Online coupon codes

Online coupon codes can maximize your savings, but it may take a little know-how to navigate the constantly changing, vast amount of coupon information available on the web.

We’ve all seen it while shopping online. That little coupon code box that shows up in the cart or during checkout. It might be labeled promo code, discount code, offer code, source code, gift code, or other variations but, regardless of the name, it always represents a small window of opportunity for extra savings on your order. Use it wisely, and you can maximize your potential savings — but it may take a little know-how to navigate the constantly changing, vast amount of coupon information available on the web.

If you’re unfamiliar with how to find and apply the best coupon codes online, don’t worry; this article will arm you with the knowledge you need to go from newbie to expert in no time flat. And there are even some tips for you seasoned pros as well!

Couponing 101: Basic Training

First, you need to know what a coupon code is and how to apply it. Coupon codes can give a certain percentage off your order, a fixed dollar amount off, or free or discounted shipping. They can apply to most items a store sells, or only to specific items or categories. Some require a minimum purchase amount.

Stores issue these codes through various channels, such as their email distribution lists, their own website, or through other websites that highlight information on current deals and coupons. Some discounts are applied automatically at checkout without a code, at times only by clicking through a certain link.

How to Read the Codes

A coupon code will be a mix of letters or numbers, usually around 5 to 10 characters in all caps, that will sometimes appear random (ex. FT596RFT) and other times will spell out actual words or portions of words (ex. FREESHIP50). The code itself can sometimes give clues as to what kind of discount it provides. For example, FREESHIP50 would likely be free shipping with a $50 minimum purchase.

How to Apply a Coupon Code

Once you locate a code to use, you can usually apply it to your order by typing it or copying and pasting it into the coupon code box, and then clicking the button to apply it. This box can be found at various stages of checkout, depending on the store you are ordering from.

Some stores will let you apply the code in the shopping cart before proceeding to checkout, while others may not let you apply it until you’ve reached a certain point in the checkout process. This may be after you enter your shipping and billing address, or even after your credit card information. Just be careful not to accidentally place the order before you’ve entered the code.

Got it so far? Excellent! Then let’s move on to Intermediate Couponing

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