Why Online Coupon Codes Are An Instant Win For Shoppers
Extreme couponing or camping outside a favorite department store a week in advance just to get your hands on a decent deal is a painstaking savings strategy of the past. Online coupon codes – alpha-numeric codes applied to an online checkout order – can help you save money by unlocking instant discounts in the comfort of your own home.
Shoppers can use coupon codes to knock off a specific dollar amount from an item or cart order, a percentage off the entire order or even free shipping. In fact, the popularity and prevalence of these codes has given way to dedicated coupon code websites for savvy shoppers to peruse, making paying full price for anything foolish.
Money-Saving With Online Coupon Codes
Some traditional shoppers claim that the deals are all the same. While retailers may, at times, publicize the same discount in-store and online, the latter gives shoppers greater savings opportunities, like “loyal customer” coupon codes.
These coupon codes are often reserved for shoppers who have subscribed to a retailer’s online offers via email or social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Instead of allowing your inbox to be bombarded with advertisements and junk mail just to obtain coupon codes, go straight to the websites devoted to spreading the savings around.
Another opportunity for those shopping on a budget is coupon code “stacking,” which allows you to use more than one coupon code per online order.
For example, an online merchant may be offering 30 percent off an entire order--add on a coupon code for a 40 percent off friends and family discount plus free shipping, and that’s 70 percent off your entire order with no cost to have it delivered to your doorstep. If the same purchase was made in-store, buyers miss out on 40 percent savings at the register, in addition to wasted gas and time.
Where to Find Coupon Codes
The only thing better than scoring steep discounts while shopping is doing so from the comforts of home in your pajamas. Here’s a quick guide on where to browse the best coupon codes:
Fatwallet enables buyers to shop by product category, retail company, and has recently incorporated Black Friday deals as well. Deals are added by website administrators regularly, and user-submitted coupon codes and deals are housed in the “forum” section of the website.
The most valuable part of sites like Fatwallet is their community feedback. Users not only add coupon codes to the website’s database, they also leave comments on how effective a coupon was at saving them money and whether the code has already expired. Fatwallet provides its users with extra incentives like cash back when shopping with certain major retailers.
Additionally, Fatwallet has a nifty “Free Stuff” section under the Forums page, where shoppers can get free products or coupon codes equal to 100 percent of the item’s cost.
Slickdeals functions similarly to Fatwallet in that it provides shoppers with product categories and retailers to search from, and showcases coupon codes and deals submitted by users.
Another advantage to Slickdeals is that they incorporate local deals (e.g. Groupon, Living Social, etc.) into their website, making it a comprehensive resource for online coupon codes and savings.
Slickdeals also enables its users to review a deal’s competitiveness, by giving it a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to signify whether it is in fact the best deal for a given product online. For example, there may be a coupon code on Slickdeals for a camping tent at Target, but if that same tent is still cheaper at Amazon.com, users will inform each other via comments on where to find the best deal.
Los Angeles deal-hunter, Kevin Lee, knows there’s always a cheaper online alternative to retail prices. Recently, he picked-up a coupon code for 30 percent off his American Apparel order just by skimming through the latest deals on the Slickdeals home page.
Kevin said he uses Slick deals for its “great deals, ease of use and frequent deal updates.” Each time visitors re-enter the site, Slickdeals tabs items that are new since your last visit making coupon code and deal browsing that much more convenient and efficient.
RetailMeNot is dedicated solely to providing shoppers with coupon codes to retailers major retailers like Nordstrom, Amazon and Wal-Mart. In addition to online coupon codes, conventional holiday shoppers can also search for a number of printable in-store coupons.
Users rate the success of the coupon code (i.e., whether it was a valid coupon code when attempted) by clicking on a check mark indicating that the code was successful, or by clicking a red “x” for a coupon code’s ineffectiveness. Success rates are color-coded to help shoppers find reliable codes faster.
Retailer Websites Offer Coupon Codes
Retailers are beginning to understand that coupon codes can give shoppers strong incentive to shop more over the holidays. Major retail stores like Macy’s, Sephora and Best Buy offer coupon codes on their websites for an all-in-one shopping experience.
While the full gamut of coupon codes may not be provided, consumers who prefer know that a coupon code is 100 percent reliable can stick to a retailer’s website for holiday shopping and prospective savings.
The age of shopping at retail prices is not only a dated practice, it’s just wasteful. Shop smarter with online deals and coupon codes so you never pay full price again.
By Jennifer Calonia for www.GoBankingRates.com