Coupon codes offer hefty discounts, free shipping and free merchandise when you make a purchase from your favorite brands and retailers. Most retailers offer coupon code savings and there are numerous ways that you can get your hands on these valuable codes including through online websites, through social media and by subscribing to a retailer’s digital newsletter.
Several retailers will even provide you with birthday offers if you have created an account on their website. With so many savings available, it is important to know where to look to find coupon codes as well as how they can be used and what to do when one does not appear to be working. There are a number of troubleshooting steps that you can take when it comes to invalid codes, including reviewing the restrictions of a coupon code, reviewing the exclusions of a coupon code, ensuring the code has been entered in correctly and contacting customer service. To learn more about the incredible savings that can be found in coupon codes, refer to the section that have been provided below!
Coupon Codes 101
If you shop online, chances are that you have seen the coupon code box that appears in your cart or during the checkout process. This box can be labeled a number of things including promo code, offer code, source code, gift code and discount code. While there are a few retailers that never offer coupon codes and discounts, these retailers are far and few between.
Coupon codes offer an abundance of discounts as they generally contain offers for free shipping, an amount off of your purchase (generally a percent or a dollar amount) and even offers for free merchandise, such as “buy one get one free” coupon codes. The coupon codes themselves may be a random mixture of letters and numbers or they may even spell out part of the discount they provide, such as “freeship.” Valid coupon codes will generally be between five and ten characters long.
Once you have obtained a coupon code for the retailer that you are shopping with, you will need to enter that code in the appointed section either in the shopping cart or during checkout. Whether you are typing or pasting in your coupon code, it is crucial that you ensure that you enter the code correctly. Most coupon codes are case sensitive and do not contain any blank spaces before or after the code. Just be careful not to accidently place your order before entering the code. Should you do so, you can contact customer service and inquire as to whether or not they are able to cancel your order or apply the discount to your order.
While some online retailers have programed their websites to inform you whether or not your coupon code has been accepted, you may need to review your order before submission in order to ensure that your code has been applied to the order. By reviewing your order summary or your order’s total, you should be able to see whether or not a coupon code has been applied. If your coupon code was for free merchandise, that merchandise should either be added to the cart or be listed as no charge.
Troubleshooting Invalid or Non-Functioning Coupon Codes
If a coupon code is not working, and you are certain that it has been entered correctly, it could be failing due to a coupon restriction or exemption. Many retailers will offer exclusive coupon codes that can be used towards purchases within their online store, but most coupons will include items that are excluded for use with the coupon code. Items like store gift cards or certain brands may be excluded due to manufacturer restrictions. Other coupon codes may be for specific types of merchandise or limited to clearance items, special pricing items or deal of the day or week items. If your coupon code can be used to gain free shipping, review the items that you have placed within your cart. Free shipping coupon codes will often exclude oversized, bulky or particularly heavy items.
Coupon codes generally contain restrictions. Most codes must be used on the website for the retailer that is specified and cannot be used on another website, even a marketplace website such as Amazon that sells the same merchandise.
Another common reason that your code may not be accepted is due to purchase minimums. Often times, coupon codes can only be used with a minimum purchase amount. For example, if you receive a code that offers free shipping on any order over $95, your cart must reach that total before tax and shipping charges in order for the code to be applied. The same can be said for codes that give a certain dollar amount off of your order for any order over a specified amount.
When all else fails and you are still not receiving the discount that you were expecting, it is recommended that you contact customer service in order to discern whether or not the coupon code can be used and why it is not currently working. This can also be helpful in weeding out coupon codes that are invalid as there are an abundance of websites that provide fake codes.
Tips and Tricks on Obtaining Coupon Codes
Coupon codes are relatively easy to find, many of which are offered directly from a retailer themselves. One of the best ways to gain coupon codes quickly is by subscribing to a retailer’s newsletter.
Most digital newsletters will reward you with your first code just for signing up, providing you with instant savings on your next qualifying purchase. Not only can a newsletter provide you with that first coupon, but newsletters are a fantastic ways to gain more coupon codes as they become available as well as be the first to hear about special sales and savings opportunities. As mentioned previously, by creating an account on a retailer’s website, many will even provide you with a special birthday coupon that you can use during the month or week of your birthday. Social media sites and platforms are also great places to find substantial savings with coupon codes as retailers will often look to their social media outlets for promotions.
Certain groups are also often eligible to receive exclusive coupon codes that offer superior discounts and rewards. If you are a military or active military personnel, senior citizen or a student, it is recommended that you contact your favorite retailers in order to inquire as to whether or not they would be willing to provide you with a discount. In fact, some retailers will even provide military personnel and veterans with a percentage off of every order they make.
Finally, you can find an abundance of coupon codes from coupon code websites such as CouponSurf, RetailMeNot and Groupon. These websites strive to keep their coupons up to date and are usually an effective way to take advantage of coupon codes that you may not have otherwise known about. While these sources can provide you with a wide variety of coupons, it is worth knowing that some of the coupon codes that are showcased could still be expired or only apply to certain regions.
By Mathew Sams –