Earning points and cashback for shopping on eBay
For Australians shopping on eBay, there are three major options for earning benefits from purchases. The rewards are relatively small, but it is a simple case of earning extra points for just logging in and clicking a button to get the benefits. In that sense, it is worth the additional 30 seconds when buying items from the eBay site. For a small purchase like $5-10, some people may not bother with the extra step, which is fair enough. However, you can earn a reasonable haul of frequent flyer points if you plan on making more expensive purchases.

Which option you choose will come down a choice of Virgin or Qantas frequent flyer points, or cashback. The option with the most value is Virgin frequent flyer points, but if you are pooling Qantas points or would rather take the cash, you can easily do these too. In fact, since you don't get any perks for spending more or being loyal to any site, there is no problem with spreading your points or cash earning options across different purchases if this suits your needs. Also be on the lookout for specials that are run at various times where the offers are substantially increased for a limited time.

How it works
You may be curious as to why airlines and Cashrewards are offering these bonuses. Companies can earn a commission for directing you to the eBay site. The airlines use points as incentive for you to follow their links (and therefore earn themselves a commission), whereas Cashrewards returns some of that commission back to you. Login or sign-up here with a free $5 credit new window at Cashrewards. You won't pay more for following the links, so it's worth investigating.

One caveat to watch. If you click different sites to earn points on eBay, only the most recent one that you've clicked will be credited. For example if you clicked Virgin's eBay link first, then later clicked on the Qantas eBay link and eventually make a purchase, the points will go to your Qantas account. As an extension, you can't attempt to click on all three links in the hope to earn across the three sites for a single purchase, only one account will be credited for each purchase.

For this comparison, we are valuing frequent flyer points at 1 cent each. As you can see below, in terms of value received, Virgin is the clear winner (2 points per dollar), followed by Cashrewards (1.3% cash back) and then Qantas (1 point per dollar).

Rewards per dollar: 2 Velocity frequent flyer points worth 2 cents

How to earn points: You will need to visit the eBay page at Virgin's eStore new window and log-in to your Velocity account. Search for eBay if you can't see it, click the Start shopping button and you'll be redirected to the eBay site, then purchase as per normal.

Rewards per dollar: 1.3 cents cashback

How to earn points: log in to Cashrewards new window, search for eBay and click the Shop now button.

Rewards per dollar: 1 Qantas frequent flyer point worth 1 cent

How to earn points: Visit the Qantas Online Mall and log-in to your Qantas account. Search for ebay or follow this link new window, click the Shop Now button and you'll be redirected to the eBay site, then purchase as per normal.