The Internet has become the favorite shopping experience for millions of people in recent years. Consumers have discovered that not only is it easier and faster to shop online, it's also often cheaper. With so many retailers competing in one small space (your computer monitor), the online deals and bargains to be found are usually equal to, or better, than the ones in physical stores. Plus, there are so many more stores to choose from.
One approach brick-and-mortar stores have used for several years to try to compete with online retailers is the strategy of offering shoppers coupons either in ads or through the mail, and giving instant rebates on items purchased in the store. These deals seemed like good ammo for stores to use in waging war against online retailers, but before long the savvy online dealers came up with their own strategies for a counteroffensive―online coupon codes and online ebates.
Just like taking a paper coupon to a store to get a special deal or reduced price, hundreds of online retailers offer coupon codes that can be typed in during checkout to give you a percentage off a single item, a discount on your total purchase, or free shipping. Most coupon codes come in e-mail through online newsletters or marketing e-mails you sign up for. But what to do if you're shopping at an online store for the first time, or a store where you haven't signed up to receive those great deals? You can't take advantage of these discounts if you don't know the code
Not to worry―coupon codes are available to everyone if you just know how to look. Hundreds of well-known online stores have coupon codes on personal homepages or e-mail distribution pages, and all you need is a way to find them. One easy way to discover what coupon codes are out there is to simply search on the exact phrase 'coupon code' and the name of the store where you're shopping. Sometimes you'll hit pay dirt with just a simple search.
Another way to find coupon codes is through a site such as www.currentcodes.com. Currentcodes has a full-time staff who spend their work hours combing the Internet to find new coupon codes and discount codes and to verify the accuracy of their database. You don't have to sign up for a newsletter, you don't have to pay a monthly fee, and you don't have to sift through mountains of ads to get to the code you're looking for. Their motto is 'No hype, just current codes'. Their mission is to provide absolutely the best coupon code database on the Internet.
For a site that has information about the latest deals and bargains, in addition to message boards from site visitors, check out DealHunting.com. You can select a store from a list of hundreds and click GO to see what coupon codes are available.
Finally, not only can you save with coupon codes, you can get some money back from your purchase if you make it through Ebates.com. The company was founded by two Deputy District Attorneys in Silicon Valley who used to prosecute online fraud and identity theft, so you have no need to worry about your online transactions being secure. Over 800 of the world's top online stores pay to attract customers through ebates, and shoppers make purchases directly through the ebates site rather than at the individual store. Ebates tracks purchases and gives you some cash back on every one. When a purchase is completed, the retailer notifies ebates, and within two days you see cash back in your ebates account. And the cash back doesn't have to be used at a store―they can transfer the money to your PayPal account, or send you a check, or even donate the money to your favorite charity. And it's all 100% free.
To get the best of both worlds, go find a coupon code first to save money, then make your purchase through ebates to get cash back!
Whether you've been wanting to buy new fingertip towels for your bathroom, or you have a hankering for chocolate-coated macadamias, or you just need new socks, there's an online store somewhere that has exactly what you're looking for. And chances are they have a coupon code and you can get money back. So what are you waiting for? Get busy shopping!