In Lean Times, Online Coupons Catching On
On the Internet, nothing travels faster than a tip on how to score a bargain. Especially in an economic downturn.
With online retail sales falling this month for the first time, Internet merchants are offering steep discounts to anyone willing to punch in a secret coupon code or visit a rebate site for a "referral" before loading up their virtual cart.
Shoppers obsessed with finding these bargains share the latest intelligence on dozens of sites with quirky names like RetailMeNot.com, FatWallet.com and the Budget Fashionista. And more consumers than ever are scanning the listings before making a purchase at their favorite Web site.
Some online shoppers are so good at this game that they almost never buy anything at full price, making them the digital era's version of bargain hunters who used to spend hours clipping coupons to shrink their grocery bills.