Monday, 24 December 2012

Swagbucks Shop & Earn Review

Hey Swagbucks fans!

Back in October, I was contacted by Swagbucks to test out their Canadian Shop & Earn program a little ahead of schedule so I could help Beta Test the system.  They asked me to check it out and provide them with feedback regarding my experience and they would track the order progress.  I was also offered a "shopping spree" of $50.00 per store and asked to post an honest review on my Blog.  Overall, while there were some bumps along the way with the process, I did enjoy testing Shop & Earn, and would use it again, but keep reading for more details on my Shop & Earn experience.  All opinions are my own, and were in no way influenced by Swagbucks.

Of course being a "money-maker and saver" at heart I jumped at the chance for a shopping spree so I could purchase a few things for the family and for myself of course and be reimbursed for it as well as earn Swag Bucks!

Since most of those in our family are the type to go out and buy something if they want it, Christmas shopping is tough.  Back in October I had no clue what types of things I should purchase for Christmas, so I decided to shop for something for some things for the family and something just for me.

I was asked to shop at Walmart.ca, YvesRocher.ca and Sears.ca through Shop & Earn.  Since I wasn't exactly sure how Shop & Earn would work if I sat and browsed the sites for a long time, I went directly to the sites and did a little research of things that I wanted before I started, and so I was familiar with how to use the site for my shopping trip.  Each of these sites ask you to register and provide your contact information.  I did this with each site before I ever went through Shop & Earn, however doing so through Shop & Earn does not disrupt the tracking process to make sure you get your Swag Bucks.

When you first visit Shop & Earn, it knows if you are Canadian, and it will only show you stores that are available to you.  This is great because originally when Shop & Earn first started, there was a "Canada" tab, but you could still drift away from it and find yourself at stores that were US only, which could cause some confusion.  If for some reason you want to view the stores that are for US or UK, you can do so by mousing over the little Canadian Flag and changing it to the US or UK flag so you can browse those stores if you so choose, but you will not earn Swag Bucks for shopping at these stores even if they ship to Canada.  Canadians can only earn Swag Bucks from stores available in the Canadian Shop & Earn.

The very first thing I did with Shop & Earn itself, was familiarise myself with the stores.  When you are viewing the list of stores you will see how many Swag Bucks you will earn per $1 spent at the store. From Shop & Earn you can click directly on "Shop Now" to be brought to that store's website, or if you click on the store name it will take you directly to the specific store's page on Shop & Earn.  Here you can find special restrictions as well as a list of coupon codes you can use to get more Swag for your Buck.  These special coupon codes are for discounts on your purchase or shipping costs, or even add-on free items. If you visit the Starbucks Canada page on Shop & Earn it states special terms that "The purchase of gift cards are not eligible for Swag Bucks".  It is important to note these restrictions as you will not earn Swag Bucks for restricted purchases.

Once you have chosen a store, clicking on the "Shop Now" button will take you directly to the store's website.  It should take you there immediately, but if it doesn't there is a button to click through to the website.


Some of these sites may ask you to sign up to complete your purchase, or you may check out as a guest, whichever you choose, but I prefer signing up with the site as sometimes there is a way to go back and check the status of your order and make changes or even cancel the order if necessary.

My first Shop & Earn adventure was at Walmart.ca on October 10, 2012. I found Walmart.ca quite easy to use, and their selection of movies, toys, games, appliances and more was pretty good.  I had been thinking of getting a new electric grill as ours was pretty old, and unfortunately some of the coating started coming off.  Once I found the item I wanted it was really easy to check out.  I was already logged in to the page, so I so I just clicked the "My Cart" button at the top of the page and proceeding to complete my order.  Once it was completed I received an email detailing my order and my order#.  One of the great things about Walmart.ca is once you sign up you have access to your past and present orders so you can check their status and review past orders.

Here is a photo of my new grill, which cost $77.28 including taxes.


Now at this time, Walmart.ca is not available on Shop & Earn.  One of the things about testing something new, is that sometimes things don't work out quite as you plan.  Shop & Earn Swag Bucks were to show up in pending within 2 to 30 days after the order was completed.  Unfortunately the Swag Bucks from Walmart.ca never did show up properly, but it was definitely a learning adventure for both Swagbucks and I what works and what doesn't.  I'm hoping that it returns soon, but there is obviously some more testing that needs to be done to make sure that it works correctly.  I was credited manually after sending in a ticket at the Shop & Earn rate of 1 Swag Buck per $1 and earned 69 Swag Bucks for my purchase.

My next shopping trip was to Yves Rocher.  This one was all about getting girly stuff just for me!  I spent a lot of time picking and choosing various items I would like, and ended up getting a lot of great stuff.  I got shower gel, bubble bath, foot care items, hand cream and more!  One of the neat things about Yves Rocher is they always include samples with each order, plus often they include other free products depending on your order.  Because I ordered $45 worth of products I received a free pair of super soft gloves, and a really warm and soft cape (which I actually love wearing to keep me warm as I'm blogging).  Yves Rocher asked me to create an account as well.  You can request tracking information here and update a list of your favourite beauty products and their current promotions and free gifts available. 

At the time of my order, there was an excellent coupon code available through Swagbucks for $7 off $40 and free shipping was available for orders over $35.00.  The free shipping did not require a coupon code, so I got both.  The coupon code was found directly on the Shop & Earn page for Yves Rocher, and was super handy as it allowed me to bring my total down to $51.35 for all of the great things you see below:



Best of all?  Yves Rocher is worth 10SB per $1 spent, so I earned an extra 451 Swag Bucks for my purchase.  Unfortunately again, there was an issue with this Shop & Earn shop crediting properly via Shop & Earn, and it was credited manually after I contacted Swagbucks Support.  Yves Rocher is still available on Shop & Earn and is working properly.

My last "stop" for the spree was Sears.ca.  I am personally not a huge fan of Sears.  I find that a lot of their items are over-priced there and it was actually difficult to find something I wanted.  Originally I wanted to purchase some cushions, however when I added them to my cart and tried to check out, it removed the items from my cart and would not let me check out.  Since my family collects Disney movies, I decided to check out their selection and found two movies that we were missing and they would fit within my $50 spending spree budget.  At the time, there were no coupon codes available for Sears and they didn't have any special shipping offers.  Regular shipping is $7.95, but can be higher for appliances, and other heavy items.  Since I didn't want to pay the shipping cost, I chose the $3.95 option to have my items delivered to the store.  My total for the two movies plus shipping came out to $52.57 with taxes.  Normally I could find these on Amazon or even Walmart for cheaper, however it was a shopping spree, so I paid only $2.57 out of pocket for both of these.




Since I picked them up at the store, I opened the packages immediately to make sure it was the correct items, and watched them right away to make sure there were no issues and so that we could exchange them if necessary.

Though I didn't really enjoy my online shopping experience with Sears.ca, they were the only company of the three I shopped at that properly credited me for my Shop & Earn experience!  They actually showed up as pending in my Shop & Earn ledger within 2 weeks and credited within the 30 days.  But earning only 1 Swag Buck per $1 spent is not enough of a bonus for me to shop there with their higher prices.


So what did I learn about Shop & Earn?

I learned that there are definitely a few things you can to do to make sure your Shop & Earn experience runs much more smoothly than mine.  At this point I'm not exactly certain what happened with my purchases that the Swagbucks weren't credited properly, however we did chat about what things their members could do to make sure they earn their Swag Bucks on their purchases.
  • Make sure you're logged into Swagbucks.com. It's possible to visit the Shop & Earn page and click through to a store even if you aren't logged in. Please take a moment to check the top corner of the page for your name (or login button) before you proceed to the store site.
  • To earn Swag Bucks, use the Shop & Earn portal to go to the store site. If you go to a store directly like Sears.ca instead of to Shop & Earn first, Swagbucks cannot award you for your purchase.
  • Only use coupons provided by Shop & Earn. If external coupons are applied to a purchase, you will not be able to receive Swag Bucks. Click on the name of the store in Shop & Earn to view coupons & deals. 
  • Be aware of any special terms.  By clicking on a store name in Shop & Earn, you will also view Special Terms as well as the timeline for when pending SB will post. Please be familiar with these details, as they may vary from store to store.  Remember, some items may not be eligible for Swag Bucks, like purchasing Gift Cards.
  • Keep your receipts. If you do run into any issues, the Swagbucks Support team will be able to better assist you if you can provide your receipts.
  • Don't use the back button if you navigate away from a Shop & Earn Store.  If you go to another page before completing your order, and attempt to use the back button to go back to your order, you may not receive your Swagbucks. 
  • Didn't receive as many Swag Bucks as you thought you would?  You will only earn Swag Bucks on your subtotal.  Swag Bucks earnings do not apply towards taxes or shipping costs.  If your total purchase before taxes was $45.00 and your Shop & Earn was 1 Swag Buck per $1, you will earn 45 Swag Bucks.
  • Remember that your Swag Bucks will show as pending in your Shop & Earn ledger, and not your regular ledger until your order has been completed.  Have you been checking your ledger every day to see if you've gotten your Swag Bucks yet, or to see if they're pending?  Well they won't show up in your ledger until they have credited.  You can view your pending Shop & Earn Swag Bucks by mousing over your name and choosing "My Shop & Earn" or by clicking on the "My Shop & Earn link to the left side if you're already on your ledger.

How do I contact Swagbucks if I have a problem?

If  it has been longer than 32 days you can reach Swagbucks by clicking the "Contact Us" link at the very bottom of many of the pages on Swagbucks, including the homepage. From there, you will be asked to provide the reason you're contacting them.  Choose "Shop & Earn" and fill out the information required.  It is always best to include a copy of your receipt.  You can do this by providing a PDF, or a JPEG of your order.
  • Full Name
  • Swag Name
  • Store Name
  • Date Of Order
  • Time Of Order
  • Order Number
  • Subtotal (not including shipping/handling, taxes)

What do I like about Shop & Earn?

I love that it's so easy to find deals and coupons for stores, as well as earn extra Swag Bucks.  If I'm considering purchasing anything from a Shop & Earn store, I always check out the coupons on Shop & Earn to see if there is anything I can use.  They also seem to have bonus days every once in a while where you can earn 2 or even 3 times the amount of Swag Bucks you'd usually earn.

It's also easy to navigate and easy to find what I'm looking for.  I can sort alphabetically, by amount of Swag Bucks earned, or I can search coupons, popular stores or search the store by name. 

Another great feature is you can add a store to your favourites list by clicking on the white heart above the "Shop Now" button.  Once you have added a store to your favourites, you can actually get to the store page directly from the Swagbucks homepage by clicking on it's link from the homepage.  You'll find this on the left hand side underneath the quick links.


What do I not like about Shop & Earn?

Of course it's always hard to wait to see if you will be credited for your order!  The 30 day wait to even see your Swag Bucks show up as pending can be really difficult because you're eager to get that bonus.  However the reason it can take so long depends on the specific store and the policies and terms they have in place for when they will credit Swag Bucks for your order.  Many of these sites have a return policy and this wait is often because Swagbucks has to wait a certain time period before they can contact the store to get your Swag Bucks credit due to this return policy.   So while I may be impatient to see my order, I also understand the need for the waiting period.

How do I think Shop & Earn can be improved?
I do think that the Swag Bucks for Shop & Earn should show up as pending within a few days, and that if there are any problems it could be noted so in pending so you can contact Swagbucks.  This would be ideal, because then at least you know that your order went through.  I am not exactly sure how this would work, but this is a feature I think would make Shop & Earn better.

More stores available would be great.  Shop & Earn has already come a long way from October where there were 30 stores.  There are now 59 stores and hopefully there will be more to come in the near future.  I would like to see Walmart.ca return and I'd like to see FutureShop.ca, Bestbuy.ca, Well.ca and let us not forget Amazon.ca!

Would I use Shop & Earn again?

Definitely!  I know there were some glitches along the way, but sometimes bugs need to be worked when things are rolled out new.  I am pleased with my shopping experience as in total I earned 563SB for shopping online, and depending where you shop and how much you spend you can earn much more and there is no limit.  I know Swagbucks is working with their Shop & Earn partners to ensure that you get the Swag Bucks you deserve.  If you have made a purchase and it's been over 32 days, then I suggest contacting Swagbucks and provide all the information requested in the tips for contacting Swagbucks above.

I would also use Shop & Earn again, because unlike "cash back" sites, I don't have to have a minimum purchase or minimum balance before I can get my reward.  I also don't have to wait for a pay cycle to go through so I can get my payout and I'm already earning Swag Bucks, and this is just another way for me to get my rewards faster

Haven't joined Swagbucks yet?

I consistently make $25.00 in Amazon.ca plus anywhere from an extra $5 - $25.00 more per month on Swagbucks simply by watching videos, playing games, answering polls, searching and occasional surveys, offers or tasks.  Click the Swagbucks Logo below to join my Swagbucks team and start earning too.


Once you've signed up, check out my Swagbucks Tips page to get more details of how I earn my $25.00 in Amazon.ca rewards every month.


Creative Commons License
Canadian Money Makers and Savers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://moneymakersandsavers.blogspot.ca

69 comments:

  1. If I won a shopping spree worth $50.00 I would by myself a dvd player from tiger direct..
    Swagger name is jenipo1982

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  2. With $50 Id hit up Starbucks Online and get some syrups and what not to jazz up my caffeine fixes haha

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    1. Good luck Amy! Can you please provide your Swagbucks username?

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    2. Sorry just seen your message on Facebook... Swagbucks name - Jemardy

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  3. I would love to buy the Yves Rocher Products.I so much want to try them but cant afford at the moment. Hope I win :)Swag name mollysian

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    1. Oops, messed up a bit.. I'd go nuts at Wal-Mart and get some extra phone chargers. I leave those things everywhere...

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    2. Hi Alex, can you please post your Swagbucks username?

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  5. If I won a shopping spree through shop and earn I would use the $50 on hoodies and other cute tops from Old Navy -katestaffl (swagbucks username)

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  6. I would put the $50 towards a ereader from the Kobo store. Thank you for all the information in the review. Swag name: key123

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  7. If I won a $50 shopping spree, I'd buy LEGO, my son loves it!
    swagname: 01kipper

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  8. If I won a shopping spree worth $50.00 I would by our son some books from indigo.ca from Author Darren Shan, He is an Irish author of horror and fantasy books
    Swagname is carmitch

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  9. If I won a $50 shopping spree, I would buy lots of books from indigo.ca!
    sgillen

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  10. I would spend $50 shopping spree on make up from The Body Shop - FallenPixels

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  11. I did buy Yves Rocher from Shop and earn this year but make a mistake so it didnt apply to me. I didnt realize that if I was using a coupon from my email at the end it doesnt count for the SB. Did save on my purchase but was disapointing didnt receive any shop and earn SB for it. Did spend around $25... Merry Xmas Debbie!!!!

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    1. Merry Christmas Melr262! I'm sorry that the Shop & Earn didn't work for you. Unfortunately there are some things that can wreck the transaction like using other coupon codes, but sometimes it's worth it if you get a better deal. If you answer the question and leave your Swagbucks name, you can enter in a contest for $5 Amazon.com or Amazon.ca :)

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  12. I think I would go for the Kobo e-reader. Thank you for posting this, it is really helpful. I placed an order from Yves Rocher on Cyber Monday and it is not yet pending. Now I know what to do after 30 days to hopefully get the credit. :) I also ordered a video game for my son from Walmart when it was still a S&E store. The game arrived the next day, which I still can't believe, but no credit, so I will be contacting them about that too.

    Thanks! Agermain (swagname)

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    1. Good luck Andrea! And don't hesitate to contact them after the 32 days are up and provide as much detail as you can. They are working to minimize any glitches and errors, but in the meantime if you had a problem they will do their best to help you.

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  13. If I won a $50.00 shopping spree from a Swagbucks Shop & Earn store I'd buy myself an expensive hoodie from Roots! (luxor69)

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  14. If I won a shopping spree worth $50.00 I would by myself the ice cream maker I need for my mixer I bought earlier in the month using giftcards I earned from Swagbucks Ilovemykids2012

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  15. If I were to win a $50 shopping spree, I'm thinking I would get some books for my Kindle, or Yves Rocher products. Swagbucks name is aurora04

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  16. If I won a shopping spree worth $50.00
    swag name cheftaz

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    1. Hey Rick, what would you buy? :)

      Good luck!

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  17. If I won a shopping spree worth $50 I would put it toward a new router from Tiger Direct, we really need one.

    Swagname - Rhyolyn

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  18. If I won a shopping spree worth $50 - I'd buy DVD's from Amazon.ca
    I'm hafpak on swagbucks :) Merry Christmas all

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  19. If i won i would put it towards a new deep freezer from Walmrt as i had to leave my last one when we moved because we didn't have room on the truck to move it =(
    Canadiangurl

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  20. HI :) Merry Christmas to all :) If I'd won the $50.00 shopping spree from any Swagbucks Shop & Earn store, I'd buy the Canadian Living magazine, Today's Parent magazine and the Chatelaine magazine because they always have lots of coupons in them + I would get 23% cash back in SB :) Thanks for the giveaway!!!

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  21. If I won $50 shopping spree, I'd buy a few lego sets, because even though I'm an adult, I still love to play with those things, by myself or with my nieces and nephews! (Swagname: Kaneda, FB: V.Satiro)

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  22. If I won a $50 shopping spree from swagbucks Shop & Earn, I'd buy kids clothes.

    swagname: 01kipper

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  23. If I win $50 I would use it towards buying products from Lancome and subscribing for Chatelaine. Thanks for the giveaway! Swagname: DeeNee

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  24. If I won a shopping spree worth $50.00 I would by our son some books from indigo.ca from Author Darren Shan, He is an Irish author of horror and fantasy books
    Swagname is carmitch (real name Carol)

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  25. If I won a $50 shopping spree from swagbucks Shop & Earn, I'd buy some books for myself :). swagname: 01kipper

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  26. If I won a $50 shopping spree from swagbucks Shop & Earn, I would buy some new clothes! Swagname: ericlee

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  27. If I won A $50 shopping spree from swagbucks Shop & Earn , I would put it towards my tablet that I have been saving for so long for.

    Swagname: tygereyez

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  28. I would love to win amazon.ca...Great shop & earn plug. I shopped Old Navy thru Swagbucks, it was quite fast & easy. I even got my purchase within 3 days.

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    1. Good luck Angelene19 (deleted separate post with Swagbucks name)

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  29. If I'd won, I'd buy some games, put it toward a tablet or buy magazines.
    Swag name tidligigi

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  30. If I won a $50 shopping spree I would use it at Children's Place.
    My 6 year old daughter is growing like a weed and could use some new pants.
    My Swagbucks username is PEARCEMARIE

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  31. I would use it towards Christmas 2013, at which store I'm not sure. My Swagbucks username is dawnkrajewski

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  32. If I won a $50 shopping spree I would put it towards a tablet from Chapters Indigo Canada. Thanks for the tutorial on shop & earn. I have had only 50% success with shop&earn. The bonus days have never worked for me. Swag me a shopping spree, lol
    username: ambridge

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  33. If I won a $50 shopping spree from Swagbucks Shop & Earn, I'd buy some kids clothes for my son at Old Navy. swagname: 01kipper

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  34. If I won a shopping spree worth $50.00 I would by our son some books from indigo.ca from Author Darren Shan, He is an Irish author of horror and fantasy books
    Swagname is carmitch (real name Carol)

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  35. If I'd won $50 shopping spree from Swagbuck Shop and Earn, I'd buy clothes to start the New Year.
    Swagname: tidligigi

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  36. If I won a $50 shopping spree from Swagbucks Shop & Earn, I'd buy more lego :).
    swagname: 01kipper

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  37. If I won a $50.00 shopping spree from any Swagbucks Shop & Earn store, I would buy music from the iTunes store.
    Swagname: biggramma

    Thanks for the contest, Debbie!

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  38. If I won a $50 shopping spree from Swagbucks Shop & Earn, I'd buy some blu rays from Walmart.ca for my brand new blu ray player
    Swagname: itsallaboutme13

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  39. If i won a $50 shopping spree from Swagbucks Shop & Earn, I'd buy my husband some gifts from walmart.ca (games, dvd etc) for his birthday - all the things I couldn't get him for Christmas! :)

    My Swagname is DebFosten

    Thanks :)

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  40. Contest ended as of 11:59PM PST on Friday, December 28th

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I read and will try to respond to all comments!