New: the mutual dividend

richard@imutual
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New: the mutual dividend

Post by richard@imutual » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:48 am

imutual is unique amongst cashback sites (and, as far as I know, amongst any UK company) in that its members are also its owners - by virtue of being given free shares in the company. This, of course, raises the immediate question...

What's the benefit of having shares?

The obvious "potential" benefit is that, if imutual is ever sold, you stand to receive a windfall gain - you will be paid for your shares by whoever acquires the company. Another (IMO less likely) scenario is that we float on a stock exchange, allowing you to sell your shares at the "market price".

Aside from the above, there are 'softer' but arguably more important benefits of being an owner as well as a customer. You get full shareholder rights which means that you can hold the company's directors to account and ensure that they act in members' best interests. Examples of this mutuality in action include:

- Our track record in dealing with missing/incorrect transactions
- Allowing you to appeal to a vote of fellow members in the event of a rejected claim
- Having an open forum where you can put questions directly to management (not to mention our annual AGM webcast)
- Our minimal overheads, ensuring that we pass on as much of our income as possible to you as cashback

Getting the best deal

We are still a relative minnow amongst cashback sites, with less than 5000 members who have earned cashback at least once. The top two sites boast 5m members between them and are often able to negotiate special deals that we aren't able to match at present. So it's unreasonable to expect someone to always do every transaction through imutual. Savvy shoppers should shop around, and where there is a significantly-better rate elsewhere they can't be blamed for taking it. But where imutual is competitive, I'd urge you to stick with us, benefit from the free shares and help us to build a company which will always have your best interests at heart.

To give members of other sites yet another good reason to join, and to reinforce the benefits of our imutual model, I'm pleased to announce the start of our mutual dividend initiative.

The mutual dividend

Over the next week, we will be changing the cashback rates on most of our circa 3000 offers so that in the majority of cases:

- We will be offering more than 100% of our revenue as cashback
- We will beat the rate offered by one or both of the largest two sites


We're calling this extra cashback the "mutual dividend" - a direct benefit of a having a site that's owned and controlled by its members. We'll make a further announcement once we've finished updating the offers.

Admittedly, the differences will be modest initially (between 102-120% cashback). But we are gradually gaining more members and becoming financially stronger, and the longer this trend continues the greater our bargaining power will become. Hence - better deals for you! :)

Note that we won't be including "easy cashback" offers in this; it just doesn't make any commercial sense to do so. We will also be offering more shares on "% of basket value" offers and less shares on easy cashback offers - as we feel that "purchase transactions" add more to the long term value of imutual.

We hope you think this is a positive move for imutual. Do ask questions and, of course, spread the word! :thumbup:

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Re: New: the mutual dividend

Post by kevinchess1 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:47 pm

:thumbup:
Good idea and I can see Y U call it the 'Mutual Dividend' but it's a bit dull and not very self explanitory for new members
So Y not call it what it is 'Top Up' :?
I'm all in favour of reducing shares for any/every 'No spend offer' with the exception of Ebay/Amazon
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Re: New: the mutual dividend

Post by richard@imutual » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:55 pm

I think that, whatever title you give it, you end up needing to explain it in more detail. I wanted a title that links in with what's unique about our site - i.e. mutuality. It may be a complicated message to get across, but it's a worthwhile effort

Titles aside, "Rate tarts" ;) can just compare our rates with other sites (e.g. using the MSE tool) for their chosen merchant and see if we've got the best deal

If, as a result of this, we can turn round and say; "For most our offers, either quidco or tcb (or both) offer less cashback" then surely that's enough to make people think "Perhaps I should consider imutual for my next cashback transaction" :?

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Re: New: the mutual dividend

Post by Sarah » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:59 pm

richard@imutual wrote:- We will beat the rate offered by one or both of the largest two sites
That sounds good... if it really does what it says on the tin then I think this is the incentive to use imutual that many have been waiting for... well done!

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Re: New: the mutual dividend

Post by richard@imutual » Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:16 pm

Indeed. But note the phrase "in the majority of cases". We'll struggle, initially at least, to beat both sites on some of the most popular merchants where they've managed to negotiate improved deals. So a lot of our "better rates" will inevitably be on relatively obscure merchants that might not interest many members. But it's a start and a good headline :)

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Re: New: the mutual dividend

Post by kevinchess1 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:43 pm

Not wanting to promo our rivals
But both if them have Handicap parking
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Re: New: the mutual dividend

Post by richard@imutual » Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:51 pm

See my view on that here

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Re: New: the mutual dividend

Post by William Joseph1 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:44 pm

kevinchess1 wrote:Not wanting to promo our rivals
But both if them have Handicap parking
This makes no sense to me at all!
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Re: New: the mutual dividend

Post by ImutualLikeAPro » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:18 pm

I think this is a great idea, but I don't really understand how the site will remain profitable...? TCB uses advertisements to help fund the extra percent it gives to its members. Is this what will happen here? (I don't really mind if there are ads). Quidco give members the opportunity to get a better service if they pay...

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Re: New: the mutual dividend

Post by Mel » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:24 pm

Drahcir wrote:
kevinchess1 wrote:Not wanting to promo our rivals
But both if them have Handicap parking
This makes no sense to me at all!
For once I have to agree with you!
Thanked by: ImutualLikeAPro, Squire

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