Yes...the headline is true and Microsoft's Bing Cashback program will pay up to 50% of the purchase price. So, as I understand it when you purchase a pair of shoes for $100 you get $50 back!
That is one heck of ratio to pay for traffic, but I guess when you have that much cash on hand and are going after Google, this is one way to do it.
Want to learn more about this incredible program? Well, I turned to a comprehensive article written by Boaz Berkowitz at Seeking Alpha. Here is part of it and then a link to the whole story.
Note: Microsoft began this program last year after they bought the online shopping comparsion engine JellyFish an incorporated their "cash-back" tool into Live Cash Back - now Bing Cashback; for August this porgram has been ramped up to a whole new level.
- Chip Arndt
By: Boaz Berkowitz
August 10, 2009"Starting today, Microsoft (MSFT) plans to actually pay users to search via Bing. Yes, you read that correctly - they will PAY you, in cash, to use Bing rather than some other search engine such as Yahoo (YHOO), or more likely Google (GOOG). How will they do this? When you shop online through the Bing search engine, Microsoft will refund you a portion of your purchase price at its own expense. Okay, they have actually been doing this for a while, but starting today they will double that amount to up to 50% of your purchase price. That’s worth taking notice.
In practice, this concept isn’t entirely new. Many e-commerce sites have affiliate programs which will pay a third party site (like Bing) for referring customers to them. Microsoft’s search engine has taken advantage of this by combining its search engine capabilities with various affiliate programs. When a buyer searches for an item on Bing and then purchases it, Microsoft gets paid a commission for the referral.
There are many sites that do this, but Microsoft is the only one that refunds 100% of this commission back to its users. For more on this, read my last article on Microsoft’s Bing.com (formerly Live.com) here. As you can see from the article, Microsoft has dabbled with paying users out of pocket to shop via Bing in the past. Previously, they have offered similar promotional discounts to specific stores like eBay (EBAY). In that instance, users received up to 30-35% cashback for making their eBay purchases through Bing. But with this promotion, they will double the cashback on ALL affiliate stores, up to 50%!