How Rbate Works

  • Through Rbate, manufacturers of goods and providers of services (collectively "Makers") who wish one of their products to be more extensively covered by media and services that provide product reviews, product information, product demonstrations, product trials, and purchasing recommendations (including consultants and stores), make offers to pay the owners of these help providers (Helpers) a cash bonus if a purchaser of that product declares that a particular work or service of that organization helped them with their purchasing choice. The prospect of bonus payments stimulates work on that product, and their payment funds those services whose work has effectively prompted sales of that product.
  • Registered Rbate Helpers who have opted to receive bonus payments are therefore given a source of funding that is more secure and independent than advertising, subscriptions, or direct or affiliate sales. By tying funding to the extent and quality of an organization's consumer assistance work, Rbate aims to make such information both more comprehensive and easier for the consumer to understand, often through personal or personalized service. In addition, Rbate's contribution system provides an incentive for Helpers to cooperate to produce works such as review digests.
  • Rbate gives consumers access to a search engine dedicated to helping them find media and services that can help them choose the most suitable product. If a consumer is unable to locate particular type of help, they can request it.
  • Each result returned by a search for purchasing help includes a link to a page that states whether the organization behind that service or piece of material accepts Rbate bonus payments, whether the level of payments they receive vary with the product the consumer ultimately purchases, and what they have chosen to know about the bonuses on offer: products and bonus amounts, product list only, category list only, or no information. Consumers can also read an editorial policy statement, written by the organization, that explains their choices, and any influence bonuses have on the work they undertake or the material or services that they provide.
  • Rbate also makes a new product search engine available, allowing consumers to search and browse new products in their categories of interest.
  • As well as the above search engines, Rbate provides consumers with its Rmark system that helps comparison shoppers keep track of, take notes about, and rate, the help they consult. Consumers can opt to have the help-related websites they visit automatically Rmarked, so that all this material is already categorized and searchable in their Rbate accounts when they come to make a decision.
  • Rbate makes it cheap and easy for product makers to provide cash rebates to those who purchase certain products in designated regions by supplying Makers with sets of claim codes, optionally printed on a card. Consumers use these codes to claim their rebates through the site, and Rbate arranges electronic payment of those rebates. As well as being a customer reward, the rebates are an encouragement and reward for consumers to provide information about their purchase during the claim process, although Makers are able to offer higher rebates that include a promotional discount.
  • During a rebate claim purchasers cite the help that informed their purchase. Rbate makes this citation easy by issuing Helpers with a unique Rcode for each of their works and services, which Helpers display on articles, screens, business cards, or invoices; and by displaying a list of the purchaser's relevant Rmarks, each of which they can select with a single click. The set of purchaser citations, and the contributors to those cited works, determine how the available bonus is distributed among Helpers. Being positively cited by a consumer also goes to increase the "credit" held by a service or piece of material, whether or not a bonus was offered or received. Such credit helps determine the ordering of results of searches performed on Rbate's purchasing help search engine. Credit rankings are made available to Helpers, allowing them to assess how useful the public is finding each of the things they do, relative to both their other works and the work of other Helpers.
  • Helpers may charge a fee when consumers access their material or use their service, where part of all of that fee is paid by consumers from their rebates, rather than at the time the help is given. Such deferred fees can make some types of help more practical and affordable.
  • Consumers are also given an opportunity to donate part or all of their rebates to the Helpers that have assisted them, giving Helpers another indepdenent source of funding, and allowing Makers to provide some support to Helpers who have assisted their customers simply by offering and paying rebates through Rbate.
  • Makers can use Rbate to create surveys that purchasers of that Maker's products complete when they use to claim their rebates. This gives Makers easy access to feedback from those who purchase their goods or services.
  • Makers can also bid for the right to question those making claims on products made by other Makers, providing them with intelligence on why they failed to make those sales. Ninety percent of the bid amount is paid to the claimer who answered the question, increasing their rebate.

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