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The Ultimate Guide to Discount Codes (2024)

The Ultimate Guide to Discount Codes (2024)

Need to skip ahead to a specific section? Check out the table of contents below and find exactly what you need relating to coupon codes:

Table of Contents

Why Did We Make This Coupon Code Guide?

You’re sick and tired of looking for coupon codes in an effort to save some money on your online purchase, only to find out the promo code doesn’t even work!

We want to fix that.

I can fix that meme

This is a guide to give you all the tips and tricks we’ve learned from years of collecting, validating and redeeming coupon codes thousands and thousands of times.

You’ll learn what kinds of codes to look for, how to find the best promo code, find ones that are safe to use…

And you’ll even learn the trick to STACKING MULTIPLE CODES!

We’ve compiled the guide based on the most frequent questions we get asked all the time.

If all that sounds good to you, then keep reading!

Are Promo Codes Legit?

Are promo codes legit or a scam?

This is a two-fold question.

Are they “legit” in terms of “do they work”? Well, if they work on the retailers website and save you money, then absolutely they work!

There are a few reasons why they may not actually work on the website (we cover them here in this guide). So keep reading if you’re wondering what those reasons are.

Beyond that, are they “legit” in terms of are they “safe”?

We’ve never seen how adding a random group of letters and numbers to a checkout page would compromise your system.

That said, make sure your computer malware and spam protection is always up-to-date. This helps protect you from websites that may give your device a virus or other malware!

You also should NEVER have to give someone your credit card number in order to get a discount code.

Use common sense, don’t do that.

We’re not IT security experts, so that’s all we’ll say about that part.

It’s pretty simple, did the code work when you plugged it in? Then yes, it’s legit. 🙂

We just encourage you to do your own due diligence and use common sense tactics to ensure the websites you are visiting are safe.

How Do I Find A Valid Discount Code?

It happens to the best of us.

You’re researching the product that you want to buy online. You look at reviews, watch YouTube videos, compare prices from different online retailers.

Is it cheaper on Amazon?

Who has the best return policy?

And then you make your decision to purchase the product.

You add your product to cart, and go to check out and you see this window right here:

Screenshot of Checkout Page Example

Oh shoot! You forgot to look for a promo code!

No sweat, you hop on over to Google, search for promo codes from the store and click on the first listing you see…

“20% OFF PROMO CODE”

Ah, yes!

You click the button, copy the code, head back over to your checkout page…

Error Message: “This is not a valid discount code”

Ugh! The code didn’t work!

It’s so frustrating. And it happens ALL THE TIME.

So what do you do? How do you find a promo code that actually works?

Where Are All The Working Promo Codes?

Every coupon site out there claims their promo code works. But we’ve all been there. The vast majority of the time, the code DOES NOT WORK!

What gives?

We see 2 main reasons for this. One possibility is reasonable, the other is, well, quite sketchy.

The More “Reasonable” Reason:

It’s extremely difficult to keep up to date on every single coupon code, for every single online shop.

This is honestly the most charitable explanation. It’s just simply impossible to manually check every single coupon, every single day, for every single store.

So at one time the promo code most likely worked. But now, it doesn’t. And the editorial staff of that particular coupon site haven’t updated it yet.

We get it! No harm, no foul.

Just try the next code, and hopefully you’ll be more lucky.

The More “Sketchy” Reason:

Here’s where things can get a little more distorted.

If the coupon site gets you to click on their code before you make the purchase, they earn a commission from the online store – here’s the kicker – regardless if the discount code worked or not.

As a result, it’s pretty easy for coupon sites to just make up a code with a big discount amount to get you to click.

Yes, we said “make up a code”.

Some codes are straight made up. Never existed, never will.

As long as they’ve made their money, they don’t care if it actually helped you or not.

We’re thinking the same thing as you… what a terrible shame.

So What’s The Way Around This?

There’s really no way for you to know which code works and which doesn’t without you trying them. Fortunately for you, it only takes a few seconds to copy and paste. And there are even plugins now that theoretically automate this. But our experience shows that even those plugins don’t have any active working codes either.

CouponCove Tries To Be Different

We have accepted the fact that it takes a real human being to actually check to validate a code, and ensure that it’s the greatest possible discount for you.

That’s why our editorial team goes through all our major stores on our website, and manually checks our promo codes at least once per month.

This way, if you’re looking for a major retailer on our website, chances are, our codes marked #1 actually work.

So give it a shot! See if you can find a code from us that actually works! You’ll even save some money doing it. 😉

How Do I Redeem A Coupon Code?

Once you find a coupon code, most online stores have a “Discount Code” window on their checkout page.

If the store is built on the Shopify platform, then there will be a place to paste your coupon code in the checkout page.

It usually looks something like this:

Screenshot of Shopify Checkout Page Discount code

If the store is built on the WooCommerce platform, then there will be a place to paste your promo code either the Shopping Cart page, and / or the Checkout page:

Here’s what the Shopping Cart Page will look often look like:

Screenshot of WooCommerce Shopping Cart Example

 

And here’s what the Checkout page will look often like:

Screenshot of WooCommerce Checkout Page Discount Code Example

So just find the discount code form field as highlighted in the examples above, paste it, and see if it worked.

All of these platforms are pretty self explanatory as to whether or not the code worked.

Few Exceptions:

Every so often, an online store won’t have the discount code window available on the Checkout page. If this happens, chances are that the window is instead located on the Shopping Cart page only.

Like this:

Screenshot of Hidden Discount Code Field Example

 

Or like this:

Screenshot of Hidden Discount Code Field Example 2

 

But this is more rare. The vast majority of the time, retailers allow you to add a promo code in the Shopping Cart and/or at Checkout.

How to Apply Your Discount Code at Checkout

Once you find the spot where they accept the coupon codes, all you have to do is paste yours in.

If there’s an error with your code, you’ll get a red error message that reads “Enter a valid discount code or gift card”.

Screenshot of Discount Code Error Message Example

This kind of error message means that the code you’re pasting in is either expired or never existed.

If the code didn’t work, it’s also possible that your code has minimum order requirements, or it only works with certain products. If so, then you’ll see a yellow error message that reads, “Discount code isn’t valid for the items in your cart”

Screenshot of Discount Code Error Message Example 2

 

If this code does work, you’ll see the total shopping cart value decrease, and a little tag showing the discount amount.

Screenshot of Successful Coupon Code Applied Message Example

 

If you see a screen like that, congrats! You actually found a coupon code that works, and you saved money!

How to “Hack” Coupon Codes

Having trouble finding a coupon code that works?

There are a few tips and tricks that you can use to try to “hack” online retailer coupon codes.

Coupon Hack #1: Email / SMS Signup Coupon Codes

The first thing is to look for a place to sign up to the retailer’s email list or SMS list. Usually they will offer a discount code in exchange for signing up.

This is a fairly common practice, so just be on the lookout for it while you shop.

Screenshot of Email or Text Message Sign Up Discount Campaign

Coupon Hack #2: Retargeting Discount Codes

Especially after you’ve signed up for their email list, shop around on their website. Add the items that you want to the cart. And go to checkout.

…but don’t purchase the product.

Add all your customer info, but don’t confirm the purchase.

Close out your window, and wait a day or two.

Keep an eye on your email and text messages during this time while you wait.

Chances are, the retailer emailed or texted you special discounts for the exact products that you added to your cart.

It’s called “Retargeting”, and it’s a fairly common practice.

Screenshot of Retargeting Email Example

 

You can even keep on the lookout for banner ads, YouTube ads, and other display advertising to see if they retarget you with a special offer.

Example of Display Banner Ad Containing Promo Code

Coupon Hack #3: Use Google Search to Reveal Discount Code Pages Directly from the Retailer

Google Search allows you to look for specific content that may be contained within an individual website.

To do this simply type into the Google search bar the following prompt:

site:thebrandsdomain.com discount code

Google will then show you any pages within that brand’s website that may contain content regarding discount codes.

Screenshot of Google Search for Discount Code Page

If the online retailer has a page dedicated to listing out their coupon codes, it should show up on the Google search results.

Screenshot of Coupon Page Example

Coupon Hack #4: Use Discount Websites

I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but since we’re talking about discount websites, I gotta plug CouponCove.

We work really hard to keep our coupon codes up-to-date to make sure you always find the best promo code available, and it actually works.

So give a search on our home page and hopefully you find the right code that works for you!

Screenshot of CouponCove Homepage

Coupon Hack #5: “Guess” Promo Codes

We’ve found and tested thousands of coupon codes over the last several years. So we’ve seen some consistency with how brands will often name coupon codes.

Sometimes, coupon codes will be true one-off “codes” (think EIT47YIJQLZKA83UP). Usually indecipherable codes like that are one-time-use codes, usually provided by an email or text message offer.

Those are not the promo codes that we’re talking about here.

Brands will often have discount codes that we would call “evergreen” coupons.

Evergreen promo codes are those that the brand has running on an ongoing basis.

Usually they look like this:

SAVE10 (10% off)
HELLO
WELCOME
FALL25 (For the fall season, 25% off)

Get the picture?

The Most Popular Coupon Codes for 2024

We actually analyzed all 5,000 coupon codes that we have on our website (as of 4/4/24).

Here’s what we found:

The most popular coupon codes contained the following words:

  • WELCOME
  • SAVE
  • NEW

These codes were used either by themselves or in combination with the # of the amount or percentage off (e.g. WELCOME15, SAVE20, NEW30, etc.)

 

What’s awesome about this, is that even if you can’t find a current promo code, sometimes you can guess the code and potentially discover one.

So refer back to this list and try out the top promo codes.

Who knows? Maybe one of these will actually work!

Coupon Hack #6: “Reverse Engineer” Promo Codes for an Even Better Discount!

There’s a bonus hack to the “guessing” coupon hack #5.

Let’s say you already found a working promo code for 15% off, and the code is WELCOME15.

That’s great! You can go ahead and make your purchase…

BUT WAIT, don’t do that just yet!

What if you were able to save not just 15%, but 20%, 25%, or even 30%???

That may be possible with just one simple trick.

You’ve already found that WELCOME15 works…

What this means is that we already know the brand’s coupon code naming convention is “WELCOME” + # of the percent discount.

You just potentially reverse engineered even better discount codes.

Does WELCOME20 work?

What about WELCOME25, or even WELCOME30???

There’s a chance that altered coupon codes might work.

So try it out, you may save EVEN MORE MONEY!

Hacking Coupon Codes Example

How to find Secret FLASH Sales

Have you ever noticed that sometimes you can be so caught up in a particular product that you’re shopping for, that you don’t even notice the massive sale that an online shop is having?

That’s happened to me before.

The reality is that most online shops are regularly running what we call “Flash Sales”.

Sometimes it’s their clearance items, sometimes it’s for the latest season or holiday that’s coming up.

And the discounts can be pretty huge – 60% or more even!

So how do you find the flash sale?

For places like Amazon, they literally have entire sections of their website dedicated to the latest flash sale or products that have coupons available to “clip”.

Screenshot of Amazon Clip Coupons

 

And smaller online retailers are often similar. They will have holiday or season specific sale pages, like this one:

Screenshot of Holiday Specific Flash Sale Example

 

Or they will often have Clearance pages, like this one:

Screenshot of Clearance Sale Page Example

How to Find a Holiday Page

Brand’s Holiday Pages are typically showing on their homepage, or on a banner showing at the top.

So head over your favorite store’s home page, and check to see if there is a promo for the latest holiday or season:

Screenshot of Holiday Homepage Promo Example

 

Depending on the sale, you may save huge amounts of money!

How to Find a Clearance Page

Sometimes the Clearance Pages are a little more tricky to find. The first place to look is the most obvious, the website’s main menu.

Screenshot of Sale Page in Menu Example

 

If there’s nothing there, the next spot to check is the Footer of the website:

Screenshot of Sale Page in Footer Example

 

Sometimes the page is not showing on either the main or the footer menus. So what do you do?

Here’s another little trick.

Go to Google.

Search for site:storedomain.com sale

Like this:

Screenshot of Google Search for Flash Sale Page Example

Searching with a “site:domain.com” tells Google to look for the keyword “sale” within that particular domain.

Sometimes there are old sale pages that aren’t technically current, but may still have some cool discounted prices.

We also try to keep up on the latest seasonal flash sales/clearance sales on our merchant pages, so come back to our website and search for your favorite brand to see if we have any special sale pages available.

How to get even bigger discounts by STACKING COUPON CODES

Did you know that it may be possible to stack coupon codes and get an even bigger discount on your purchase?

We admit, this is a more rare scenario.

A lot of online retailers set up their promo codes to only accept one discount.

Like this one:

Screenshot of only 1 coupon code working at a time example

However, there are a few cases where codes and discounts are actually stackable.

So let’s discuss how this could work:

Stackable Coupon Codes

Some retailers allow for coupon codes to stack.

Like this one:

Screenshot of 2 Stackable Codes Example

It’s funny, for this particular retailer, the codes actually only stack in a particular order.

Lesson being, play around with it. You may come across 2 (or more) codes that work in tandem!

Seasonal Flash Sales + Discount Code

Having covered the tactics of finding seasonal flash sales and clearances in the previous section, it should be said that oftentimes brands will allow you to stack a coupon code on top of the sale discount.

Yes, that’s right.

You can get the flash sale discount, and then take off an even bigger discount with the coupon code.

Screenshot of stacking coupon code on top of sale promo item

 

Sometimes brands do exclude sale items from coupon code redemptions, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

So we say “STACK AWAY” and save even more on your purchase!

Conclusion

We hope you found this guide to be helpful in all things related to online coupon codes. We’ve spent years collecting, validating, and adding promo codes for thousands of online shops, and our goal is to help you get a discount… the first time.

If you’re looking for help in this matter, feel free to check back often at our website. We have thousands of online promo codes for hundreds of top brands. Hopefully you can find the deal you’re looking for with CouponCove!

What do you think? Are there any other ways of finding coupon codes that actually work? Let us know in the comments! 🙂

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