Empty Coupon Code Box? You’re Paying Too Much.

By Nora Dunn on 24 December 2010 (Updated 16 December 2011) 7 comments
Photo: Ed Yourdon

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.

Whoops.

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.

Combine coupons.

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

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

FreeShippingCoupons.com is just as it sounds: a collection of free shipping coupons.

Codes.co.uk

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?

5
Average: 5 (5 votes)
Your rating: None
ShareThis

comments

7 discussions

Add New Comment

CAPTCHA
This test helps prevent automated spam submissions.
Guest's picture
Guest

i have heard of some of these sites before, but i never trusted them... thought they'd give me a virus. so it's ok to look at?

Guest's picture
Andrea

These sites Actually work directly with retailers to get the codes posted. Very safe and easy to use since they organize coupons by category so you can find a specific deal that meets your needs quickly.

Guest's picture
Brian

There's also CouponCabin.com and NaughtyCodes.com (no, that second one isn't for "adult" sites...)

Guest's picture

Great tips, I hate seeing those coupon boxes and not finding a code. Also check if the retailer has a twitter; if they do there's a good chance they've posted the most recent codes. And if a code works, I'll retweet their code or email it on. Can't hurt to thank the retailer with more business and encourage them to keep having discounts

Guest's picture
Andrew

Great post! I recently saved $40 on a hotel I booked in NYC. After a one minute Google search, I found a code that worked for Orbitz.com. $40 for one minute of work??? Yes, please.

Guest's picture
Guest

www.dealcatcher.com is also good. They often offer deals of the day that can't be beat and are listed by category.
www.couponmountain.com is another good one.
TIP-Many stores will accept the coupon code when ordering by phone. They may even give you a code if you ask!!
@ Guest, no, I've been using these sites for years and never gotten a virus from them.

Guest's picture
Aivaras

Great and informative article about online coupons. But I see it misses few other great sites which I am confident are worth to be on the list, Its HelloCoin.com and CouponCabin, since sometimes it's best to check for coupons on several coupon codes platform because sometimes one site can have a better discount than the other!