Sunday, May 11, 2008

Coupon sites: you are on notice!

Coupon websites that are based on user submissions like Retail Me Not and Deal Locker, no longer list J. Crew coupon codes. <GASP> I know, I am heartbroken too. (No. Seriously. I am.)

I noticed this alarming trend a few weeks ago. Imagine my surprise to see "this merchant has specifically requested to have all user contributed coupons removed" instead of the usual codes for free shipping over $X amount.

I was (read as "still am") really upset about this. I mean, most of my purchases online were based on a coupon code being used. (It somehow helped me justify the cost as being a "deal". After all, J. Crew shipping costs are some of the highest in the retail industry.) By the looks of the poll on this blog about this very topic, it looks like most of you feel the same way I do!

I tried to understand (make some sense) why J. Crew was eliminating the user submission coupon codes. What I came up with is that those coupons were intended for a target segment of their customers and J. Crew must have thought some non-targeted customers were taking advantage of those coupons. (It was probably customers like me. I would buy up to three times a day in separate orders because I had a free shipping code for an unlimited amount.)

But then, it got me thinking some more... if those coupons are not intended for everyone, then why do the emails (with the coupon offer) have written on the bottom: "If you received this email from a friend and would like to subscribe to our email list, click here"? That means J.Crew is aware and accepts that codes will be shared. Seems like the message of sharing (taking down user submitted websites but allowing the emailing of "friends") is a bit conflicted, no?

Lastly, I have (sadly) found that I have restrained from purchasing multiple items several times this past week alone because I did not have a coupon code to use! The items would have come to a grand total of a measly $150. However, considering it was during a four day span it is still quite a bit of change. (Of course the items were all sale items. So keeping them "on hold" in my cart until they hit the $150 free shipping threshold is nearly impossible- you know how J. Crew sale items goes fast!)

So what do you all think about the elimination of user submitted coupon sites for J.Crew? Have you been purchasing less as a result? Have you been turning to alternative coupon sites (if you could find any)? Do you think this is the right move for J.Crew? What do you think J. Crew should do?


  1. yes, that's definitely true for me. I've held back buying a few items for the past two weeks because I didn't have the FS code for unlimited amount. Oh well, maybe that's what jcrew wants, they probably want the sale items to be only side dishes. I have also paid more attention to other brands too, especially those who allow return (for sale items) and provide either free or a set amount of shipping.

  2. Yes, your post states exactly how I felt in the past few weeks and still feel today. I have really cut back on purchasing things from JCrew. I used to shop at 3 main retailers but have mainly and almost solely bought from Jcrew in the 2 years and the free shipping on any amount codes were a BIG incentive. I have credit cards with other retailers that give free shipping so will be heading back to them. Their clothes fit just as well and while I LOVE JCrew I no longer live near a store and don't want to pay shipping and return shipping fees. There are lots of other high quality and unique online retailers that also allow free returns too....

  3. I couldn't agree with you more, huihong & jagjag2!

    Hopefully J.Crew will realize that (1) removing codes from user submitted websites and (2) eliminating free shipping on unlimited amounts, should be re-instituted.

    They are probably hurting their sales more than helping!

  4. With their higher prices, I believe the least they could do is "give" a little by letting folks dig up these free shipping coupon codes. I do love JCrew and purchase many items, but I only order when I have either a free shipping coupon or a rewards card or another type of coupon for dollars or a percentage off (it's my way of justifying paying the higher prices!).

  5. i have definitely held back on my purchases because of the lack of FS codes lately. However, i decided to take advantage of the codes that are out there, regardless of whether they are FS with $100 or $150. I just get the items I want, even if it's just a $30 shirt, and then add a few other items to get the right total to qualify for the free shipping, and then I return the items I don't want at the store. I know, very tedious, but in the end, I still get to save! I would imagine I'm not the only one doing this!

  6. Thanks for the tip but that is only an option if you live near a store. I used live by 3 up until 9 months ago but no longer do so I don't want to pay for shipping and then return shipping costs. Also, with the price of gas rising I wonder how cost effective this is??? Good suggestion though if a store is really close by:)

  7. back when jcrew used to allow free shipping codes, do you know how they were relayed? i mean, did people get the codes if they had the jcrew credit card? i'm wondering if I should get their card? it does stink that they don't have unlimited FS codes any longer.

  8. I too was disappointed that they stopped. I have been a loyal J. Crew customer for years and part of it was their really good online service. I am adverse to paying shipping, since I never know if I will like the fit of certain clothes. I'd rather have free shipping than any 20% off. With the economy the way it is, too, I can't imagine why they would get rid of these codes, especially with the price of their items shooting up. With the economy in the state that its in, I can't imagine this won't end up losing them customers!


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