Retail Loses Billions To Unauthorized Coupon Use, Reports

Shoppers love to use coupons to save money. But third-party companies like Honey, RetailMeNot and Capital One Shopping are impacting affiliate attribution, costing merchants more than $3 billion annually.

Geoff Stupay, CEO and co-founder at, says these companies inject unauthorized codes into the checkout process, which leads to the misuse of coupons., a digital engagement company with a focus on malvertising prevention, this week will launch Coupon Detective, a free software tool that shows ecommerce merchants just how much money they lose from these third-party sources. 

“The technology puts money back in the merchant’s pockets,” he said., founded in 2017, reports that while 81% of brands use affiliate marketing to drive traffic to their sites to improve revenue, about 2 billion consumers will use one or more of these third-party extensions, and as a result, companies will overpay affiliate fees, leading to inaccurate ad spend and potential fraud.

These online deal sites and third-party extensions scrape codes from consumers and allow other shoppers use them, other shoppers not intended to receive them. The discounts are then applied via browser extensions or deal sites.

Consumers unknowingly authorize browser extensions to have read-and-write rights, allowing the extensions to scrape and edit merchant websites. These might include military and service, employee, loyal customers, affiliate and influencer, and email signup codes.

“If a code gets leaked, suddenly you have hundreds of thousands of consumers using the code,” he said. “It’s false attribution for that affiliate partner. Unless the merchants know the code has been leaked, they have no way of knowing if the commissions they pay out are correct. This enables them in real-time, he said,"to know and then shut it off or deliver a new code to the affiliate partners.”

CleanCART will police the use of the coupons. It blocks the injection of unauthorized coupon codes that being used incorrectly, protecting revenue, advertising and affiliate relationships. The Coupon Detective report will identify the problem and alert the merchant. The report is free to merchants.

Jason Dobrzykowski, VP of operations at, says CleanCART, which blocks and protect merchant revenue, says the technology has already protected about $100 million in gross sales. These are orders where there was an attempt to inject the code. Merchants recovered about $8 million. When asked to cite the number of codes the technology has blocked when third-party technology attempted to inject them in the checkout process, Dobrzykowski says “about 7 million codes.” He says “between 10% and 15% of orders use this type of extension.”

2 comments about "Retail Loses Billions To Unauthorized Coupon Use, Reports".
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  1. T Bo from Wordpress, October 17, 2022 at 10:42 a.m.

    Who's in your wallet?

  2. John MacLane from Private, October 18, 2022 at 12:14 p.m.

    Won't somebody please think of the poor - hold on, let me check my notes - multi-billion dollar eCommerce companies and their bottom lines?

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