I’m a huge fan of shopping online. I love how it affords me the convenience of shopping without having to leave my room. In fact, I’m already way past the point of wondering how I ever shopped without the Internet. And I’m not just talking about holiday shopping. I mean everyday shopping like buying clothes, shoes, groceries, you name it. Faced with a choice of having to shlep down to the store, park, pay money to park, take the elevator/escalator, try and find the items I want, go back to the car, drive home, unload everything that I loaded into the car (you know, I’m exhausted just having to type all that), or simply click a mouse and poof, there all of it is waiting for me at my front door, I’m going online.

There are some online frustrations however. One of them is when I get ready to check out and proceed to the final few screens. There sitting in front of me is usually one field into which I can type some information that I more than likely don’t have. It just sits there, taunting me. It’s the field that’s asking me to type in a Coupon Code. It could also be the field that’s asking me for a Gift Code. Or a Discount Code. Or some kind of code that holds the promise of even more savings. It’s like that secret fraternity handshake you never learned. Or the secret password you didn’t have that got you into the next game level. Or that wink and a nod you’d see the front door bouncer give to someone he knew and they’d get to go into the night club while you and everyone else had to wait in line. It’s that same feeling. You don’t have that coupon code? Then you’re not worthy. You don’t get our special deep discount, free shipping discount. YOU must pay the full price!

But now there’s a way to get those coupon codes. There’s a really wonderful website that actually makes them available to you and they do it for free! No special password, secret handshake required. Just surf on over to DealLocker.com and you’ll find a repository of literally thousands and thousands of online coupon codes just waiting there for you to use.

Deal Locker gets these special codes from active participants who contribute them to the website, and from the companies themselves. The Deal Locker staff is constantly verifying these codes, updating them and removing them when they are no longer active. Users report back to Deal Locker when a code is no longer valid so the accuracy is pretty good.

Companies also offer coupon codes to Deal Locker in hopes to entice shoppers to their website as well. These are what Deal Locker calls “Guaranteed Codes” and that classification speaks for itself. But even if a code doesn’t work, what do you have to lose in trying it? If it works, you’ll get a better deal, free shipping, who knows? And for the most part, the online companies really like what Deal Locker is doing because the bottom line is that they are selling more stuff because Deal Locker visitors actually find out about what companies are selling when they visit the website. If not for Deal Locker, they might neve have known about the deal.

Recently, Deal Locker has added some additional features like the Secret Amazon Discount Tool that lets you search items being offered on Amazon by the discount being offered. You pick a category such as Kitchen and Housewares, pick a minimum like 70 percent off and it will find all the items that fit. Very nice.

Another new feature is the ability to find products on sites like eBay via misspelled words. Too often, items can’t be located by potential buyers because the seller misspelled the item’s name. Their TypoBuddy finds these items and you might find yourself being the only bidder. How cool is that?

If you’ve been shopping online, check out Deal Locker. Like me, you may be a bit sad at first when you see all the online coupons you could have used during your recent shopping and discover how much money you could have saved. Don’t let that happen to you and check it out right now.

Craig Crossman is a McClatchy-Tribune newspaper columnist writing about computers and technology. He also hosts the nation’s longest running nationally syndicated radio talk show on computers and technology, Computer America, heard on both the Business TalkRadio Network® and the Lifestyle TalkRadio Network®, weeknights at 10PM Eastern time. Visit his website at http://www.computeramerica.com