Are you an avid online shopper who is always looking for discounts?
Here is a complete guide on how to find and use coupon codes and promo codes while shopping online.
In the world of online shopping, coupon codes, and promo links work like sale shopping at a local store or using a paper coupon.
However, to redeem a paper coupon, you hand it over to a cashier. In online shopping, all you need to do is enter the code during the checkout process to redeem the promo code.
These discounts may offer a cost-saving of as low as a dollar to free shipping and more.
Coupon Codes and Promotional Links: A Complete Guide
Who does not like an occasional discount while they shop from their favorite brand or service provider?
From the world’s leading brands to local businesses such as hotels and spas, businesses offer online coupon codes and promotions to their customers.
If you are wondering how you can find these discounts, you have come to the right place.
Here is a complete guide to finding these coupons and promo codes for online shopping.
How to Search for Coupon Codes?
In the early days of coupon codes, you could not find them on retailers’ websites or physical stores.
Instead, these coupon codes randomly appeared on various related shopping websites.
The idea was to entice and lead potential shoppers to the relevant retailer’s online store.
However, in addition to finding them on related websites, today, you can also find one or more discount coupon codes on retailers’ websites.
Many retailers even offer free email subscriptions that increase your chances of getting a coupon code through their weekly emails and newsletters.
The best way to find out if there are any coupon codes available for the online store you want to shop from is to use everyone’s favorite search engine Google.
Simply type the keyword “Coupon code,” and Google will generate all the results with a list of all the websites offering coupon codes for various online shopping stores.
You can also visit these websites and compare the coupons they offer for maximum savings during your online shopping spree.
Sometimes, you can also find coupon codes after you have selected the items you want to purchase.
For example, you are shopping online at a Versace store.
You can go on the search engine and type “red lobster” and “coupon code.” If there are any coupon codes available anywhere on the web, the search engine will generate a list of those sources.
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Other Ways to Find Codes Online
Apart from search engines, there are two more ways to find coupon codes for online shopping.
These are utilizing automated shopping tools and finding websites offering coupon codes and promo codes for online shopping.
Before using any of the methods mentioned above, you must decide what brands you want to purchase and what retailers you want to shop with.
Make sure to note down the available coupon codes.
Using Automated Shopping Tools
Using automated shopping tools is an effective way to find coupon codes such as price comparison tools and aggregate coupon tools.
These online tools are browser add-ons designed to display promo codes and coupon codes automatically.
These tools generally work whenever you land on any retailer’s website or when you are about to complete online checkout.
These tools claim to help you find the best promotional deals and coupons from various online sources.
The aim is to help you save instant money and time. Ideally, most coupon codes are applicable when you wish to shop at specific retailers, instead of buying a particular product.
You can use websites such as PriceBlink to see coupons as soon as you land on retailers’ websites.
To get a prompt for coupon codes at the time of checkout, you can try Coupons at Checkout or Honey.
You can also utilize automated shopping tools along with other search methods to find coupon codes.
This will further ensure you get the best possible deals. It is always a good idea to try several automated shopping tools before you start shopping and find out which tool works best for your shopping needs.
However, you must always use a single tool at the time of shopping online.
Having too many of these add-ons can create complications and confusion.
You will have to learn how each tool works and which discount came from which browser add-on.
Going beyond Retailers’ Websites to Find Coupon Codes
Most of us are always searching to find our favorite websites specializing in promo codes and coupon codes for online shopping.
Choosing a coupon code is one of the best options as it saves you from the hassle of searching online and bouncing from one page to another for the desired coupon.
However, it may limit the variety of coupon codes you get.
Therefore, you must try more than one website; find multiple options for the brands, products, and services you like.
You can also visit some of the popular rebate websites as they do not only offer coupon codes but will also offer additional rebates on items in case you end up buying them.
Let us take Ebates.com as an example. It is a shopping portal offering cashback and online coupon codes to its members for over 2,500 online shopping stores.
You do not have to fill out several online forms or pay a fee to use this service.
Whenever you purchase a product or service via Ebates link, they receive a commission from the related retailer.
Ebates gives a part of this commission back to the shoppers in the form of discounts via coupon code or promo code.
If you are an online shopaholic, these coupons and promo codes can help you save up a decent sum of money on a variety of products and services.
Linked Coupons and How to Redeem Them?
A linked coupon does not provide you with an actual discount code to activate a promotion; instead, it contains a special link.
When you click on this link, it takes you to the online store of that retailer, and here you will automatically get the discount at the time of checkout.
Redeeming a Coupon Code
It depends on each online store as every store has a different place where you can enter the coupon codes during the online shopping process.
In some cases, you can enter the coupon code when you are in your shopping cart and about to check out.
In other scenarios, you can enter the coupon on an order review page just before you check out.
Keep an eye out for instructions on where to enter the coupon codes. In most cases, this option to enter your coupon code is also named as “promo code.”
However, you will always have to enter your coupon codes before completing the purchase.
If you cannot see the option on the checkout page, you may have missed it on the previous page(s).
Steps to Use Promo Codes
You can use promo codes to purchase gift cards, products, and services at a discounted rate from your favorite brands.
Here is a simple five-step process you have to follow.
- Log on to the website of the retailer using your username or password. However, many online shopping stores do not even require a login id and password, and you can use promo codes as a guest user as well.
- Select the items you want to buy and then proceed to your cart for checkout.
- Enter the promo code in the text box saying “promo code” or “promotion code.”
- Click “Apply.”
- Once you see the discount amount applied to your total, complete the rest of the payment process.
If You Do Not See the Option to Enter A Promo Code
In case you are at the checkout, but cannot see a text box to enter your promo code, check if the online store has a FAQ section.
You may find the answer to exactly where to enter your promo code. Sometimes, you can also find an answer in the “Customer Services” section.
If you do not get any information anywhere on the retailer’s website, you can always call their customer services team.
Many online retailers even offer live chat on their websites, so you can ask them to guide you step-by-step.
Either way, their team will explain how or where to redeem your coupon codes or promo codes.
How to Check If the Coupon Code Is Valid or Working?
Usually, the checkout page on any online shopping website displays the information on how much they are charging you for the merchandise.
Additionally, this page also contains information about any shipping charges and the discount applied after you entered the coupon code or promo code.
This information is always shown on the webpage before you agree to pay.
In case you enter a promo code, but you are unable to see any discount applied on the order’s review page, there are chances that the promo code or coupon is invalid.
You can always confirm this by contacting the customer services team before completing your purchase.
How To Find Out If A “Linked Promotion” Is Valid?
In most cases, the linked promotion will take you straight to the product’s webpage on the retailer’s website, offering a special price or advertising a discount.
If you click on the linked promotion and it does not respond or take you to a product page with no discounts, the promotion link is either invalid or expired.
Always check the price and discount applied at the checkout before making a payment.
What to Do If a Coupon Code Does Not Work?
Sometimes online retailers will omit the option to mention the expiration date of a coupon code.
This way, online stores can change, closely monitor, or even discontinue the discount offer at their discretion.
Therefore, if the coupon code you have does not work anymore, the best is to search for another code.
Can I Use Online Coupons at a Local Store?
Local retail stores have no obligation to honor any online deals offered on the website or anywhere else unless the promotion or coupon mentions explicitly otherwise.
If you print out your online coupon or promo code and take it to the nearest store, some may honor it out of courtesy; however, do not count on it.
It depends on which store you went to and what the deal is, but asking never hurts anybody.
Using Multiple Coupons at a Time
You may wonder if you can double up on a coupon code or promo deal by using multiple coupons at the same time.
The answer is “No.” In most cases, the coupon codes specifically mention that you can use one promotion per item purchased or per transaction.
You can get more savings if you ask for a rebate on an item you bought using a promo code or coupon code.
You can get reasonably generous rebates on computers, electronic devices, home improvement items, and software.
In case you are unable to find one online, you can always contact the customer services department of the retailer and find out if a rebate is available for the product you want to buy.
Top Five Websites for Coupon Codes and Promo Codes
Here are the top five websites offering some of the best discounts via coupon codes and promo codes
Groupon first appeared in 2008 when the world faced the worst recession to date.
Therefore, it was necessary to create a platform where customers could get discounts on various products and services and buy as a group.
However, now Groupon focuses on brands that provide consumers with what they want.
You get massive discounts on Groupon just because other people are also buying the deal you are interested in.
For example, you can get a spa treatment for $10 instead of $100 because 1000 people have already bought that deal.
Groupon offers more than just discounts on brands.
You can also get promo codes and coupons for travel, local services, online courses, and food. They also have coupon codes for Target, Red Lobster, and Amazon.
Recently, Groupon partnered with ParkWhiz, which is a parking app.
The goal is to help you find discounted deals on parking.
Offers.com combines human aspects and technology to bring you coupon codes from over 10,000 brands.
You can search for a promo code by date, category, or keywords such as product or brand name.
These coupons are updated hourly and are mostly exclusive, meaning you cannot find them elsewhere on the web.
RetailMeNot is one of the world’s leading coupon code websites. It also has a mobile app and an exclusive deals section.
The website features more than 50000 coupons from over 50,000 retailers and stores, and it highlights hot retailer coupons and promotions.
RetailMeNot has a well-organized webpage for categories.
However, the best way to get the most out of this website is via directly searching for coupon codes by brand or retailer.
Your search results display active coupon codes as “promo codes” and any promotions as “sales.”
You will also be able to see real-time data, including the number of verified coupons, the number of sales and coupons added that day and the estimated saving amount.
There is a comment section below where users leave feedback about the promo code or coupon code and sales.
This will help you gauge whether the offer is a success or not.
ShopAtHome is a family-owned website founded back in the 80s.
It offers local deals, and you can even get quick extra cash for completing a survey.
ShopAtHome claims they can help you get a cashback of as much as 40 percent of every buck you spend on shopping online.
You just need to sign up for an account (for free) with your name and email address and download their savings button.
Once you press “Turn ON Cash Back” during online shopping, they will search for discount deals and inform you where and when you can save some money.
This one is a community savings website, plus you can also find a SlickDeals app to get promotions and coupons uploaded by members.
However, these submissions are carefully sorted and checked by a deal-editing team.
SlickDeals offers its visitors a social environment, as all the promotions and coupons on the website are categorized based on their popularity.
You can head directly to find your promo codes in the “coupon section.” Here you can search for discounts by store name or category.
Once on the desired retailer’s page, you will find active as well as recently expired coupons.
Pay Attention to Social Media Buzz
Apart from all of the above tips and ways to get your hands on promo codes and coupons, you cannot ignore social networks.
All major brands have their Facebook business page, where they post discount deals, coupons, and promo codes.
So, follow your favorite brands to know which deals are trending.
Beware of the Fake Coupon Codes
In the end, you must know that fake coupon codes and linked promotions are a real threat. It is a way for cyber-criminals to lure you into making purchases by clicking on their provided links.
As soon as you make a purchase, an error appears, but your credit card and personal details go directly to the hackers.
Therefore, be careful and do not open any unknown email offering you coupons or promo codes unless you have received coupon codes and other discount offers from that website or company before as well.
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