There are numerous Chrome extensions that will help you save money or earn cash back on your online arbitrage purchases. Three of my favorites are InvisibleHand, Ebates and Honey:
In this post, I’ll show you how I used these extensions during a recent online arbitrage purchase at Macy’s. Plus, at the end, there’s a bonus section to show you how I account for them in QuickBooks!
Chrome Extensions are Busy Helpers
Once I landed on Macy’s front page, the Chrome extensions immediately went to work. Ebates notified me about their 6% cash back offer and InvisibleHand told me that I can purchase discounted gift cards at Raise.com. Though the above image doesn’t show it, Honey was busy looking for coupon codes to try during checkout.
Ebates is a site where you earn cash back from your qualified purchases. When I first joined Ebates, I would go to their website, find a store and then click on the store link to open up an Ebates ticket and be directed to the store’s website.
However, with the Ebates Chrome extension, you don’t need to visit Ebates first. The extension will check to see if the store that you landed on is part of the Ebates network. If it is, all you have to do is click on the Ebates Activate button.
I like to activate the Ebates cash back right away so that I don’t forget to later.
Lower Your Price with InvisibleHand
To learn about sales, promotions and shipping discounts, all you have to do is click on InvisibleHand’s View Coupons button:
Since I like to buy shoes, I started my search in the Sandal department as Macy’s was having a 40% off sale when you buy 3 or more pairs. I ended up finding 3 pairs of sandals and 2 accessories during this shopping trip.
The total price came to $110.56.
Purchase a Discounted Gift Card with Raise
InvisibleHand had a message about saving with discounted gift cards at Raise. I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to check it out so I clicked thru to get to Raise and found two Macy’s gift cards with a combined value of $103.70 that were selling for $96.81.
At the Raise website, InvisibleHand notified me that there was a $5.00 discount for new users that spend over $75.00 on their first order. But when I went to pay, I saw that I also had another $5.00 discount. Therefore, I ended up paying $86.81 for the 2 gift cards:
The gift cards were available for redemption instantly so I went back to Macy’s to complete my purchase.
Look for Coupons Codes with InvisibleHand and Honey
During the checkout process, Honey will pop up and entice you to click on their buttons to earn cash back and to try out the coupon codes. If I’m already using Ebates, I’ll only have Honey try the coupon codes because you can’t stack the Honey cash back with the Ebates cash back. Also, I click on InvisibleHand’s View Coupons button again to check one more time for shipping discounts:
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to use any of the Honey coupon codes. 🙁
If you click on Honey’s Get Bonus! Button, you’ll earn cash back rewards with your qualified purchases. However, be careful because it might cancel your Ebates cash back:
Whether you choose to earn cash back with Ebates or Honey is up to you. I personally prefer to use Ebates.
Other Options: Email Lists and Active Junky
Ebates, Honey and InvisibleHand aren’t the only ways to save money. You can also sign up for the store’s email program and sometimes the store will email you a coupon code that is better than what InvisibleHand and Honey finds! I especially find this true when shopping at Sierra Trading Post.
Be sure to sign up for Active Junky (another cash back site) if you shop at Sierra Trading Post. Typically you can earn more with Active Junky than you can with Ebates on your Sierra Trading Post purchases. The last time I used Active Junky, I earned 10% back!
List of Sites to Help You Save Money!
Here are the links to the sites that I mentioned:
Active Junky: Cash back site that’s great for Sierra Trading Post purchases.
Ebates: Cash back site and be sure to install the Chrome Browser.
Honey: Finds coupon codes for you and gives you the chance to earn cash back.
InvisibleHand: Helps you obtain lower prices by notifying you about coupons, sales, discounted gift cards and free shipping promotions.
Raise: Purchase discounted gift cards to save money!
Thank you in advance for using any of my affiliate links as it helps to pay for the cost of maintaining this website!
Accounting for Your Discounted Gift Cards and Cash Back
Purchasing discounted gift cards and earning cash back makes your accounting a little more complicated. Here’s how I track my gift card purchases and cash back earnings:
Discounted Gift Cards: I have an asset account called Gift Card Balances. This is where I record the gift card purchases with Raise:
- Starting Gift Card Balance: $0.00
- Purchase gift cards from Raise for $86.51
- Ending Gift Card Balance: $86.51
Once I purchase the products from Macy’s, I’ll transfer the $86.81 to my Inventory Asset Account and the Gift Card Balance will go back to zero.
- Pay for items from Macy’s using the Raise Gift Cards
- Ending Gift Card Balance: $0.00
- Inventory Account is increased by $86.51
My total buy cost for the Macy’s Purchase is $93.67 because that’s the actual money that I paid for the purchase. My buy cost is not $110.56 because that’s not what I paid:
I treat the discounted gift card accounting just like a coupon or sale purchase. If I purchase a $100 item for $90 because it was on sale, I’ll use $90 as my buy cost.
Cash Back Sites: Once any cash back is deposited into either my checking or PayPal account, I’ll add that to the “Cash Back Bonuses” income account shown below on my Profit and Loss statement:
My accountant is good with the way I record my accounting entries. But please check with your accountant or professional adviser to see how you should enter your entries. Remember, I am not an accountant!
Have an enjoyable day and please tell me about your favorite ways to save or make money with online arbitrage. You can leave a comment in the form below or on my Facebook Page.