As a guy who makes a good number of online purchases, I’ve grown familiar with the concept of coupon codes. Like their physical equivalents, coupon codes can be applied while checking out of certain stores, allowing customers to benefit from reduced prices. Unfortunately, online coupons are similar to physical coupons in that you must know about them to exploit their benefits. Thankfully, I discovered a solution to that a few years ago, greatly increasing my ability to take advantage of these coupons. Meet RetailMeNot, a site that encourages users to share coupon codes with the world.
In the past, I was rarely able to partake in the coupon code mechanisms offered by retailers. RetailMeNot changed the game by introducing the possibility of searching for codes by simply providing a store name. It wasn’t long until I adopted it as part of my online shopping habits – I began searching for possible coupons before buying anything. It was a good system, and quite unexpectedly, it got even better… all because of a Firefox plugin. RetailMeNot introduced a Firefox plug-in that will automatically tell you whether the site you are looking at has available coupons.
Without having to visit the website manually, I could behave as I normally would, knowing I would be notified when necessary. This mechanism allowed me to save time and money, all without disturbing my regular browsing habits.
To be fair, I must point out that RetailMeNot does have a couple flaws. First, some users are finding that coupons sometimes don’t work, when used. To help mitigate this problem, RetailMeNot now includes a “chance of success” rating along with all coupons, fueled by user votes. That way, if a coupon starts to fail, the community is able to flag it, warning other users. The second flaw lies in the plugin specifically, but isn’t the fault of the makers. Instead, it seems certain companies have been successful in removing themselves from the plugin’s control. You can still search for coupons on the site, but RetailMeNot has been forced to block certain sites at the plugin level, preventing the automatic coupon lookup.
Despite the flaws mentioned, I highly recommend the website, as they really enhance e-shopping as a whole.
UPDATE: May 29, 2016: Firefox extension no longer exists, removed link.