Answers to Your Questions About shopathome.com & Uninstalling the Toolbar

by Beth Montgomery on December 2, 2011 · 14 comments

in Announcements, Online Shopping

After recently promoting shopathome.com, I’ve received many emails from readers who accidentally downloaded the shopathome.com toolbar.

First, to answer your questions…

Yes, I agree with you!  They are very sneaky about trying to get you to download that toolbar.

No! It’s not necessary to have the toolbar to take advantage of their deals or savings!

I’ve debating long and hard about talking with you about this, but since questions have come up, I think it’s best that I just be honest with you.  So, for many reasons, I’ve decided to no longer promote shopathome.com.  If you’d like to know why, you may read on, but if you’d just like to uninstall the toolbar, please scroll down for instructions.

I feel very strongly about only promoting companies that I think are honest and respectable.  And, honestly, it disturbs me how far shopathome.com goes to try to trick customers into downloading their toolbar.

Not only on their own site, but on many others.  My husband was simply trying to watch a television show online, but during the process an ad came up saying “Download”.  It was misleading and he’s not that savvy about computers, so thinking he had to download something to watch the show, he did. It was on a website we trusted, but they were using Google Adsense, which rotates ads and the site may not have even realized the misleading ad was appearing.  Either way, suddenly he had the shopathome.com toolbar.  And, obviously, it wasn’t necessary to watch the show and this is just one small example I’ve seen out of many.

I believe firmly that scrupulous companies do not need to go out for their way to trick customers into downloading their resources.  And, if it was a resource that customers wanted, there would be no need to do so.

So, why does shopathome.com go out of their way to do this?  That’s another thing that upsets me.

Many blogs and websites, like my own, are a FREE resource to readers.

In Good Cents is NOT just about making money for me.  All You Magazine is a great example.  Many promote All You Magazine through Amazon or the All You Magazine affiliate program, because they receive a percent of sales.  Really, both offer good deals on this magazine, but I want to provide you with ONLY the best deals and for me, I just can’t send you to Amazon when I know there is a better deal available, regardless of if I receive payment or not.  For that reason, I promote All You Magazine through eFundraising, which offers the lowest subscription rate available, excluding those quick one-off and one-time sales .  I do get a percent of sales, but it’s a fundraising site and I’ve agreed to donate all proceeds from  anything sold on the site, so I do.  While I could make money off of a  magazine that sells well on my site, I choose to offer you the best deal instead.

However, I do make money from In Good Cents with advertising on my sidebar and links within posts.  I’m not getting rich, by any means.  For example, I make $0.50 for each person who clicks my link to Coupons.com and prints coupons.  That’s $0.50 per 24-hour period per person, so if you click my link 4 times in one day and print 4 coupons on each visit, I only make $0.50 for all of that activity.  That’s not a lot of money, but it is what keeps this site FREE and, to be honest, allows me, and many other bloggers, to be a stay-at-home mom, so that we have time to share deals with you.

The shopathome.com toolbar has been known to override links on blogs and websites, sending the percent of sales and coupon prints to them, instead of the website or blog where you found the deal or coupon.  Without getting technical, when you click a link on my site or your favorite blog or website, or simply go directly to a shopping site, the toolbar quickly (so you don’t even notice) redirects you to their site and drops a cookie onto your computer, giving them income from all purchases made or coupons printed at that site within the next 24+ hours.

In fairness, it doesn’t happen on all links.  shopathome.com has taken action to stop it from occurring on some, from what I understand, but not all.  I’ve seen it override a link from one of my favorite bloggers, when I was testing it out myself.  I’m not technical enough to know to what extent it’s occurring, to be honest.  Regardless, it bothers me that they are taking commission they didn’t earn.

In addition, the toolbar doesn’t have to be visible for it to work. In fact, many have the toolbar installed on their computer and don’t realize it’s working in the background!

For this reason, I strongly encourage you to support In Good Cents and your favorite bloggers and websites by removing the shopathome.com toolbar.  Please, even if you don’t think you have downloaded it, take the time to check.

I don’t mind if you use shopathome.com, of course.  A great deal is a great deal and they do offer some great deals.  Even I use their site to get cashback when it beats others site’s offers, but I encourage you to go to their site to take advantage of their deals, instead of using the toolbar.  Plus, there are many respectable alternatives like eBates and zuuzs which offer cashback shopping without sneaky methods, which I’ll now be promoting instead of shopathome.com.

How to Uninstall the shopathome.com Toolbar

Turning of the shopathome.com toolbar on your browser, does not stop it from running in the background or remove it fro your computer!  Plus, it may be installed to FireFox, while you are using Internet Explorer and vice versa, or another browser.  Many don’t realize it’s installed until they look in their Control Panel.

If you use Windows and FireFox together, like I do, you may need to follow BOTH of these instructions to remove the toolbar completely.

Windows & Internet Explorer Users

  1. Close any browsers.
  2. Click “Start” and select “Control Panel” from “Settings”
  3. Double-click “Add/Remove Programs”
  4. Find “SelectRebates” or “shopathome.com Toolbar” in the list of programs.
  5. Click on it to remove the program.
  6. Select “OK” to start the removal process.
  7. Restart your computer to ensure it’s completely removed.

Mac & FireFox Users

  1. In FireFox, click “Tools”
  2. Choose “Add-Ons” from the list.
  3. Find “shopathome Intelligent Shopping Toolbar”
  4. Select “Uninstall”
  5. Restart your computer to ensure it’s completely removed.

Thanks so much for supporting your favorite websites and bloggers! And sorry this got so wordy, but I’m feeling a bit passionate about this.

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{ 14 comments }

1 cassie b December 2, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Thanks for sharing this. We got the toolbar somehow by accident but I had left it since my DH didn’t say anything. I just removed it as it did irritate me some and definitely more now that you explained some of what it was doing!

2 Jennifer December 2, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Excellent post, and not a bit over-wordy. This is an unethical sneak tactic, and everyone should be informed. I pay special attention to make sure I don’t inadvertently get any toolbars. Many (not all) are easily hacked as well. Excellent post and keep up the great blogging!

3 Angela December 2, 2011 at 2:39 PM

This is the kind of honesty that I want in any person and website! Thank you so much for your help!! Your professionalism is GREATLY appreciated!

4 Beth December 2, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Thank you all for your support! I was nervous about posting this, just because I hate to feel like I’m “trash talking” a site that is a source for good deals, but thought you needed to be informed. I know, as a reader I’d want to know about these things. And the questions I was getting really encouraged me.

5 Darla Garrett December 2, 2011 at 5:06 PM

This is so true, So many if not all tool bars will bog down your computer and cause you a lot of issues. If you really want to see everything you have on your computer you need to go to your start button and then to the control panel and check out the program and/or features. This will show you everything you have on your computer including those hidden issues. Just wanted to share a little more info.

6 Dave Volak October 6, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Thanks much for the info. Very helpful to know.

7 Beth October 8, 2012 at 11:38 AM

You’re welcome!

8 hate shop athome November 22, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Thanks this was helpful. I noticed it was installed after I started getting alerts that someone was attempting to change my passwords. that toolbar is awful.

9 Bob November 22, 2012 at 3:24 PM

I can’t find ShopAtHome or slect rebates any whare in add/remove or any where
on my computer. How can I get rid of that darn toolbar!!

10 Beth November 22, 2012 at 11:05 PM

Bob, did you try looking in FAQ in shopathome? It depends how you got the toolbar. It can be very hard to remove if it was installed maliciously. Microsoft has some information on the toolbar as well that may be helpful: http://www.microsoft.com/security/portal/Threat/Encyclopedia/Entry.aspx?Name=Spyware%3aWin32%2fShopAtHome.

11 Connie December 8, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Thank you so much for the information! I felt like smashing my computer when I “accidently” clicked on this site! I should have known better.

12 Beth December 9, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Glad you found the post too. It can be a pain!

13 Anna February 25, 2013 at 1:02 AM

I followed your instructions for deleting the Shop At Home toolbar, but it was not where you said. I kept looking and found it in Extensions. It said: Shop At Home Toolbar. Options: disable or Remove….of course I removed it….I never used it and frankly wasn’t even aware it might be causing problems. Thank you.
Now can you help me with something related? I, foolishly, downloaded a way to print off coupons, thinking it would be okay….well, after the complicated DL, I do not see it anywhere & it didn’t print any coupons! I would like to remove it, can you tell me how?
Thank you so much for posting this, it was a great help.

14 Beth February 25, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Anna, do you know what site it was that you downloaded the coupon printer?

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