Archive for February, 2014

PostHeaderIcon 10 Retailers Whose Coupon Exclusions Allow You To Buy, Well…Very Little

Article Source: Online Shopping Store

Have you ever entered a coupon code when checking out at an online retailer only to be foiled be some ridiculous coupon exclusions? Pretty dang frustrating, especially when you click on the exclusions and you’re taken to a list that makes War & Peace look like a fun weekend read. Often times the coupon exclusions are brand specific as some companies do not want to be considered discounted brands. Other times the exclusions are product based like Office Max excluding all technology items.

Whatever the case may be, as shoppers and coupon users, it can be really annoying when you go through the work to find the best price (with a coupon to boot) and have it all be to no avail because what you’re buying is excluded. With that in mind, I have broken down the 10 longest coupon exclusion lists so you can be a more informed coupon user from this point forward.

Sports Authority

The folks at Sports Authority are tied to many brands who do not want their products discounted via online or in-store coupons. Here are the highlights you need to know:

  • The list is a little overwhelming but these are some of the major brands that are excluded: Under Armour, select Nike shoes, The North Face, Prince, Scott, Oakley, Mountain Hardware, CamelBak, Nikon, and Louisville Slugger.
  • For some reason Golf is the most excluded sport with these brands leading the way: TaylorMade, FootJoy, select Callaway, Titleist, Odyssey, Cleveland, Cobra, and select Nike golf. Pretty much all you can buy with a coupon is a dozen cheap Top Flite golf balls.

Guitar Center

At first glance the coupon exclusions at Guitar make it seem like you can’t buy ANYTHING, let alone a guitar, and get a discount. I dug a little deeper and discovered a cool tip that can serve as a work-around to this long list of brands.

  • First, here are the top guitar brands excluded from their coupon offers: Gibson, Yamaha, Martin, Taylor, Fender, Ibanez, Epiphone, and Jackson.
  • These exclusions were so vast that I started digging a little deeper to see what the deal was and that’s when I found this interesting Consumerist article. Turns out that Guitar Center has some wiggle room in price for almost all brands. Just hit up a Guitar Center Live Chat rep and negotiate the price with them. It appears the only guitars which they can’t lower the price on are those which are already discounted. Using live chat to score a deal is always worth trying, no matter the online retailer.


The coupon exclusions at are quite random and include mainly heavy items like cat and dog litter (what the heck is dog litter?), aquarium rocks and gravel, and live crickets which are not heavy but an odd thing to drop in the mail.

  • It is nice to see that given the exclusion of heavy items like cat litter, dog and cat food is not excluded from coupons at Petco.
  • The last sentence of “Additional exclusions may apply” is a bit troublesome and leaves the door open for darn near anything.


I wonder if it would have been easier to list the actual products from Macy’s that allow you to use a coupon? I’m guessing the list might be shorter. Here is the skinny:

  • Top brands that are excluded from online coupon usage: All-Clad, Dyson, Armani, Hugo Boss, Born, Helly Hansen, Levi’s, Michael Kors, Merrell, The North Face, and Steve Madden shoes.
  • It’s pretty obvious that if you have a Macy’s coupon that you can use online or in-store, you’ll want to take it into your local Macy’s as the in-store exclusions are much less. In-store exclusions appear to mainly be on items that are already on sale or are limited time deals.

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Similar to Sports Authority, the folks at Dick’s Sporting Goods also have a big old list of coupon exclusions. Here is what you need to know:

  • I actually think it would be easier to list the top brands not on their coupon exclusion list. Shop away and save money with these brands: Nike, CamelBak, Easton, Adidas, Wilson, Rawlings, Merrell, Timberland, New Balance, Crocs, and Keen.
  • Also, if you walk into Dick’s without a coupon be sure to ask an associate if they have one for you to take advantage of. They are known to help out if they can. Check out my post Forgot your Coupon? These Retailers Still Got your Back for all the details.

Office Max

Office Max does a great job of making you read through all of the boiler plate to figure out what the heck is actually excluded from their coupons. Here is how it breaks down:

  • The main thing that is excluded is technology products. Pretty much anything that plugs into the wall. Exclusions includes laptops, desktops, printers, monitors, TV’s, fax machines, copiers, cash registers, etc.
  • Also excludes in-store purchases of office furniture, filing cabinets and the like. Fortunately it does not exclude your standard office supplies like paper, envelopes, pens, pencils, etc.


These days JCPenney also has some decent online and in-store coupon offerings. I’d have no problem updating their coupons to “great” status if it weren’t for their brand specific exclusions.

  • Top brands excluded from JCPenney coupons include the following: Nike, Levi’s, Royal Doulton, Hunter Douglas, Disney, Sephora, and Converse.
  • Things then get a little more general with the exclusion of these products: Kitchen (all kitchen products?), baby gear, floorcare items, food items, and in-home custom decorating services. I’m guessing if you can afford in-home decorating services you aren’t much of a couponer anyways.

Sierra Trading Post

I love the monthly coupons at Sierra Trading and they can typically save you 25% off your entire order. But like many good coupons they have some exclusions.

  • The coupon exclusion list at STP is pretty darn random. The one that sticks out is “Clearance” items as that will limit your savings to regular-priced items only.
  • I was extremely disappointed to see the “Saeco Odea Espresso Machine” on the list as it’s the only reason I would shop at an outdoor gear website like Sierra Trading Post. WTH. In case you were curious I’m going to be stuck paying the full-price of $489.95.


The coupon exclusion list at Golfsmith is fairly long and excludes some fairly popular gold brands like Titleist, Ping, and Mizuno.

  • I think the most helpful thing is to list the popular golf brands that allow you to use a Golfsmith coupon. They include the following: Cleveland, Cobra, Adams, Maxfli, and Adidas.
  • Top brands like Callaway, Nike, TaylorMade, Odyssey, and Bridgestone have some restrictions on specific products. See the full list here.


The folks at Staples recently gave me a coupon for 20% off your order and I was disappointed when I saw the list of exclusions. Here is my take:

  • Similar to Office Max, the coupon exclusions at Staples include tech products and computers. Brands include Apple, Chromebook, Bose, Amazon Kindle, Nook, HP, Keurig, Epson, printers, fax machines, copiers.
  • Unlike Office Max, Staples coupons can be used on office furniture like chairs, desks, filing cabinets, and the like.
  • Also, their coupons are valid on clearance items which will help you maximize your savings.

Ask the Reader: Have you ever been stoked to use a coupon only to find out what you’re buying is excluded? Did you go postal like I typically do or find other ways to save money on the item?

By Kyle James


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PostHeaderIcon Ask For a Coupon – Which Popular Online Retailers Have Live Chat Operators Who Hand Out Coupons

Article Source: Online Shopping Store

A couple weeks ago I wrote an article titled Forgot your Coupon? These Retailers Still Got your Back where I talked about some strategies to save money even when you enter certain stores without a coupon. So it makes sense this week that I talk about how to save money online at some popular retail websites when you can’t find a coupon code to use. It revolves around the growing ‘Live Chat’ coupon trend and how many operators are trained to hand out coupon codes to polite shoppers that simply ask. I did the research and found a dozen of the most popular retailers that’ll hand out a coupon code via live chat to shoppers who play their cards right.

Here is what I discovered (in alphabetical order):

Bass Pro

One popular online store that readily hands out coupons via Live Chat is Bass Pro which is a huge shopping destination for hunters, fishermen, and outdoors-men. If you can’t find a coupon the traditional way, be sure to pull up a live chat session and politely hit up Debi (or whoever you get) to see if they have a coupon code up their sleeves. A few tips:

  • Always be polite and courteous when asking for a coupon since your words are all you have when trying to score an online discount.
  • Debi immediately hooked me up with a coupon code good for free shipping on my entire order. This coupon did exclude boats, but luckily I’m not in the market for a new boat!
  • If live chat fails to bring you a coupon at Bass Pro Shops make sure to check out their Facebook page as they have currently have a couple coupons posted on their wall.

Birthday Express & Celebrate

If you’re in the planning mode for your child’s next birthday party or any other big shindig, be sure to hit up a live chat operator for a coupon at Celebrate or Birthday Here is the skinny:

  • Both websites use the same coupon codes so you can start the Live Chat feature from either site and the codes will work on both.
  • Leslie hooked me up immediately with a coupon code good for 15% off your $75+ regular-priced merchandise total. Not a great coupon but certainly handy for larger purchases.


For those who love to shop for bargains at you’re going to want to get well acquainted with their Live Char feature. Here are a few tips:

  • I got the impression that my operator, Laurel, had a big list of coupon codes at her disposal. I say this because she said “Try PRES14″ as if she had other codes up her sleeve if for some reason it didn’t work.
  • So if you’re buying more than 1 item, or any sale items, ask the Dress Barn operator for a coupon that better fits your online order. I think you’ll be happily surprised with the results.

For those of you not familiar with, they sell athletic footwear, apparel, and training equipment. They are known for their amazing selection but tend to also be on the expensive side so you’ll always want to shop with an Eastbay coupon code. Here is how I scored one from live chat:

  • I was having trouble viewing their website and asked my operator, Dan, if they had any current coupons. He told me they did and it was viewable during Step 4 of the checkout process.
  • I told him I couldn’t see it on the website and he was able to tell me the coupon code needed to collect 20% off.
  • This is a good strategy for any website you’re having trouble using as many retailers will give you a coupon for your inconvenience.

I can only assume that the Foot Locker Live Chat operators are sitting at their desk wearing a stripped ref shirt with a whistle around their neck.

  • My Foot Locker live chat buddy, Aaron, hooked me up with a free shipping on $75 or more coupon code. Not great, but if you shop regularly at Foot Locker you already know that most of their shoes are priced above $75.
  • I tried to get something better out of Aaron, like 20% off, but he did not have another coupon for me. He said that later in the month he’d have a 20% off coupon, but nothing right now.
  • I asked him if better Footlocker coupons typically come out later in the month and he confirmed this to be true.


Next, I hit up Jen via Live Chat at The Home and asked her for a coupon code. She was unable to provide one but she did offer a pretty cool service that is worth sharing.

  • I told her I was doing a kitchen remodel and looking for a coupon for a new dishwasher. The washer was already on sale for close to 25% off and no additional savings were available but she was incredibly familiar with the washer and was able to answer all my questions. Very handy if you are doing a big remodel and have a bunch of questions.
  • Jen was by far the most helpful live chat operator I have ever talked to in terms of product knowledge, well done Home Depot.

I was really impressed with the Live Chat operator at, who ironically was also named Jill. I wonder if they only hire gals named Jill? But anyways, she really went beyond the call of duty.

  • First, Jill hooked me up with a free shipping coupon and then she dropped the 411 on where to find the best deals. She told me J.Jill was offering their entire ‘Sale and Outlet’ section for an additional 30% off for a limited time. No code needed.
  • I love when live chat operators tell me where they most savings can be found on that particular day.
  • Also be sure to follow J.Jill on Twitter as they are known for dropping exclusive coupons on their feed on a weekly basis.

L.L.Bean is known for their quality clothing and outstanding customer service that includes a 100% satisfaction guarantee. These days they always offer free shipping on your purchase but rarely have other coupons. Your chances increase greatly if you use their Live Chat feature as they want you to finalize your purchase today. Here’s the best strategy:

  • Be polite, maybe even compliment them on how happy you have been with prior L.L.Bean purchases. In other words, butter them up a little then ask for a coupon to help you save a little money today.
  • I was able to get a 10% off coupon code to apply to my purchase. Not huge savings, but well worth the few minutes it took to get my discount.


There is little doubt the Live Chat feature at Lands’ End will pay off for you in one way or another. Here is the direct link to a Lands’ End live chat operator. Here is your best strategy for savings:

  • By being polite and direct I was able to score an online coupon for 30% off all merchandise with free shipping on $50 or more.
  • Lori, my live chat operator, was very receptive to helping me save some money and she had excellent knowledge of Lands’ End sizing and styles which was a very nice bonus.
  • If you can’t find a Lands’ End coupon always open up a live chat session and politely ask for one. Chance of success: 95% at the very least.


I opened up an Office Depot live chat session I was not very confident that I would get a coupon code as they can be pretty tight about handing them out. But my buddy Bobbi delivered the goods. Here is your best strategy:

  • I simply asked for a $10 off $50 or more coupon and was given it right out of the box, next time I will amp it up and ask for a 20% off coupon. I got nothing to lose.
  • Also, it is worth noting that over the years I have received tips that the Office Depot Facebook page is also a great resource to score a coupon when ‘Live Chat’ doesn’t deliver the goods.

I was really impressed with the customer service live chat employee “Sweety” gave me. Here is how it went down:

  • After I asked her if she had any coupons I could use, she asked me to make sure my order was in my virtual shopping cart so she could take a look at it and find the best coupon for me. Pretty cool.
  • After I placed my photo-book in my cart, she took a look at it and came back with the very generous offer of a $10 credit on my photo-book on top of the 25% off site-wide offer Shutterfly was already offering.
  • Shutterfly Key: Make sure you add the maximum number of stuff you want to order in your cart, open a Live Chat session and start negotiating the best coupon you can get.

For those of you not familiar with Snapfish, similar to Shutterfly, they specialize in taking your photos and turning them into amazing prints, gifts, and cool books and calendars. Your order total can add up pretty quickly so be sure to hit up the Snapfish live chat feature and ask for a coupon code.

  • I simply asked for a coupon code, nothing specific, and my buddy “Shashank” hooked me up with a 30% off coupon. I couldn’t help but think of Morgan Freeman as I collected my savings.
  • They typically allow you to stack coupons so feel free to politely ask for a free shipping coupon as well. They often have a free shipping coupon on $25 or more.

Ask the Reader: Have you had any success scoring a coupon code at other online retailers using their ‘Live Chat’ feature? Please let me know in the comments and I’ll check it out – thanks!

By Kyle James


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