FreeShipping.com - SCAM or Deal?

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Okay, so I got in on that $5 off $5 deal on eforcity.com and now I've got an email that I'm eligible for a "shipping rebate" via a free trial of freeshipping.com,

In reviewing the website, it appears that for their $80 annual fee, you can get all of your shipping charges refunded, up to $500 a year. Has anyone signed up for this? If so, what did you think? Do the checks come?

I'm intersted in this because there are many used books I want on Amazon.com and they aren't eligible for Amazon prime. If they were, I'd do Amazon prime.

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Review from the web:


FreeShipping.com is a newer program that a lot of bloggers are promoting. As a former eBay seller, I thought the idea of “Free Shipping” sounded pretty good and decided to do a little research –

If you Google search “FreeShipping.com” you’ll likely find close to 2 million results – and if you start reading those results you’ll be persuaded to think that FreeShipping.com is an excellent program. But deeper digging may prove otherwise -

WHAT IS FREESHIPPING.COM?
FreeShipping.com is a company that is like BigCrumbs in a way – they offer “Cash Back” for online purchases you make – BUT, instead of giving you the cash they give you “bonuses” that turn into “free shipping rewards” . The overall idea *seems* as if it may be beneficial to those who do a ton of shipping, but there is a lot of “glitches” in the program that are making FreeShipping.com seem more like FreeScamming.com.

PROBLEM #1 – The membership cost. If you do a Google Search for “FreeShipping.com Scam” you will find numerous reports being made by people that state their credit cards were billed between $79 - $89 “for no reason”. Let me clarify; there is indeed a reason why the credit cards are being billed this amount; it’s the membership fee. FreeShipping.com charges approximately $80 a year to be a member. Many times, like with MyLifeStylePerks.com, you are auto-enrolled into the program through another merchant (with MyLifeStylePerks the most common merchant is Victoria’s Secret). There are many companies that are promoting FreeShipping.com, including some very popular online florists. The florist will ask you when you are making your purchase if you are interested in getting “free shipping”. If you agree to get it you are agreeing to be enrolled in the FreeShipping.com program, which will be billed to your same credit card which you ordered the flowers through.

PROBLEM #2 – “Free Trial Membership”. FreeShipping.com has a big promotion for it’s “free trial membership” which leads you to believe that for 30 days straight you will have full access to 100% of the membership benefits without being charged a penny. The TRUTH is that while you do have “access” to the membership benefits during the 30 day period, you are unable to “qualify” for any rebates. If you do not extend your free 30-day trial to a full membership and pay the yearly membership fee, your shipping costs accumulated during the free trial are invalid for rebates; meaning you can use the program as much as you’d like but unless you pay the $80 you won’t get a penny back!

PROBLEM #3 – FINANCIAL GAIN AT YOUR LOSS. As mentioned above, during the 30 day free trial you will be using the links provided by FreeShipping.com to do your shopping and accumulate your “free shipping bonuses”. Every link provided to you is an affiliate company that FreeShipping.com works with. FreeShiipping.com is able to provide you with “earnings” because each time you use their links to make a purchase the company pays them a percentage of the purchase you make. So lets say during your 30 day “free trial” you place three orders and accumulate $15 in “free shipping bonuses” – at this point FreeShipping.com has made $45 in cash and although you may *think* you have earned $15, you have actually earned $0 since you have not yet extended your membership and paid the $80 membership fee. Now, if you decide to cancel your “free trial” as to avoid the membership fee, FreeShipping.com has walked away with a free $45 in affiliate income and you’re left with nothing. So while you’re attempting to save a few bucks FreeShipping.com is cashing in!




PROBLEM #4 – Redeeming “Rebates”. If you DO decide to stick out the program and pay the $80 membership fee and you DO decide to earn “free shipping” by shopping using FreeShipping.com affiliate links you will eventually earn enough points to get your free shipping rebate. Here comes the hassle –

When you want to redeem you will need to do the following:

a.) Photocopy your original receipt or invoice
b.) Download the rebates form
c.) Print rebate form
d.) Fill out rebate form
e.) Get an envelope
f.) Place all required items in the envelope (be sure to double check and see if any UPC / Barcodes are needed)
g.) Address Envelope
h.) Stamp Envelope
i.) Ship Envelope
j.) Wait for rebate

So requesting a single rebate is going to cost you a minimum of 2 pieces of paper, an envelope, a stamp, ink required to print said materials and about 15 minutes of your time. That may not sound like a lot, but the cost adds up! If you’re spending $2.00 to request a $10 rebate, you’re losing 20% of your earnings right out the gate!
PROBLEM #5 – The amount of “Free Shipping” you can get is not “limitless”. You can only earn a max of $500 per year. Take into consideration that you have to deduct the $80 you spend on you membership, which knocks your total “profit” down to $420.

If you really do a lot of shipping and you want to give FreeShipping.com a try, you can check it out here. However, I would suggest using a program like Mr.Rebates instead. Mr.Rebates allows you to earn cash money for your purchase. You can then spend your cash on shipping costs or whatever you'd like. BigCrumbs is also a great site for Cash Back shopping. I use them both on a regular basis. You can use my search box to find all of my articles about both companies as well as screenshots of my payments.

Thanks. Has anyone actually became a member and received the rebates? I don't mind the annual membership fee since I'm buying a lot of used books on spamazon, many of them which sell for less than the $3.99 shipping charge. I don't mind some paperwork and a stamp if it means I can get $4 off each book.

blueoregon said: ...Has anyone actually became a member and received the rebates?

I joined FS.com several times, several years ago, and was able to get several claims fulfilled during the the free trial period. They paid kinda slow I recall, and I had to keep track of all my claims and payouts. I eventually quit and never id get a full,
paid membership -- seemed too much bother.

I would suggest you carefully read their rules about claims, eg if they'll pay off on several claims on the same vendor in the same month.

I just got one of the links to freeshipping.com in a confirmation email from half.com. It sounded like a good idea because I like to buy a lot of cheap used games and books, and shipping ends up being about half the cost.

Those problems #1-#4 seem acceptable to me as long as you know what you are getting into. However, I certainly don't want to deal with printing out receipts, forms, and doing mailings. It seems odd that they have such a low tech way of claiming the rebates, but I guess it's a deterrent to people sending in forms and one way they make their money.

I haven't heard of BigCrumbs before, but I'll check them out.

Thanks!

I had the free membership with them ~ 7-8 month ago , after I got flowers from proflowrs.com with $15 shipping , sign up for freeship.com, right away submited all docs by email , but they told me to send it via regular mail as well.
I did so as well on the same day, they got it and it was processed within 5 weeks.
As soon as i get a check i cashed it and cancel the memebership.
Nothing was billed to my credit card.

Oh I also used virtual credit card N from Citibank and set the amount of $1 and exp in 2 month.

So they could not even bill me for the membership

This Freeshipping.com sounds like a major scam based on the Atlanticfisherman's fact list. If you are looking for free shipping, the best deal I've ever had is the Amazon prime free trial. I'm not trying to threadjack here but if someone is reading this thread then they are probably trying to find some free shipping. Anyway, I ordered up a bunch of stuff using the Amazon prime (such as an 80 pound dog house, etc.). I cancelled my prime a few days before it was done and I wasn't charged a cent!

atlanticfisherman thanks for all the input. I got suckered in by ProFlowers around xmas last year. I forgot to cancel the membership during the trial so I was out the $80 or $90. Seems to me I joined up and submitted for the ProFlowers rebate. I then forgot about it and it was a long time before I got the rebate check. Then it was too late to cancel the trial.

I used ProFlowers again in the middle of the year so I remembered the freeshipping.com. I filled out the rebate on-line but I can't say for sure that I actually mailed in the paperwork. I didn't receive a check so I mailed the form along with a note and I eventually received a check. I was suprised because the rules say something about 30 day time limit.

I just ordered a few things on-line so I am about to submit more.

There are two types of rebates and both are limited to $10.00.
The first is from the list of associate merchants on their site. You select the merchant and click through like FW ca$hback or BING ca$hback. On the website you can see your click through history.
The second type is for other merchants not listed on their site or if you forget to click through for one of their associate merchants.

Either way, you have to fill out the form on-line, then print the form, attach reciepts, mail it, wait for check.
Also, you have to submit within 30 days.

Blueoregon wants to use for the shipping costs for the used books on Amazon.com. I think the shipping charge is set at $2.99.
This seems like a lot of trouble for $2.99. Even if you buy several books in one transaction, Amazon will give a seperate invoice for each one of the actual sellers.

I will try to post all the fine print concerning the two different rebates after this
Hope this helps.

Oh, I don't think freeshipping.com is a scam.
But, In my opinion its NOT a good deal. I don't think its worth the trouble.

Exclusive FREE Shipping Rebates- Terms and Conditions


Insiders-Club members are entitled to take advantage of our Exclusive FREE Shipping Rebates. In order to claim the rebates, you must be an active member. Exclusive FREE Shipping Rebates can only be claimed for purchases made while your membership is in effect, unless specifically stated otherwise. Rebates must be mailed within 30 days from the date of purchase. You must provide the Insiders-Club with valid proof of the shipping and handling charges you paid, by including either the order confirmation or packing slip with your claim. In certain cases, we may require that a packing slip is provided as valid proof.

Only purchases made from merchants listed in the Exclusive Free Shipping directory are eligible for rebates. You MUST follow the links provided for a purchase to qualify. For your convenience, each click from any link in our merchant directories is tracked, and can be viewed by clicking the "Click History" link.

Making Claims

To make a claim, you need to follow the following procedures and restrictions:

For a purchase to be eligible for Exclusive FREE Shipping Rebates, you must follow the links provided. Purchases made from a retailer that was not initiated via links from the Insiders-Club web site will not be honored. Merchant visits are tracked on the "Click History" page of the site.
Claims must be made (and documentation postmarked) within 30 days of the date of purchase
Up to $10 can be claimed per order; $500 maximum per membership year
No duplicate claims
You must be a current Insiders-Club member when a claim is paid to qualify
Up to twelve claims per retailer per membership year are allowed
Only one purchase per retailer per day may qualify for reimbursement
Claims cannot be made on orders which have been cancelled
Purchases must have been made while you were an active Insiders-Club member
The order confirmation, original sales receipt, or packing slip with the price, retailer information, shipping and handling charges and sales date must be provided. In certain cases, we may require that a packing slip is provided as valid proof.
Complete the claim form on this site and send the required documentation to the address indicated.
You will receive your rebate as soon as possible, but please allow 3 to 6 weeks for processing.

$50 in Bonus Free Shipping Rebates

Your membership includes $50 in Bonus Rebates you can use for ANY online purchase. These are in addition to the $500 in members-only Exclusive Free Shipping rebates you get when you shop through our directory of over 1,000 merchants!

To make a claim, complete the form below, and follow the instructions provided:

Valid for the ProFlowers.com purchase made the day you joined- Get up to $15 CASH-BACK on your delivery charges
Good at ANY online merchant, not just those in our directory!
Claim up to $50 during your first year of membership ($12.50 can be claimed each membership quarter after your first four months)
Claims must be made within 30 days of the purchase date

hermosatrout5 said: $50 in Bonus Free Shipping Rebates

Your membership includes $50 in Bonus Rebates you can use for ANY online purchase. These are in addition to the $500 in members-only Exclusive Free Shipping rebates you get when you shop through our directory of over 1,000 merchants!

To make a claim, complete the form below, and follow the instructions provided:

Valid for the ProFlowers.com purchase made the day you joined- Get up to $15 CASH-BACK on your delivery charges
Good at ANY online merchant, not just those in our directory!
Claim up to $50 during your first year of membership ($12.50 can be claimed each membership quarter after your first four months)
Claims must be made within 30 days of the purchase date


This doesn't seem like too bad of a deal. You can send multiple claims (claim form plus a copy of the receipt) in one envelope.

Update 12/21/09.
I submitted 6 claims between 11/2/09 and 11/24/09. Below are dates I mailed the supporting paperwork.
11/3/2009 has been paid
11/3/2009 recently disappeared from the system
11/3/2009 another one recently disappeared from the system
11/16/2009 the system says paid. I do not have the check yet.
11/23/2009 system says "in process"
11/27/2009 system says "in process"

I have sent an email from their website about the ones that have disappeared.

Considering all the trouble for this, I would not ever subscribe again.
It is getting close to that time that they will automatically bill me for the next year.
Don't know exactly when that will be. Their website is very limited.
However, you have to be a member at the time of payment so they probably will bill me before they pay my claims.

I joined about 10 days ago and have submitted 3 claims. the first claim was submitted within a day or two. The problem with the 30 day free trial is that it takes 3-6 weeks for "processing". I emailed them several times (I guess they dont talk to anyone on the phone) and they gave me the same time line.
All three claims are in status: Submitted.
The rep that contacted me told me the membership is $11.99/month, but others say its $80/year. Searching the site, the info cannot be found. I will probably cancel within the next week or two, if not for the fact that I may not get paid then for principle alone. Very shady company.

I have only good things to say about this company so far. I got paid about $250 in free shipping rebates since January. It is great for eBay or Amazon market shopping since no free shipping codes exists. they charge me $8.97 a month. also, very easy rebate system. just write the claim# on the order confirmation and mail it to them. I usually wait untill I have 3-4 claims to save on postage.

All "scams" aren't dishonest--some ae just calculated to make money on the odsds.

MIR's in general seem to be a major problem--I've quit paying attention to them, since the standard advice to ensure that it gets paid (well, 80-90% of the time,) is to copy everything, mail certified. Costs at least $2-5 to send one in, and then it may not get paid, which entails more work to try ancd collect. Add that to the number odf companies (or their rebate processors,) who deny claims as "too late," despite all this, and the "lost" applications and the extremely long times some take to pay out, and unless the rebate is fairly substantial (say $40-50 or more,) it becomes a lot of hassle and bookkeeping which ends up paying you far less than minimum wage after taxes.Then there are things like gift card, which often expire (why? They have your money already?) or get lost. The profits from such lost/expired certificates are substantial, and are in addition to the profit to be made by holding your money until you decide what to buy with it....

Nothing is "fee" so you must figure out who & how it's being paid for.

One thing to realize about shipping is that something which might cost you as an individual $50 or more to ship, can often be shipped by a corporate account for 10% or less. This means that you can always talk to the seller about absorbing shipping costs--on larger orders this likely to be possible.

Some guarantees are worthless to--bought a pencil once "guaranteed" just send it to them. Problem? Pencil cost a nickel, postage cost a dime....

I stopped b to see what the deal with this is, largely because their website will not divulge any details until you give them a name and information...a somewhat slimy though legal procedure.

Legal NE ethical



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