Without a doubt, most people prefer shopping online. In fact, according to a Coupon Follow study, 60% of millennials prefer shopping on the internet than going to a physical store to shop.
Most online stores have a generous return policy. If you order something that ends up looking different or not fitting, you can send it back without any problem.
Moreover, you can save a tons of money by shopping online. With apps like Wikibuy, Honey, and Rakuten, there is no reason why you should pay full price when there is a bargain lurking somewhere.
These online services do all the heavy lifting for you, scouring the web for the best deals and coupons available for the items you want to buy.
In this Wikibuy vs. Honey vs. Rakuten review, we get into the details of how these cashback services stack against each other.
Before we start, how can these sites afford to give you money back for your purchases? Are they a scam?
How Do Sites Like Wikibuy, Honey, and Rakuten Work?
Wikibuy, Honey and Rakuten are free services that can help you to save money on your purchases. They do this via various ways such as cashback, coupons, price comparisons from different sources etc.
However, what is the catch? How do they make money to support their operations?
Cashback services typically have partnership arrangements with various online retailers. These services are given a commission for sending shoppers to the retailers.
Let’s use Wikibuy as an example.
A merchant may give Wikibuy a 10% commission for sending customers to its store. In turn, Wikibuy may offer half of the commission (5%) to customers to entice them to purchase items at the merchant’s website.
When a customer purchases an item at the store, the merchant will pay Wikibuy the agreed commission. In turn, Wikibuy will reimburse the customer the agreed cashback amount on the purchase.
This is one of the main ways through which Wikibuy, Honey and Rakuten earn money.
However, there are also other ways that such services may make money. For example, Wikibuy sends aggregated and anonymized customer data to various advertisers. This data is used by the advertisers to inform their product offerings and marketing.
IMPORTANT: Cashback services (including Wikibuy) do not sell any personally identifiable information. The data send to their partners constitutes things such as browsing history, transaction history, past purchases and so on. This data is usually extracted from your browser’s cookies.
Now that we know how cashback services work, let’s compare Wikibuy, Honey and Rakuten to find out which one will be right for you.
What is Wikibuy?
Wikibuy is an online browser extension that scours the web for deals and aggregates them on its website and app to help you to save money. However, the app does more than just aggregate deals. You can also use it to:
- Find better coupon codes
- Compare prices among various online retailers
- Find better deals among multiple Amazon sellers
- And much more.
To join Wikibuy, you have to register for an account using your email. Alternatively, you can use your existing Gmail or Facebook accounts to create an account for free.
When you are shopping for items at online stores such as eBay, Walmart, or Target, Wikibuy scans them all to determine the sites with the best deals.
The extension checks the item’s availability, sizing, color, price, taxes, and shipping costs for you. Moreover, it scans the internet for coupon codes that may be used with your item to ensure you get even more discounts.
Some of the sites where you can get discounts and cashback by using Wikibuy include:
- And many others
Here is a list of all stores that work with Wikibuy.
What is Honey?
Honey is a coupon-finding browser extension that helps you find deals and discounts when shopping at major online sites like Amazon. Just like Wikibuy, the extension scans the internet for deals on related products you wish to buy.
With the Honey app extension, you can see the price history of a product to know whether it is a good time to buy. Moreover, you can add items to a watchlist to track their price drops and buy at the optimal time.
You can use Honey to get discounts or deal alerts from major retailers such as:
- Finish Line
- J Crew
- Papa John’s
New sites are always being added to Honey. Here is a list of all stores that Honey works with.
It is easy to find out whether a website is compatible with Honey; simply install the Honey extension on your browser. When you are on a website, Honey will show whether there are any coupons or discounts available that you can use.
Apart from getting discount codes, you can also earn Honey Gold in the Honey app whenever you shop online. When the Honey Gold has accumulated to over 1000, you can redeem it for gift cards that can be used at major online stores like Amazon, Walmart, Sephora, and eBay.
What is Rakuten (Ebates)?
Rakuten, formerly known as Ebates, is an online store and app-based service that allows you to earn up to 40% cashback at more than 2500 stores when you purchase using a Rakuten link.
With Rakuten, you can enjoy even more savings by combining your cashback rewards with coupons, promo codes, hot daily deals, and special offers.
Rakuten takes a simpler approach to savings: when you buy from one of its many retailers, you will get a discount, typically ranging from 1% to 10%.
Among the online retailers that work with Rakuten are:
- Bath and Body Works
- Ace Hardware
- Several travel websites
Here is a list of all stores that work with Rakuten.
Rakuten doesn’t offer in-app credit. Instead, the savings accumulate in your account. When your Rakuten savings accrue, you can cash them out as gift cards or cash every quarter.
Now, let’s look at how these three cashback services compare against each other.
Wikibuy vs. Honey
Both Wikibuy and Honey are free to use and offer similar services. These cashback extensions help you to find the best prices and discount codes for various items. Both cashback extensions are available for Chrome browser.
Wikibuy seems to work with more retailers than Honey.
What You Should Know About Wikibuy
Wikibuy runs a freemium business model. The ‘catch’ is that the service sends your data in aggregate and anonymized format to third-party companies. However, this data does not include personally identifiable information, such as your credit card details, email, and so on.
You can install both Wikibuy and Honey extensions to use them to find discounts when shopping online.
What Are the Major Differences?
While you can use Wikibuy on both desktop and mobile (both Android and iOS), Honey is only available as a browser extension and an iPhone app. The Android app is currently under development.
On the other hand, Wikibuy shares your data in aggregate to third parties, while Honey does not. Honey receives a commission from the retailers for the purchases customers make. The fact that Honey does not share customers’ data may explain why it seems to work with fewer retailers than Wikibuy.
Wikibuy vs. Rakuten (Ebates)
Both Wikibuy and Rakuten will help you get you deals and discounts from thousands of retailers. The services are available both as browser extensions and mobile apps. These services are completely free to use and are backed by huge companies.
What Are the Major Differences?
With Wikibuy, you can checkout directly at the online store where you are shopping and get your cashback. However, with Rakuten, you have to purchase items by shopping through your Rakuten account.
On the other hand, since Wikibuy sends your data to third parties, when you open an account with them on mobile, you are required to share your contacts’ details. It is not clear whether Rakuten sells anonymized user data to third parties.
Which Cash-Back App Should You Use?
Wikibuy, Honey and Rakuten (Ebates) work in a similar fashion. The browser extensions and apps will help you save money on your online purchases by getting you the best discounts and deals on the items you are interested in. Moreover, all three services are free to use.
Of the three, Wikibuy and Honey are more popular than Rakuten. However, the value of discounts you’ll get from all three are nearly similar. The discounts and deals also keep changing, depending on the season and retailer.
Wikibuy seems to have more retail partners than both Rakuten and Honey. However, the app also tracks your transaction history and sends your data aggregate to third parties.
Honey offers Honey Gold, which you can cash out immediately after you accumulate 1000 points. You can cash out Honey Gold as gift cards that you can use at various online retailers.
Rakuten seems to work with many independent and less-known brands from across the world. The app helps you to earn cashback on your purchases, which can be redeemed for gift cards or cash after every quarter.
All these three money-saving services will help you shop online and get the best deals available. It’s really difficult to say which one will be right for you. However, since the services are free, nothing should stop you from using all of them to get the most savings.