front end demo as the site looks like it’s from the early 2000s. Depending on your budget you could pay an engineer to revamp the overall look of the front end side of things, but that can cost you thousands. It’s up to you on how you want to continue! You can add a few customizations, although it takes some getting used to:
- Text You Want
5: Getting Retailers and Merchants onto the Site
Probably the most interesting part of your Cash Back business is getting and partnering up with new retailers. You’ll need to head over to Affiliate Networks to apply and be approved for links onto the Cash Back site before you add a Macy’s or Kohl’s, for example.
Head over to Affiliate Networks and make sure to give them all of your information regarding your site. You can also separate yourself from the competition by focusing Cash Back on a single category, like Travel.
Once you’ve been approved for a store, you’ll need to place the correct Tracking Link within Cash Back Engine. To do this, head to the admin panel of your site, then Retailers, then Add Retailer. You’ll need to enter information like Store Name, a Logo, and a few other details. The most important aspect is the tracking link though. This is the guts of how things are tracked and paid out.
Head to the Affiliate Network and head to the Merchant’s Profile. Select a Tracking Link that is approved and append SUB ID TAGS. Stay with me here, as this is the only technical part of the process of having a Cash Back Site.
Below is a guide of all of the Sub ID Tracking Tags You’ll need to Append to each Tracking Link!
List of Sub ID Tags
AWIN (Affiliate Window)
eBay Partner Network (ePN)
HasOffers Affiliate Software
Impact (formerly Impact Radius)
Pepperjam (formerly EEAN)
Performance Horizon Group (PHG)
Post Affiliate Pro Software
Other Notes about SUB ID Tags…
Here’s the process if you placed the proper tracking link correctly:
- User Logs into Your Site
- Finds a good offer
- Clicks on the offer
- Customer/client buys said offer
- Affiliate Network will be able to tell what user did this through SubIDs
- Affiliate Network Report Shows Susan Purchased from Macy’s
- You Give Susan Money through Cash Back Engine
If a user did not log in or go through the cash back sites procedure to track who the user is, and the offer is clicked:
- A user is not logged in
- Finds good offer
- Clicks on offer
- Customer Buys offer
- Only IP and Blank SubId will show up not telling host database what user it is on reporting
So in essence, it’s important for a user of your cash back site to be logged in and ready for purchase as well. There are other uses for SubIDs, many sub-affiliate networks and affiliate tools use these to differentiate clients and so on.
6: Lots of Customer Service
We’d love to tell you that this business isn’t overly complicated, but that would be a lie. You’ll have to assume tax responsibility for each sale, plus manage your reporting and disbursement of cash back to customers. On the other hand, it’s fairly straightforward through Affiliate Networks if you’ve done everything correctly!
This kind of business is exciting but could be difficult to get off the ground because of some major competition like Ebates. You’ll have to weigh the Cash Back rates depending on the commissions you get from each Affiliate Network and Program.
7: Take Inspiration From These Cash Back Sites!
Swagbucks (which also owns MyPoints and Shopathome) offers cash back for store shopping, in person shopping or dining, watching quick videos, and even taking surveys just to name a few. All of which use Affiliate Marketing tracking links as we mentioned above!
The most famous of cashback sites, labeled rebate site, offers many stores at the highest commission rates online. Given that they have exclusive partnerships with many of the merchants, Ebates keeps a steady clientele of both customers and stores.
You’ll be able to receive cash back in the form of a 529 funding account. You can earn additional 529 investment opportunities through their Upromise Credit Card (Mastercard)
Although no real side sells here, this cashback site is straightforward with competitive rates amongst many of the merchants. You’ll also be notified via their email newsletter of increased cash back days for the retailers you love.
Here, you’ll earn money back but for every cash back donation you decide to give to charity will be matched by them!
Each Cashback site listed above has their own idea. Giving Assistant donates to a charity of your choice using Cashback. UPromise funds a 529 account with Cashback. Ask yourself what your idea will do to shake things up!
Use Tools to Monitor Competitors
Use CashBackMonitor.com to find the best rates for each of the stores you want to add to your Cash Back Website. Using the site is pretty simple, especially if you have the Chrome browser.
Compare rates amongst all of the websites that use Affiliate Marketing Cash Back Tracking and compare it to yours. If you are ready, you can also look to see if your site can be added to the array of websites that Cash Back Monitor uses!
Feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions in starting your website or comment below! Good Luck!