Is Rakuten a Scam? 100% Truth is Finally Revealed Here

Is Rakuten a Scam Rakuten Logo

Rakuten, Japan’s largest online shopping and media company, controls a large portion of the worldwide e-commerce market. It’s no secret that Ebates has a lot of satisfied clients thanks to its popular cashback program and purchases on overseas sites through its Ebates site.

Is Rakuten a Scam

Rakuten has focused on providing a high-quality shopping experience since its launch, mixing shopping coupons with cashback rewards.

Simultaneously, they have grown and strengthened their media activities, now offering news aggregation services in Japan that are on equal level with Yahoo and Google News in terms of quality.

This Rakuten review is to present you with information before deciding whether or not it is good for you.

Is Rakuten a Scam? – Rakuten Review Summary

Rakuten does not need to run any physical storefronts or warehouses. They make the majority of their sales through their Buy.com site, and the majority of their profit comes from commissions on transactions made there. Their business concept is straightforward: for a charge, they process transactions between clients and third-party suppliers.

They have, however, evolved into more than just an online retail mall. Through their Rakuten Seller service, they provide customer assistance to eBay and Amazon sellers. Through their Rakuten Wallet website, they offer credit card processing services. Furthermore, under the name “Rakuten Ichiba,” they launched an international online mall in Japanese language.

Product Name: Rakuten

Founder: Hiroshi Mikitani

Price: FREE

Rating: 40/100

Best For: Frequent Shoppers

Recommended: Not Recommended

What is Rakuten  About: It is a multinational corporation based in Tokyo, Japan known for its online and e-commerce services.

Summary: Rakuten is an affiliate marketing site that allows you to earn money while shopping at your favorite physical or online retail store.

What is Rakuten About?

Rakuten is a Japanese multinational corporation with its headquarters in Tokyo. It specializes in Internet and e-commerce services, among other things. It is a significant internet service provider in Japan and maintains one of the world’s largest online retail sites. Rakuten has grown to become one of the most powerful firms in the Japanese industry.

How Does Rakuten Work?

Rakuten is a corporation that specializes in affiliate marketing. When companies pay influencers for bringing customers to their website or store, this is known as affiliate marketing.

When Rakuten promotes you or your friends to connected websites to access products and services, those websites pay Rakuten a fee every time you make a purchase. Rakuten has decided to divide the commission with you in order to encourage you to continue shopping with them. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, it’s when you advertise another person’s products or services in exchange for a commission when customers buy through your affiliate links.

Rakuten acts as a go-between for you, the shopper, and the online stores. It’s not easy for stores to spread the news about their daily promotions, discounts, or special offers rapidly.

Inside Info about Rakuten

Is Rakuten a Scam Founder Hiroshi Mikitani

Hiroshi Mikitani founded Rakuten on February 7, 1997 as a price comparison website. Rakuten Ichiba was established in May 2000 as an e-commerce site to grow into the Japanese market. In April 2003, the main site was incorporated and began expanding into Russian markets under the name Rakuten, Inc.

Rakuten began as an online auction site known as “E-Shopping,” which was later renamed “Buy.com” (after Rakuten.com) due to a trademark dispute with an American company of the same name that sold computers. It’s ambition is to become Japan’s Amazon.com, and its CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani has made no secret of his desire to serve more than 200 million global users by 2020.

Since then, the company has expanded its offerings to include travel (in 2005), banking, securities trading (in 2006), auctions (in 2007), and floral services (in 2008). It acquired Buy.com in February 2012 and renamed its global operations Rakuten.

Rakuten Ichiba began taking bitcoin as a form of payment in August 2014.

E-commerce, Internet services, and financial services are Rakuten’s major operations. It also has online shopping sites in Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia. The company established Rakuten Travel and Rakuma, a popular social network in Japan, in 2008.

In addition, the firm holds a stake in CardCash.com, an American gift card exchange site, and has established Rakuten Securities Co., Ltd. to provide online stock trading services in Japan and overseas. Rakuten Bank, a joint venture between Rakuten and Malaysia’s Bank of East Asia, is situated in Taiwan. Rakuten Financial Services Group will be established in Taiwan to provide banking, securities, and insurance services.

In 2015, the business stated that it would invest $100 million over the next ten years in a joint venture with fintech start-up Lufax to create Ant Financial Services Group or Ali Fund, a China-focused online lender.

Rakuten Membership Costs

NOTHING!

It is completely free to sign up. There are no fees or hidden charges. It does not charge users for the service because businesses pay the platform beforehand to bring visitors to their stores, making it an easy win from a financial perspective. It’s not about how much you pay; it’s about how much you get back.

Can You Make Money with Rakuten?

Rakuten is a cash back platform that works with over 2,500 online merchants to give you up to 40% cash back on most of your purchases.

Electronics, vehicles, apparel, collectibles, hotels, vacations, you name it, you can receive cash back on it! They give out fantastic offers, coupons, and promo codes on a daily basis.

Rakuten can pay you in one of two ways once you’ve accumulated cashback. They will either mail you a physical check or credit your PayPal account with the remaining funds every 3 months.

How to Make Money with Rakuten?

Rakuten operates in a very direct way. Simply use your email address or Facebook profile to create an account. After you’ve logged in, search for your favorite stores and begin shopping as usual.

Sign Up Bonus

You’ll earn a $10 welcome bonus in the form of a cash bonus or a gift card when you sign up. 

Is Rakuten a Scam Sign Up

You may either use your email, link it to your Facebook account or through your Apple account.

Is Rakuten a Scam Welcome Bonus

You can redeem this $10 incentive after making a $25 or more qualifying purchase.

Point System

You will earn points after shopping, which will be credited to your account.

Daily Discounts and Online Cashback

Depending on what item you purchase, you will get up to 40% cashback.

Is Rakuten a Scam Cash Back and Discount

In-Store Cash Back

You can earn Cash Back at certain stores in person, just like you can online.

Is Rakuten a Scam In-Store Cash Back

Referral Program

Is Rakuten a Scam Referral Program

Refer a friend and receive a bonus for each qualified referral. You simply recommend people to the website and earn money for it, and there is no limit to that. You are allowed to invite as many people as you want. You will then both get a $30 bonus upon sign up and after a $30 worth of purchase.

Affiliated Stores

Is Rakuten a Scam Affiliated Stores
  • Macys
  • Walmart
  • Ebay
  • Bloomingdales
  • Target
  • Kohl’s
  • Old Navy
  • Nike
  • Adidas
  • Sephora 
  • And many more…

Rakuten Features

Website

Is Rakuten a Scam Website

Browser extensions

Available on Firefox and Google. You may keep track of their latest Hot deals and promotions by adding these extensions.

Is Rakuten a Scam Chrome Extension
Is Rakuten a Scam Mozilla Firefox extension

Mobile App

You can definitely install it on Google Playstore or Apple store.

Is Rakuten a Scam Mobile App
Is Rakuten a Scam Apple Store

Rakuten Online Reviews

As I always say, reviews and ratings allow new users to distinguish whether or not it’s a good fit for them. 

Let’s check what Rakuten has on the table.

Common positive reviews

Is Rakuten a Scam BBB
Is Rakuten a Scam Good Reviews
Is Rakuten a Scam Good Reviews

Common negative reviews

Is Rakuten a Scam Bad Reviews
Is Rakuten a Scam Bad Reviews
Is Rakuten a Scam Bad Reviews
Is Rakuten a Scam Bad Reviews

Is Rakuten a Scam?

Just to be fully transparent with you, I am not affiliated with Rakuten myself and I do not endorse it in any way.

I have researched the website, testimonials, and information on the Internet to get to the bottom of what Rakuten genuinely does. This is because I have been burnt from programs just like this in the past and I want to prevent others from making the same mistakes. If you’d like to learn Ways to Avoid Online Scams then click the highlighted text.

The company continues to extend its business portfolio, resulting in significant growth.

It has grown into a prominent and successful ecommerce corporation with its own global brand name, widely recognized as Japan’s equivalent to Amazon. Since its founding in 1997, the company has become one of Japan’s most iconic and influential corporations.

So, is Rakuten a scam?

Definitely, no.

I believe it has built its solid reputation in the market already. 

Additionally, it is also registered in Better Business Bureau with an outstanding rating. Although they have a lot of complaints, they were able to resolve all of them. 

Pros of Rakuten

  1. The fact that it is accredited by the Better Business Bureau makes us even more confident to use their platform.
  1. A solid reputation with 22 fruitful years in the business.
  1. They have a secure website and is part of the newly elected Board of Advisors of the PCI SSC for the years 2021-2022. 
  1. Has a strong partnership with some of the biggest and luxurious stores worldwide.
  1. Simple to use. 
  1. Variety of deals and promotions to choose from.
  1. If you are a frequent shopper looking to save money on your future purchases, it is a great place to start.

Cons of Rakuten

Lacks Customer Support
I don’t think they have given attention to their customer support. It’s very limited. They only got a help center that’s more likely based on the ticketing system. No real-time customer chat support unlike any other platforms. They must have invested in this aspect.

Leads to Impulsive Buying
It’s almost as if they’re enticing people to purchase more so they can receive more cash back, which I don’t think is healthy. Consider how much money you may waste if you didn’t plan ahead of time. People tend to forget the difference between their wants and needs when they are driven by emotion.

Yes, you can save money, but is it good enough to justify it when you’re spending more than your finances allow?

Cashback Product Exclusions
Almost all stores have products that are not eligible or excluded for cashback, notably their most popular or in-demand items.

Earning System Is Uncertain
Rakuten didn’t go into detail about the rules and regulations that govern their earning system. It’s something that the majority of those who gave the lowest score mentioned. This could be considered deceptive advertising.

Frequent Account Blocking
As I read through the BBB complaints, I noticed that the majority of people reported their accounts were blocked because of the same issue: creating multiple accounts to qualify for the referral bonus.

is rakuten a scam New CTA button 2 edited

Ready to make Passive Income Online?

Hi, I’m John. I created a passive income online. And I had no marketing skills or online experience when I started.

Final Thoughts About Rakuten

I know I said this isn’t a scam, but don’t expect it to solve your financial problems. 

Yes, this may help you save money, but you can’t deny that you must spend money also in order to receive a little portion of it back. 

Before using this site, I recommend that you plan your purchase first. I’d also like to emphasize that if you have a credit card, this may not be the best option for you.

While this may be a great opportunity for them to increase sales, it may be the exact opposite for you as a buyer.

Do I recommend Rakuten?

I’d say this is a good option for frequent shoppers who aren’t concerned about their finances. However, if you are looking to earn money or profit from it, this is not the place for you.

A Badass Rakuten Alternative

Given that we are still in the midst of a pandemic, I don’t believe this is appropriate for everyone. I have a GREAT SUGGESTION that will help you to generate money online without having to spend more money than you already have. 

I devoted most of my time conducting thorough research and I discovered this fantastic way to earn unlimited money on a monthly basis.

This TOP RECOMMENDATION of mine will provide you with more than simply a way to make money. It will also act as a roadmap to achieving the lifestyle you’ve always desired.

You may start using it for free, just like Rakuten. However, unlike Rakuten, where the more you spend, the more “chances” of cashback you “may” get, this is completely opposite. 

If you want to do this full-time, going premium with all of the tools you’ll need will set you back only $49 per month.

Investing in yourself to learn how to build a real online business is far more valuable than shopping for random items on the internet. When you start investing in yourself, your worth rises.

I would love to tell you everything about this. I am also willing to assist you to your very first step in building your online business.

Just click on the image below.

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is rakuten a scam john j stanley

About John Stanley

Jоhn іѕ a Fаthеr, Husband, Entrерrеnеur аnd Internet Mаrkеtіng Suрроrt Cоасh. Evеr ѕіnсе hе ѕtаrtеd hіѕ Onlіnе Buѕіnеѕѕ he lоvеѕ wоrkіng frоm аnуwhеrе аnd thе lарtор lіfеѕtуlе. Thіѕ means bеіng сlоѕеr tо our сhіld аѕ ѕhе grоwѕ uр. When hе’ѕ nоt buіldіng wеbѕіtеѕ, hе’ѕ ѕреndіng рrесіоuѕ time wіth оur lіttlе girl аnd fаmіlу, еxеrсіѕіng аnd еnjоуѕ trаvеlіng. Follow me: Webtalk· Twitter· Instagram· Facebook

Rakuten

$0
4

Income Opportunity

2.0/10

Business Model

4.0/10

Credibility

3.0/10

Reliability

1.0/10

Price

10.0/10

Pros

  • BBB Accredited
  • Strong Partnership
  • Easy Navigation
  • Reputable Business Background

Cons

  • Limited Customer Support
  • Cashback Product Exclusions
  • Uncertain Earning System
  • Frequent Account Blocking
  • Promotes Impulsive Buying

20 thoughts on “Is Rakuten a Scam? 100% Truth is Finally Revealed Here”

  1. Hi John,
    This is a really great review on Rakuten as you provided a lot of useful information I did not know about. It is not a platform I use for shopping because I have seen a few friends go down the rabbit hole of excessive spending because of the “cash back”.

    I must say for all their advertising, the real-life complaints you featured about their referral cash back system causes the need for a pause by any online user. It certainly doesn’t sound like a wise choice for affiliate marketing if someone has to spend valuable time trying to convince them of valid referrals. Your recommended option seems to be a more viable opportunity worth looking into.

    Thanks

    Ceci

    Reply
    • Thank you Ceci,
      I agree with you and you have reached the same conclusions and concerns that I have with Rakuten as a way to make money online.
      yes with my recommended option you can build your own real online business with affiliate marketing as the main strategy to make sustainable, growing income online.
      Regards John

      Reply
  2. Thanks for the detailed review of Rakuten.
    Coming across your post is well timed. Because, I’m looking for affiliate programs to join
    and I heard about Rakuten but haven’t fully digged into it.

    It’s good to know that Rakuten is more on the “shoppers’ side” rather than the “usual”
    affiliate marketing system.
    So, thanks for the info, you actually helped to decide whether I should go for it or not.

    Which is the best affiliate network that you can recommend based on your experience?

    Reply
    • Thanks you Mina,
      I agree with you 100%.
      When you ask what it the best affiliate network that I can recommend, this is difficult to answer because there are literally 1000’s of affiliate programs out there and it will depend upon the affiliate marketers niche.
      What I can recommend is starting with the best Affiliate marketing training and mentoring to learn all about building an online business
      https://earnfromyourlaptop.com/is-wealthy-affiliate-worth-it-or-not/
      Then once inside the community, you can learn about training such as this one on how to find profitable affiliate programs: Affiliate Programs. So here you will learn to skills and have tools to find the best affiliate networks to suit your niche and your own preferences.

      Reply
  3. Hi John,

    I agree with you that Rakuten aren’t out to scam you. But, with the investment you put into it, there is certainly no return in a good amount of time, even at all. So, like you, I will not be investing in Rakuten. I also will not be sharing the idea to others of using Rakuten in their business or indeed in their normal every day lives.

    Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work with your excellent reviews.

    All the best, Tom

    Tom

    Reply
    • Thanks Tom for reading my honest Rakuten review.
      So the program is really a cash back program from spending your own money. Basically you can get cash back (not really “earn money”) when you buy things, so it is effectively a sharing of a discount. I too cannot recommend Rakuten.
      There are far better ways to make money online – like affiliate marketing.

      Reply
  4. Thank you for this review.
    In the past I have looked at this system and I did not know how it worked. Thank you for explaining it. It seems like it is a lower version of affiliate marketing where you just get money by referring your friends.
    However, I am not too happy about the income opportunity as it seems it will be hard to make a full-time income from home.
    Thank you again. I will look at other opportunities.

    Reply
    • Thanks Thabo,
      I like how you call it a lower version of affiliate marketing. So the Rakuten program is really a cash back program from spending your OWN money. Basically you can get cash back (not really “earn money”) when you buy things, so it is effectively a sharing of a discount. I too cannot recommend Rakuten.
      There are far better ways to make money online – like affiliate marketing.
      Feel free to reach back to me if you need any more help, John

      Reply
  5. Hi John, I have heard of Rakuten a few times over the years. On my sister’s TV there is an App for it – some sort of streaming service also there is Rakuten Linkshare which is a vendor for affiliate marketing. Other than this prior to reading your review I didn’t really know too much else about them. The real life reviews you shared do not seem too good. I’d expect this is maybe people not reading the small print – a lot of companies promise the earth and when it actually comes to it they try to weasel their way out of it. Rakuten sounds no different. Anyway, very detailed review.

    Best regards;

    Alex

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing that Alex, I hadn’t personally seen the TV app for Rakuten and that is clever marketing on their part.
      Yes the real life reviews were not great. I recommend affiliate beware of this Rakuten system of cash back for shopping and there are far more lucrative affiliate programs out there than Rakuten’s.

      Reply
  6. Hi, John, your review of Rakuten is great. I got an insight into this organisation, and I often wondered what they would be like as an affiliate program. It sounds like another good affiliate program to earn extra income. Thank you for providing an informative review.

    Reply
    • Thanks Yvonne,
      If you do pursue Rakuten’s cash back way of sharing affiliate marketing commissions – please be wary of spending more and more trying to get those cashback offers.
      It can be a trap if all you are doing is spending way too much shopping. As a genuine affiliate marketer, there are far better opportunities out there.
      Regards John

      Reply
  7. Hi John,
    The only place I heard of this company was the advertising ads on TV. I have never used them. But, after reading your review, I would be cautious to use their platform to purchase products. It sounds great to be offered 40% cashback, but if they take it away from you, what is the point?
    If you refer people, on the promise of cashback, then take it back, it is not a good way to do business.
    My wife would be a bad choice for this program. She will spend more and more trying to get those cashback offers. And in the end spends way too much shopping.
    With all the complaints about people missing money from their accounts and Rakuten not paying the cashbacks they promised, I will avoid using this company.
    Thank you for making me aware of this company,
    Chas

    Reply
    • Hi Carl,
      Thanks for raising some very valid points. There are a lot of factors to be wary of in trying to make money with Rakuten.
      You have raised some very good perspectives, things to consider and reasons to avoid Rakuten.
      Regards John

      Reply
  8. Rakuten, also the parent company of Linkshare and I eBates has been doing this a long time. As you stated for 22 years they have been helping people save money but the program itself is not lucrative for affiliates. Linkshare, the affiliate arm is where more of the revenue is shared but even then at best you are on par with Amazon’s low commissions structure and can do better elsewhere in many cases. The best I can advise is affiliates beware as this system is more about making the company heads rich than sharing in the sales growth. You are not likely to get substantial earnings from them unless you have large amounts of targeted traffic.

    Reply
    • Thanks Andy for sharing your insights and experiences here.
      Yes the very low commissions are on a par with Amazon’s low commission structure and there are far better affiliate programs out there than Rakuten.

      Reply
  9. Customer support is the biggest thing that people want to communicate with the owner or customer service and this seems to be a problem with a lot of people not being able to talk to customer support. In this review, we saw the Rakuten has good products and make there many through affiliate purchase and third party-transactions. We are going with your recommendation of WA, this platform has all you need to make money to build an empire that will not fall if you follow what John says then you will succeed.
    Thank you for this honest opinion.

    Cheers,
    Mathew&Deloris

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comments Mathew & Delores,
      You raise some great points about the common complaints of customer support.
      There is nothing more frustrating than a poor user experience. To be fair their are many positive comments about customer service also and an overall high rating.
      Yes this is a website to effectively get a bit of a discount (cash back) from your purchases and certainly not a way to build an empire! A genuine online business that helps people. Thanks for reading my honest Rakuten review.
      John

      Reply
  10. Hey John, thanks for sharing this review of Rakuten. I actually have heard about it but I have to be honest and say that I’ve had no idea what Rakuten is and how it works. Thanks for enlightening me with your review. I’m glad to see it’s not a scam. However, I’m not so confident about joining it to make money online. I prefer independent affiliate programs and work closely with companies that need more clients than with large organizations like Rakuten, Amazon, etc. But at least I’m glad to learn that it’s not a scam. Thanks again for sharing this awesome review and keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • Hey Ivan, thanks for your comments.
      I’m glad you learned what Rakuten is all about from my honest Rakuten review.
      Yes the program is really a cash back program from spending your own money. Basically you can get cash back (not really “earn money”) when you buy things, so it is effectively a sharing of a discount.
      This is in contrast to your and my preference to use independent affiliate programs. By building your own online business, helping people with your useful content in any niche you choose. This is where I can help people with training and personal mentoring.

      Reply

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