You might have seen it while performing your ritual online shopping; that small coupon code box that magically appears in the cart or during shopping. Different e-commerce stores refer to their codes by different names including, but not limited to, gift code, offer code, promo code, source code or discount code. Regardless of the name, this little code box gives you the perfect opportunity to make extra savings on your purchase. When used wisely, this box can effectively allow you to capitalize on your potential savings. However, to fully take advantage of the discount code, you must first understand how the promo codes work.
A coupon code awards you for shopping. The reward could be in the form of a small percentage off your order, a fixed cash amount off your total, or discounted or free shopping in some cases. The discount codes can apply to all the items sold by the store or it can apply to specific items of particular product categories. In some circumstances, for some codes to apply, some stores require you to spend a minimum purchase amount.
Stores issues discount codes using various mediums such as through their newsletters and business websites, or through another website that promotes coupons and deals. Some promo codes are applied automatically at the checkout while others are applied only after a customer clicks an affiliate link.
Typically, a coupon code consists of a mix of different letters and numbers, usually 5 to 6, which are all in caps. The code, such as FREESHIP80 can sometimes give you an idea of the type of discount on offer.
Using discount codes and promo links while online shopping is similar to using paper coupons while shopping at a physical location. Unlike paper coupons that are handed in to the cashier, in this case, online stores utilize codes that relate to a particular amount, which is subtracted from the final price.
Where to find promo codes
When promo codes first started being used, most were only available on related shopping websites that would then redirect you, the shopper, to the retailer’s online store. Today, most retailers still carry out this practice; however, more online stores have realized the benefit of placing coupon codes on their stores websites or through regular newsletters that are sent out to customers. Alternatively, coupon codes can also be found through automated shopping tools as well as through search engines.
Before you start the process of looking for promo codes, you should start by identifying the specific brands that you most frequently purchase online and which retailers you shop from the most. If you want to find the largest number of promo codes, it is best to start by looking through the search bar of your favorite search engine; simply type in the name of the brand that you want alongside the terms promo codes, or discount codes. Make sure that you play around with your search terms as different combinations of words will produce varied search results.
When using automated shopping tools such as price comparison tools, the process of finding promo codes is a lot easier. Such tools are automated add-ons on browsers that automatically display the promo codes when you land on the retailer site or when you are checking out. These tools claim to rummage around the net to find you the best promo codes, which saves you time. Automated tools such as PriceBlink allow you to see the discounts upon landing on the retailer site while Honey enables you to see the code while checking out. It is advisable that you try different automated tools before deciding which ones suit you best.
How to tell is a discount code was applied successfully to your purchase
Different retailers have different techniques of handling or applying their promo codes in the process of checking out. The most reliable stores, which are the ones you want to use anyways, are characteristically upfront about their promo codes. These stores will apply the codes automatically in the shopping cart, and will even display your discount and supply you with the specific details of your discount code once it is applied. If the product that you want to purchase is not entitled to a discount, some online stores tend to recommend other products that are eligible.
Some stores are not as straightforward with their promo codes and will even be a source of a headache before you finally find a code that works for your order. Some stores will also appear to accept your promo code, but they will not show any information regarding your discount; these are the stores that you want to avoid.
If your code is not working, the chances are high that the code has expired or has been discontinued. If this is the case, you might have to look for another code to help you. If you are unable to find one online, you can also contact the retailer directly through their customer service department to find out if there is a promo code on the item that you wish to purchase. In such cases, cashbacks and rebates are often available if you should still make the purchase without a promo code.