A Brief History of Shopping-Bargains®
Shopping-Bargains® was established in February 1999 by Mike Allen. As a new parent, Mike enjoyed the convenience and benefits of shopping online but didn't have much money with which to shop.
The necessity of thrift became the mother of invention and Shopping-Bargains was established. The original goal was essentially to help family and friends save money when they shopped online.
While it may be hard to imagine now, in 1999 the commercial aspects of the Internet were very much under development. Most websites were primitive and confusing. There were few generally accepted web standards.
As Shopping-Bargains took form, Mike felt that he was developing something that could actually help shoppers quickly and conveniently find hundreds of great shopping discounts that were previously available only to web-savvy consumers. He knew that many products and services cost less online but only for those who knew where to find them or had the right online coupon or coupon code to trigger a discount.
1999 - 2004
In those early pre-Google days of online shopping, finding coupon codes and discounts was a sometimes difficult and time-consuming process. Over the next few years Mike found and listed as many new coupon codes and bargains as he could while still working full time.
By 2003, however, Mike realized that he had essentially two full-time jobs and one of them had to go. He enjoyed Shopping-Bargains was beginning to experience enough sales to actually consider quitting his "day job." At the end of 2003 he did just that and was able to focus on implementing some of the improvements he felt were needed to make Shopping-Bargains a serious coupon site.
2005 - 2015
By 2005 Mike was unable to handle all the retail relationships, coupon code and deal updates, and other workload requirements. He had been working alone but began employing editors and specialized service providers.
Over the years, the Shopping-Bargains directory grew to thousands of coupon codes and bargains each week for some 5,000 online retailers (and growing). These coupons and deals were published on our family of three shopping sites that covered markets in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
During that timeframe we developed new ways to categorize coupon codes and deals. We routinely added new features and services to keep our coupon codes and other content accurate and timely. We strove to continually innovate and expand by adding new retailers and securing better promotions for our shoppers.
Shopping-Bargains, along with Mike, won several awards over these years. We were featured on various television and radio news and shopping programs and in multiple newspapers, magazines, and online publications.
In all these things our aim was to do the necessary bargain hunting so we could deliver the best savings to our users. We waned our shoppers to buy with confidence knowing we had done the homework for them. Our goal was to promote only reputable and secure online stores with proven customer service track records and great deals.
2016 - Present
Our Business Plan
While it would be great if we could do all this for "fun," the truth is we must "turn a profit" to maintain our existence. Knowing we charge consumers nothing for our coupon codes and deals, many ask us how we "make money" to stay in business. The answer lies in our partnerships: most of the retailers featured on our sites pay us a small referral or advertising fee (much like a commission) based on the sales they receive when one of our shoppers buys something from them. In short, only by clicking our links and shopping at these retailers do we receive credit for a sale. Referral earnings from such sales constitute our primary source of revenue. (Learn more about how we make money.)
In addition to providing our users with what we hope is a smooth and positive shopping (and savings) experience, we seek to give something back. Our shoppers, while primarily from the United States, come from around the world. We want to share our blessings with the world and have carefully selected several charitable organizations to sponsor over the years. We invite you to learn more about our past outreach and service efforts.
Our Guiding Principles
Shopping-Bargains seeks to be a family-friendly destination listing online stores with similar values. We try to cull retailers offering gambling, illegal products, and pornography from our shopping directory. We also do not approve of those that promote violence, push hate, and advocate unfriendly products and services.
Try as we might, though, with an ever-changing business environment and multiple thousands of online stores to keep up with, we cannot guarantee that all our listings comply with these goals at all times. Please help us out and let us know if you feel we made an error of judgment by including any retailer. (If you are a retailer and would like to be listed with us, please learn how you can advertise with us.)