Coupon codes are a combination of numbers and letters, and when entered onto online shopping sites, they can save you shipping costs, a percentage of the list price, buy-one-get-one-free or a combination of all of these discounts. It’s basically the same as the coupons many of us used to cut out of magazines and newspapers, but technology has now eliminated those nasty paper cuts. Other terms commonly used as coupon codes include shopping codes, promotional codes, voucher codes, source codes, discount codes or even promo codes.
So why do retailers offer online coupons? At one time retailers wanted shoppers just to frequent their own sites and online coupon codes were a great draw as a way to increase traffic, but with the emergence of successful third party sites offering online coupons for multiple retailers and encouraging more internet traffic, these exclusive retailers had to spread their coupon codes to benefit from the wider exposure. Veteran online shoppers know the coupon game, but everyday new audiences of average web users sign on and create new streams of income. Everyone is interested in a good deal and using more affiliate links naturally generates a lot more buyers and leads for the merchants.
On the average a consumer can save from 10% to 30% on a coupon code purchase and at the very least find free shipping. Some sites offer coupons that can be printed and used locally at retail stores, however major retail chains are more likely to offer online printable coupons than smaller specialty boutiques or shops. There are ways to maximize your use of coupon claims, and here are some practical ways to improve your savings:
- To begin with, you must do the math. For instance, if one small tube of toothpaste offers a 10 % coupon as compared to purchasing buy-one-get-one-free on a larger size, you must know how to multiply and divide.
- Make sure your online coupon includes free shipping however sometimes you need to purchase a minimum before the retailer will offer free shipping. You could be buying more than you need, so be sure you do the math first and always decide if you need the extra items. Nowadays the basic mantra is to only buy what you need.
- Shop off-season when you can. Now that Labor Day is over, why not shop for that outdoor furniture advertised at great discounts with those tempting coupons?
- Always search for the good deals first and then look for the items you need… not where the coupons are.
- Subscribe to coupon code newsletters, join online social communities that discuss coupon code deals and follow coupon sites on Twitter where the latest coupon offers commonly show up during the day.
- And for all of you moms and dads who have the privilege of sending the kids off to college …. Ask them: they ALWAYS use discount codes!