How do I use this site?
When you click on a coupon link, you will be taken to the merchant site. A small Deal Dude window also will pop up on your screen that shows the coupon code (if any) you will need to enter during checkout to get your savings. This box also allows you to click to return to Deal Dude, read any coupon restrictions, add the merchant to your list for alerts and report dead coupons. If you have a pop-up blocker installed on your machine, you should disable it for Dealdude.com so that you can see the window that provides the coupon codes. We set it up this way so you don't have to return to Deal Dude or write down the code while you shop.
How do you use coupons online?
If the coupon is a code, such as AMZNCOUPON or TAKE10, you will be asked to enter it during checkout. The space where you type in the code might be labeled GIFT CERTIFICATE, DISCOUNT CODE, etc. For example,
Amazon asks on the next-to-last page during checkout if you have
any gift certificates. It provides a space for you to type in
the code. Once you do, click continue and the next page will
show your new subtotal, minus the coupon. Some retailers, such
as Buy.com, use coded links. When you click through, you'll be
taken to a special page on the site that features the coupon.
Usually you must click a button there to add the coupon to your
I entered the coupon and it
didn't work. Why not?
this means the coupon has expired, or that you entered the coupon
code incorrectly. Most coupons also can't be used more than once,
and almost all require a minimum purchase, excluding shipping
and sales tax. Some are available only to first-time customers.
Finally, you typically can use only one coupon code per order.
If you aren't sure why a coupon isn't working, drop
us a line and we'll investigate. Also, let me know if you
find an expired coupon. We sometimes overlook one.
Why do online retailers offer
the same reason brick-and-mortar retailers offer coupons. They
want you to try out their store and come back the next time you
need something, and giving you a few dollars off now and then
is a bargain if you become a loyal customer. According to one
survey, nearly 75 percent of consumers said they had taken advantage
of an online promotion within the previous three months. But
retailers also know that most people aren't active bargain hunters
and won't bother finding a coupon after placing their first order;
instead, they'll return to a place that's familiar. Each online
store is fighting to be the first place that comes to mind. Right
now about 15 percent of Net users account for half of all online
purchases, so coupons also encourage more people to shop on the
Web. It's difficult to turn down $10 off your first $20 order.
Where do you find the deals?
variety of places. The merchants provide them, or we find them
floating around the Internet. Sometimes they show up in newspaper
and magazine ads. The idea behind the site is to scour for the
best deals so you don't have to. It's designed to download quickly,
with a minimum of frills.
Why don't you have more stores
of time. There are hundreds of retailers online that offer coupons.
Rather than attempting to keep track of the thousands of offers,
good and bad, and figure out if every store is even worth shopping
at, we chose to include only those merchants that we know have
a wide selection, decent shipping rates, reliable customer service
(with some goof-ups allowed here and there; nobody's perfect)
and half-decent discounts. If you think about it, do you really
need to compare prices for a CD at 30 online shacks? It's not
likely they'll beat the discounts at Amazon or Buy.com. You also
will find most of these stores listed at places like BizRate,
Gomez.com or Epinions, each of which asks consumers to rate their
experiences. If you're looking for discounts at a store not listed
on the site, let us know and we'll try
Is it safe to order online?
is a common concern. Every major online merchant uses strong
encryption to protect the integrity of your personal information.
Amazon, which has fulfilled more than 25 million orders, has
never had a card number stolen. Major retailers take great pains
to reassure consumers; if card numbers ever were compromised,
it could be more disastrous for their reputation than your pocketbook.
That's because, in the unlikely event your card number is stolen,
the Fair Credit Billing Act allows credit card companies to hold
you responsible only for up to $50 in fraudulent charges as long
as you notify them in writing within 60 days of the date the
bill was mailed. Visa and MasterCard waive liability no matter
how much time has elapsed. Because of tough online encryption
standards, it actually might be safer to buy online. When you
leave a charge slip behind at a brick-and-mortar store (or even
on the table at a restaurant), you never know who's going to
see and share your number.
How much is shipping?
varies by item and retailer. Shipping charges (and in a few cases
sales tax, depending on which state you live in, and where the
retailer ships from) are calculated during checkout. But you
can usually find the charges listed in the site's help section.
Generally you'll pay $3 to $5 plus $1 per item for books, movies
and software sent to a U.S. address, and $2 or $3 plus $1 per
item for music. Orders that include toys, electronics or computer
hardware are generally $3 plus a premium based on weight, usually
50 cents to $1 per pound. A few merchants set shipping charges
based on the total amount of the order. Be aware that, according to one study, about half of all online and catalog retailers earn a profit on their shipping charges.
A common trick is to charge UPS-like fees for goods that come
by third-class mail. Shipping charges that depend on the total
amount of the order or the number of items also usually favors
Do online sites charge tax?
We've tried to list on each page in which states the merchant
charges sales tax. When you're shopping for the best price, that
can make a difference. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that states
can't force a retailer to collect tax unless the company has
a physical store, warehouse or offices in the customer's state. However, the states are pushing Congress to mandate that stores that sell products online or through mail-order catalogs collect sales tax from everyone who is supposed to pay it. Just because a merchant doesn't collect the tax doesn't mean you aren't obligated to pay; 45 states and D.C. require you to submit the tax directly to your state treasury (the exceptions are Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon, which don't have sales taxes). Twenty-one of those 45 states include lines on their income tax returns for you to report how much you owe ordering products from merchants who didn't collect it from you. Some retailers are making deals with the states to collect sales tax voluntarily, and big merchants such as Walmart, Target and Toys 'R Us have started collecting everywhere. Bottom line: The days of the "free ride" online are nearing an end.
What's the story with the "free"
is truly free, of course. When a merchant offers a deal such
as free software, it usually means you have to pay inflated shipping costs or that it plans on asking you for
something besides cash. That doesn't mean it's still not a deal, but it's presented in a less traditional way to get your attention. In other cases, the merchant may want to know about your
buying habits, or track your movements online to compile aggregate
(i.e., not tied to you personally) statistics for advertisers.
In still other instances, the service is paid for by advertisers, so
you have to agree to look at their ads. Or you might receive
a premium only if you agree to buy something. Whenever there
is a "catch," we try to explain it. But it's always
and/or FAQ, especially if a deal sounds too good to be true.
How do I add coupons to the site?
We are not currently accepting applications from new merchants.
Home Shopping Network Deal
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