A coupon code is the Internet version of a coupon you might clip from a newspaper or magazine. It is usually comprised of a string of numbers (like a regular coupon UPC code) and/or letters that represent a type of discount. Examples of the offers available are Free Shipping, a % off the total order, a specific dollar discount, or a free item with purchase. Online merchants release these codes (just as brick-and-mortar stores release coupons) to encourage people to shop at their site. Please note that the term “coupon code” is used as a catch-all phrase, and is interchangeable with any of the following: discount code, discount coupon code, online coupon code, online coupon, promotion code, promotional code, promo code, priority code, bonus code, key code, media code, offer code, reference code or source code.
You may want to jot down the coupon code(s) before clicking through to the merchant. Shopper’s Resource will remain open when you click through (so you can check back to get the code, if necessary). Each code is valid for a specific online store, and is typically entered during the checkout process. Online stores have their own way of tracking these codes, and will provide a place to enter the code during checkout. You may find specific instructions for use with the information about the code.
Some offers are automatically applied when you click on them. These offers may be noted with “no coupon necessary,” or you may find information about the offer once you click through.
Here are the most common issues:
- The code was not entered exactly as it appears on our web site
- You have not fulfilled the minimum order requirements. NOTE: minimum order requirements apply to merchandise only, and do not apply to shipping, handling, tax or gift certificates. Additional requirements or restrictions may apply, and these will be outlined with the details of each individual offer.
- You have a restricted brand / item in your order that is preventing the discount from being applied
- You may need to pay for your order with a specific type of credit card, which is usually noted in the description of the offer
- There is an error in the code that we need to fix
- There is an error in the link that we need to fix
- The merchant has decided to expire the offer early, and we do not know about this change
- The merchant has changed the conditions of the offer, and we do not know about this change
- The coupon is for new customers only, and you have placed an order with this merchant in the past
- The browser you are using is not fully compatible with the merchant web site, and is causing problems with coupon redemption
- There is software running on your computer that is interfering with the link, merchant web site or checkout process
- Cookies have been disabled on your computer and the merchant requires cookie tracking
On occasion, an online merchant will change the details or remove an offer, and a code will not work. If this happens, check back on the ShoppersResource.com web site to see if there is another offer available. When dealing with an expired link, please inform us (and not the merchant) of any links that do not work by using our Contact Form.
If you don't see a coupon code listed with an offer, here are some possibilities:
- We forgot to post the code, and need to know about the omission
- No coupon code is required to redeem the offer
- You are redeeming a “click-through” coupon, which means that the code or discount is applied automatically when you shop through the merchant page that opens with the offer
- You are redeeming a promotion, rather than a coupon, so there is no code. Just a note on this: not every link on our site is a coupon offer. We also post free shipping offers, sales, clearance links, hot products and other offers that do not require a coupon code.
Legitimate online stores have excellent protective measures in place to ensure that your personal information remains private. Every store has its own policy, but most do not share your information (unless you give them the OK to do so). Here are some tips to make sure your information remains safe:
- Any time you make a purchase, make sure you are using a web site with Secure Socket Layer protection (SSL). Netscape invented SSL, and it prevents hackers from illegally viewing your information via the Internet by encrypting the data. Here are a few ways that you can tell if the site you are shopping on is secured by
- If the URL begins with HTTPS:// (instead of HTTP://), it is protected by a secure server.
- If the site you are using has a golden key in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, it is protected by a secure server (make sure that the key is not broken and that it does not have a gray background).
- If there is a padlock in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, the site is secure.NOTE: a site may have SSL, but not on every page. Many online vendors put SSLs on screens only where sensitive information may be recorded (credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc.). As an online shopper, this means that you may not see the SSL indicators until you reach the checkout process.
- Junk e-mail, or spam, is so annoying. To keep it at a minimum, here’s what we recommend:
- Open a free e-mail account (Yahoo is a great resource) and use this e-mail address for all of your shopping activity. By doing this, you will protect your personal or business address from spam, and can change to a new account if you do get hit by spammers.
- Do not use a common name or word when choosing your free e-mail address. This will keep spammers from searching it out or guessing it.
- When you receive e-mail from a spammer (i.e., you don’t know who sent you the e-mail, and the address looks strange), follow these rules:
Do not open the e-mail (delete it immediately). By doing this, you may save yourself the heartbreak of contracting a computer virus. If you do not even look at the e-mail, it will save you from being tempted to download an attached file.
If you don’t know the source, don’t download anything or click on any links!
Do not click on “unsubscribe” on spam e-mail. Some spammers use this as a way to confirm e-mail addresses. In other
cases, it is a complete waste of time, as the “unsubscribe” e-mail address has already been closed (and you will receive
an “undeliverable” error message).
- When registering with a company (many stores will ask you to do this before making a purchase), be on the lookout for a checkbox that asks if the company may send you special offers from its partners. We recommend that you only receive emails from a few of your absolute favorite stores. Otherwise, your email inbox will be full of offers from merchants that you only shop at on occasion.
Follow these rules, and you should be well protected:
- Load antivirus software on your computer or run a free antivirus scan weekly.
- Never open an e-mail from an unknown source (delete it immediately).
- Never download from or click through an e-mail from an unknown
We recommend the following (in this order):
- When making an online purchase, use a credit card for greater consumer protection. Know the rules on submitting a dispute (most credit card companies only accept disputes for transactions made within the last 60 days).
- Work directly with the vendor to settle the dispute (and do this as quickly as possible, just in case you need to submit a dispute to your credit card company). Reputable companies with strong customer service departments will work with you to resolve the problem.
- If the vendor does not respond, file a dispute with your credit card company and
- File an online complaint with any of the following sources (only after working with the vendor):
- If your problem involves an unfulfilled rebate, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Most merchants are aware that by advertising and offering a rebate, they are ultimately responsible for it's fulfillment. We have had vendors supply us with everything from gift certificates to checks for unfulfilled rebates on items that were advertised and sold through their web site.