Empty Coupon Code Box? You’re Paying Too Much.
When you place an online order, there’s always that little coupon code box towards the end, beckoning you to enter a promotional code or gift certificate number to reduce your total. You know the box I’m talking about, right? Do you ever leave it blank? If you do, then you’re paying too much.
Here's how to make sure you never leave that box blank again, along with some tips to maximize your online coupon usage.
Ever since Paul wrote about RetailMeNot, I’ve faithfully used it as a resource in my dedication to save money on online orders. But when unable to find applicable coupons on the site (which has happened a lot), I used to shrug my shoulders and pay full price.
Paying full price was entirely unnecessary. Between a host of other online coupon providers and knowing how to do a proper search for online coupons, you never need to pay full price again. (See also: Save Money Shopping Online With Google)
Online Coupon Tips
Coupons are free!
If you are asked to register your private information or pay to get your coupons, then you’re barking up the wrong tree.
Read the fine print.
Check to make sure the coupon hasn’t expired and that your intended order fits the criteria (such as minimum order amounts).
Think before you buy in-store.
Although it may be tempting to slap down your credit card for that item while you’re in the store and looking at it, you might be able to score a better deal if you order it online. Between store e-promotions and online coupons, even shipping can be free or negligible. Besides, comparison shopping online allows you to really make sure you want or need that item and stave off impulse buys.
Although the fine print might exclude you from using more than one coupon, some retailers allow you to “stack” coupons to maximize your savings. 25% off plus free shipping? Yes, thank you.
Where to Find Online Coupons
In addition to RetailMeNot, here are a few other sites to check out:
PromotionalCodes.com is an interactive site that allows users to post coupon codes and comments, rate coupons, and otherwise hunt for bargains. In a quick browse, I found $25 gift cards for $2, free shipping offers, and hotel discounts.
CouponWinner.com and Coupon Winner.ca
CouponWinner.com offers online coupons for heaps of major retailers — over 25,000 coupons from over 11,000 retailers to be precise. You can use their CouponScout to compare coupons and sales from different retailers side-by-side (very handy), and the InsideScoop section will give you the dirt on new products.
CouponWinner.ca is the Canadian equivalent for CouponWinner, and a welcome addition in my mind, since so many online coupons are geared solely towards the US market.
FreeShippingCoupons.com is just as it sounds: a collection of free shipping coupons.
Codes.co.uk allows UK residents to get in on the online coupon game.
If all else fails, you can perform a direct Google search for coupon codes. Simply enter a search string like “retailer + coupon" (or "retailer + promo code" or "retailer + coupon code" — try a few options) and see what comes up. (Substitute the word "retailer" in this example with the actual store name).
What are your tips and tricks for hunting down online coupons and saving money on online orders?