How Do Coupon Sites Work?

banner with coupons demonstrating how do coupon sites work

[ctoc title=”Table of contents” type=”ol” items=”Are coupon sites legit?,Types of Coupons,How do promo codes work for influencers?,How to find coupon codes for websites?,How coupon websites earn money?,How much do coupon websites make?,FAQ,Conclusion”]

How many times you have come across coupons that do not work?

I always try to find discount coupons whenever I shop online.

But on numerous occasions, the coupons I found didn’t work at all.

That led me to dive deep into the coupon website business.

Do you want to know how coupon sites work?

Let me tell you what I have found.

Are coupon sites legit?

First, let’s have the answer to this very important question.

Should we use these sites at all?

Yes, you can do that without any issues because it is a legitimate business.

If some coupons do not work, it’s not always the fault of the site.

There are many reasons for that, which we will find out in a minute.

Types of Coupons

There are various types of coupons that you can use to get a discount.

Let’s take a quick look.

1. Exclusive websites

This is the most common way to get discount coupons for shopping online.

You can get these coupons on exclusive coupon websites.

2. Brand website

These are the coupons that the actual product owner publishes on their own site.

There may be a separate page for coupons on their site.

3. Store Coupons

Store coupons can only be used for offline purchases.

You will find these either online or offline.

These may also be delivered to you through other channels like email, Whatsapp, SMS, etc.

4. Cashbacks

Cashbacks are not exactly coupons.

Instead of an immediate discount, you will get the discount later when you make a purchase for the second time.

Cashbacks are mostly offered for subscriptions and other regular purchases.

How do promo codes work for influencers?

A company may reach out to social media influencers and make them an affiliate of their product.

The influencer gets a discount code that he/she shares with the followers.

It’s a win-win for everyone as the company earns a quick sale, the influencer earns affiliate commissions, and you, as a customer, earn more discount than that offered by the company themselves.

How to find coupon codes for websites?

There are hundreds of coupon sites out there where you can search for coupons.

If you are wondering how to get a coupon code for free, the 3 sites I use and recommend are –

1. RetailMeNot

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Fig.1 RetailMeNot Website

RetailMeNot is a well-organized site for coupons.

You can search for coupons for any online store quickly using the search button on the top.

Or, you can browse by categories and stores.

The homepage displays a bunch of coupons visually too.

They also have a Chrome extension that applies the codes automatically when you shop online.

2. Honey

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Fig.2 Honey Website

The website of Honey is actually very confusing for me.

They have their own gift cards and a points system.

There are no categories for the coupons.

However, there is a Droplist feature, which would send alerts for price drops to you if you are registered with them.

The homepage displays the coupons of various stores.

They have a Chrome extension too, which I use to find discount codes when shopping online.

3. CapitalOne Shopping

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Fig.3 CapitalOne Shopping Website

CapitalOne was formerly known as Wikibuy.

The coupons are neatly arranged on the homepage.

You can also search for coupons for any store on the top search bar.

There are categories for stores, products, events, and hotels.

They too have a Chrome extension that applies the deal automatically when you are shopping online.

How do coupon sites work?

How do coupon websites earn money?

Let’s get to the meat of the matter.

Do you want to build a site for coupons yourself?

Do you want to know how to make money with coupon codes?

Well, there are several ways actually.

Here they are.

1. Affiliate Commissions

As is obvious, affiliate commissions are the most common way to earn money from coupons.

The codes act as affiliate links.

Sometimes you may get an exclusive code for your site too.

2. Sell gift cards

Your website may also earn by selling gift cards at a discount.

For example, if the price of the gift card is $20, your coupon website may buy it for $5 from the company and sell it for $10.

3. Brand partnerships

You may give more discounts than are offered by the company themselves by partnering with the brand.

However, you have to give a guarantee of a minimum number of sales which will cover all their costs in order to secure such an arrangement.

4. Selling advertisement spaces

You may sell advertisement spaces on your site for extra income.

5. Selling bulk coupons

You may sell coupons in bulk also instead of selling individually for more income.

How much do coupon websites make?

Well, the amount earned by coupon sites depends mostly on the relationship with the brands and negotiation skills.

To give you an idea, Groupon earned $1 billion within 2 years of starting out. [Source: Shift4Shop]

And RetailMeNot earned $250 million in 2015.


Do coupon sites actually work?

Yes. Coupon sites actually work as they are legitimate businesses.

How do you use coupon sites?

To use coupon sites, you can either search for a specific store in the search bar of the site or browse the coupons on their website or install a Chrome extension, if they have one.

How do coupon sites make money?

Coupon sites make money in various ways such as affiliate commissions, selling gift cards, brand partnerships, selling advertising space on their website, and selling coupons in bulk.

Are promo code sites safe?

Yes. Promo code sites are safe as they are legitimate businesses.


So, I hope you now know how coupon sites work.

Here is a summary of what you learned today.

  • Coupon websites are legitimate businesses and they are safe.
  • There are various types of coupons available like exclusive sites for coupons, coupons on brand websites, store coupons, and cashback.
  • A brand can also work with an influencer and offer exclusive coupons to his/her followers.
  • You can find coupon codes on coupon websites like RetailMeNot, Honey, CapitalOne, etc.
  • Coupon websites earn money by being an affiliate, selling gift cards, selling advertisement space, selling coupons in bulk, and brand partnerships.
  • The income of coupon websites depends on relationships with the brand and negotiation skills.

So, are you ready to build a coupon website?

Then buy a domain and hosting, install WordPress, buy one of the exclusive coupon themes and get on with it!

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