Microsoft Ditches Bing Cashback Scheme

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has decided to remove its "Bing cashback" feature after a lack of interest among retailers. The scheme allowed users to search for products and then get a rebate for buying from a selected seller.

The scheme originally launched as part of Microsoft's Live search engine, before being rebranded when Live merged with MSN to produce the new Bing site. The launch of Bing arguably made the cashback tool more useful for both Microsoft and customers, as Bing is based around providing results in a variety of categories depending on the subject of a search.

For example, people searching for a term relating to flights will be offered results as a timetable and online booking features for multiple airlines. Those who search for consumer goods get price comparison tools, which is where the cashback system came into play. It appears the offer helped firmly establish Bing's shopping site, which within two months of launch had an 11 per cent share of the online shopping market.

Bing Cashback Worked, Mostly

There were some problems with the cashback system, however. At least one retailer was found to be listing higher prices on their Bing entry than on their own site. This meant that even after getting the "cashback", somebody buying through Bing would wind up paying more for the goods. At the time, Microsoft called it an isolated incident and suggested it was simply down to an error in the information submitted to the site.

Generally, though, customers reported that once they took the cashback into account, the Bing prices usually worked out cheaper than buying from any other online source. There also seemed to be few if any problems in redeeming the cashback, which can't be said of all rebate schemes. (Source:

No Broad Adoption Amongst Retailers

Said Microsoft: "we had over a thousand merchant partners delivering great offers to customers and seeing great ROI on their campaigns, and we were taking some of the advertising revenue and giving it back to customers. But after a couple of years of trying, we did not see the broad adoption that we had hoped for."

The company says it will work on new programs to bring retailers and customers together. (Source:

Users can continue to earn cashback until July 30. They'll then have a year to redeem any funds in their account and will no longer be subject to a $5 minimum withdrawal.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet