Coupon code

How promo code curators like Honey and Slickdeals make millions


With the huge boom in online shopping during the pandemic, deal finder sites have become a major business. In 2020, Intelligence Inmar found that digital coupons exceeded first-time printed coupons.

Giants like Goldman Sachs and PayPal have paid hundreds of millions, if not billions, for sites like Slickdeals and Darling that automatically keep discount codes or offer buyers cash back for purchases made on their sites. Same banks like Capital One come into the game.

The business model is not based on selling buyer data, depending on the site. Instead, each sale earns a commission for the deal site and the middleman known as the affiliate, a business that connects the wide world of retailers to deal sites.

With nearly 2000 companies in the daily space of deal sites, it’s a crowded industry, and there are many sites riddled with ads and expired coupon codes. This is because whether or not a coupon code works, the site that provided the code will receive a commission for that sale.

However, when the offers are legitimate, it can mean a lot of money for buyers, retailers, and deal sites. From honey to Slickdeals, Rakuten Rewards To Brad’s offers, CNBC asked major deal sites and buyers what it takes to find real deals and why the business model works.

Watch the video to find out how saving consumers money is making big bucks for businesses in the wide world of online deal finding.


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