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Sun Nov 9 2008 10:37:31

eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

By: Ina Steiner

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Some people are listing gift cards on eBay for higher than the card value. The listings state that buyers can purchase them through Microsoft's Live Search Cashback program to save 25 percent. For example, one listing for a gift card says "$500 American Airlines Gift Card - FREE Shipping & Ins!" in the title, and says "Only $405 with Microsoft Cashback!" in the subtitle. The seller listed the $500 card with a Buy It Now price of $539.95.

According to eBay's announcement about the cashback program, shoppers who arrive at eBay through Microsoft Live Search can receive up to 30% cash back on the purchase of any eligible fixed-price item when using a PayPal account through the Microsoft Live Search cashback program.

But buyers and sellers reported in October that PayPal is voiding such transactions. One of the buyers wrote on the discussion boards on October 4th, "Yesterday, my wife purchased a gift card that should have eligible for the MS Live 30% rebate. Shortly after the transaction was complete, Ebay cancelled the sellers listing. Today, my wife received an email from Paypal advising that they have determined that she engaged in a "sham" transaction for the express purpose of receiving a rebate. Therefore, the rebate would be cancelled."


Here are the terms - not exactly enlightening.

The eBay Terms of Service states: eBay may permit you to combine Cashback Rewards with other eBay promotions, coupons, or gift certificates (each, an "eBay Promotion") and may permit you to receive Cashback Rewards on purchases of gift cards or gift certificates. If eBay elects to do so, you will be provided with an opportunity to combine Cash Back Rewards with the eBay Promotion during the checkout flow on www.eBay.com. With the exception of eBay Promotions as described herein, Cashback Rewards cannot be combined with any other offer on purchases on www.eBay.com;

The Microsoft Terms of Service states in section 17: (h) you exceed the annual monetary cap on cashback rewards. Live Search cashback rewards are not available on purchases of gift cards or gift certificates or on purchases you make from yourself or entities that you control or in collusion with other people.

 




Comments (20) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage   eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

by: TekGems

Sun Nov 9 11:20:07 2008

It would be funny if it was eBay gift cards! I think long-term these coupons and cashback rebates are bad idea. I think coupon users are not loyal -- its all about the bottom line for them.

eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage   eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

by: Patricia

Sun Nov 9 11:57:29 2008

I am so sick to death of Ebay and its murky deals and general runaround it gives its customers.  It almost seems to be run by a group of silly teens trying to act like businesspeople!  I much prefer Amazon and basically that is the major reason why I don't shop on Ebay anymore.

eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage   eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

by: Patrick Alexander

Sun Nov 9 12:33:34 2008

This is sounding a lot like: ''Forward these emails & Bill Gates will send you $10,000.''

So Microsoft is giving away large rebates on items sold by others to promote use of their search engine??

I've seen several threads elswhere saying it takes 2 months to actually receive your rebate. Did anyone actually get paid yet ??

This doesn't sound quite right......

I think I'll pass...

eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage   eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

by: dimes

Sun Nov 9 13:23:06 2008

I'm not following the logic.

Why is a transaction done for the express purpose of obtaining a rebate a "sham"?  Isn't that the purpose of offering a rebate - to get someone to buy something they might not otherwise purchase?

eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage   eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

by: Daisy

Sun Nov 9 13:37:52 2008

It never gets boring. eBay: one dumb trick after another.

eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage   eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

by: mike

Sun Nov 9 16:15:54 2008

i am sure, these sellers report their listings to eBay after the transactions are completed so they can get a credit on the fvf. they cant afford to sell at these prices with these fees

eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage   eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

by: eBuyer Feedback

Sun Nov 9 17:20:11 2008

Serves these people right for trying to game the system.

I did get my cashback and it took just over 60 days.  Just had it put into my PayPal account without any fees.  Of course having taken about $500 from Microsoft I'm still fully loyal to Google and I wouldn't have made those legitimate purchases on eBay without the ridiculously high cash back being offered.

I will also state that programs like these hurt the affiliates.  When Microsoft first launched this program most of my affiliate income almost immediately vanished.

eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage   eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

by: Tired

Sun Nov 9 17:34:13 2008

ALL of the SELLERS that listed such an item should be kicked off eBay.  

eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage   eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

by: Anon

Sun Nov 9 19:16:14 2008

Ebay needs to be more transparent in their policy.
From MS policy: "In the event of a conflict between any of these terms and conditions and those disclosed on the merchant site, the ones disclosed on the merchant site will apply and control."

So that must mean that MS is letting ebay have the last word on policy?

Ebay says: "eBay may permit you to combine Cashback Rewards with other eBay promotions, coupons, or gift certificates (each, an "eBay Promotion") and may permit you to receive Cashback Rewards on purchases of gift cards or gift certificates."

So why did ebay/paypal automatically refund a bunch of buyers and accuse some of them of being involved in a sham?
They really need to get their policy terms straight.
"may permit" just doesn't cut it!
Their policy looks more like swiss cheese with lots of holes that benefit only ebay.
Just another sad example of why members are so disillusioned with ebay.

eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage   eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

by: Dman

Mon Nov 10 08:24:21 2008

Several months back I received an invitation from Ebay to partake in a similar promotion, that time it was offering a kickback of 3% to 9% on my purchases to be used at a later date as well. I spoke with family and friends and we sprung into action, buying Ebay giftcards at our local grocery store to gain gasoline perks which saved us money immediately on the purchases of the $4.00+ per gallon gas at the time. Then funneling our Ebay “purchases” back through our own personal accounts ( if you don’t have 3-4 ebay accounts at a time you’re just not a true Ebayer ) from one central account piling up the kickbacks all along the way. Then in the end, we made one large purchase with the kickback credit after the waiting period.

This was a true win-win for us and Ebay, Ebay collected fees on nearly $5000.00 in sales, showed completed auctions and active users. We enjoyed buying nearly 150 gallons of gas for the cost of the Ebay fees, approximately $2.00 a gallon and we walked away with nearly $300.00 from the kickback.

I encourage everyone to think outside of the box and look for the silver lining in this promotion. If you can’t beat, join them as I always say.

eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage   eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

by: Ann

Mon Nov 10 13:50:44 2008

Dman,

If you really did what you state, you violated not only eBay's TOS, but Federal law as well. Funneling those through your own accounts is fraud and shill bidding.

eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage   eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Mon Nov 10 16:49:37 2008

What's so hard to understand about this?

"The Microsoft Terms of Service states in section 17: (h)Live Search cashback rewards are not available on purchases of gift cards or gift certificates "

Duh!

eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage   eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

by: mindelec

Mon Nov 10 17:17:33 2008

"I've seen several threads elswhere saying it takes 2 months to actually receive your rebate. Did anyone actually get paid yet ??"

it wasn't on ebay, but yes i have received the cashback as promised from live.  i hesitate to promote it in my ebay listings because of the number of hoops that have to be jumped through and i think that most buyers won't read the full TOS and will expect their rebate immediately.

eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage   eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

by: Anon

Thu Nov 13 04:58:07 2008

Bob,

Apparently you missed this part.

"In the event of a conflict between any of these terms and conditions and those disclosed on the merchant site, the ones disclosed on the merchant site will apply and control."

THEN on ebay's terms (the merchant site) it says
"and may permit you to receive Cashback Rewards on purchases of gift cards or gift certificates."


eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage   eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

by: Rajesh Sinha

Sat Nov 15 09:26:38 2008

I believe microsoft just stopped the ebay cashback program.  It appears they replaced it with a live.com counter which credits you for every time you search on live.com

eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage   eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

by: Brian

Sat Nov 15 10:41:39 2008

Yeah i was going to buy something this morning and i noticed that they took the promotion for cashback on ebay down. I couldn't find a link on the normal searches. I don't think the "replaced" it with the searchperks program because i have been signed up for that while they were still doing the cashback. I really hope they put the cashback up again!

eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage   eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

by: CINDY

Tue Nov 25 12:57:51 2008

I just started using the cashback program this month and I have about $87 pending that I will receive in 60 days from purchase.  I did find when you use live.com search the ebay link with the cashback symbol does not always show.  I just use the same search for a Kodak easyshare frame (which I purchased) and I always get the link and can purchase any ''buy it now'' auction and get the 25%.  Great Deal!

eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage   eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

by: randy

Sun Nov 30 21:39:03 2008

I am getting scared after reading some of these that I may not get my rebates.  I have received a few instantly and am now at the 12 transaction limit.  Anyone know of problems with the 60 day limit and the gift card issue?

eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage   eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

by: anonymous

Sun Nov 30 23:02:00 2008

There's another problem with the livesearch promotion, besides the fact that it's ebay's way of killing the acution-format--I have encountered buyers who win AUCTIONS, then demand the item to be relisted with buy it now in order to get the cashback.  In other words, they don't limit themselves to looking for fixed-price listings, they try to get sellers to recreate AUCTIONS as FIXED-PRICE just to get the promotion.

eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage   eBay Sellers Use Microsoft Cashback in Gift-Card Arbitrage

by: Craig

Tue Dec 2 01:55:31 2008

If you want to get the MS cashback instantly, then purchase an auction that has no return policy (this is the key).  The 60 days is for protection in case you return the item.



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