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Monday, June 30, 2008

Free Money. What is Microsoft Live thinking?

Already spent your tax rebate check? Or, perhaps you did not receive one? Well, Microsoft’s Live search is giving your to earn $750 through eBay by giving between 10%-35% off on any eBay item purchased as a Buy-It-Now (BIN) using PayPal’s checkout. This has been going on for about 10 days now, but if this is not old news to you then you need to check it out.

This is the kind of deal that comes around once a year. Free money. Here is how it works.

Take a second to consider a product you might be looking for. Let’s use the Canon Powershot G9 as an example. Go to Microsoft’s search engine at “Live.com” and enter in the search for “Cheap Powershot G9”. In your search results, you get the below set of ads. (Note: You can use many different search terms that will return similar results.)

Live.com Powershot G9 25% discount on eBay / Paypal

Take note of the item that says "Buy Powershot is. You may get 25% off with PayPal if eligible" with the Live Search Cashback logo. Now go ahead and click on that ad. When you get to eBay, you will see the logo at the top for the Microsoft cashback with a '25%' flag on it. (Or the current discount).

Microsoft Cashback logo on the eBay site with 25% off

Now you can tune your search on eBay for whatever you want. For example, I changed the search to "Powershot G9" in the search criteria. Then I went ahead and clicked on one of the Powershot G9 items listed in the available auctions. The logo for Microsoft cashback should still be there.

Then you click on the "Buy Now" button (don't worry, you have to commit on the next page) and you can see your Microsoft Cashback award. On the item I picked, that's $107.50 or a pretty hefty discount as you can see in the image below.

Yep, that's a Powershot G9 for 25% off thanks to Live.com

Yep, that's 25% off for absolutely nothing. I actually think Microsoft's Live.com marketing team has absolutely lost their mind. If they think they are going to buy my search preference for a lousy 25%, they are absolutely out of their mind. However, what they will not do is stop Ashley or myself from fully taking advantage of the offer. And I will continue to use Google for all of my search needs. :-)

What's the offer? A discount at the set rate (it changes over time -- as high as 35%, as low as 10% and 35% hasn't been seen since days 1 & 2) for a maximum value of $250 and 3 individual items for $750 in free money from our friends at Microsoft. Nice.

Want to make it better? eBay has several June / July coupons for 10% off or free shipping on up to three items -- they stack on top of the deal. Sweet!

The greatest part, I had been waiting awhile to buy several new items. The Sony STR-DA5300ES that retails for $1699 -- $700 new. A set of JBL HTi8 speakers -- try $150. A Tamron SP AF28-75mm F/2.8 LD Aspherical lens -- $250. My first L series Canon lens, the EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM -- $400. And finally, the Dell 24" Widescreen LCD Monitor E248WFP for $300.

An awesome June shopping spree -- guaranteeing the fact that there are many more posts ahead for July. Brace yourself.

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