martes, 15 de mayo de 2018

How to Use Coupon Codes and Promo Links

How to Use Coupon Codes and Promo Links

Easy Steps to Saving Money With Coupon Codes When Shopping Online

Woman using laptop on sofa
Using online coupon codes or promo links when shopping online can be similar to using paper coupons or shopping the sales at local stores. But unlike paper coupons that you hand to a cashier to redeem, online stores have a code to enter during checkout that relates to a specific discount and that amount is subtracted from the total purchase. The discounts range from dollar-off savings to free shipping and beyond.

How do shoppers find online coupon codes?

When coupon codes first began circulating, they were not often found on the retailer's website. Instead, coupon codes appeared on related shopping sites in order to lead shoppers to the retailer's online store. Today, many retailers continue to have coupons on related websites, but also offer one or more coupon codes on their store's websites or through weekly emails that are sent out to their customers.
The best way to locate a coupon code is by using your favorite search engine such as Google and typing in "Coupon Code." This will generate a list of websites that offer coupon codes. Shoppers can then visit the websites and compare the coupon savings that is available.
Sometimes shoppers can find coupon codes for specific stores after they have selected what they want to purchase. This can be done by putting the retailer's name and "coupon code" into the search engine.
For example, if a shopper knew they wanted to purchase a dress from Macy's, they could find the available coupon codes for Macy's by entering "Macy's Coupon Codes." 

What are "linked" coupons and how do you redeem them?

A linked coupon does not have an actual coupon code to activate the promotion, but instead includes a special link.
When you click the link, it will take you to the online store and you will get the discount automatically when you check out.

How do I redeem a coupon code?

Depending on the online store, there are a few different places to enter coupon codes. In some cases, the coupon can be entered in the shopping cart, before checking out. Other times, the coupon is entered on the order review page prior to checking out. Look around carefully for the coupon code's (also called promo code) "submit" area before completing a purchase from an online store.

What if I don't see any place to put the code?

Check and see if the website has a FAQ (frequently asked questions) section for an answer to the question. Often times you can find it on the "Customer Service" section of a website. If you do not see it anywhere on the site, call and ask the customer service representative to explain to your how to use coupon codes on the website.

How do I know if a  coupon code is working?

Usually, the merchant will have a page showing how much you are being charged for the merchandise, how much is being discounted because you submitted a coupon code and any shipping fees that may be applied. This should show on an order page before you submit your approval of the charges.
If you enter the coupon code and do not see the discount on the order review page, try contacting customer service before completing the transaction.

How do I know if a "linked promotion" is working?

Generally, a linked promotion will take you directly to the product that is being promoted at a special price or the page that advertises the discount. If it does not, then look for it on your order page before you accept the transaction as a desired purchase.

What if the coupon code is not working?

Many times online stores will omit an expiration date for a coupon code so that it can be closely monitored and changed or discontinued quickly. Online stores may alter or discontinue any promotion at any time. If a coupon does not work, it is best to look for another code.

Can I use online coupons in my local stores?

Local stores are not obligated to honor online deals unless the promotion specifically states otherwise.
If you print out the offer and bring it to the store, some stores will honor it as a courtesy to you. It all depends on the deal and which store it is, but it never hurts to ask.

Can I double up on coupon deals by using more than one at a time?

Most coupon codes specify that only one promotion can be used per transaction or per item purchased. You can get even more savings by looking for a rebate on the item that you purchased with a coupon code. Rebates are fairly plentiful on electronic devices, computers, software and home improvement items. If you cannot find one online, contact the retailer's customer service department and find out if one is available for the item you wish to purchase.

Going Beyond Online Coupon Websites

While it is important to find your favorite websites that specialize in coupons for shopping online, you can also go to popular rebate websites that not only offer coupon codes but will also give additional rebates if you make a purchase.
For example, is a shopping portal that offers its members online coupons and cash back from purchases made at over 2,000 online stores. There are no forms to fill out or fees for shoppers to use the service. When a shopper makes a purchase through an eBates link, eBates receives a commission from the retailer and gives part of that commission back to the shopper. The amount saved can really add up, especially for shoppers who make a lot of online purchases.

What is an Online Coupon?

Online Coupon

Definition - What does Online Coupon mean?

An online coupon refers to a discount code or number that can be redeemed on a website. Like traditional coupons, online coupons are used to attract new customers and increase the loyalty of new customers. However, online coupons offer a retailer much clearer analytics on which promotions are more successful, and can even help track whether new customers become loyal customers.

Real-World Data Fuels the 'New Intelligence'

Online coupons are usually only valid for the online component of a store and cannot be redeemed at a physical store location. This is primarily because the overhead costs of products from an online store and a physical store are very different, so the same discount cannot be fairly applied. Traditional coupons can, however, be found online – usually at a retailer's website – and printed off for in-store redemption. Online coupons may be sent by email or social media to loyal customers, or they may be posted as ad campaigns or to online coupon aggregation sites..



Believed to be the first coupon ever, this ticket for a free glass of Coca-Cola was first distributed in 1888 to help promote the drink. By 1913, the company had redeemed 8.5 million tickets.[2]
In 1886, The Coca-Cola Company was incorporated in Atlanta, Georgia, with Asa Candler as one of the partners. He transformed Coca-Cola from an insignificant tonic into a profitable business by using advertising techniques. Candler's marketing included having the company's employees and sales representatives distribute complimentary coupons for Coca-Cola.[3] Coupons were mailed to potential customers and placed in magazines. The company gave soda fountains free syrup to cover the costs of the free drinks. It is estimated that between 1894 and 1913 one in nine Americans had received a free Coca-Cola, for a total of 8,500,000 free drinks. By 1895 Candler announced to shareholders that Coca-Cola was served in every state in the United States.
In Australia consumers first came in contact with couponing when a company called Shop A Docket promoted offers and discounts on the back of shopping receipts in 1986.[4]


A timeline for the history of coupons:[citation needed]
  • 1888 – Asa Candler used paper tickets for free glasses of Coke to help market his new soda
  • 1909 – C. W. Post used 1 cent coupons to start marketing Grape Nuts breakfast
  • 1930 – Coupon usage grows dramatically during the great depression
  • 1940 – Big chain grocery stores begin to use coupons to attract consumers away from purchasing at local markets
  • 1957 – Nielsen Coupon Clearing House was created to be devoted entirely to coupon redemption
  • 1965 – Half of all the families in the United States begin cutting coupons
  • 1990 – The invention of the internet leads to the downloaded printable coupon and online coupons
  • 1992 – The last year coupon usage is on the rise for the next 17 years
  • 2002 – Americans saved $3.8 billion shopping with coupons
  • 2009 – The U.S. government uses coupons to promote converter box sales for the digital television transition

Types and uses

There are different types of values applied to coupons such as discounts, free shipping, buy-one get-one, trade-in for redemption, first-time customer coupons, free trial offer, launch offers, festival offers, and free giveaways. Similarly, there are different uses of coupons which include: to incentive a purchase, to reduce the price of a particular item or items, provide a free sample, or to help allow marketers better-understand the demographics of their customer.


Coupons can be used to research the price sensitivity of different groups of buyers (by sending out coupons with different dollar values to different groups). In addition, it is generally assumed that buyers who take the effort to collect and use coupons are more price sensitive than those who do not. Therefore, the posted price paid by price-insensitive buyers can be increased, while using coupon discounts to maintain the price for price-sensitive buyers (who would not buy at a higher price).[5]

Grocery coupons

Grocery coupons come in two major types: store coupons and manufacturer's coupons.
Store coupons are coupon-based discounts offered for a particular item or group of items. The issuing store will accept its own "store coupons", but some stores will also accept store coupons that are issued by competitors.
Coupons issued by the manufacturer of a product may be used at any coupon-accepting store that carries that product.
Manufacturer's coupons have the advantage of being currency at a variety of retailers, not just at one store.
Grocery coupons are incentives for people who want to save money, but manufacturer coupons are primarily intended to advertise products and lure new customers with financial incentives. They may also be used to increase the sales of newspapers or other publications. For example, people may purchase multiple copies of a newspaper or magazine in order to use the coupons contained within.
Some grocery stores regularly double the value of a grocery coupon as an incentive to bring customers into their stores. Additionally, stores might hold special events where they will double or triple coupon values on certain days or weeks. Whether or not a specific grocery chain will double or triple coupons usually depends on the original coupon value.[6]


Most coupons have an expiration date after which they will not be honored. For example, Christmas coupons are valid only throughout the Christmas week. American military commissaries overseas honor manufacturers coupons for up to six months past the expiration date.[7]

Delivery methods

Customers may get these coupons from various sources, including national newspapers and the Internet, with web sites offering free printable grocery coupons can be printed at home and use them at retail store. Some major grocery chains also produce digital coupons that may be loaded onto the retailer's loyalty card at home, or at a coupon dispensing machine located in store. In 2011, the top five vehicles for distributing consumer packaged goods coupons in the U.S. were: the Free Standing Insert, a coupon booklet distributed through newspapers and other sources (89.4%); in-store distribution (4.2.%); direct mail (2.3%); magazines (1.5%); and coupons distributed on or in product packaging (1.3%). Other distribution methods together accounted for less than 2% of all coupons distributed. There are coupon-providing websites that provide customers with coupons of various stores. These sites accumulate coupons from various sources.

Print media

Clipping coupons from newspapers has been the most popular way to obtain coupons, though Internet and Mobile Phone coupons are gaining wide popularity. Based on its annual RedPlum Purse String Study[8] surveying more than 23,000 shoppers, a coupon provider, Redplum, reports 76% of coupon-seekers utilize newspapers as their primary source for coupons and deals; 59% find coupons in e-mails and coupon alerts, a 29% increase from 2010; and 33% use Internet searches to find coupons.
Some retailers and companies use verification methods such as unique barcodes, coupon ID numbers, holographic seals, and watermarked paper as protection from unauthorized copying or use.
Other than newspaper, there are also coupon book publishers and retailers who compile vouchers and coupons into books, either for sale or free.

Internet coupons

Online retailers often refer to coupons as "coupon codes", "promotional codes", "promotion codes", "discount codes", "keycodes", "promo codes", "surplus codes", "portable codes", "shopping codes", "voucher codes", "reward codes", "discount vouchers", "referral codes" or "source codes". Internet coupons typically provide reduced cost or free shipping, a specific dollar, percentage discount or to earn cashback while some offer to encourage consumers to purchase specific products or to purchase from specific retailers. Because paper coupons would be difficult to distribute and redeem, typically secret words or codes are distributed for consumers to type in at checkout. Marketers can use different codes for different channels or groups in order to differentiate response rates.

Mobile coupons

A mobile coupon is an electronic ticket solicited and or delivered to a mobile phone that can be exchanged for financial discount or rebate when purchasing product or service. Coupons are usually issued by manufacturers of consumer packaged goods or retailers, to be used in retail stores as part of a sales promotion. They are often distributed through WAP Push over SMS or MMS, through GEO Fencing technology or other mobile means. The customer redeems the coupon at store or online. In some cases, customers may redeem the mobile coupon at the point of sale.[citation needed] Some retailers may choose to forward the redemption to a clearinghouse for final processing.
What is unique about mobile coupons is the memory of information in the coupons often outlast the expiration dates of the coupons themselves, triggering actual purchases at later dates.[9][10] Researchers suspect it is driven by the engagement generated by the mobile device.
Mobile coupons are popular among U.S. fast-food customers. The primary success factors for the SMS campaigns are discount size, how the discount value is framed (as a gift or percent off) and the timing of the campaign.[9]
Many retailers support the redemption of email and paper coupons via mobile devices. In addition to distributing such offers via their own email lists, SMS subscriptions, and apps, they are also often made available through coupon applications.

Mobile app coupons

A mobile app coupon can be either a regular coupon for redemption (discount value or discount percentage) used at checkout distributed by the app-makers or unique, personal sharing codes owned by each user to recruit new users with referral benefits (e.g. AirbnbUber). The latter form requires personal sharing on behalf of users to their personal networks.

Coupon Counselor

Coupon fraud is crime, even if it feels harmless: Coupon Counselor

Coupon crime is a multi-billion dollar business. Did you laugh a little at "coupon" and "crime" used together? I did too when I first heard it.
Losses vary per store, but a realistic estimate puts the cost between $300 million and $600 million per year. If there is money to be made, crime syndicates want in.  Across the country, schemers and scammers are stealing inserts and selling them, altering coupon values, creating forgeries, buying items with fake coupons and returning the items for cash or reselling the stolen goods.
Dawn Marron, Esq.
At a lower level, people are decoding coupons to buy an item it was never intended for, shoplifting newspapers or printing coupons in illegitimate ways.
The consequences to the criminal aren't funny: years of jail time, thousands of dollars in fines and restitution, not to mention attorney fees.
Just last month, a man in Michigan was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and $65 million restitution for his coupon fraud scheme. He ran a coupon redemption house, collecting the coupons from the stores and sorting them to get paid by the coupon issuer. He added unused coupons to the pile for years before he was caught.
Pa. coupon crimes
Last August, a man in Allentown was charged with theft after being accused of stealing $1,000 worth of newspapers and selling the inserts to an online dealer.


I’ve been couponing for quite a while and only recently explored the possibility of purchasing coupons from a reputable site. I really thought that the only reason people ordered coupons online was because they needed twenty for a sale. I personally have never needed twenty of the same coupon at a time; four is about my max. However, I was reading a favorite blog this past weekend and saw a link for a coupon-purchasing website and clicked on it. To my surprise, I found a very reasonable site that promised a 2-day delivery. I went through the newly added coupons and found some for items that I regularly use, but hadn’t received in my circular over the past two weeks. Remember, coupons are regional, so even though you see a deal listed on KCL, you may not have the coupon because of where you live.
Here’s what you need to know about coupon clipping websites:
  • It’s illegal to make money from selling coupons, but not illegal to pay for clipping services.
  • Read customer reviews to make sure that you have selected a reputable service.
  • Note the fine print that shows the expiration dates to make sure that the coupon doesn’t expire before you receive it!

1. Anticipate a sale

I typically get about three of the same coupons each week through networking with friends and family. Sometimes the deals listed on KCL may show that you need four coupons. In this case, I have to let these deals go because I don’t have enough coupons. However, if I order them through a clipping service, I’ll finally have enough on hand for those great deals I’ve been missing. Suppose, for example, that my stockpile is low on toilet paper. My couponing priority will then be to stock up when an expected sale comes around. Having the necessary coupons to complete the deal will save me more money!

2. Get coupons not locally available

KCL is great at listing anticipated sales for the upcoming week so we can begin planning our shopping trips. Use a clipping service if you don’t receive certain coupons in the Sunday circular. Plan to order on Sunday to have the coupons by Wednesday. This allows you several days to still take advantage of the week’s sales. One coupon I never get in my area is for Bic razors. I miss these sales every time, so they’re on my list to order from a reputable coupon clipping site.

3. If you have difficulty printing

I use two printers for couponing—one’s at home and the other is at work. I have an issue with Java on one of the printers, and that limits my prints. An alternative to printing is to order the coupons online. A factor to think about is how much you spend on paper and printing. If the cost is more than your budget allows, is a clipping service a better option for you?

4. For your favorite products

If you buy Keebler multi-grain mini crackers every two weeks, chances are that you need a coupon for that particular product. Order what you need in advance to cover your routine purchases. My new goal is to experiment with a clipping coupon service and determine if the service benefits me. I rarely get the coupons for chewing gum which I keep on hand at work, so they’re on a priority list for me!

5. Determine reliability

When you order online, the possibility of not receiving your coupons in time for a deal exists. So, if you know a sale is in the future, prepare for it. Don’t be upset if you miss a sale because your coupons didn’t arrive. The clipping service I used allowed me to pay with PayPal, which is always a  benefit to me because I refuse to use  my credit card to pay for a service I’m not familiar with.


I received my coupons yesterday from Coupon Dede. The website promised a 2-day delivery, but I received my order in four days. This was something I had anticipated since this was my first time using a coupon clipping service. The coupons appeared to be cut with a paper cutter and I received an invoice along with the order. Overall, I’m pleased with the service and plan to use it again for coupons that aren’t readily available in my area. However, this won’t replace my usual routine of getting coupons from my network of friends and family because that’s always free!