How to Use Coupon Codes and Promo Links

Using online coupon codes or promo links when shopping online is 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 ubtracted from the total purchase. The discounts range from dollar-off savings to free shipping.

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”. A list of websites would then be generated and they would then visit the websites in search for a Macy’s coupon that they could use on the dress.

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 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 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 customer service department and find out if one is available for the item you wish to purchase.