how to shop with coupon codes

So, the wild ride of 30, 40 & 50% off coupon codes is over for a while (or maybe not…we’ll see), but there are still plenty of deals out there.

If you’re reading this, chances are you KNOW the benefits of using grechenscodes to find coupon codes for contemporary women’s shopping online, but just in case you don’t (and you want some inside secrets…)

    – I specialize in listing coupon codes for smaller, independent online boutiques, but also list all the coupon codes for hundreds of boutiques specializing in women’s contemporary fashion/accessories alongside coupons from mall-type (Banana Republic) and department stores (Saks Fifth Avenue). I also collect exclusive codes for my visitors from many independent designers and boutiques that you won’t find anywhere else.

    – you can find codes by boutique by visiting the “all coupon codes” page, or see the newest deals (up to the minute) on the blog

    – if you don’t find what you’re looking for, or if you know of a codes we don’t have listed, contact me, or use the submit a code form

I’ve been using coupon codes and posting them on my sites (Grechen’s Closet) for four years, and here are some insights I’ve collected on how to effectively shop with coupon codes (and some insider secrets):

    – for contemporary women’s shopping online, you can’t beat, but there are some other good resources out there for coupon codes for electronic, grocery, and mass-market items; Smart Money magazine lists some good ones. I actually don’t have any experience with any of these sites, except Retailmenot. I use it occasionally to check out other coupon codes, but most of the time find it missing coupon codes.

    – as I like my shopping independent, so too for my coupon codes resources. I used to use Reesycakes a lot, but don’t anymore (it’s not updated when codes expire, or expired codes are still listed, etc.), Toutie is also a good resource for smaller boutiques and independent designers. For exclusively eco-fashion coupon codes, check Green Grechen and White Apricot.

    – many stores don’t offer coupon codes unless they are listed on their own site or promoted through affiliates (I am an affiliate for some boutiques, that means I earn a commission on purchases). Shopbop is one, Net-a-Porter is another. Zappos NEVER offers coupon codes (that’s why I shop at now).

    – most codes are not valid on sale items unless specified – don’t expect to be able to use a coupon code on a sale item unless the code is specifically for sale items.

    – some designers restrict coupon code use on their products. Rebecca Minkoff, Treesje, Botkier, Dansko, Mephisto, UGGs are some I know of. There are exceptions to some of these designers some of the time (Shopbop allows you to use a code on all designers – I used a code on my UGGs), but in general, if you find that you cannot use a coupon code on a specific designer, it’s likely because of a designer restriction.

    – on some sites when you use a code, items can only be exchanged for store credit, or would be final sale. Read any terms and conditions carefully to be sure what you’re getting into!!!

Do you have any other favorite coupon codes sites? Tips for readers on finding & using coupon codes? Let us know in the comments…

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