We all get a lot of email everyday: work, friends, merchants, etc. While it’s helpful in managing your time (and patience) to prevent as much spam as possible, it can be lucrative to agree to sign up for email communication when shopping online. Case in point, although it’s targeted, but I posted the link some time ago, PayPal has been running an invitation-only promotion where one can receive 5% cash back from shopping through various retailers until 12/21/09. Ok, while it won’t break the bank, 5% cash back is 5% that you can save. Plus, use a cash-back or points earning credit card and you can save (or earn, depending on how you view it) that much more. It may be more like 6% or more now.
So far, I have received about $5, but the best part is that the next time I buy something through PayPal, for instance a $50 gift card at Best Buy, it will only cost me $45. PayPal just deducts your rebate from your account that way you won’t inadvertently spend it should it have come to your normal banking account.
The lesson is that it might be wise to set up two email accounts: one for friends, family, and important communications, and one simply for shopping. Check your other account periodically, especially if you are going to shop through a specific retailer, and see if they have invitation-only offers in which you can take advantage. You might be surprised. At the end of the day, it’s tax free money back to you for doing nothing different from what you would have anyway.