Scoring a good deal on shopping is now a source of price, Mr. Kraus said.
“It’s almost a game now to be able to tell people how much you saved. There’s bragging rights associated with getting the best deal,” he said.
Mr. Johnson said the stores also benefit from a relationship with Ebates. The conversion of shoppers from browsers to buyers happens more quickly for those coming from Ebates, as opposed to regular Web surfers, he said.
Ms. Mulpuru said stores such as Barnes & Noble and Saks Fifth Avenue will partner with Ebates or similar sites because it has “proven the ability to attract new customers to brands and to probably drive incremental dollars in sales from existing customers.”
Ebates also has turned many of its users into Ebay.com shoppers and Netflix users through online partnerships.
During the worst months of the recession, Ebates did see a drop in the number of times a customer shopped per week, but recently that number is back up to normal, spurring Mr. Johnson to say, “The worst is over.”
Although he is happy to see people shopping again, he said, he hopes the Web site will help encourage people to practice more responsible spending.
“I think were not going back to the overspending just for the sake of overspending,” said Mr. Johnson. “We like the newfound frugality.”