How we find, review, test and rank coupons

Nick Drewe
Founder & CEO of Wethrift

Our mission at Wethrift is to help shoppers save money at the online checkout. To help shoppers as much as possible, we believe we need to be honest and transparent about how Wethrift works. On this page we explain exactly what goes into discovering, sorting and publishing every coupon on our website.

How we find coupon codes

The key to finding the best coupon codes is to look for them where they are being published and shared. These days a coupon code could pop up almost anywhere, in your email inbox, your mailbox, in an ad at the beginning of a podcast episode, or even on a billboard.

Since you can never be sure where you'll encounter a coupon code, we need to look far and wide to find the best ones. We regularly collect coupon codes from more than 20 sources.

We start by looking in the most common places to find coupon codes onine, including codes shared on social media, emails, and other platforms that online stores use to advertise and communicate with shoppers.

We also receive codes sent directly to us from stores, or indirectly through affiliate networks.

And finally we receive coupon codes directly from shoppers who submit them we Wethrift. These coupons might have been found in places like newspaper ads, on posters, or the back of a receipt.

Websites & Social Media60%
Direct Marketing20%
Online Advertising11%
Stores & Affiliate Networks6%
Shopper Submissions3%

How we sort and review coupon codes

Building, maintaining, and operating the human and AI-powered system that we use to collect, review and sort coupon codes takes a lot of work. It's what we spend most of our time on at Wethrift. This system combines the work of our human coupon review team with some of the latest AI tech to filter out the best coupon codes that will help shoppers save.

Here are some of the numbers:

  • Our system discovers around 40,000 potential coupon codes every day
  • Most of these coupon codes (about 80%, around 32,000 codes) are discarded. They might be old, low quality, or coupons that we've found previously.
  • The remaining 20% of coupon codes (approximately 8,000 per day) are reviewed against our guidelines to make sure we're only publishing the highest quality coupons that will actually help shoppers save.
  • Every day we reject around 6,000 coupons that are unlikely to be useful to shoppers, usually because they are for very specific products that shoppers are unlikely to be buying, for low quality stores, or for stores that we don't list on Wethrift.
  • Around 5% of the coupons we discover each day (about 2,000) end up published on Wethrift. These are the coupons we believe to be the most useful to help shoppers save at the checkout.

How we verify the quality of coupon codes

After finding and publishing as many coupon codes we can for as many stores possible, we need to make sure that the codes we publish are high quality, and will actually work to help shoppers save. We do this by:

  • Sourcing our codes directly from reliable sources. Almost all of the codes we publish are found directly in the marketing and advertising of the stores themselves, or their partners. We don't recycle old codes from other coupon sites that don't work. We put a lot of effort into finding, reviewing, and publishing high quality codes directly from the source.
  • Discovering new codes quickly, and publishing them fast. Many coupons are valid for just a few days, or even a few hours. The faster we can discover a new coupon, review it, and publish it on Wethrift, the more shoppers we can help save. We find and publish many coupon codes within minutes of them being released online.
  • We test over 10,000 coupons every day. Using a combination of human-powered reviewers and systems built and maintained by our engineers, we're able to verify the status of thousands of coupons each day.

How we rank and display coupons

Deciding which coupon codes to display at the top of our pages is a complex problem. While we add new codes quickly, many codes also expire after just a few days. Some coupon codes are valid for a limited number of products at a store, or have limits, exclusions, or other conditions - like “buy one get one free”.

To be as useful as possible to shoppers, we've built a ranking system that takes several factors into account when deciding which coupon codes to display on our pages, and how we order them:

  • We consider the freshness of each code. Many coupon codes expire quickly, and newer codes are usually far more likely to work. We publish new codes quickly, and are more likely to display the newest codes towards the top of our pages.
  • The value of a code matters. We want to help shoppers save as much as possible, so we often consider the value of a coupon code when deciding where to display it. If it looks like a store has both a 10% off and 15% off coupon available, we want shoppers to find the higher value code first.
  • We use the results of our own code testing. We test thousands of coupons every day at the checkouts of online stores, and use the results to update how we display and order codes on our pages.
  • We use feedback from shoppers. On average we receive more than 50,000 pieces of feedback from shoppers about which codes are working or expired. We take all of that feedback into account when determining how to order coupons on Wethrift.

Why you won't always find a working coupon code

I know how annoying and frustrating it can be to try a bunch of coupon codes only to find that none of them work. While we work hard to find and publish the latest coupons for every store on Wethrift, there are several reasons you won't always find a working coupon code for every store:

  • Many codes expire quickly. We do our best to keep our pages as up-to-date as possible, however many stores don't tell us exactly when each coupon will expire, so we need to wait for feedback from users or our own testing to to tell us when a code is no longer working.
  • Store-wide vs product-specific codes. Many of the promo codes published by stores work only on a particular product, a product category, or for an offer like “buy one, get one free”, and won't work for the rest of the products available.
  • Codes for first-time shoppers. Many stores offer discount codes only for your first purchase. We include conditions like this in our code descriptions whenever possible.

Why do we still publish codes that don't seem to work?

Because each coupon code can have a different set of conditions, it's tough to know exactly when each code has stopped working for everyone. Our primary focus to to help as many shoppers save as much money as possible, so when we can't be certain that a code is no longer working, we might still display it on our pages.

We also display known expired codes on our pages, because even though these codes have been reported by our system or shoppers as no longer working, they occasionally do still end up working for some shoppers. If there's a chance that a code will help a determined shopper save some extra cash with an older coupon code, we want to be able to help.