Finding coupon codes for online shopping can be a bit tricky at times, but with the help of these few tips and tricks you can find some pretty cool stuff.
Type: “coupons” into the search bar, and then choose between fashion, beauty, or food from the drop-down list to browse through different categories.
Take advantage of sitewide sales! Sites like Urban Outfitters often have huge one day sales that will include discounts for both clothing and home goods.
Check out your favorite stores’ Twitter feed! Most stores have a Twitter account that they post new promos on. Similarly, stores like J.Crew and Target will often send out coupons via couponvario, saving you the hassle of searching the web for them.
Choose your parameters carefully. If you want to receive all of the printable coupons, but don’t want the “coupon” to appear in search engines, type “printable” into the search bar instead of “print.” For instance, I use code “PCBSAVE” to save $10 off $100 or more on my purchase at Target with free shipping.
Shop seasonal! Sales can be super sensitive during certain months, e.g., June only carries 40% off storewide sale items during that month (Hollister). Check out the site’s calendar to get a sense of when each retailer is holding its biggest savings.
Shop from top-rated merchants! Personally, I have been using Poshmark for a while now, and have saved a lot of money off of my purchases. By watching the clothing industries’ popular brands’ social media pages, you can often find promotions that offer free shipping or coupon codes for specific items.
Using coupon codes for online shopping is not rampant, nor is it legal
Currently, using couponing for online shopping is not widespread nor is it illegal. However, the subject of coupon frauds has come to light in recent months, with individuals selling counterfeit coupons on fraudulent websites. These coupons are then reshipped to recipients that use them only once. Some sites even feature pictures of people who received the coupon “goodies” without telling them about what they were getting (e.g., free shipping). The company that markets these coupons states that they are looking into ways of making this fraudulent practice more difficult. For the time being, consumers are advised to research online retail sites for coupon-related advice before making purchases.
Know what you are buying/using
These days, consumers are more aware of internet scams. Before purchasing anything online, get to know exactly what the site is offering. Don’t get scammed by brands who ask you to provide personal details or financial information in exchange for “free” coupons or discounts.
When it comes to buying used clothing, make sure that all of the products being sold are in good condition because the company doesn’t have contact with sellers beforehand. Be especially careful when buying items from sellers in foreign countries because items may be counterfeit or damaged due to shipping accidents.
Be smart about your purchases
Similar to the “don’t get scammed” advice, watch out for people who disregard credit card statements. This is because they are often selling more of the item being purchased than what is advertised on the site. If you have issues with your credit card processing company or are having trouble receiving statements, ask them to review their records for you.
Also, do some research before purchasing products where shipping may cost more than what you initially paid for the item.
Buy from reputable websites
Be wary of sites that list their charges outside of the “shopping cart” area. This is especially true when the site is not well-known. In addition, be aware that even if a site is reputable, it’s possible for people to use an anonymous e-mail address to place the order while paying with a stolen credit card. It’s best to use sites that have been around for awhile and have regular customers.
If you are buying from a private seller on eBay or Craigslist, make sure you know who you are dealing with before agreeing to make a purchase. Call the seller to make sure that they are who they say they are. Get their contact information and make sure you tell them about yourself as well. If you are buying an item from someone in your community who is using Craigslist, it may be best to meet in a public place with a friend if you are uncomfortable with the transaction.
Use coupon codes online effectively
If you find a coupon code online and it’s not working, try searching for the same business with different terms: Add extra words or remove spaces, for example: “kohls” instead of “kohls.com”.
Again, if the coupon code worked on one site but not on another, there is probably no fraud involved. The company might have changed the “terms and conditions” for the coupon to entail a different purchaseâ€”meaning you have to use a different site to get the same deal. Ask for an email from the company that sent you the code to see what it says.
Access online shipping information
To check how much shipping costs, shop with delivery dates in mind, or if shipping is free, pay in full before you checkout.
If a site offers free shipping over a certain amount, store gift cards can incur fees. Also, gift cards can be a synonym for a lost purchase if they are used before being redeemed.
After my investigation, I discovered that the retail coupon industry is quite vast with many individuals who are trying to find their own niche. As a result of its evolving state, I can foresee many young businesses forming in response to this need. Coupons are undoubtedly here to stay, but the rate at which they are being accepted by consumers will depend on how quickly online businesses can adapt to this digital age.
Internet Retailer Magazine estimates it will be valued at over $1 billion by 2013
Retail coupons have been around for decades, with coupon redemption beginning in the late 1800s. In the 1990s, this form of advertising began to become more accepted by consumers who were still becoming accustomed to online shopping. Over the past few years, retail coupons have been enjoying a considerable amount of media coverage and consumer acceptance. In 2003 alone, retail coupons were estimated to have over 120 million redeemers, totalling over $250 million in sales. By 2007, it’s anticipated that this figure will rise to 1 billion in sales due to their acceptance and convenience for consumers and retailers alike. This figure is likely to increase even further in the next decade: Internet Retailer Magazine estimates it will be valued at over $1 billion by 2013.
Advance in technology
With today’s technology, it is much easier for companies to take advantage of internet marketing. Online retailers are making it easier for consumers to buy online by offering online shopping carts that can be accessed from many different sites. This increases the speed of the transaction and provides consumers with more options. For example, if a business runs out of stock, it is easy for them to place an order using the same company.
An example of how this technology benefits both businesses and consumers is Google’s offer of $75 in free coupons when they create their Google Checkout account. Wal-Mart also uses this technology by allowing customers to pick up orders at their local Wal-Mart instead of having them shipped home. This is an excellent way for businesses to create a sense of community around their specific product. The more convenient you can make your online business, the better.
Convenience for consumers
Online shopping provides consumers with a wide variety of legal products. It is much easier to compare prices and read reviews of each product, as well as make purchases from the comfort of one’s home. Consumers also have more options when making purchases online through retail coupons because they can be applied at their discretion and do not expire after a certain period of time. Buying from an online retailer saves them from having to drive to different stores or even from having to leave their house at all.
The main reason why consumers use retail coupons is because they believe that the retail price has been inflated and that they are getting a better deal. Even though there is no legal definition of what constitutes a “deal,” the majority of consumers feel certain products and services need to be marked down in order for them to be considered a deal.
In addition, when people use coupons, they tend to spend more money than they would have otherwise. In fact, according to the June 2003 edition of “Newsweek,” 70 percent of people who use coupons also buy unnecessary items to make up for what they save on their purchase. This percentage could increase in online shopping because there are more irrelevant yet tempting offers available on websites.
Disadvantages of using coupons online
Buyer beware with online coupons
Usually, the only people who are able to see retail coupons are the manufacturers. Therefore, it’s important that sellers provide complete disclosure on their websites and not exaggerate what the product actually does. This type of behavior would hurt both online retailers and potential consumers as nobody would be able to trust those sites any longer. The best way to avoid these issues is to only buy from reputable sellers that have been in business for a long time and allow you to contact them if you have any questions about their products.
Since online retailers are often viewed as discount merchants, they are often the first ones that consumers try when they want to save money. However, discounts are not always available on everything under the sun, so one must be careful when applying retail coupons. Once again, check out reviews on various sites before buying products online to ensure you are not getting scammed.
Patience is key in finding deals
Although there are many positive aspects of using retail coupons in your everyday life, they can be time consuming and difficult to use. To begin with, it can be difficult to find the coupons that you’re looking for because of how many sites there are. Additionally, you must make sure that the site provides a secure transaction and protects your private information. If you take your time and do your research, however, online shopping with coupons is a relatively easy process; simply check out the retailer’s website, find a coupon for the item you want to purchase and enter it into the appropriate field.
Despite the many opportunities that retail coupons provide to businesses and consumers alike, there are also many issues that can affect them both. One of these issues revolves around consumer privacy: Companies may offer consumers discounts if they allow them to view their personal information such as age and address. This information is then used for direct mail marketing purposes. Consumers may also receive coupons that are not relevant to their lifestyle or preferences.
Risk to the consumer
Because online retailers are relatively new, there are still many laws that have yet to be passed regarding what is legal and what is not. For example, there are no laws about the expiration dates of retail coupons or whether businesses can take advantage of consumers by charging them different prices based on where they live. The only piece of legislation regarding online retailing so far has been passed by Congress in 1998 which prevents states from taxing out-of-state companies that do not have a physical presence within their borders.
Furthermore, since online retailing is a relatively new phenomenon, there are more chances for consumers to get scammed and less resources to protect them. Therefore, consumers should never give out their social security number or financial information. It is also important to make sure that the website you are using is secure by looking for the lock in the bottom left-hand corner of your browser window when shopping online.