Microsoft really wants people to use their search engine, Live.com. So much so, apparently, that they’re going to pay you to use it when you’re shopping online. By going through their search engine instead of directly to an online retailer, they will give you a percentage off of your purchase in the form of a “cashback” refund later on. Each retailer has its own percentage cashback, but one of the highest is eBay.
When you shop at eBay through Live.com, you’ll get 25% back from qualifying purchases, up to $200 per purchase. This means if you find a deal on a shiny new Apple Macbook for $1,200, you’ll get $200 of that back, so your total cost is an even grand.
A “qualifying purchase” just means you have to purchase something through a Buy It Now auction, and pay with a PayPal account in good standing. Also, things like automobiles are not eligible.
You get your cashback from Microsoft 60 days after your purchase.
So, if you were going to buy a Macbook, here’s what you do:
1) Go here to sign up for a Windows Live ID or sign in with your current @live.com or @hotmail.com address
2) Now that you’re logged in, go back to the search engine homepage at www.live.com, and search for “macbook”
3) At the top of the page, click on the sponsored ad for eBay that has the “Live Search cashback” icon next to it
4) Make sure the Microsoft cashback tag is at the top of the screen. Now search or browse for what you want and purchase it using Buy It Now. When you get to the payment confirmation page, it will list the amount that you will receive back. Make sure you pay with PayPal!
5) Shortly after your purchase, you’ll get a message entitled “You’ve earned cashback” in your My eBay Messages. Click “Get cashback” in that message. This ties your purchase to your Live.com account.
And now we play the waiting game…
It may take a few days for the purchase to show up as a pending item in your cashback account, but after that it will show a countdown to the date when you can claim your cashback. Then you just log back in and tell them where to send payment!