By Linsey Knerl
You can use coupon codes and special promotional offers to plump up your buying power. If this is news to you, chances are you've been paying more than you need to for most of your online purchases. One of the easiest ways to get started with coupon codes (or promo codes as they're also often called) is by using them when you're shopping online for fashion buys. Here's a primer on getting your feet wet in the world of online savings.
Getting The Codes: Whether you snag that code from an in-store flyer, an e-mail from the store or through your favorite coupon code site (redplum.com's sister site, Save.com, of course), you can be sure that any amount off your total will come in handy. If you get a coupon code through an e-mail newsletter (sign up to get the best new codes weekly!) the best way to use it is through the link that's usually provided (especially if it is a valuable one-time offer or a promotion designed to be used specifically by you.) If you can, copy and paste the code into a separate program (Notepad or Word) before heading over to the shopping site. This ensures you get it right the first time. Some sites, like Save.com, will actually copy the code to your computer's clipboard for you.
Understanding the Terms: You've got your code, and you're ready to shop, right? There are a few things that may keep you from getting the deal you had in mind, and they usually come in the form of exclusions. These can include terms of the promotional code that keep you from using it on certain types of purchases. Many retailers keep you from using the code on clearance merchandise, certain high-end brand lines, or outlet and overstock items. While there are still some codes that are valid on anything, be sure to check the fine print for the skinny on your savings.
Can You Combine? Some online retailers allow you to "stack" or combine coupon codes. While not all codes are stackable (you might not be able to use a 10 percent off with a 15 percent off code, for example), you can sometimes enter multiple codes into the checkout page for maximum savings. The better deals will let you use a "free shipping" code, a percentage off, and a free gift with purchase. (Now that's great news!)
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