KickItBack Gives Cashback on Your eBay Purchases
By Julia Wilkinson
Tis the time of year when our wallets are opening wide and we're spending to the hilt. What better time to look at a new service that lets you make money off your own shopping on eBay? KickItBack.com allows you to earn back a percentage of the final sale price of an eBay item, and also to make money from referrals.
"We're all looking for ways to keep more of the money we have," said Susan Whitehead of MilitaryMomsGuide.com, who posted a KickItBack referral link on her blog in September 2007. "We all have to make purchases - that's part of life. But to get some money back? That's awesome! And I get to share this with others. What could be better?"
With all the affiliate programs out there, what makes KickItback different, and how did it come to be? KickItBack is the brainchild of Jeff Schlicht, owner of Auctiva Corporation. Auctiva saw a need for a site with a focus on just one specific affiliate program: "With KickItBack.com, we only support eBay.com, and thus the tools and additional features we create for the site will all be geared towards helping a buyer with their eBay purchases," said Kevin Kinell, VP of Engineering at Auctiva.
With KickItBack, instead of logging in directly to eBay, you first login to the KickItBack.com site, or via its browser toolbar or desktop widget, and it tracks your purchases. You can earn up to 1% of the final price of an eBay item (the actual closing auction price, fixed price amount or Buy It Now price, not including shipping, insurance or any other costs), although the payout may not be 1% in every case. However, "most of the time the payout will be exactly that," explains Kevin Kinell VP of Engineering at Auctiva.
Kinell said that in some cases, "the affiliate revenue eBay pays us is less than 1% of the final price, and in these cases we adjust the amount the KIB customer receives." For example, with automobiles, eBay listing and final value fees are more fixed than in other categories, so as the price of the car increases, the eBay fees and what KickItBack in turn receives from the affiliate program does not go up. "Thus, we can't pay out 1% of the final price, but instead are limited by what eBay's payment to us was for that particular item."
With the referral program, you can attract people to KickItBack using a link or a logo to your web site, email, or other method, and you earn money with a tiered structure. For example, if your link attracts "Jeff" to KickItBack, he's in your tier 1; and if he wins an auction for $100, you make .5% of that, or $0.50. If Jeff then attracts "Amy," she's in your tier 2; and if she wins an auction for $100, you make .35%, or $0.35.
Clearly, the more people you can attract to the program, the better you can do. It's also the kind of program that can take some time and patience to build up to substantial payouts. You need to wait 30 days after the date of purchase until individual items are eligible for payout, to help prevent fraud. KIB pays out automatically each month if your balance is over $5 (you can configure this amount in your settings.) There is a link to your kickbacks from the main page, where you can view all the items you've won on eBay and how much money you've earned. And perhaps the most satisfying, you can click the "CashOut Now!" button, and KickItBack will send that money to your specified PayPal account.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for people will be simply remembering to log into KickItBack - via the site, toolbar, or desktop widget - so they can get credit. The latter two may the most no-brainer options. "Some of our tools, like the toolbar link or the desktop widget, are already tied to the buyer's KIB account, so they can use these tools to get to eBay without having to always visit the KIB site. The tools definitely make it more convenient to make sure you always receive your kickback," said Kinell. The widget is a great tool, he added; besides just linking your account to KIB, it also will save your most recent and favorite eBay searches.
KickItBack also has some fun features, such as its "Deals": "the hottest items on eBay at the lowest prices." At this writing, they are items such as Chanel sunglasses, Nintendo Wii, Coach handbags, Rolex watches, and iRobot vacuums. "We had a lot of fun coming up with the deals we display," said Kinell. "A number of our staff who all had knowledge about one type of product or another spent time creating criteria on hot products for what would be a great deal. The KIB site will then start learning what types of items a buyer is most interested in. For example, if a buyer clicks on an iPod from the deals page, we will make sure to continue to show iPods to this user, as opposed to items they have not expressed interest in the first few times they went to the deals page."
One of the principles of saving money is to pay yourself first when you get a paycheck. With all the money we'll be spending this holiday season, setting up a program like this can make us feel better that at least some of that jack is coming back.
About the author:
Julia Wilkinson is the author of "The eBay Price Guide" (No Starch Press, 2006) and "eBay Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks" (Wiley, 2004-6). Her free "Yard Salers" newsletter is at available at YardSalers.net where you will also find her latest ebook, Flip It Again.
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