Monday, July 4, 2011

What Happens After You Redeem A Coupon

If you look carefully at the fine print on a coupon, you will notice that each coupon has a mailing address printed on it. This is not the address of the manufacturer but that of a coupon clearing house. The stores will send off all of their coupons to the clearing houses (usually they will send them first to their corporate office, who will send them all out at once). The clearing house will verify that the coupons were redeemed correctly, then send the manufacturers an invoice of how much they need to reimburse each store. The stores will usually be credited for the face value of the coupon plus $0.08.   Read More About This!

This means that stores can make a profit off of coupon redemption! Stores who choose to double/triple coupons are usually only reimbursed for the face value of those doubled/tripled coupons so those stores are just being really nice to their customers!

You can help make sure the stores do get fully reimbursed (and therefore continue accepting coupons) by following a few simple rules:

1. DO NOT COPY COUPONS!!! The coupon printing websites make you download a small piece of software to be able to print coupons. This software assigns a specific barcode to each coupon printed. If you make copies of a coupon and redeem them, those coupons will have the same barcode number. That number can be traced back to your IP address and you can be fined/arrested for coupon fraud. Plus the store will not be reimbursed. Don’t do it!

2. DO NOT USE A COUPON FOR A DIFFERENT ITEM! Coupons are very specific about the items and sizes they can be used for.

--    Some coupons say “any”. Use them on the smallest size possible for the best deal, but make sure you get the right brand. Some people will even redeem these to get trial sizes for free (I’ve never done this because I get plenty of trial sizes at free samples in the mail, and I do not travel that often). 
--    Some coupons say specific sizes. Make sure you get the size listed. Do not try to use a coupon that says 10oz or larger on a 5oz size product (just an example). The coupon should beep if you try this anyway.
--    Some coupons state that you must buy in multiples. If it says off any 2, make sure you get 2!

3. DO NOT USE A COUPON THAT YOU THINK IS SUSPICIOUS! Be very wary of coupons that get forwarded to you in emails, especially if they are in a PDF file or if they are for FREE products. There are people out there who can make pretty legit looking forged coupons. Here is a list of the fraudulent coupons going around at the moment.

Be sure to check back in tomorrow to learning more about doubling coupons!  Sign up for my emails to make sure you don't miss it!


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