I put this to the test recently when visiting the site of a leading sporting-goods purveyor in search of some camping gear for the summer. The gear was readily available. Free shipping wasn't.
So I went to Retailmenot.com, where I entered the website of the sporting-goods company and came up with a recent discount code that other people have used for that business.
I applied the code to my own purchase and -- bingo! -- all shipping charges and taxes were erased from my bill, representing about $30 in savings.
This is probably wrong for all sorts of reasons, not least taking advantage of a discount that was offered to someone else and denying government authorities a few bucks in tax money.
But am I the only one who feels like a sap whenever I'm asked online for a discount code and don't have one? Someone's clearly getting a break. Why not me?
Why not you?
David Lazarus' column runs Tuesdays and Fridays. He also can be seen daily on KTLA Channel 5. Send your tips or feedback to david.lazarus@