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4 Red Flags When Shopping With Rakuten, According to Retail Experts

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The adage “spending cash to become profitable” has fueled enterprise ventures because the invention of capitalism, however it’s additionally the elevator pitch for Rakuten. The Japan-based e-commerce platform presents an alluring proposition: You purchase merchandise, and also you get money again. After all, in the event you’re hoping for a fast buck and even only a nice deal, there are some issues to bear in mind. “Buyers should not be skeptical of purchasing portals like Rakuten, however there are some pitfalls that they need to pay attention to,” Tana Williams, founder of non-public finance weblog Debt Free Forties, tells Greatest Life. Right here, in response to retail consultants, are 4 issues it is best to know earlier than purchasing with Rakuten.

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Angry Woman on Phone, hings not to say to customer service rep

In the event you’re hoping to get money on a quick turnaround, Rakuten will not be your greatest guess. Although it presents rebates on purchases made by way of greater than 3,500 retailers (sure, actually), the turnaround time on these rebates may take longer than you count on.

“Sure, you possibly can earn money again, [though] the method usually is not so simple as it appears. One of many largest complaints folks have is the period of time it takes to obtain money again,” Carter Seuthe, CEO of Credit score Summit, a monetary recommendation agency, tells Greatest Life. “Whereas Rakuten states that the period of time it takes to obtain your earnings may find yourself being as quick as a number of hours after a purchase order, for most individuals it finally ends up being round three months.”

In equity, Rakuten operates on a quarterly cost schedule for sure purchases. You may see the total schedule right here, and you’ll monitor your cost at this web page (notice: you may have to log into your account for that hyperlink to work).

woman shopping online
Oleksii Didok / Shutterstock

Rakuten’s personal website stipulates that purchases from some storefronts could also be ineligible for the cash-back rewards. (You may verify to see if a retailer is a part of this system by viewing its devoted retailer web page on Rakuten’s web site or cell app.) You’ll want to learn the positive print earlier than each buy.

“The largest grievance about Rakuten is that it is not as rewarding because it looks like it ought to be,” Rex Freiberger, CEO and editor of the purchasing curation website Gadget Evaluate, shares. “Not all on-line shops are even eligible for these rewards—the one shops that may apply are these based mostly in america and Canada.”

“Plus, the concept of this platform ‘saving’ or ‘incomes’ customers cash is contradictory since they must spend cash first for that to happen,” Freiberger provides.

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man yelling into phone, over 50 regrets

“The complaints about Rakuten left on our evaluation web site present that buyers typically cannot attain the customer support for assist,” says Michael Podolsky, CEO and co-founder of the buyer advocacy platform Pi****Client, which permits customers to submit critiques of common corporations. (As of this writing, Rakuten sports activities a 1.8 score on the positioning based mostly on 227 person critiques.)

“In lots of posts, customers share points they’ve with accounts and infrequently complain that they have not obtained a referral bonus or money again. On the identical time, by making an attempt to name Rakuten customer support, customers report being steadily disconnected.”


Via a litany of causes—whether or not it is tech points, incorrect internet browsers, or the omnipresent enigma of web cookies—Rakuten would not at all times catch your transaction.

“Be sure that your entire transactions are acknowledged by Rakuten, and if not, comply with up,” Williams says. “They’ve a simple solution to submit a lacking transaction: It is a easy type, and also you paste in your affirmation electronic mail.”

To go off some potential errors, make sure you are utilizing both essentially the most up-to-date model of the Rakuten cell app or one among Rakuten’s authorised internet browsers: Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Web Explorer.

“Once more, if the transaction is denied, comply with up with further info and receipts in a well timed vogue. Ready too lengthy to reply signifies that they’ll shut the ticket and never permit the credit score,” Williams provides.