Not all coupon codes are as good at they might appear at first glance. For example, a coupon code good for 25% off your online purchase at Jim’s Cigars.com ain’t worth much if Jim raised all his prices by 20% the day before he released the coupon to the public. Shame on you Jim, now what do you want for a box of Macanudos?
But in all seriousness, when shopping online it’s important to remember that sometimes a site-wide sale or seasonal promotion will deliver you a much bigger savings than a coupon code ever could. So with that in mind, I breakdown your best strategy for savings at these 12 popular online retailers. Some of these just might surprise you….
All Posters.com is notorious for having coupon codes posted directly on their homepage. They might not have one every day of the week so it’s important to wait until they do. Ironically, they give us a monthly 25% off coupon code to post on Rather-Be-Shopping.com but the coupons you’ll often find on their website are for 30% or 35% off.
Moral of the story: When buying from All Posters.com make sure it is when they have a killer coupon posted on their site homepage. To do otherwise would be flushing money down the toilet.
Verdict: Always shop with an All Posters coupon code good for at least 30% off your purchase.
American Eagle Outfitters.com
A coupon code is not always the best way to save and American Eagle is a great example. Case in point: Often times they will have a site-wide sale on shorts for $19.99 each. Then the following weekend they will offer a 20% off coupon code but have their shorts at the full price of $39.99. Cost of the same shorts: $34.
Obviously your savings will often depend on what items on their site are on sale but never assume that a coupon code will give you your best online savings.
Verdict: An online sale at AEO will almost always save you more money than an American Eagle coupon.
If you ever shop at Ann Taylor.com without a coupon code you’re completely nuts. While they do have seasonal sales, nothing beats a 40% or 50% off coupon code. While I might not have personal experience shopping on their website, I have been able to track their sales and they never give you the same deal as taking advantage of one of their coupon codes.
They send them to us approximately 3 times a month and they typically last 4-5 days. Be sure to register with Rather-Be-Shopping and select Ann Taylor as one of the stores to receive coupon alerts from so you never miss a coupon in the future.
Verdict: Always, and I mean always, shop with a 40% or 50% off coupon code for Ann Taylor.com.
Ann Taylor LOFT
I’l make this one short and sweet…read about Ann Taylor above as it applies identically to the LOFT. Shop with a coupon code or go flush your Benjamins down the commode.
Verdict: Always shop with a 30% off (or better) coupon code.
Were you aware that Banana Republic.com often has coupon codes good for 40% off your entire online purchase? Like a couple times a month actually. Were you also aware that they regularly charge $79.50 for a button-down shirt? When it’s on sale you might be able to pick it up for a cool $65.
Again, similar to Ann Taylor, if you don’t wait until we have a 40% off Banana Republic coupon you need to have your head examined.
Verdict: Always shop with a Banana Republic coupon for at least 30% off and keep an eye out for 40% off coupons which are released a couple times per month and typically only last a day or two.
Ok, here is some truth serum for ya, The online coupons we typically get for HomeDepot.com suck out loud. I’m talking $5 off $50+ stuff that will hardly make a dent in your order total. Instead, shop wisely when they are having site-wide and clearance sales as you have the potential to save a TON of money.
They run their sales on a bi-monthly basis with savings up to 75% in certain categories like hardware, fencing, electrical, and home decor. Also, their coupon codes are typically not good for clearance-priced items so they’re kinda worthless.
Verdict: Always take a good site-wide sale over a Home Depot coupon code. Bonus Tip: When shopping in-store, always look for items with a yellow shelf tag as those are deeply discounted clearance items and will save you a BUNCH of money especially if the price ends with a 3.
The one thing to remember when shopping online is to ALWAYS wait until they have a J.Crew coupon code good for 40% off all final sale items. They come out a couple times a month and last for a few days and are often promoted on their homepage and Facebook page.
Not only will you get clearance savings but you’ll be able to get an additional 40% off the clearance price. Your savings will be significantly better than any seasonal sale or online sale they run.
Verdict: Always shop at JCrew.com when they have a 40% off coupon code good for all “Final Sale Items”.
JCPenney is an unusual case of coupon or site-wide sale as they always seem to have both available. The full sticker price at JCPenney is more of a fantasy price rather than a price you’ll ever have to pay. A couple years ago they went with an everyday low price pricing model and it was a TOTAL flop.
So now they are back to higher prices but they always have sales going on and coupon codes available. So the bottom-line is always use an online JCPenney coupon or an in-store printable JCP coupon in conjunction with a site-wide sale.
Verdict: Always use a JCPenney coupon and shop between Friday and Sunday as that is when they always have a site-wide sale going on. Also, you should know that most JCPenney locations do their markdowns on Friday making it an even better day to shop.
J.Jill.com has coupon codes and some pretty darn good ones to boot. Offers like $50 off $100+ or 30% off sale items are not uncommon. They also have some strong online sales and seasonal specials. So what is a bargain shopper to do, wait for a good coupon code or shop a seasonal sale like their recent 4th of July Sale?
Without fail, a strong J.Jill coupon is going to maximize your savings, especially on orders over $100 as that will often get you free shipping to boot.
Verdict: Always shop with a $50 off coupon code or $20 off $80+. In terms of savings, their site-wide promotions pale in comparison.
Because Kohl’s.com is notorious for allowing coupon codes to be used on regular-priced and clearance-priced merchandise you always need to shop with an online coupon.
Also, always be sure to shop on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month as you’ll get first dibs on new markdowns and clearance items.
Verdict: An online coupon all the way baby! Wait for a 20% off or better coupon code.
Shopping at Lands’ End.com is best done with a little bit of planning. In other words, know what you want to buy then when a weekend coupon code code rolls out, use it. If you can, wait until the coupon is good for at least 20% off your order total.
These coupons typically come out twice a month starting on a Thursday and continue through Sunday. Lands End.com does indeed have online sales but your savings will be less than waiting for a coupon code.
Verdict: An online coupon code is your best bet for savings at Lands’ End.
Macy’s.com is notorious for some pretty amazing online sales, often with savings up to 75% off certain categories. While they do have some great coupons the often will raise their prices right before they offer a coupon neglecting any real savings.
Also, be sure to shop on a Tuesday at Macy’s as you’ll get first dibs on new markdowns and clearance stuff.
Verdict: Look for online sales to provide the most bang for your buck at Macys.com. This will almost always be the case as they tend to raise prices right before releasing new coupons.
By Kyle James