The Power of Online Coupons

by Kyle James

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The idea of coupons has always been a love/hate relationship for many consumers. You love them if you have them and you hate the effort it takes to use them. In the past, in order to use coupons, you needed to seek them out of the newspaper, clip them out, and sort them so they could easily be found. This often took up more time than it was worth. But now that we live in a digital world, using coupons is as simple as typing in a code upon checkout at your favorite online retailer. This code is known as a "coupon code" or "promotional code" and many of the most popular online retailers have them available to the public. These retailers include practically every store you might see walking through a major mall and some that are only familiar to avid online shoppers.

What Exactly is an Online Coupon Code?

A "coupon code" is given out by retailers to encourage spending and consumer loyalty. This coupon could read like this "Free shipping on your $25 order, enter coupon code 'FREESHIP' at checkout." Another popular coupon is something like, "Save 10% off your $50 order, enter coupon code '10OFF' at checkout." In a tough economy that we are currently facing and the increasing costs of shipping, these coupons can be a real life-saver to a lot families, especially around holidays and birthdays.

Where Do I Get These Online Coupons?

How do you find anything on the Internet? You search for it! Let's say you are shopping at your favorite store and you find that perfect outfit that you can't live without! But perhaps you are thinking it is a little more than you wanted to spend. Wouldn't it be nice if you had a coupon for free shipping or $10 off your $75 order? This is what I call a "Coupon Moment"! So go to your favorite search engine and type in the name of your favorite store and the word "Coupons" and presto. You will immediately be bombarded by coupon sites that collect and organize these coupons for you! Some of these coupon sites are better than others in that they update their site daily and rarely have out-dated coupons. I would recommend bookmarking your coupon site once you find it and are happy with it.

I Have My Coupon Code, Now What?

Once you have found your coupon, all you need to do is enter the coupon code into the appropriate box during the checkout process on the retailer's website. Remember, the location where you enter your coupon varies by retailer. You will be prompted to enter your coupon code anywhere from the "shopping cart" page to the "billing" page. Look for a box saying coupon code, promotional code, promotional discount, discount code, or any variation of these terms and enter your code in the corresponding box.

More Important Coupon Tid-Bits

  1. If you remember nothing else from this article remember this. Make sure your discount/coupon is reflected in your order total before you confirm or finalize your order, otherwise you are up a creek without a paddle. In other words, the retailer will have no sympathy for you if you forget to enter the coupon code or fail to realize that the code you entered has already expired. There is nothing worse than paying full price when you don't have to pay full price.
  2. Worried about using your credit card online? Your worry will turn to confidence if you follow this advice. First, always make sure at checkout that the site at which you are shopping at has a little locked padlock (often yellow) at the bottom of your browser window. Secondly, always verify that the URL (web address) at checkout changes from "http://" to "https://." These two security checks verify that the site you are shopping at has gone through the appropriate measures to ensure that their site is SSL Secured and is safe to enter your credit card information.
  3. Always print out your receipt for your records or in case any problems arise with your order.

Gosh I love a good deal! You can really get some great deals online when you use coupons. For example, last year I bought a leather office chair at a major office supply retailer for $49. The original price on this chair was over $100, but with an online coupon plus a sale that they were having, I got a fantastic deal! Follow the advice that I have given you in this article, and I ensure you that your wallet will grow in size. Once you start using online coupons, you will never go back to the dark side of paying full price!

Kyle is the owner of Visit his Coupon Web Site, or contact him via e-mail, copyright 2003, Kyle James

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