Every so often, we discover one of our discount codes on some coupon site or another.
Now, we love that enthusiastic customers, affiliate partners or others want to share a good deal with as many people as possible. And in most cases, we actively encourage that.
We want you to share your discount code in social media, on your blog, by email, by shouting it from the rooftops, sharing it on the playground, or painting it with giant letters on the side of your house, if that's your thing.
Coupon sites, however, are different. Your mileage may vary, but as far as we're concerned, they add little or no value.
Instead, they cheapen our products and discounts, divert traffic and earnings from our affiliate partners, and siphon off our marketing budget.
If you haven't thought about it like this before, that may require a bit of explanation…
They cheapen our products
Since we believe our products are priced correctly from the start, we practically never have sales events at Ella's Wool. Frequently lowering the price for arbitrary reasons makes it seem like our products aren't actually worth what we're charging.
For much the same reason, we don't think discount codes should be too easy to come by, but primarily shared in a context that makes sense.
That's why we give discount codes and commissions to partners who help us spread the word. The discount will typically appear next to a write-up, review, or beautiful photo of our product, as an invitation to try us out.
In return, our codes help increase the value of the content for our partners and their audience.
They divert traffic and earnings
No one has ever actually learned about Ella's Wool from a coupon site.
They've heard about it from someone on social media or a blog they follow; someone who has actually tried the product, and shared their experience with others.
So, if someone simply enters "Ella's Wool discount code" into Google, we don't want them to find a coupon site that is entirely indifferent to what we sell, yet that's usually what happens.
And if the customer uses a code they find on a site like that, the person who actually put in all the work loses their commission to someone who didn't help at all.
So the coupon site gets the traffic, and an arbitrary person gets the commission. That's not fair.
Instead, we hope customers find back to the person who told them about Ella's Wool in the first place, or at the very least someone who actually likes and recommends our products, and who has done something to deserve
They siphon off our marketing budget
When we pay commissions, we want that money to go to someone who is actually helping us. Not just because that's most fair, but also because we're in business and need to think about how we spend our money.
Discounts and commissions are quite expensive. If they don't bring in any new business (and coupon sites rarely do), then we need to reconsider how we spend our marketing dollars.
We cancel stray codes
That's why we're no fans of coupons sites – or worse, automated browser extensions that automatically enter coupon codes. To be fair, they may have some benefits as well, but those are outweighed by the disadvantages – at least to us.
We may change our policy on this in the future, but for now:
That's why we currently don't allow our partners to distribute their coupons to coupon sites. And when we discover that discount codes have made it onto coupon sites, we cancel those codes and issue new ones to the partner whose code it was, with a brief explanation of what happened.