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Are you one to shop online? Earning cash back for your shopping efforts is a great way to get some money back but is Shop Smarter a scam or is it worth your while to use them for your online shopping?
My Shop Smarter review below will answer this question for you and I will provide all the info you need to decide whether or not you should use them.
I know it’s great to get some money back for shopping things you were going to buy anyway but sometimes it will cost you more than you think.
I have put together this review for you to show you every aspect so let’s get into the following sections:
- What Is Shop Smarter?
- How Shop Smarter Really Works
- Is Shop Smarter A Scam?
- Cash Back Sites Aren’t The Best To Way To Make Money Online
If You Don’t Want To Waste Anymore Time On Cash Back Sites,
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WHAT IS SHOP SMARTER?
Program Name: Shop Smarter
Price: $1.97 for first 7 days, then $9.97 per month thereafter
Shop Smarter is a cash back site mainly where you can go on their site to shop for things you usually need or want and if you do it through their site, they will give you 10% cash back for all your purchases.
10% is extremely high for industry standard for cash back sites so that’s why there is a catch before you earn anything back.
You have to pay to be a member of Shop Smarter in order to use their cash back platform which I find funny because the top cash back sites that I have seen and reviewed before are all free to join.
So Shop Smarter having membership fees is definitely not attractive even if you get 10% cash back on your purchases because you have to buy at least $100 worth of stuff through their site just to make back your membership fee ($9.97/mo).
To actually earn anything above that, you have to buy even more.
The other aspects of the Shop Smarter site offers you coupons and a price comparison tool that you can use to find the best deals.
However, the main attraction of this Shop Smarter site is the fact that you can earn 10% of all your purchases but is it worth it?
From what I have seen so far, I think I’d rather go to my usual go to’s for cash back sites:
I will now go dig a little deeper into Shop Smarter and show you what else I’ve found.
HOW SHOP SMARTER REALLY WORKS
In this section I will go over several aspects of Shop Smarter that will help you see how this works and how you make your money.
How You Actually Earn Money
Your first 7 day trial will cost you $1.97 to become a member and during this time, you will have full access as any member paying the full rate and you can earn 10% on all your purchases made through their site.
After your 7 day trial, you will be billed $9.97/month to continue your benefits, this is seen at the Join sign up screen, but there’s another place on their site that says the monthly fee is $12.97/month so that’s a little confusing.
Thank goodness they have a 1-800 number that actually works on their site. YAY!
So I called 3 times asking them stuff and every time, their customer service was knowledgeable, helpful, and nice, which is great to see.
Sorry, I digressed for a bit there, the customer service said that some members will pay $12.97 and some $9.97 a month depending on what offer they got to Shop Smarter from.
So if I were you, just go on Shop Smarter directly to get the $9.97/month deal.
Okay, once you sign up for the trial you have 1100+ stores to choose from to do your shopping with and they will be adding more and more merchants.
Once you find a store that you want to shop at, you must go click the links inside there on their website to go to that store to shop on.
That is how they will track your purchases back to Shop Smarter, so this part is very important if you want to make sure you get credit for your purchases.
After you make your purchase, your 10% cash back will show up in your Shop Smarter account within 7 business days.
If approved, you will be paid on the 15th of the follow month by check so this will have to be mailed to you.
How Do They Afford To Give Us 10% Cash Back?
They can afford this in two ways:
- They are using what it’s called affiliate marketing where you can earn commissions from driving sales for other stores. So if you go through them to buy from Best Buy let’s say, Best Buy will give them back up to a % that were purchased through their site. But I don’t think that percentage is anywhere near 10%, unless they have a private deal, but still it’s a very high percentage.
- Your membership fees is definitely another way they could afford to pay you the 10% cash back. Most sites that offer cash back are free so those sites cash back % are more around 2-7% mostly but they do have higher ones too but rare.
Sounds Great But There’s A Limit
You can’t earn a lot of money with this Shop Smarter site because they cap you at $1,000 per year.
Yes, that means once you hit that cap, you are done and your membership is pretty much useless so you’ll need to either cancel it or just keep paying for their coupons or other offers.
I don’t think it’s worth staying on since you can get coupons everywhere online and their offers don’t count towards any cash back, so what’s the point? Just more spending.
What I Like
I’ll give props to where they are earned so I can’t say enough about their customer service and that 800 number they provide.
First there was hardly any wait to talk to someone and even though I spoke with 3 different people, they were all genuinely concerned and willing to help me figure this out.
There’s nothing like good customer service and although I have seen others having complaints about Shop Smarter, this one fact that you can contact them almost immediately with a phone call should be able to fix any problems you may encounter on there.
You will at least find out what the problem was and they will work with you to make sure you have no other questions for them before they let you go.
I guess that’s where your membership money is going to as well. Most free sites won’t have this kind of customer service so there’s your give and take.
Complaints I’ve Found
The complaints found for Shop Smarter is not different than other complaints of other cash back sites.
They are usually about the same like getting your account locked for no reason, not getting credited as you should for the cash back that you do earn, and people being charged incorrectly.
This last one about not being charged correctly will be unique to this site since the other sites don’t have memberships.
However, I feel any problems you have at this site can be questioned and get help on by just calling their number 800-254-6536.
People also complained about misleading ads and offers but you have to remember that these offers do not count towards cash back.
These are offers that you take at your own risk and you should be reading all small prints to find out what your charges are before you take on these offers.
Some may say it’s free offer but you have to pay shipping and handling or you may get a free trial and have to pay once the trial is over if you don’t cancel.
Therefore, if you are going to be taking up on offers, you need to make sure you have written them down somewhere so you can remember to cancel before they start charging you.
IS SHOP SMARTER A SCAM?
Certainly, I don’t feel Shop Smarter is a scam at all and in fact a good site to use if you don’t mind paying for a membership fee.
You could see it as paying $120 to get back $1,000 in savings because that’s how much you’ll be paying for a year and you could only get $1K of cash back for the year.
It’s not calendar year but your membership year.
So if you don’t like having that membership and want to hunt down better cash back sites then I welcome you to check out these ones that I had listed before but these here are SIGN UP links will take you directly to those sites:
Although Shop Smarter has great customer service, in the end, I do not recommend them because of their membership fee.
I just don’t like that you have to pay on top of already buying things from their site but that’s just me.
As well, they only one payment method which is the slowest one to have, check, and that’s also the easier to get lost and then you’ll have to wait even longer.
CASH BACK SITES AREN’T THE BEST WAY TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE
I think cash back sites are nice to have around in case you make enough purchases that’s worth signing on to these sites to get a little bit of money back but please don’t think this is a way to actually make money online because you won’t.
The cash back you get will of course never amount to the dollars you actually spend for the purchase but yes it’s nice to get some savings and that’s all they should be used for.
If you’re looking to really make money online, then building an online business using that same affiliate marketing business model could make you a real income stream you can depend on.
But building an online business is no easy task so don’t think this will be as easy as buying something online, this is for someone who is really looking for ways to make money online legitimately and want to learn.
If that’s you, I invite you to check out my free guide here where you will see what I do and how I make money living online:
At the end of the day, you want to earn more than you spend, so cash back sites are not the way to go if that was what you were thinking.
Besides, you can check out what I do for FREE, and even check out that training platform that I use for FREE as well (which is in my free guide too).
When you sign up for a free account there, you can see how much I’ve been earning and how long I’ve been there by searching for me under “littlemama” as my username (or see my message on your profile, I send one when I get notified you signed up).
Not only that, you will be able to check out 20% of their main courses on their absolutely FREE along with other business tools you’ll need to get started.
When you find that you like what you see and want to go all in to learn how to do this, then you’ll have the chance to have me be your personal coach to guide you through your new journey!
You don’t just get free coaching anywhere, but if you do have one, it will help you through your journey so much easier and see results quicker.
Stop wasting time on cash back sites and start building a real online future today!
If you have any questions or thoughts regarding whether Shop Smarter is a scam or anything else, please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below. I always reply to my readers! 🙂
Let’s make money online!