Score Coupons for Every Online Store (Even the Ones That "Don't Have Coupons")
When shopping online, you've probably become accustomed to using coupons as a means of saving money. Sometimes you're lucky enough to receive coupons via email from your favorite retailers; sometimes you have to take the time to scour the Internet, searching far and wide for a deal that can help you save. And of course, there are times when you come up short; no matter what you do, you just can't seem to find a coupon for a particular online store. (See also: Money-Saving Tips for Online Shopping)
What are your options?
Rather than pay full price, here are some tips to improve your chance of securing that elusive coupon for that particular store.
Review the Store's Website
Did you know that some stores offer coupon codes right on their websites? This may sound obvious, but many people continually overlook this simple idea. Check the homepage or a "coupon" page before you start shopping.
Fill Up Your Online Cart and Abandon It
Try this trick. Fill up your cart with all the items you want, and then leave the site behind for a couple of days. If you are signed into your account when doing so, the store may contact you with a coupon code to "tempt" you into visiting the site once again and finally checking out. (See also: How to Save 10-20% on Online Purchases)
Check Multiple Coupon Sharing Websites
Online services such as RetailMeNot (or Wise Bread's Coupon Search) dedicate a lot of time, money, and resources to helping consumers save money. Regardless of the store at which you're shopping, there's a good chance that one of these websites will have at least one coupon code. If you're lucky, you will find several codes, giving you the opportunity to compare each one to ensure that you are getting the best deal possible.
Search Internet Forums and Blogs
Many consumers enjoy sharing money-saving coupons and tips with others. You may be surprised at what you come up with when you search for coupons for a particular store. Getting started is as simple as navigating to Google and beginning your search. For example, you could search the following phrase: "Pottery Barn coupon codes." There's a good chance this will lead you to at least one forum or blog providing an active coupon code.
Register for an Event
If you're an "advanced saver," this is a strategy to consider. Register for a fake event, such as a baby shower or wedding shower. Once the event date passes, the retailer may send you a coupon code to purchase the items that others did not buy for you — which is all of them since your event is make believe. It takes some time to plan out this strategy, but in the long run it can save you a lot of money.
Hit Social Media and Ask
When I can't find a coupon code online after a lengthy search, I often reach out to the retailer directly through Facebook or Twitter and ask if there's one available. On more than one occasion, the retailer in question has responded to my message and provided me a coupon code. Easy-breezy. (See also: How to Make Facebook Productive)
Join the Store's Mailing List
Do you ever wonder why stores ask you for your email when checking out? It's not because they want to sell your address to spammers. It because they want to stay in touch with you in the future, which includes sending out special offers and coupons.
Remember, you can always unsubscribe to the list if you desire. You might as well try this out with your favorite stores to see what they offer those who are part of their mailing list.
Do Receipt Surveys
You may think it's annoying when a store associate directs you towards a survey at the bottom of your receipt, but once you realize the benefits you will be singing a different tune.
Recently, a friend of mine purchased a pair of shoes and then gave me the receipt so I could complete the survey and receive a coupon code. It took a couple minutes of my time, but the $10 off was well worth it.
Don't Be Afraid to Call (or Chat)
Have the strategies above left you empty handed? If so, there is one last thing you can do: Pick up the phone, and ask for a coupon code. Don't be shy about taking this step, as many stores are more than willing to help you out. (See also: 9 Ways to Get What You Want From Customer Service)
Before you do this, however, put all the items you want to purchase in your shopping cart. This will give you an idea of your total cost, which should help the store supply you with the appropriate coupon.
When it comes time to contact the store, there are multiple ways of doing so. In this situation, the best option is a "live chat," if available. This gives you the opportunity to connect with a live representative while your items are ready for checkout.
If you do not have the ability to start a live chat, there are a couple other options:
Call the customer service department
Contact the store via email
If you want to place your order now, without delay, you should make a phone call. Sending an email is an option to consider, but it can take up to 24 hours (or longer) to get a response.
It is always possible that you will run into a brick wall, never securing a coupon for the store at which you are shopping. But before you give in, implement the strategies above. Hopefully one of these will turn up a money-saving coupon!
Do you have more ways to get a coupon for an online store? Let me know in the comments below.