Six months in, Live Search cashback is cashing in

When we launched cashback nearly six months ago, we mentioned that we’re going to use these three criteria to measure the program:

  1. Number of offers in the system
  2. Advertiser ROI
  3. Percentage of commercial searches as measured by ComScore

Well, we’ve been measuring, and today we can report that we’ve increased the number of product offers available in Live Search cashback by 30%, indicating strong advertiser interest in the program and early results on its ROI. Stephanie Tilenius, GM of eBay North America, has told us, “Microsoft Live Search cashback has improved our ROI on paid search by 50%, and based upon our shared success, eBay is increasing its search marketing spend with Microsoft Live Search by threefold.” ShoeMall, a cashback advertiser also mentioned that the cashback program has increased their sales 6x since it began participating, prompting ShoeMall to devote even more marketing dollars to the program. In addition, we’ve seen a monthly average of 4.5 million unique users participating in cashback — they’ve conducted more than 68 million commercial queries.

In these tough economic times this early traction speaks to the differentiated and unique value proposition of Microsoft Live Search cashback for both consumers and advertisers. According to a custom comScore study, in Q2 2008, Microsoft Live Search referred almost 12% of total commercial online transactions and 13% of total online spending among key retail categories.

We’re encouraged by cashback’s first six months, but this is just the beginning — we have more up our sleeves. Keep watching.

Kok Waii Wong, Group Product Manager, Live Search cashback

Join the conversation

  1. Anonymous

    The term ‘cashing in’ sounds like it is ending! That’s not a good choice.

    Nice to see it is doing well — now if only the support was more responsive – I’ve been kept waiting for a month on a transaction that did not get cashback credit. Would not recommend it based on that alone.

  2. Anonymous

    I noticed that the 25% cashback offer from ebay is no longer available…is this permanent, or just temporary?  I sell auctions on ebay with the 25% cashback offer, so this could be a blow to my customers!  Please say it isnt so…

  3. Anonymous

    So is the Ebay 25% cashback gone for good, or is it just on a (hopefully short) hiatus?

  4. Anonymous

    This article indicates all is well.  If that is so , then why did you pull the eBay 25% cashback offer?  Sounds like what you have "up your sleeves" is to pull the best offer you’ve had up to this point.  Don’t see how that bodes well for pushing traffic to your search engine or for increasing business to your subscribers/advertisers for that matter.  Know it was advertised as could end at anytime, but this is very disappointing, especially after the post just 2-3 days earlier indicating that this would be ideal for Christmas shopping.  If that was the case, why didn’t you tell us that we needed to do all of our Christmas shopping in the next two days?  Unfortunately, this will serve as just another blow to Microsoft.  Sad…truly sad.

  5. Anonymous

    Have to agree about the cashback eBay offer.  I was very disappointed that something that had been promoted less than 2 weeks ago, especially when it specifically mentioned shopping for Christmas, had already ended.  It’s not even Thanksgiving and the offer is already gone.

  6. Anonymous

    I have earned cashback but can not get the ebay "get cashback" button to open the web page.  Can you help me? I opened a account and on ebay is says you have earned $200.00 but when I click the lead, it says you can not open this webpage??

  7. Anonymous

    Does noone watch this?  I’ve seen no reply from a moderator for yesterday and today.  Seems suspicious when all the support personnel drift into the woodwork and you wait for over 10 hours on the support chat forum only for it to knock you off.  And the problems aren’t just limited to the few of us who have posted here – but to thousands all across the country.  The support for this service is just pitiful!

  8. Anonymous

    Has anyone noticed that product searches on don’t even hit eBay the last couple of days????? wtf??

  9. Anonymous

    I just learned about the eBay cashback offer on Nov. 10 from a Buy it Now offer and was planning to open an account. Imagine my surprise and frustrations the last 2 days when none of the product searches would bring up the eBay cashback offer. It’s pitiful that I had to use Google to find this blog and learn that no one else knows what’s going on and that no one seems to care…

  10. Anonymous

    I found 2 25% cashback on Ebay yesterday the 15th Nov 2008 however when I tryed to purchase the item I guess I should refreshed my page because my 60 minute session time had ended, so now Im paying $450 instead of $337.50.

    Just something you have to watch out for if it comes back….

  11. Anonymous

    I was about to make my X-mas purchasees… did some research on items and by the time I got there yesterday (15th.) nothing…. actually it’s almost less than that…

    I tried to search info about it and total silence…. like it never happened…  was I dreaming about the Microsoft Cash Back? It seems like because there is no ebay link in live search at all, on ebay I found a page still talking about it but that’s all… The moderators, management, the insiders are all quiet… I hope all this silence leads to a stormy new campaign with even better offers than the 25%.

    If nothing happens until Thanksgiving … well… I just delete everything MS related and buy  a MAC … :))

  12. Anonymous

    Yes, where did the eBay link go? Is it over? Was planning to do some eBay Xmas shopping yesterday and couldn’t get an eBay cashback link to appear. No luck today, either. How about an official word on whether it’s gone for good? MS?

  13. Anonymous

    Well…. I was thinking… (happens sometimes…) and I think I got it.

    CashBack is like the person behind the swing… since now it’s going well (see the result stats) it rests a little.. if the sales going to slow down CashBack is back to give it another push… But maybe I’m wrong.. maybe he just stepped back, tripped and busted his head open…

    You never know w/ MS :)

  14. Anonymous


  15. Anonymous

    Unfortunately seems like no-one can further access the cashback for 25% on ebay, a shame as I planned on doing my Christmas shopping this weekend, can’t complain too loudly though as I’ve managed to rack up $392 worth of cashback before they killed it. Hope it comes back.

  16. Anonymous

    Microsoft finally got something right again (cashback on ebay), then discontinued it.  Vista has failed miserably but it keeps being installed on new laptops. Is Microsoft intentionally trying to self-sestruct?

  17. Anonymous

    Just found out about the 25% cashback from eBay today… MS – Please don’t kill it until after Christmas. I was planning on doing all my Christmas shopping using that promotion.

  18. Anonymous

    WOW!  Press release praises the success and then 2 days later it’s gone.  WTH is Microsoft thinking???

    Some form of notice or explanation would be swell.


  19. Anonymous

    I can only second the comments of others about removal of the ebay cash back. Please bring it back; at least for a defined time period like a week. Many people, like myself were researching our purchases and surprised that it was there one day and gone the next. Thanks,

  20. Anonymous

    Is this still working w/ eBay?  I am searching and all links showing eBay do NOT have the "Live Search cashback" logo.  I understand from the post that eBay is happy with the Live results so it would be confounding if they eliminated it.

  21. Anonymous

    Wow, back all of a sudden, just searched five minutes ago and it wasn’t, all of a sudden it is.  Funny… FYI, I searched t43 (as in laptop), however most will probably work

  22. Anonymous

    I just (5 minutes ago) got the 25% cashback to work—used it successfully.  I put "cheap laptop" into the Live Search, hit refresh a couple of times, and the Ebay tab (with magic coin) appeared–seems it is still working, although had no success all day until now.

  23. Anonymous

    just found one with swatch watch… its back

  24. Anonymous

    9am pacific 17 Nov 2008 "cheap ps2" 25%

  25. Anonymous

    I hope that this eBay discount 25% is still on… It will not be good to remove it before Xmas… After all, they will not profit from Xmas if they remove it as they will if they put it back.

  26. Anonymous

    Purchased a Wii on E-bay yesterday and received a message that I am eligible for $63.75 from Microsoft; however, I cannot open the link that says "Get Cash Back".  It goes directly to a page that says "Internet Explorer cannot display page".  Can anyone help?

  27. Anonymous

    Did they disable to eBay cash back for Black Friday???

  28. Anonymous

    I think the whole Live Search site is down, which probably explains why there’s no eBay cashback right now.

    Try to get to the cashback side:

    All you get is Request Timeout

  29. Anonymous

    Microsoft is terrible at estimating their capacity requirements "Request Timeout" all the time on cashback site. They should get all of their internet cashback guys a big kick in the a$$.

  30. Anonymous


    eBay is offering up to 30% cashback now. Here is how to get it….

    assuming you’re looking for an "xbox", go to, type in "xbox" in the search box and hit enter. you will see an eBay ad on top with 30% cashback (there is a coin symbol to help you to recognize it). Click on it and you will be lead to the eBay site. Again, you will see a 30% Microsoft cashback icon on top of the page. You will get the cashback unpon completing your purchase.

    Enjoy your shopping.


  31. Anonymous

    The biggest problem I’ve seen with ebay cashback is that the sellers think it’s a license for them to jack up their selling price by 25-30% and then try and convince the buyers that they’re getting a deal with the cashback from MS Live, when actually you’re back to paying full retail.  It’s ridiculous.

  32. Anonymous

    Microsoft is so unreliable. The eBay cash back has dropped from 30% last weekend, to 20%, then 15% and today it doesn’t show at all for eBay links. This is frustrating and makes those of us who recommend your search engine to take advantage of it look like the fools that you are, when they click to it and find nothing.

  33. Anonymous

    This shows that MS is getting too big for its shoe. Just remember that when Live Search Cashback get back, I’ll be the first to search "Mac" and jolly well get a Mac with whatever cashback they offer.

  34. Anonymous

    I just used Live Search to find an Epson V500 scanner.  The search results showed B&H Photo as having it for $137.95, after $2.80 cash back.  But when I bought it, it was $179 with a $20 mail in rebate.  Even after the rebate it was $20 more than the Live Search price.  I’ve tried to find some sort of customer support, without success.  Any suggestions?

  35. Anonymous

    I’ve been using EBATES and Extrabux for months and have had no problems with either site.  However, when I tried to sign up last night, Live Search couldn’t even manage to send me the activation email, a problem considering that I was shopping on a site that had only a limited number of the item I wanted in stock.  So I "contacted" Live Search by email and received the very helpful response that I’d get a response in 3-5 business days.  Oh, that’s so helpful.   Back to Extrabux, I guess.

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