Do you shop online?

If you are like most people these days, you shop online. You probably shop for a lot of products and possibly even services online. In fact, online sales accounted for over 500 billion dollars of the 3.2 trillion dollar US retail sales in 2018. This is a growth rate of 15% over the previous year for online sales in general.

How Online Retailers Work to Sell You Their Products

What else you may not know is that online sales retailers are typically in fierce competition for your business. Their prices are set so they can make money on their products or services, but they also allow some wiggle room in their pricing. The wiggle room is present so the retailers can run specials and give coupons online. When people use coupons or buy during specials, not only does it save them money but it also gives a feeling of empowerment. Empowerment leads to happiness, and happiness leads to allegiance to that retailer.

Of course the allegiance will only come if the customers is pleased with both the product or service and the value they perceived to get from it. If you are not satisfied with the product or service, or you feel like you got charged too much for what you got, you will likely not be doing business with that company anymore, right?

How do you get discounts off of regular retail prices?

There are two main ways to get the discount. First, the price may automatically be reduced when you click on the item and add it to the cart. This is usually called a ‘special.’ This means that the discounted price is listed on the individual items on the retailer’s website. The other way to get a discount is to apply a coupon code. Coupon codes are special codes that consist of numbers, letters, or symbols, or a combination of any or all of those. The code is programmed into the retailer’s website and when a customer puts the special code in (usually just before payment takes place) the price gets reduced by whatever the code is for. It could be for a specific dollar amount, or a discount on one or more items, or on the entire order. Coupon codes usually have an expiration date so if you attempt to use an old or outdated code, it will not work.

How would you know what the current discount codes are for the items that you want to purchase? That’s a great question! Some online merchants will keep an email marketing list (Frys Electronics is one example) and if you sign up, you get a special code in your email from them. Other online merchants will give you the code right on their website when you first get to it. This is fun because it is like a treasure hunt – you just have to put the code in at the right time and you get to save that money!

Other online merchants will have a little box come up a short time after you arrive on the website. Many times when you go to close the window or the tab in your browser, a pop-up window will come up and offer you a discount code to help entice you to purchase something from the site. If you leave something in your cart and go to close the window, a pop-up may come up and remind you that you left things in the cart (sometimes called a bag) and it may offer you a discount.

But…what if none of those things happens, and you are at an online store and you find one or more items that you REALLY want to buy, AND you want to save some money (aka put some more money in your piggy bank!)?

What’s the Secret to Save Money on Online Purchases Without Wasting Time?


When you go to pay, look for something that says “Coupon Code” or something similar. If you see that, you KNOW that the merchant either has offered or STILL offers coupon codes!! Now the fun (and search) begins. In your browser in a new tab or window, type this: “Store Name (whatever the store name is) coupon code” If there are records of coupon codes for that store online, they will show up on the search results! Open the first few pages (NOT the advertisements) of the results and look for coupon codes for that store.

Then you get to match the coupon codes for what you are buying. If they are general coupon codes such as “Save 10% on anything in the store” you are in business and can try the code. If the codes are for specific products, they won’t work if you are not wanting to buy that product. Once you have the proper code (be sure the code says it is for the current month, day, year, or however that pertains to what you are doing) you can try it! If it worked, you will see a savings amount in your cart! If it didn’t work, you can try another code and see if you can find one that works.

You CAN try expired codes but obviously they probably won’t work. But no one will be upset if you try them 🙂

And that is how YOU can save money on online purchases without wasting time doing it!

CAVEAT WARNING: ANYTIME you search on a search engine, if you end up on a page that tells you that your computer is infected of some other nonsense, just click out of that page and move on to the next one. NEVER call the number that comes up on your screen – it is a scam and they will try to sell you a “fix” that will do nothing.