Here’s a quick and dirty tip to help you find discount codes for your online purchases!
Tell me this hasn’t happened to you: You see an ad for a product in your social feeds. You see it again and again and again (especially if you went to its Facebook page or Instagram profile or website, all of which are options for retargeting digital ads). You finally decide you’re ready to buy… and all of a sudden, the ads with the discount codes are nowhere to be found.
Did you know there’s a really easy way to find discount codes quickly and easily without having to wait for those ads to reappear in your feed?
This week, after months of seeing Pony-O Hair Accessories ads in my feed, I decided it was finally time to give them a try. I checked Rakuten (referral link), which is always my first stop when I’m shopping online, but Pony-O isn’t part of their program, which tends to include more traditional retailers and few of the newer direct-to-social-media brands.
Once upon a time, my next stop would have been Retail Me Not, but my success with their discount codes is really inconsistent. Sometimes they’ll have a dozen different codes listed, none of which actually work. Who’s got time for that?
Fortunately, there’s a much quicker and easier way to find current coupon codes.
Here’s how I use Facebook’s Page Transparency tools to find discount codes when I’m trying out a new brand.
1. Find the company’s Facebook page.
This step is easy enough: Use the search bar to find the Facebook page for the company you want to shop with. Ignore their #engagingcontent and check out the right column of the page, which is where Facebook keeps all the boring information that you don’t usually look at.
2. Locate the Page Transparency panel.
Scroll down until you find the “Page Transparency” box, then select “See More.”
Page Transparency is a feature Facebook introduced to give users a way to learn more about the pages they’re following. It tells you how long a page has been around, whether its name has been changed, who manages it, whether it’s ever been merged with another page, where it’s managed from, and — most critically for our interests — what ads it’s running.
3. Go to the Ad Library.
At the bottom of that Page Transparency window, you’ll find a box that says “Ads From This Page.” Select the “Go to Ad Library” link.
Facebook ads are targeted to specific audiences using information you’ve given the platform (age, location, interests, relationships, birthday) and information it’s gathered from your behavior (things you’ve liked, websites you’ve visited, purchases you’ve made). Usually you won’t see ads that aren’t targeted to people who fit your profile, but in Ads Library, you can find all the ads a page is running at any given time.
4. Look for discount codes.
All this transparency has an unintended benefit for shoppers: It makes it very easy to find discount codes that are current and valid.
I simply scrolled Pony-O’s Ad Library until I saw a discount code to apply to my order.
5. Save money.
Does it work? You tell me:
Sixty seconds of effort to save $3? I’ll take it!
A few caveats:
- In general, I still find that the best way to shop with valid coupon codes is through Rakuten. But there are a lot of newer companies that don’t participate in the cash back platforms and focus on direct-to-consumer marketing through social media. This is a great way to find their current offers or go back and locate an ad that you scrolled past in your feed.
- Just because anyone can find the codes doesn’t mean everyone can use them. If there are any restrictions on that code, they still apply — so if there’s a minimum purchase or you have to be a first-time customer, etc., know that your code will still be subject to those rules.
- Not every ad displays a discount code, but that doesn’t mean there’s no savings to be had. If an ad promises a deal, follow the link in the ad, which has been set up to direct to the specific deal being promoted.
- Not every ad offers a discount! Sometimes you’ll scroll through the Ad Library and there won’t be any special offers. That’s life.
Do you have online shopping questions or tips of your own? Drop ’em in the comments!