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Friday, June 17, 2011

Website Review:

If you do any online shopping at all, you may be cheating yourself if you aren't checking for merchants' coupon codes before buying. By now just about everybody who shops online is probably familiar with the concept - you simply enter a set of letters and/or numerals when ordering, which could get you, say, 15% off your total, or free shipping, or some other money-saving deal.
Chances are you've gotten these codes in your email from various merchants, but there's no need to restrict yourself to those. There are websites that collect these codes from across the web, and publish them for public use.
One such site is Coupon Chief. It's free, easy to use, and about as comprehensive as it gets. Just the list of online stores beginning with the letter A runs on well past what I could easily count; they claim to have over 100,000 overall, and I have no reason to doubt that figure.
That doesn't mean, of course, that every one of those merchants is going to have a current code in effect at any given time, or that whatever coupons are out there are going to be applicable to your order; for instance, there may be a minimum-purchase amount restriction, or there may be a deal only on certain types of items. The point is that it's worth taking a minute to see if you can save a few bucks, and if there is an active coupon for the site you're ordering from, chances are you'll find it on Coupon Chief.
One added feature of Coupon Chief is that you can not only save money, you can also earn some cash through their "Pays-2-Share" program. If you upload a coupon code to the Coupon Chief site, you'll earn 2% of the purchases that other users make utilizing your coupon. There's a $25 limit per online store, and some other fine print, but it beats what you'll earn at most other similar websites, which is nothing.
Coupon Chief also has a "Coupons-4-Causes" program, which allows you to select a favorite charity to receive a donation from Coupon Chief every time you shop online. Retailers pay Coupon Chief a commission for purchases made through the Coupon Chief site, and Coupon Chief will donate half that commission to the charity of your choice.
Coupon Chief is not the only website out there where you can find free coupon codes. If you simply want to find a code for a particular merchant, a Google search will turn up any number of sites where you can find one. But Coupon Chief does stand out from the crowd thanks to its Pays-2-Share and Coupons-4-Causes programs. Even if you don't participate in either of them, the Pays-2-Share program is a powerful incentive for users to upload coupons to Coupon Chief, so I think it's pretty unlikely that any online coupons that are out there will not show up on Coupon Chief very soon after they're issued. Frankly, I'd been mostly using, and was satisfied with, a different coupon site until now, but I'll be checking Coupon Chief for my future online purchases.

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