Smart online shoppers know there are a variety of ways to save money when shopping online. Comparison shopping and seeking out sales are certainly excellent ways for saving money when shopping online but they are not the only ways an online shopper can save money. Using coupons and promotional codes can also result in a significant cost savings for online shoppers. This article will discuss methods of finding coupons for online shopping and the importance of understanding the restrictions placed on the use of these coupons.
Finding Coupons for Online Shopping
There are many different coupons and promotional codes available for online shopping. The most common types of coupons and promotional codes available are those which offer a discount on the total purchase price of an order and promotional codes which offer free shipping on an order. Both of these offers can be financially beneficial to the shopper if he is able to find these valuable offers. There are a number of different ways in which a shopper may acquire coupons and promotional codes for online shopping.
Many online shoppers receive promotional codes for online retailers in catalogs they receive in the mail. These catalogs may include special offers in an attempt to entice the recipient of the catalog to make a purchase online. The shopper may receive these catalogs because they have made purchased from the online retailer in the past or because the online retailer is advertising to new clients.
Similarly shoppers may receive promotional codes offering discounts via email. This is common for shoppers who belong to buyer’s club organized by the online retailer. These types of clubs typically offer these promotional codes to regular customers to reward them for their consumer loyalty and encourage the shopper to continue to patronize the online retailer.
Still another way for shoppers to find promotional codes for online shopping is via the Internet. There are websites where members frequently post the codes they acquire via catalogs and emails for the benefit of others who may be seeking a discount on a purchase from a particular online retailer. Shoppers can use these promotional codes as long as there are no restrictions on sharing these codes.
Restrictions on Coupons for Online Shopping
Shoppers who utilize coupons and promotional codes while they are online shopping should be aware there may be restrictions on the use of these coupons or promotional codes. Common examples of these restrictions include dates of expiration and required minimum purchase to use the discount. Similar to coupons which are valid at traditional stores, online coupons or promotional codes usually have an expiration date and the discount is no longer valid after this date. Another common restriction associated to offers of free shipping is a minimum required purchase. In these cases the consumer must purchase more than a specific dollar amount from the online retailer in order to be eligible for free shipping. Another example of a common restriction on online coupons or promotional codes is a required minimum purchase necessary to receive a discount. In some cases the online retailer may even offer a greater discount to shoppers who are willing to spend more money on products or services. For example the retailer may offer a 10% discount on purchases of more than $50, a 15% discount on purchases of more than $75 and a 20% discount on purchases of more than $100. With all of these different types of restrictions on online discounts it is important for the consumer to fully understand these restrictions before attempting to use one of these offers.
Dealing with Defective Items When Online Shopping
One of the most frustrating aspects of online shopping is definitely dealing with receiving defective items. This is a rare problem which may happen regardless of whether the shopper patronizes an online retailer or a traditional store. However, dealing with the problem can be more difficult during online shopping endeavors. Dealing with this problem may be somewhat more difficult when the consumer purchases an item online but there are some useful tips which can make dealing with defective items significantly less stressful and failure to follow these tips can make it difficult for online shoppers to have a defective item replaced. This article will discuss some of these useful tips namely the importance of testing items immediately, contacting online retailers and dealing with unresponsiveness from online retailers to help online shoppers deal with this dilemma.
Testing Items Immediately after They Arrive
One very important tip for online shoppers is to always test items immediately after they arrive from the online retailer. This means the shopper should open and test the item as soon as possible after it is delivered. Doing this is important for a couple of very important reasons. One of these reasons is testing the item for functionality immediately will help to ensure the online shopper is able to return the item within the limitations of the online retailers return policy. Online retailers often have specific policies pertaining to returns and failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in the shopper not being able to return the item for a refund or exchange. These policies can vary significantly from one online retailer to the next and some policies may be more liberal than others. However, consumers who determine an item is defective within a couple of days after the item is received will likely still be within the period in which returns are still accepted even with online retailers who offer the stingiest return policies.
Another reason why it is important to test an item purchased online for functionality immediately after receiving the item is it helps to ensure the consumer will not lose the original packaging or receipt. This is important because most online retailers will require the item be returned with an original receipt and in the original packaging. It is certainly still possibly for online shoppers to lose the receipt but they are less likely to do so if they realized immediately that the item was defective.
Contacting the Online Retailer
Once an online shopper realizes an item is defective, the first step he takes should be to contact the online retailers. This should be done immediately because the online retailer will likely document the claim of defectiveness during this initial call and this documentation will serve as evidence of when the item was reported to be defective. This proof will come in handy if the online retailer gives the customer problems with returning the item and there is a need to pursue legal actions.
In most cases, the receipt will list a contact phone number which will put the consumer in contact with a customer service representative. However, if the receipt does not have this information the consumer may return to the website of the online retailer to find the necessary contact information. The consumer should then contact a customer service representative and describe the problem with the item as accurately as possible. In most cases the customer service representative will be able to provide the consumer with information on how to return the item for an exchange or a refund.
When the Online Retailer is Unresponsive
As with any retailer, it is always possible that the online shopper will not be satisfied with the response to the complaint offered by the online retailer. The buyer may be dissatisfied with the response offered by the online retailer or may be dissatisfied by a lack of a response from the online retailer. Regardless of the reason for the dissatisfaction the consumer will likely have to pursue other methods of obtaining a response to his complaint. The consumer may wish to elevate his complaint by asking to speak to a supervisor. If this does not rectify the situation it may be necessary to file a complaint with an agency such as the Better Business Bureau. They can than contact the retailer on behalf of the disgruntled consumer and attempt to rectify the situation.