"100%" cashback sites retain £40m!

richard@imutual
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"100%" cashback sites retain £40m!

Post by richard@imutual » Fri May 02, 2014 12:19 pm

The largest UK cashback site Quidco has just released their financial results y/e 31 July 2013. For the first time ever, revenues are flat and profits have actually dropped. They still generated £55m in turnover though, so imutual has some way to go to catch up!

As I did when we announced our last set of results, some of you may find it interesting to compare imutual's accounts with those of the top two "100% cashback sites"
compare_cashback_20140502.png
compare_cashback_20140502.png (125.41 KiB) Viewed 5189 times
The phrase "100% cashback" is obviously slightly misleading (even in our own case), as companies need to use some of the revenues they receive to bear the costs of running the sites. But I think the scale of these overheads makes an interesting comparison and prompts the question: "If the other sites had a member-owned model like imutual, could they justify quite such significant overheads to their members?"

As you can see, over the last few years there has been a combined difference of over £40m between the income they received and cashback earned by members. Quidco's annual overheads have now reached over £8m, compared with £65k for imutual. I'm not suggesting that imutual could run as large a company as quidco and keep its costs to £65000 :eek: but it does suggest that wider adoption of our mutual model - or simply more tcb/quidco members switching to imutual - could generate extra millions in cashback for UK shoppers

Thoughts, anyone?
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Re: "100%" cashback sites retain £40m!

Post by rsturbolad » Fri May 02, 2014 1:57 pm

But they pay out faster than iMutual, they don't set fixed 'award dates' that stand firm even when the affiliate networks pay iMutual well before then. This goes against the ethics of the site surely. If you're going to sit on funds to pick up a bit of interest then please tell us!
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Re: "100%" cashback sites retain £40m!

Post by roger » Fri May 02, 2014 2:00 pm

If I was going to be Devil's Advocate on this one, I'd point out that (taking the latest set of figures in each case) iMutual distributes only some 75% of its revenue as cashback whereas the counterpart Quidco figure is around 80% and TCB's over 85%. I'm not saying that this way of looking at things is fairer, or less fair, than Richard's - it's just another way of looking at things. Richard is entitled to argue that some costs are fixed, or relatively fixed, so these bear down harder on start-up companies with lesser income stream and I'd agree with him. But the point I'm making is that one can use statistics to 'prove' a point and then find exactly the same set of statistics used against one.

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Re: "100%" cashback sites retain £40m!

Post by cccashbacklover » Fri May 02, 2014 2:02 pm

rsturbolad wrote:But they pay out faster than iMutual, they don't set fixed 'award dates' that stand firm even when the affiliate networks pay iMutual well before then. This goes against the ethics of the site surely. If you're going to sit on funds to pick up a bit of interest then please tell us!
Due to "input" that I gave a few years back Imutual also pays its members as soon as it gets paid by the networks, it hasnt paid out on "fixed award dates" for a significant period of time before you joined the site. :)
There are those who agree with and those who are convinced to agree with and I fall into neither of those categories ....

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Re: "100%" cashback sites retain £40m!

Post by richard@imutual » Fri May 02, 2014 2:15 pm

Indeed. So we actually go one better than the other 2 sites in that respect, because we at least offer an estimated payment date as soon as a transaction tracks. But if we receive payment sooner, we award it straight away.

There are a small % of merchants where this doesn't happen, only because their reporting makes it difficult to ascertain when we've received payment for specific transactions.

This post was purely a comparison of top line revenues and overheads. For comparison with the "big 2" in other respects, see here
Richard is entitled to argue that some costs are fixed, or relatively fixed, so these bear down harder on start-up companies with lesser income stream and I'd agree with him.
Yes, I'd argue that strongly. Most of our time is taken up with managing offer details, making payments, marketing, development and dealing with claims and queries. Apart from claims and queries, all the other activities are largely fixed regardless of the number of members/transactions. As we grow we'll need to devote more resources to tech and marketing, but nowhere near as much as our competitors do.
But the point I'm making is that one can use statistics to 'prove' a point and then find exactly the same set of statistics used against one.
True. But some claims have more credibility than others ;)
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Re: "100%" cashback sites retain £40m!

Post by 1960mackem » Fri May 02, 2014 3:32 pm

rsturbolad wrote:But they pay out faster than iMutual, they don't set fixed 'award dates' that stand firm even when the affiliate networks pay iMutual well before then. This goes against the ethics of the site surely. If you're going to sit on funds to pick up a bit of interest then please tell us!
Welcome - first post i see :oops:
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Re: "100%" cashback sites retain £40m!

Post by rsturbolad » Fri May 02, 2014 3:59 pm

1960mackem wrote:
rsturbolad wrote:But they pay out faster than iMutual, they don't set fixed 'award dates' that stand firm even when the affiliate networks pay iMutual well before then. This goes against the ethics of the site surely. If you're going to sit on funds to pick up a bit of interest then please tell us!
Welcome - first post i see :oops:
Thank you for making me feel welcome after raising a genuine query. Perhaps other members will see this and choose note to contribute and learn from my mistake. I didn't realise it was a clique I was invading here, I will happily leave you to it.
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Re: "100%" cashback sites retain £40m!

Post by kevinchess1 » Fri May 02, 2014 4:02 pm

Yes well come to the forums :thumbup:
and...err... goodbye I'm guessing.
And it wasn't a query you raise but you made a statement which wasn't right.
Politically incorrect since 69

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Re: "100%" cashback sites retain £40m!

Post by rsturbolad » Fri May 02, 2014 4:09 pm

kevinchess1 wrote:Yes well come to the forums :thumbup:
and...err... goodbye I'm guessing.
And it wasn't a query you raise but you made a statement which wasn't right.
I didn't realise it was a forum post, moreso a comment on an article on the front page.

In my case it IS true. All of my cashback to date has been paid directly on the award date with no exceptions. Perhaps as Richard said, my trading is with one of the networks who has confusing settlements? Surely iMutual knows when they receive a payment into their collections account what transactions it covers...

At any rate, clearly it's best not to comment. You all seem to know my cashback account well enough to have decided I'm talking out of my hat :clap:
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Re: "100%" cashback sites retain £40m!

Post by richard@imutual » Fri May 02, 2014 4:12 pm

You are certainly free to comment :thumbup:

And I'll look into your specific transactions to see what the situation is re: payment dates

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