Introducing Honey, Black Friday’s Worst Enemy – and Your Best Friend

Three questions for you: Are you shopping this Black Friday? Do you like to save money? Lastly…do you know about Honey?

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Honey is a browser plugin that automatically scans the web for the most updated coupon codes when you go to the purchase page of your online transaction. Remember Retail Me Not, the online community where users share various coupon codes? I used to spend quite a bit of time pasting these codes onto separate browser tabs, trying to see if that free shipping deal would apply to my purchase. As someone who abhors paying for shipping, it felt worth it to spend my time on this sometimes-futile exercise.

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Enter Honey. When you go to the shopping bag or checkout page of a transaction, Honey will prompt you to apply coupons, as seen above for a Kate Spade purchase. Once you click “Apply,” it will automatically apply each and every coupon, refresh the page to show your new total, and then move on to the next code. At the end of the cycle, it will apply code with the most savings and refresh your shopping bag. It’s so easy—and the savings, which I may not have found myself, are great!

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Users are also able to suggest coupon codes to be added to the Honey database. Once verified by a staff member, they’ll be added to the reservoir of discount codes for future transactions.

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Some online retails don’t provide coupon codes, but when you use Honey you’re able to earn 1-100% cash back on these purchases! Honey basically makes a commission off the sale and will split the profits with you. This Cash Bonus option is available at Walmart, Target, and Groupon, to name a few. Last week I made a full-price purchase at JCrew Factory and received an email notification from Honey a few days later that I’d receive 1% cash back on my purchase. (1% isn’t a lot, but hey, it’s free money!) Once the vendor approves your purchase, you’re able to use the Honey Cash Bonus as a gift card towards future purchases.

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Joining Honey is so easy. You simply sign up with Facebook or your email address (I chose email.) Full disclosure: if you use my referral code to sign up, I’ll earn $5 toward future purchases. Win-win. Let’s make it official: Register for Honey today and start saving $$$ on your Black Friday purchases in minutes!

7 comments

  1. emmaharney21 · ·

    I am so glad I read this blog post. It was informative and interesting, and now I am a Honey user! I went through the registration process, and it was incredibly user-friendly and informative. I plan on using it for my next online purchases.

    When you sign up they have you go through a tutorial of how it applies the coupons to your purchase. I thought it was fantastic that they try the coupons they find online before suggesting them. This is one thing that I would always get frustrated with on retail me not.

    I have already sent this to my friends (and my mom) and they are excited to use it. This is an excellent example of digital business disrupting retail even further. If Honey takes off, I wonder how it will effective the likelihood of businesses issuing these coupons and deals.

    One specific area that I was confused on was the percent cash back. How does Honey get a discount for say 1% cash back? I have never seen a coupon for something like that. Also, I wonder how is Honey profiting? I also found this article comparing them to other coupon sharing platforms that you may find interesting. http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/automatic-coupon-finders-do-they-really-help-you-save-money/

    This is a great example of a new product that I definitely want to use! Thank you so much for posting.

  2. Nice post. I downloaded Honey a little while ago, but have had mixed results. It has saved me some money on 1-2 occasions, but in most cases the info is outdated. The most helpful stuff is likely comparing all the various options on Amazon to get the best deal.

  3. Austin Ellis · ·

    Very interesting post. I had never heard of Honey before, but it seems like something that could be incredibly useful. Profkane brings up a good point, using Amazon as a database seems effective but could lead to a lot of problems; I wonder how the technology works. I want to know how this works for companies that are not offering coupon codes, or perhaps do not woant there codes to be used by a wider audience. This may be something I try in the next few weeks. Thanks for sharing.

  4. kdphilippi18 · ·

    Thanks for sharing! Honey is definitely a time saver. I also used to use retail me not and found it frustrating when the codes were outdated. I eventually stopped using it because of the extra effort. Hopefully, Honey will continue to stay on top of things and keep users happy. I understand how Honey is profiting from commissions, but I also wonder if they are also using the information they track to sell to advertisers for behavioral targeting. Better understanding consumer preferences across all of the retailers they parter with would be huge in the eyes or advertisers.

  5. Nice post! I’ve seen a lot of ads on Facebook for Honey but have never bothered checking out what it actually was, so I’m glad I read your post about it! Very cool how it actually tries out all of the coupon codes for you and picks the highest one – I’ve definitely spent quite a bit of time trying out all the different codes from Retail Me Not to see which ones would actually work.

    Although I’ve never used Honey, I’ve used a handful of similar shopping (aid?) sites. I’ve used ebates a lot (and apparently have gotten over $200 in cashback, which is pretty cool) as well as TopCashBack and have found both to be pretty solid options. I think it’s a bit odd though that Honey gives such a large range (1-20% for Macys) of how much cashback you’ll get. I guess it could be a bit of a tossup, but people might learn more towards sites like ebates where you know exactly what percentage you would be getting back.

    I do wonder about how these sites make money, though. You mention that they get a small commission from the cashback sites, but I wonder if they have any other way of making money? Since I’ve seen so many of their ads, I assume they’re really trying to get more users onboard, and I’m not totally sure how they’re able to afford to do all of this marketing. Is it really that profitable that it’s worth spending so much money on ads? I guess having more users leads to getting more commissions, though.

    I wonder if Honey would ever consider expanding into doing something for retail stores. Ebates now offers cashback for in-store purchases for some retailers, so maybe Honey could do something similar down the road with offering printable coupons.

  6. I just used honey yesterday when I was cyber-monday shopping. I was able to use it on two websites, Fossil and topman. I saved around $50 total with purchasing prices of about $200. I was very satisfied with Honey. However, I am curious about how Honey monetizes the system they have. You mentioned they make a commission of the cash savings? Could you explain this to me?

    Otherwise, I liked this post. I haven’t used Honey often but it seems that it is pretty effective in what it does.

  7. I’ve never heard of Honey before, but that’s totally cool that something like this exists since I’m always on the hunt for a good coupon code. Realistically, I don’t expect all of the coupons Honey suggests to be 100% accurate and usable since they are user-suggested in the same way Retail Me Not is. However, it’s pretty convenient not having to go through the trouble of finding random coupon codes on your own and having to copy-and-paste them one by one.

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