How are Promo Codes Different to Coupons?

ShoppingTips & Advice

  • Author Louise Fiolek
  • Published March 8, 2012
  • Word count 527

If you’ve ever used coupons to save money on food or household items, then you’ll be familiar with the concept of coupon clipping, and maybe even collecting a binder of coupons to regularly cut down on the costs of your general grocery bills. If saving money interests you, then you’ve possibly already discovered the online alternative to coupons: promo codes. If the term "promo codes" is new to you then read on to find out more – you might be missing out on a huge opportunity to save money on some of your other shopping habits.

Promo codes, or promotional codes, are essentially "online coupons" that achieve the same end result as paper coupons, and that is to provide the end consumer with a discount on their purchase, and to help save them money. Savvy online shoppers search for promo codes before making online purchases. It’s a win-win opportunity for both the merchant and the consumer: the merchant makes a sale, and the customer is happy. To search for promo codes on the Internet, many people simply search Google for "promo codes 2012". Most often, you would quickly be able to find valid promo codes to use right away.

You may hear promo codes being called by a few other names, such as "online discount codes", "voucher codes" or "coupon codes" but essentially they are all the same thing. They are usually made up of a series of letters and numbers that are entered at the checkout stage of an online purchase. The merchant’s website checks to make sure that the code is valid, and then if successful, your total purchase price is reduced by the savings amount. How exciting!

You’ll realize that this process is somewhat different to using paper coupons. Instead of having to physically hand over a piece of paper that must be scanned to ensure validity, internet technology takes care of checking the validity for you. If you happen to use a promo code that has expired, then you can simply go in search of another promo code to use. With paper coupons, it’s never quite that simple!

One of my favorite websites for finding online coupons is CouponSnapshot. They offer coupon codes for all the big merchant names, including Amazon, Victoria Secret and Gap, to name but a few. In fact, CouponSnapshot have teamed up with over 16,000 online merchants to bring a huge variety of savings to online shoppers.

Occasionally, some online merchants will accept multiple promo codes in a single transaction which, when combined, multiply the savings. An example of this might be 20% off plus free shipping. In a way, this is similar to the concept of "stacking" paper coupons, which is a term enjoyed by any Extreme Couponer!

So, if you already enjoying the benefits of coupons to save on your grocery and household shopping, think about how much money you could save if you applied the concept of couponing to the purchases you make on the Internet. By now you’ll understand that promo codes and coupons do have their differences, but ultimately the end result is that same – they both save you money!

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