Applying online coupons is not any different than finding and clipping brick and mortar store paper coupons while shopping. The only difference is that instead of offering cashier paper promotions, you have to enter electronic code during your purchase. This code refers to a specific discount and that amount is eliminated from the transaction total. Those promotions vary from dollar amounts off to percentages, to deals on shipping, and free gifts.
A while back, when electronic shopping was in its early stages, and the coupons just started circulating, it wasn’t easy to find them readily available on the retailer’s site. Coupons and codes were often found on related websites and were meant to lead potential buyers to the retail store. Currently, most retailers still have their coupons on related websites, but in addition offer promo codes on their own store’s page and send them out periodically to loyal customers through emails and newsletters.
The best way to find desired coupons is by going to a search engine and typing “coupon code” in the search window. Such search will give you a great list of websites that specialize in providing coupons. Buyers can visit a few of those websites and compare different coupons and savings offered.
Another way to find coupon codes is searching for a particular discount after the shopping cart is full and all is missing is a great discount. Search engines can find a specific promo code of any retailer as long as it exists.
A good example of such search would be if a shopper selected a vase for purchase from Macy’s, then went to Google, and typed “Macy’s Coupon Codes”. Once the search generates the list of websites containing Macy’s coupons, the buyer then chooses a site, finds the best promo code, and uses it for that vase.
Some coupons don’t have specific codes, only a link. When the special link is clicked, it takes the shopper to the page where that particular deal is available. The discount will then be automatically applied during the checkout process.
Every online store has similar places to enter the coupon code. Often times the code can be entered on the order review or checkout page, right before paying. In other cases the promotion can be applied in the shopping cart while still shopping. It’s a great rule to always keep an eye out for a coupon submission window during the shopping process.
When there is no allocated place where to enter the coupon code, first check the store’s FAQ page. If there is no answer regarding coupons, try Customer Service section. If you can’t find any information on the website, try calling customer service representative. Most companies have a life chat option, making reaching out pretty easy.
In most cases, the seller has a page where you can review your order, see total amount due, shipping cost, and also monitor any discount applied. This should be last step before submitting your order. If the promotional code is not reflected on this page, then it means it did not work. Don’t complete the transaction before trying again or contacting customer service.
Linked promotions work a little different. If it is working correctly, the shopper will be taken directly to the sale or product page, and any discount will be applied automatically. If it does not do that, then make sure you check for it on the order page before checking out.
In most cases the retailers don’t provide coupon expiration dates, so then an invalid or expired promotional code circulates on the internet and does not when applied. Not specifying the expiration date help retailers monitor and edit that coupon when needed. It is up to the store when the coupon gets altered or discontinued. If it doesn’t work, just look for another.
Brick and mortar stores are not required to honor online coupons, unless it is specified that the same coupon applies for physical retailers too. Some stores will apply your coupon if you’ll print it and bring it with you just because they have a good customer treatment culture. On the other hand, it never hurts to ask.
Most of the time, the retailers protect themselves and only allow one coupon at a time. Best way to receive the most savings is to look for rebates in addition to coupons. Electronics, computers, and various home improvement goods quite often have rebates. If they are hard to find online, a quick call to customer service might help to guide you in the right direction.
While it is always a good practice to find your favorite websites that specialize in providing and maintaining online coupons, it’s also beneficial to look for good rebate sites that in addition to giving the discount codes, will give you additional rebates for purchasing.