updated 02:05 pm EDT, Wed May 21, 2008
MS Live Search cashback
Microsoft today announced Live Search cashback, an online search program that rewards users with ad-funded cash rebates when they search for and purchase products from partnering online stores. Users will be able to collect their savings, accumulated by making purchases found via the new site. They will need to set up an account, and can cash out when the account reaches a minimum of $5.
The cash back amounts themselves are a percentage of the product's purchase price, usually ranging from 2 to 10 percent, but can get as high as 22 percent, depending on the retailer and price of the product in question, with more expensive items carrying higher-percentage cash back values.
Microsoft collects money from its partners - the advertisers - on a CPA (cost per action) basis, which is the same amount as the one users receive. Essentially, advertisers with the highest discount / cash back offers want business most, though they may not offer the lowest prices, despite the discount. The service currently encompasses over 10 million products from more than 700 merchants.
Live Search cashback was built on the technology Microsoft aquired with last year's purchase of comparison shopping site Jellyfish.