When you shop online, the world of coupon clipping is not closed to you. Stop thinking of that as a purely physical phenomenon which involves real scissors and paper; coupon codes have created a paperless revolution in savings for savvy shoppers who know how to get the most out of these codes.
Getting the Most from Coupons
But how do you make codes really work for you? One might argue that these are always great value, and there is no way to lose, but that’s not true. You have to do your research and make the best use of them. More importantly, pick the best places to use your codes. Just because a business offers discounts does not mean savings are guaranteed; not when you compare one company’s prices to those of another.
How Can That Be?
We have this misconception as shoppers that online stores are automatically cheaper. They are not. If we have nothing to compare a web-based shop with, that makes it even harder to tell what good value is supposed to look like, and it’s difficult when you can’t compare apples to apples. For example, one e-cig store might carry starter kits with two batteries and five cartomizers plus chargers. Another offers just batteries and chargers. Their prices differ, of course, but how much should they be different by if their value was equivalent?
Also, when you factor shipping into costs, this sometimes eats up all of your savings unless an order is large enough to meet the free-shipping threshold. Sure, this was a more convenient way to order books, but you might as well have enjoyed a day out and had them in your hand right away. If this were a bottle of vitamins you were shopping for, it would have been possible to read the best-before date.
Bulk Buying Bonanza
Where online stores make their money and save you, cash is in the business of bulk buying. You will generally get the best deals by picking up volume orders rather than small ones no matter what you purchase. Since every firm is doing the same thing, though, it is still important to compare and also to make sure the goods at a site are authentic. Look for a brand symbol that says this business is an authorized reseller.
Make Coupon Codes Count
Let’s take a look at shipping costs for a minute. If you don’t pay for shipping anyway and costs are low to start with, it is difficult to lose in a transaction unless you are ordering something which has been deeply discounted somewhere else and you missed the sale. Always shop around and don’t take your friend’s word for something; things change quickly on the internet. If your timing is right, this might be the day a store holds their flash sale and that coupon valid somewhere else doesn’t compare. Maybe sign up for Facebook feeds and e-newsletters prior to making a big purchase with or without a coupon code. This way, a sale never passes you by.
When you think you know where to shop and have a code at your disposal, do the full calculation including shipping and compare that with any other deals online before deciding you did well.
A code will frequently be applied to a specific type of item. For instance, you have to buy e-liquid with it, a starter kit, six month’s supply of vitamins, or products by this or that brand. Research tells you, however, that another brand offers better value for money. Maybe buying vitamins somewhere else and signing up for auto-shipments is actually cheaper than volume shopping or vice versa. Here’s a common one: the starter kit from an e-cig firm looks like good value with a coupon until you calculate the cost of replacing e-juice or pre-filled cartridges. Some more calculations show that another brand is priced fairly already and cartridges are better value, possibly better-tasting too.
Review the Product
That’s another thing: if you use a coupon code to buy something and it does not operate well or satisfy you, there is nothing saved; not a thing gained. Read what other consumers have to say about a product. Visit Consumer review pages, independently run, and get as much unbiased information as you can. Twenty pages of 5-star ratings are clearly unrealistic and not authentic.