Vouchers are big, we’re coming out of recession, thrift is chic and getting £10 off Marks&Spencers is always good whatever the global economy is doing. Given the rise of online shopping, it is hardly surprising that sites collecting online vouchers have got big too. Online vouchers are usually promotional codes that you can fill in on retail websites and will get you discounts on your purchase
Like other voucher collation sites, Voucherhub makes its money by getting affiliate links from the sites you click through to. So they are paid by, say, Debenhams when a sale is made following a click through from a voucher on their site.
Unlike other voucher sites they allow users to upload vouchers as well. I met the people from Voucherhub last week and they told me that’s what makes them different from the average voucher site. User-added vouchers could be from small companies wanting to upload a voucher code for their shop or just codes that people have spotted on the internet or in magazines and want to share.
The risk of course is that user-uploaded vouchers don’t work, or haven’t all the details filled in correctly: for example the expiry date, so, that’s why Voucherhub have had to introduce a ratings system to show the reliability of the vouchers uploaded. Some are 0%, some are 100%, some are 33%. It uses a widget to detect when the voucher might have expired based on when ratings fall.
Alex Rabarts from Voucherhub told me that they don’t make any money off the user-generated coupons but that they feel having a larger number of coupons on the site is good for the users and good for them because it brings people to site.
Punters are ready to try out things that might not work, Alex said, and a community builds up around the site so people help each other to find the right ones and share good experiences.
At the time of writing, the most popular voucher on their site was a £10 TopShop voucher – a code that was in fact uploaded by a user. Apparently there are: over 3,000 active discounts on the site and the average user-reported savings (per order) is £16.
Their US sister site RetailMeNot is the biggest voucher or as they say “coupon” collecting site in the American market, working in exactly the same way. While US RetailMeNot was launched in 2006, UK Voucherhub was not launched till September 09 so it has a much smaller portion of the market. Vouchercodes.uk is the biggest vouhcer site in the UK currently with others like www.myvouchercodes.co.uk. Others include:
Vouchercodes – www.vouchercodes.co.uk
Latestdiscountvouchers – www.latestdiscountvouchers.co.uk/
Vouchers UK – www.vouchersuk.co.uk/