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rtrski

Not an ad: Up to 30% back from Live Search

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Wasn't entirely sure where to put this, but thought the topic on "unrequited" gear lust might be the best place people lurking with intent to buy might be. I know this sounds kind of commercial, but I'm not associated with any companies mentioned, and just wanted to share the possible savings to others who might be poor(ish) like me and on the fence for a new toy.

 

Microsoft's live search is paying for searches, thru most online dealers only 2 - 5%, but with ebay it's up to 25-30%. Here's how it works. Note you must live in the US (sorry, International readers!), have an ebay account, and have (or sign up for) a Microsoft Live and cashback account at msn.com.

 

Go to www.live.com and search for something. In my case I searched for "Olympuz Zuiko 7-14 ebay".

 

Near the top of the listing should be a 'sponsored' link with a little "$ cashback" icon. Click there. This just takes you to ebay, searching "Olympus", but with a Microsoft cashback icon in the top banner.

 

Continue in ebay until you narrow down to an item you want. If you find one and use "buy it now" within an hour of the original search on live.com, when you click "buy it now" for the confirmation screen (not committed at this point to buy), you'll see whether it qualifies or not. Then you have to pay with paypal and within 60 days (quicker, many are reporting via dpreview.com forums) you'll get your refund direct to your paypal account.

 

I was surfing last night and just as luck would have it someone had JUST put up a 7-14 lens, supposedly "mint" condition, for a buy-it-now price of $1279. I hit it so hard I think I dented my mouse, confirmed the 30% (up to a max of $200) rebate was qualified, added $2 for insurance, and as of right now am tracking the shipment. A list $1600, best normal street price $1450 or so (B&H photo) lens for $1081. Granted I don't know now whether I got scammed as I'm buying from an individual, but I did go as far as going to the confirmation screen to verify the cashback option would also work with known ebay storefronts of reputable vendors like adorama, hotdigital, cameta, willoughsby, and olympus-direct. Lusting after the new 9-18 lens? Can find it for about $550 list, less 30% is $385.

 

I know this post is very Olympus-centric but no reason to believe it wouldn't work for other items. I also confirmed the cashback available on a couple postings from Helix on ebay for Ike DS-160's, but didn't pull the trigger there. With a max $200 back per item, the sweet spot for maximizing the 30% off is $600-700, which is a pretty respectable territory for finding lenses, strobes, high-end focus lights, dome ports, or for that matter BCDs, regulators, high end gear bags, etc.

 

Just READ THE FINE PRINT of the Microsoft site first to make sure you understand the limits: one purchase per hour, new 'search' must start each session, max 12 purchases and $2500 per year, $200 per item (well, $200x12 is $2400, so not sure how that adds up, but whatever), and must be buy-it-now via Paypal on ebay.

 

Hope this helps make someone's holiday shopping a little easier!!

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This is legitimate for those of you wondering if it's too good to be true. ;)

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Except looks like ebay was a short time deal. Told a friend at work, and by the time he took advantage of it it was down to 20% from 30%, and today searching "Olympus" or "Ikelite" at live.com isn't showing the cashback icon on the ebay sponsored link, just on other stores. Still, they let you search a pretty good size list of stores and sort by % back, and sort prices by 'final' price (store cost + shipping - cash back), so there's still some value. But the big 30% stuff seems to have been short term, darn it.

Edited by rtrski

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Discount for Livesearch on ebay is back, but only at 8% at the date of this posting.

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