Thursday, January 31, 2013

Using Discount Coupons at Kobobooks

I've been buying ebooks from for quite some time and was delighted when they started partnering with Pick 'n Pay to bring their ereaders to South Africa. What makes them great is that they offer a device agnostic store (selling epub format books), have low prices and often have great discount coupons doing the rounds.

Based on some recent conversations on Twitter it seems as if the coupon vouchers are somehow overlooked by most people, which is a pity since they can often make Kobo a far cheaper option than Amazon.

So here's a brief tutorial on how to use coupon codes at the Kobo store. As far as I know this process only works with purchases through desktop browsers and not the Kobo device itself. You can also find a list of active coupon codes and offers at the bottom of the page. I'll try to keep this updated as I find more coupon codes to add.

Step 1:
First you need to set your account to allow you to use coupons. Go to My Account > Account Settings. Under the Checkout for ebook purchases setting make sure that "Show me standard checkout" is checked. Click on "Save" and you should be all set.

How to allow coupons to be entered

Step 2:
Find the books you want to purchase and click on the Buy Now button which will take you to the checkout page. Look for the section titled "Redeem any gift cards or promo codes". If the book is eligible for a discount you'll see a block where you can enter a promo code (the discount coupon). If you don't see the option to enter a promo code you won't be able to use the coupon for that specific title.

Where to enter the Kobo coupons

Step 3: 
Enter the coupon code in the box provided and click "Apply". The discount should now be active and you can continue with the normal checkout process.

New Checkout
Kobo updated their site recently. Unless you are using an older browser the checkout page will look similar to the image below. Make sure you followed the instructions in step 1 above. To reach the section where you can enter the coupons you'll need to enter your payment details and then press "continue". (You won't be charged at this stage). The page should now look like this:

Enter the coupon in the box provided and click "Apply". If the coupon was successfully applied the discount should show in green. Click on "Buy now" to complete your purchase. Don't forget to ensure the discount was applied, otherwise you might inadvertently be charged full price.

Handy tip:
Kobo doesn't offer a basket, so you can't buy multiple ebooks at once. Each ebook needs to be purchased separately. This can result in lots of credit card transactions which might raise flags at your bank. An easier way is to purchase a Kobo gift voucher for yourself. This will allow you to use store credit to pay for your purchases without having to enter or store your credit card details each time.
[Update:] The Kobo site no longer allows for the sale of gift vouchers, but they are working on bringing that functionality back.

Also note that South African users won't be able to pay via Paypal due to ZAR not being supported as a retail currency for Paypal merchants. You'll be faced with an error message each time (I learned from experience.)

Where do you get discount coupons?
Keep your eye on the newsletters from Kobo, they often contain a single use coupon offering discounts from 20%-35%. Kobo also sometimes partners with certain bargain websites to offer special coupons. A little bit of Googling will often result in a coupon you can use.

Currently active coupons:
Single use per account unless stated otherwise.

Purchase your ebooks at using these discount coupons:

20% off

25% off:

75% off - OPEN75UP
90% off - DSCVR90BK

[Only valid in selected countries and on certain titles]

Please let me know if this post has been useful and which ebooks you managed to snag with coupons.


  1. Damn, this doesn't seem to work for users in Taiwan. Never mind, won't shake my love for my Kobo Touch at all, best reader on the market for sheer range of formats alone IMO. Will keep trying the offers though, maybe just a glitch in the matrix :)

  2. Yes, it seems some regions don't allow the use of coupons. It could also be based on titles from a specific publisher. Normally if you can see a difference between the price and 'list price' chances are you can use a coupon on the title.

  3. i just got $3.04 off by using the 35% off code above. i got it on a book named "Cinder". it was originally $8.69 and with the coupon it was %5.93. so THANKS for the post

  4. BookRiot50 is working well thanks

  5. Every time I try to use a discount coupon with Kobo I find my item is ineligible for the discount - I've tried several times and been unsuccessful. Very disappointing.

    1. Which country are you from? I know in the US most of the titles by the big publisher aren't eligible. On the new version of their site Kobo has an option to show only titles eligible for coupon codes. Checking that might help. Most of the smaller publishers (Angry Robot, Nightshade etc.) seem to allow coupons.

  6. Thanks for this!! It really helped! Please put up more as i seem to have used them all :)

  7. yournext738 just worked for me. Thank you very much!!

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  9. thanks for sharing this steps withus. It's really helpful for all to redeem their Kobo Books discount Coupons.

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