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Daily Q&A: How can I maximize benefits from online promotional codes?

How do I use online promotional codes to save money while shopping online?

Consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch guides consumers through the maze of online promotional codes and urges them when they see a box asking for a promotional code, "don't skip over it or you will miss out on big savings."

Here are tips Woroch offers for saving with promotional codes:

• Crack the code. Search the Internet for a code with the retailers name along with the term "promotional code" or go to aggregator sites like www.PromotionalCodes.com, www.CouponWinner.com and www.PromoCodes.com which organize thousands of online coupons for retailers like Target, Macy's, HP, Travelocity, 1-800 Flowers and more.

• Stack codes. Some retailers allow you to use more than one coupon or code on the same offer. For example, use a 25 percent off coupon along with a free shipping code or use a promotional code with a sale or clearance item to maximize savings.

• Stock up to increase code savings. Purchasing more may qualify you for a better value coupon like $30 off $100. Combine your shopping and buy multiple gifts from the same retailer to benefit from the discount, or ask a friend or family member to jump in on the purchase so you don't miss out on the savings.

• Avoid shipping fees. If one retailer doesn't offer free shipping this holiday season, another one will, so search around for the brand with the best offer. Search www.FreeShippingCoupons.com for a free overnight, two-day or priority shipping code.

• Compare codes. The key to saving money is comparing prices among competitor stores and the same goes with online coupons. Always compare money-saving codes among brands that offer the same or similar product to find the best value.

• Be a social code shopper. Follow your favorite retailer or promotional code website on Facebook or Twitter to get instant updates on the latest promotions and exclusive codes offered to their social media fan base.

• Don't pay for codes. This might be a sign that a website is a fraud. Coupons were created to save you money and shouldn't cost anything to use.

Question for the Consumer's Edge? Send it to ipenn@sptimes.com or twitter.com/consumers_edge. Questions are answered only in this daily feature.

Daily Q&A: How can I maximize benefits from online promotional codes? 12/08/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 4:15pm]
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