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Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Wednesday, 18 June 2008 16:29 UK

Why shopping online could reward

Neil Durrant from cashback website GreasyPalm
Neil Durrant from GreasyPalm has seen its users increase steadily
With many websites now offering cashback, it seems that shoppers who like to spend their money online, could also be earning it at the same time.

Those logging into a cashback website can search for items or brands they want to purchase and then click through to a company's website.

Consumers entering a retailer's website this way, and who go on to make a purchase, can expect to have some of the money they spend refunded.

Cashback websites receive a percentage of the money the retailer makes from directed custom, which the website then shares with its users.

"Positive"

Shoppers can earn money when buying anything from a weekly food shop to a dishwasher, CD or even car insurance.

ONLINE SECURITY TIPS
Have a firewall & anti-virus software
Use active websites
Look out for padlock icon & https

Viewer Rob Williams says he has earned over 180 in the last six month through cashback website Quidco.

"It hasn't really moved any of my purchases away from the high street. Sometimes I really kick myself if I forget to use Quidco and then realise I could have made cash back," Rob told Working Lunch.

Another website, GreasyPalm, was set up in 2003 and now has nearly a million customers.

"We went live with 500 retailers and we didn't know have a clue how well it was going to be received. Literally within the first day we had hundreds of members join the site and giving us really positive feedback that they valued the savings we were offering," Neil Durrant from GreasyPalm said.

Shop around

Despite the prospect of earning money online, shoppers should remember to follow a few basic rules to stay safe on the internet.

Shopping online
Shoppers should follow some basic safety rules on the internet

These include making sure a firewall and any antivirus software is turned on and up to date, and avoiding websites which look like they have not been updated regularly.

Plus, before entering credit card or bank account details make sure the website has a padlock icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen, and that the web address changes from http to https.

Consumers should also remember it is worth shopping around to find the cheapest deal before making a purchase.


Do you use cashback? Or do you prefer shopping on the high street? Please send us your views and comments on this topic via email now or drop us a line at working.lunch@bbc.co.uk



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