Groupon UK - save serious amounts of dosh

This post is about a website which helps you save money, not earn money and so it is a bit different from many articles I have on the site but I hope it still proves to be useful (however there is the potential to earn money as a Groupon affiliate - see more information below).

Groupon, also known as Group On is a company which specialises in bulk buying to bring cheaper deals for consumers.  This is a brief overview of how the website works, a quick review and information on whether Groupon is actually a big scam.  These deals can be anything from spa treatment sessions through to meals through to bowling; but they have one thing in common - they offer massive percentages off (over 90% in many cases) but what is unique is each deal lasts a maximum of a day.

For example, recently Groupon have offered tickets to the cinema for £1 instead of £12, £20 instead of £90 for an hour long massage and manicure and £12.50 instead of £66 for access to the Streetcar fleet (as an aside it is possible to get 10% cashback on all Groupon purchases by using TopCashBack, further increasing earnings!).  

How do they manage to get such good deals.  The company line is they manage to get discounts through bulk buying - which must be true up to a point but I think there are other reasons as well.  Many companies probably see it as a good way of getting advertising and new clients - think of it as them offering a discount now in the hope of getting repeat business at the normal price.  Also I think that the Groupon business must also make money from no shows due the unusual way in which the scheme works.

There are a large number of websites which promise discount vouchers.  However, Groupon is slightly different.  Instead of giving you a voucher to print off it asks you to pay the price upfront and then book an appointment or whatever later.  Often there can be limits on when vouchers can be used etc so I would imagine that many people forget and so don't take advantage of what they have purchased.

When signing up, you  are asked for details on where you live - this is for administration purposes and to make sure you are shown the correct deals as most deals are location specific.  As such there are many Groupon sites available, including large cities like London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow but also smaller places like Falkirk, Oldham and Telford and one can only imagine that the scope of these will increase.

Having said all of this, I believe Groupon is a great idea.  It has been around in the USA for a while and has recently launched in the UK to great acclaim.  Already many people are using the site and I can only imagine this will increase further as people discover the excellent deals on offer.  I can only provide my own personal experiences in my own review and I have found Groupon to be excellent.

There is also the potential to earn credit for use on purchasing items by using referral links to encourage other people to sign up for Groupon.  At the time of writing, for every person who signs up to Groupon, the referrer gets £6 into their account and for this reason all of the links above on this website are affiliates (meaning i earn £6 for every sign up).  However if you don't want to use this affiliate link click here to go straight to the Groupon website.

If you are interested in Groupon sign up here.

Have you used Groupon?  What were your experiences of it?  Use the section below to give a review - and don't be afraid to call it a scam if you think that is what it is (although I certainly don't think it is!).

Increasing the Alexa ranking

This is an idea for a topic for an article I have had in my mind for quite a while (over a month in fact) and have just got around to writing it!  The initial idea came from a blog post by Kidgas, in which he explained about his aim to get into the top 500,000 websites as listed by the company Alexa.

For those of you who are unaware of Alexa, they are a company which measure the usage of webpages to see what people are looking at and provide metrics for each webpage.  Unlike other such services, such as Google Analytics, with Alexa it is possible to get an overview of any webpage worldwide, without the need to be an admin, albeit it in much less detail.  As such it is very popular tool to be used when people compare webpages - for example it is possible to find out that visits to exceed visits to and that is the second most popular webpage worldwide.  One key thing is the Alexa ranking - put simply the lower the ranking the more traffic a website receives with Google being at position 1.

Many people with websites, Kidgas included, use this the Alexa ranking as a useful target to see how their webpage compares with other webpages.  This can be a good thing, and in fact it is something I have done myself.

The reason I question the use of Alexa ranking when trying to measure achievements in making money online is it gives very little information and so it is important it is used wisely as a target setting tool.  Some people check daily and becomes a sort of obsession - this can result in time being wasted.  Many people become disheartened when they fail to rise quickly - it can take time to rise in the Alexa rankings!

Perhaps the biggest problem with Alexa rankings though for small sites is the statistical problems.  Since it only samples a percentage of web traffic and then extrapolates there are many chances for errors to occur.  For websites with large traffic sampling errors are mitigated by the massive number of samples taken, however with smaller webpages such as mine sampling errors can be major.  Over the last month Alexa shows the traffic to A Little Extra Money UK as being up 300%, yet using the true figures from Google Analytics the growth has only been about 50%.  As such there is a discrepancy of 250% which is a massive amount (a swing of 250% the other way would have shown my traffic falling by 200% month on month!).

Along with inaccuracies, another problem with Alexa is it doesn't give information which is as broken down as that created by Google Analytics, for example.  With Google Analytics it is possible to see daily/weekly/monthly/yearly traffic sources, bounce rates etc and it is even possible to find out where abouts on the website earnings occur.

These are some of the reasons why I think it can be foolish to closely examine Alexa rankings and getting too hung up on them.  Still, if used, as I do and Kidgas does, to set longer term aims Alexa rankings can be a useful motivational tool for an online income seeker!

Do any of you use Alexa rankings to assist you in making money online?  How?  As always if you have comments use the box below!

Top Cash Back Review - The best cashback site?

Top Cash Back (aka TopCashBack or Top Cashback) is an online paid cashback site which I have used very successfully and so this is my own personal review of UK Top Cash Back.  The amount I have earned from Top Cash Back is shown to the right, along with my earnings from some other online money making/saving schemes which you may want to try out.

Feel free to add you own comments on Top Cash Back at the bottom of this review in the comments section and hopefully it will be similar to my opinions, including if you have experience of the US version of this site.

Top Cash Back is a cashback site many others, such as Mutual Points which I have reviewed previously.  I will eventually compare the pros and cons of each, but before then I shall give an overview of what cashback sites are and how they work.

Cashback sites, as the name suggest, are websites which allow you to earn cashback on purchases made online.  Imagine there are two online companies: Company A which sells shoes online and Company B which is a fashion trends website.  Company B may choose to place links to the website of Company A and in return Company A will pay Company B a percentage of the income earned from selling shoes to customers who came from the fashion trends website.  Cashback sites take advantage of the commission which is paid by many online retailers, such as Tesco,, Phones4U, eBay etc and hand on a portion of it to the customer.  Cashback sites can come in many shapes and sizes, but at their most basic they are just a site full of links to retailers.  Now a description of Top Cash Back has been provided, let's get on with the review along with pros and cons of Top Cash Back.

Top Cash Back is a very easy website to use.  Make sure you complete the registration process for Top Cash Back when first starting out on Top Cash Back.  Once registered, find the merchant which you want to purchase from either by browsing by category or by using the handy search box.  On the page of the merchant there will be various information.  One is the cash back amount.  On Top Cash Back this can either be a fixed amount regardless of amount spent, or a percentage of the total cost of the product.  Top Cash Back also add some information which explains how much certainty there is of getting the cash back and the time frame for this, along with reviews from others who have used this merchant through Top Cash Back.  Many Cash Back offers require a purchase to be made, but some just require an action to be done for example visiting a certain website and signing up for a newsletter.

On Top Cash Back the payment is made by PayPal, cheque or BACS after a certain period of time has elapsed.  This delay in payment is to ensure that you don't return the goods prior to payment etc which could potentially leave the retailer out of pocket.

Most of these actions mentioned above can be carried out on many cash back websites, so what sets Top Cash Back apart from the competition.  Put simply, the rates on offer.  Most cash back websites make their money by taking a fee out of the commission offered by the retailer - Top Cash Back does not.  As a result the cash back is always at least 100%.  I say at least because it is possible to get a multiplier effect on Top Cash Back, up to 110%, depending on the cash back received in the previous month.  Top Cash Back makes money from advertisements, not cash back, and so this ensures that the company offers the best rates.  What's more, if you do somehow manage to find better rates on another cash back website Top Cash Back promise to match these - which is more good news!

To make this review slightly easier to read here are some bullet points of the pros and cons.

  • Highest cash back available
  • Range of options for being paid
  • Top ups can increase cash back to 110%
  • Easy to set up and manage
  • Over 2000 retailers and counting 
  • Can take a while to get paid
  • Some companies do not take part in such schemes eg at the time of writing Amazon
  • Can be confusing to work out the best deal especially when there are different cashback amount across a range of merchants 
In summary I find Top Cash Back to be a very good website and definitely worth using if you live in the UK.  If you do live in the UK, please use the comment box below to give your own review of Top Cash Back as well as providing feedback on this Top Cash Back review.

Update: Since writing this review Top Cash Back has launched in the US using the address  Obviously, being in the UK I am unable to use this American version of the site.  However, it looks identical to the UK site and so I should imagine it works in the same way.  I would welcome feedback if you are in America and have used this USA version of the site ( or if you are going to join this site from in the US based on this review.

Monthly Update - June 2010

Is it really already that time of the month again?  It only seems like a week ago that I did my last monthly update.  Time really does fly when you are watching every game of the World Cup, even when your team plays absolutely awfully!  No point in making excuses about dodgy linesmen etc - all of the performances were rubbish.  Anyway enough of the footie - I am sure most of you only care about the figures (if you want to know about the World Cup find yourself a different blog!).

During the last month I have done very little in the way of trying to increase my online income beyond a quick little bit of backlinking using the sites mentioned in previous months (Redgage, Xomba, SheToldMe etc) but even this was in very small amounts.  I did however receive money in my bank account from TopCashBack - over £230 which is in excess of US$350 which is not too bad considering I was going to take out that exact mobile phone contract anyway!

You may remember that my target set in my May 2010 Monthly Update was to try and keep my earnings above $100, and if possible push on to $150 (although this was dependent on time and the World Cup took up the majority of my time during June 2010).  So here are my earnings for June 2010, again with an indication of whether it was an increase or decrease.

Hubpages: $133.75 (6% increase over June 2010)
Infobarrel: $0.58 (16% decrease)
Xomba: $2.55 (50% increase)
Webanswers: $0.33 (65% increase)
Redgage: $0.07 (63% decrease)

This month I actually managed to increase my total earnings slightly, with an increase in Webanswers, Xomba and most importantly Hubpages more than making up for a decrease in Redgage and Infobarrel income.  This meant I exceeded my conservative target of earning $100 from residual income sources and actually was less than $15 within my target of $150 which is impressive considering I did little to nothing this month with my online activities so this can truly be called residual income.

My targets for July 2010 are to increase my earnings further - I would like to make a minimum of $150 from all sources combined and try and get Xomba over $5 if possible (although this will require a near doubling of income from this source).

I also hope to manage to make a few more posts on this site to see if it results in more traffic (I am driven by the excellent traffic to My Money Making Experiment, Residuals and Royalties and My Online Income By Kidags to name just a few blogs which also do monthly online money making updates and if I could achieve just a fraction of their traffic I would be very happy).