A couple weeks ago I received an email from Amazon.com saying that I had received money from a settlement. The lawsuit involved eBooks and something about unfair pricing tactics that impacted the ultimate cost to consumers. I’m surprised it didn’t get caught in my spam blocker, as the email seemed to be  a poor phishing attempt for my details.

To my surprise, it was real. If you purchased an eBook during the dates involved in the settlement, you should’ve received some amount of credit to your account. I saw people tweeting that they received anywhere from $1 to $60.

Amazon Class Action Lawsuit SettlementWhat caught me off guard was that I had no idea about the lawsuit — or the settlement. Honestly, I still don’t know much about the lawsuit’s fineprint or why my account was credited for eBook purchases. Regardless, I received a little infusion of $6.82. I’ll take it!

Class action lawsuits are sometimes frivolous and hurt productivity at top companies. But frequently they protect consumers, and correct wrongs. There’s an entire world of class action lawsuits that gets distributed to shareholders, car owners, household products; really, anything under the sun. You’ve probably received a letter from a law firm explaining that they were given your information and are now filing a class-action lawsuit. Most of the time, if a settlement is reached, you get a couple dollars.

But sometimes you don’t hear about them. For instance, if you go to your grocery store and buy Neutrogena moisturizer, the manufacturer doesn’t know you — individually — made that purchase. The only way for you to receive compensation is to submit your claim. Few companies have an interest in letting you know that an offer has been made. It’s a lot more work for them, when they have to payout all these checks and fulfill the full settlement.

Class Action Lawsuit Rebates Screenshot

To be a critical and informed consumer, there are various sites that can help. Over the last few months I learned about one that specializes in collecting class-action lawsuits. My favorite is called Class Action Rebates, and it’s free! When you go to the website, it explains three key steps to received settlement claims.

First, find products you purchased. Most products don’t even need a receipt; albeit, falsifying product purchases is a fast way to land in jail. If you kept the old receipts and documentation, you can often receive more.

Second, fill out an online claim form. Class Action Rebates tells you how long a form should take to fill out. Got five minutes? I guarantee you can fill one rebate form.

Third, wait an obscenely long period of time for a check in the mail. Most take about 6-8 weeks, but I’ve had surprise checks hit my mailbox about 2-3 months after submitting a claim.

That’s it. Once you’ve completed those three steps, you’ll be on your way to making money off companies that wronged you! You can find anything car problems, vitamins, batteries, and more. Pretty much anything in supermarkets is fair game. Both as a way to save and make money, filing class action lawsuit claims are exceptionally important.

While I’m not suddenly a millionaire, the money earned from the settlements probably totals more than $100. As I work to pay off my student loans, every little bit counts. Find out more about how it works on Class Action Rebates’ website.