Retailers today understand the importance of customer loyalty programs. These programs are designed to reward good customers, giving them an incentive to continue doing business with the company. As a collector who is always looking to stretch that dollar, I've found a few sites that offer up some kind of rewards program: Amazon (points on my credit card- use towards supplies), COMC ($5 store credit for every 100 items purchased in a calendar month), and eBay (eBay bucks).
My quarterly eBay bucks earnings were available to me at the beginning of January, and one of the cards I had been watching was still available- a 2010 Topps Five Star autographed rookie card of Gerald McCoy, numbered 50/75. The purchase price was $5.95 plus $2.07 s/h, but with $5.01 in eBay bucks, I only had to pay a total of $3.01 shipped for this beauty. While the signature isn't all that impressive, I really like McCoy- he's an All-Pro on and off the field, who is making his second Pro Bowl appearance later today. Plus, this card now completes a trifecta of him: rookie card, memorabilia swatch and an autographed card.