3 Reasons to Use Coupon Websites When Shopping Online

May 7th 2016
You've found the perfect dress for your upcoming party through an e-commerce store and you're getting ready to pull the trigger on the shopping cart. Before you go through the checkout process, however, you want to search for store coupon codes to cut down on the cost of the dress. Whether you get a flat rate discount or free shipping, it's worth taking the extra minute during the checkout process to find out whether you can save on your purchase. You can search for them on your own and get a good success rate, but often it's better to use coupon websites when you're shopping online for a few reasons. 

Coupon Compilation

Searching for coupons nets you a few results, but you won't always find the full range of coupon codes when you use search engines. A coupon website compiles all known coupons for that particular e-commerce store. Many sites also let their user base enter in coupons to expand the number of codes you can access. Generally, on coupon sites with user submissions, you can vote on whether a coupon is valid or not. It's easy enough to check the percentage before you try out a coupon, as some e-commerce stores cycle their coupon codes on a regular basis. These sites also provide information on whether a particular e-commerce store has an associated credit card or rewards program to provide greater discounts. Some stores offer coupon codes if you like their Facebook page or sign up for their email list. In addition, many online stores also send out special codes for your birthday. It's important to know what type of discounts you get access to so you can plan out your purchases in the future. 

These websites take on a few forms. One of the most prevalent is a database-type site that has a wide, searchable list of online retailers that offer coupons. You enter the specific site you're interested in, and the database provides you with a list of coupon codes. Another common site setup uses a community forum to post coupons. The most recent coupons are at the top of the list, resulting in codes that are most likely valid and usable. These sites also offer related deals, such as products from daily deal sites or steeply discounted offers, as well as offers from sites like Living Social and Groupon. 

Coupon Comparison 

Wondering if you're getting the best deal on the product you're purchasing? If you're picking up something available at multiple stores, check out a coupon website to determine whether you're getting the best deal or not. Another store may offer a higher discount, give you free shipping or throw in extra products just for purchasing through that particular website. If you are buying a non-exclusive item, it's best to check for these coupons before you go through the checkout process. This is a particularly useful tactic when sales seasons are changing and stores have big sales going on at the same time. When many online stores are competing for your business, they provide extra incentive for going through their store instead of a competitor's. 

Coupon Plug-ins

Some coupon websites and services offer browser plug-ins or apps so you don't even have to visit the websites or leave your shopping cart to figure out what coupon codes are available for your purchase. Instead, you use the plug-in to search for codes for the site. Some of them input the codes for you in the shopping cart, while others allow you to copy and paste the information. This helps you find the best deal for your purchase in a streamlined and seamless way. You can find browser plug-ins through the coupon websites themselves or through plug-in directories offered by the web browser developers. If you'd rather use an app to search for deals, check out the Google Play marketplace or the iTunes store for availability. 

Image Courtesy of sdc2027 via Flickr

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