Coupons and promotional offers continue moving to the web

The truly frugal have long known that for any product you may want to buy, there exists somewhere a coupon that can help you save money on that purchase.  Of course, you may not get the exact brand or model of something if you’ve limited your choices to the available coupons, but the fact remains that almost any essential item can be found at a discount if you’re willing to look hard enough.

Once upon a time, finding these coupon and voucher deals required a hunt through all the local papers.  Sunday editions, free job guides, free ad-based publications, if there was a paper you’d need to get it for the coupon possibilities alone.  When taken to the extreme, some people were saving hundreds a month without making any serious compromises in their consumption habits.  The problem of course, was the time and hassle of finding all of the available discounts.

Of course, we know where this is going.  You don’t have to go very far to find information and price discounts these days.  Not so long as you can connect to the internet, that is.  With the internet, you can immediately find out if the exact brand and model you’re looking at has a coupon available – and you can also compare the prices its being sold for at a multitude of online retailers.  Some online services have been ahead of the game for years when it comes to coupon marketing – take the example of hosting providers who have been passing out digital versions of the coupon for years and years.  I’ve also explained before why I don’t think postal mail coupon campaigns are as efficient as online coupon distribution – and the recent budget problems at the Post Office have only convinced me of the opinion.

Despite the prevalence of online coupons, has it really sunk in yet?  In the last few days, there have been quite a few news stories about it, but I’m not sure if everyone who registers for hosting finds a coupon first, or if everyone who is headed to the grocery store checks to see if their favorite brand of food or drink is running a promotion.  You might not even have to print out the coupon slip, there are even applications that will send the coupon to your phone.  Even holiday shopping rituals can be strengthened with the online coupon – much like recently made known with a press release detailing their special, limited-time Labor-Day weekend coupon deals.

Shoppers certainly aren’t out spending like they once did, and the things they are buying need to be on sale or deeply discounted before anyone will want to part with their hard-earned money.  These days, more and more sales are being done with coupons and discount pricing, so anyone who wants to stay in business should probably consider how coupons and online distribution can help achieve a more competitive price.

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