Manufacturers working to end “selling” of coupons

In April, I wrote an article about how manufacturers and coupon redemption houses are cracking down on “gang-cut coupons” — coupons that contain identical cuts and identifying marks. I received a lot of feedback on that article from coupon shoppers around the country, and much of it was negative. “It’s not fair that they’re voiding coupons because they’re cut the same, it’s my right to cut however I want.” “Why do they care if coupons are sold, they print so many of them!” And, with TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” glorifying purchasing coupons from clipping services or Ebay, an entire wave of new coupon shoppers have been led to believe that this is an acceptable way to get coupons.

Indeed, though, manufacturers do wish to stop the sale of coupons. One might think that the “Void if Sold” stipulation in the terms of the coupon would be enough to prevent anyone from selling them, yet clipping services and coupon auctions on Ebay abound. At the Association for Coupon Professionals conference that I attended in Atlanta this spring, the Coupon Information Corporation gave a presentation and discussed the resale of coupons. Bud Miller stated that the CIC was trying to put a halt to coupon resale in 2011. In February, the CIC began sending certified letters to numerous Ebay coupon sellers requesting that they both stop selling coupons and also sign and return a Memorandum Of Understanding. This MOU acknowledges that the sale of coupons violates the terms of the coupon’s redemption policy of nearly all coupon-issuing manufacturers and also asks the seller to immediately cease all Ebay coupon sales.

After the first round of CIC mailings, about 20% of the targeted Ebay coupon sellers stopped. The CIC stated that they intend to continue working on stopping Ebay reselling this year. But coupon clipping services are still prevalent on the web too, and after hearing about how much the industry wants the resale of coupons stopped completely, I’ve wondered how long the clipping services would be allowed to continue too.

It appears that the industry is cracking down. Earlier this week, CouponDede and several other large clipping sites posted notices that they were “temporarily unable to offer any new whole inserts.” Jennifer Jacobson Carew at posted a notice that one clipping service sent out to its customers. In part, the notice reads:

Apparently Red Plum, Smart Source and P&G are filing suit against eBay for allowing the buying and selling of coupons. They are also in talks regarding the same with TLC. According to them it`s all considered coupon fraud… They are going to do everything possible to make it almost impossible to get coupons without buying the actual newspapers. They are also going to shut down all online sites that sell whole coupon inserts.

While this does not affect me as a coupon shopper (I’ve long advocated simply buying extra copies of the newspaper to get more coupons) coupon shoppers who depend on clipping services have been voicing their disbelief since the GreenBayConsumer article was posted yesterday. Do I believe changes are coming? Absolutely.

So why do manufacturers care about this?

One argument I often hear from shoppers is “the manufacturer prints all of these coupons, why do they care how many we use?” To answer this, it is important to understand that a manufacturer budgets for a free-standing insert coupon campaign fully expecting only a small percentage of those insert coupons to be redeemed. At the ACP conference I attended, one session referred to this as the “shotgun approach to marketing” — blast your marketing effort out there and see what campaigns hit the mark.

With this approach, of course, there’s a budget to consider as well. With the average coupon redemption typically running at less than 6%, it means that statistically speaking, 94% of the coupons a company issues for a particular campaign will not be redeemed. But, it also means that when a company runs a coupon campaign, their expected payout for the coupons redeemed during that promotion will also likely fall into that same low, expected range of return. (The numbers shared at the conference during this discussion were closer to 3% overall redemption.)

Of course, the company wants as many people to buy its product as possible, but there’s a new element in the mix that companies have had to contend with – the extreme couponer. When a manufacturer issues a coupon, it certainly realizes that some customers may buy more than others. But realistically, if they’re looking to move 100 products, they would rather have 50 people using two coupons to each buy two of their products rather than one person using 100 coupons to buy all 100.

When a extreme couponer orders large numbers of coupons from Ebay, a clipping service, or even goes dumpster diving for them (and we’ll get back to diving in a moment) an “artificial demand” is created for that product. The same shopper that might buy one, two, four or five of a product might now be buying 20, 30, 50 or more of them. And while the shopper certainly can buy however many the store will allow them to, like it or not, a manufacturer isn’t too thrilled about the same person redeeming that many coupons for the same item. They want us to buy their products, but when the quantities move into the extreme range, they also know that person is purchasing far more than he or she would normally buy if coupons weren’t a factor.

Manufacturers are reacting. Any regular coupon shopper has noticed that for many coupons, the expiration dates are getting shorter, and in some cases, dollar values are going down too. Why? According to some of the manufacturers I spoke with at the conference, the shortened dates and lowered values are being used to combat the resale of coupons. With shortened dates, the window of time that those coupons can end up on the resale market is shortened as well. Another manufacturer’s representative was even more candid. The rep said “If we see too many of our coupons on Ebay, we know the dollar value was too high, and the value of the coupons we issue goes down next month.” (As this was said in a closed session, I won’t disclose the company’s name, but if you’ve ever bought a name-brand of 100% fruit juice, you’ve likely bought their product at some point.)

Shortly after the premiere of “Extreme Couponing” aired last fall, P&G added the “Limit 4 Like Coupons Per Transaction” wording to its coupons. Colgate has followed suit on some of its coupons, and I think we’re just seeing the beginning of this. At the ACP conference, these limits were a popular topic of discussion. What’s a good, reasonable limit that a “normal” coupon shopper would buy at one time? Manufacturers were trying to determine at what point “enough to stock up on” turns into “more than one shopper could reasonably want to buy at a time.’

Another issue too is that of reselling. Some extreme couponers also advocate selling stockpile items on their own websites. Regardless of whether or not you feel stockpile resale is right or wrong, clearly, manufacturers do not wish to subsidize home businesses who are reselling product. Per-transaction limits are also designed to “slow the flow” of large quantities of the same product being sold with identical coupons to the same buyer.

An example of how coupon overuse can hurt a company:

Another argument I hear from shoppers at times is “These companies are huge. Who cares how many coupons we redeem, they can take it!”

Let’s play with some numbers on a small scale to show just how much an unanticipated over-redemption can affect a company’s bottom line.

I decide to launch a new beverage: Jill’s Jazzberry Juice. I’ll pretend that this is a small, regional product, so I’m only going to issue a coupon for $1.50 off Jill’s Jazzberry Juice in the Chicago Tribune’s inserts. With the Tribune’s circulation currently at 437,000, I’ll assume that the insert overrun will number at around 450,000 coupons printed.

My analysts state that we can expect 4% of those coupons to be redeemed. That’s 18,000 coupons, or $27,000 that I can expect to pay out to the stores when shoppers redeem these coupons for Jill’s Jazzberry Juice.

So, my coupon runs in the paper. A few weeks later, one of our major supermarkets puts Jill’s Jazzberry Juice on sale for $1.50 a bottle. People are buying thousands of $1.50 Jill’s Jazzberry Juice coupons via Ebay and clipping services. Ultimately, instead of 18,000 coupons being redeemed, 50,000 are redeemed. Now, instead of paying $27,000 for my ad campaign, I have to pay $75,000 – nearly triple what I expected to pay out for that single coupon. My little company, of course, is happy to have so many people trying our new product, but it’s also feeling the sting of a campaign that was “too successful.”

As I try to decide what to do for my next ad campaign, I see an extreme couponer on the news buying 1,000 bottles of my juice… on my dime. So, the next time Jill’s Jazzberry Juice releases a coupon, it’s for .50, not $1.50. And it’s “Limit 4 Like Coupons Per Transaction.”

Now, think of that example on a nationwide scale. An unanticipated over-redemption can quickly add up to millions of dollars.

Disappearing Inserts

If you’ve been couponing for a few years, you may remember RedPlum pulling their inserts completely from newspapers in selected market areas of Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington D.C. Instead of receiving the RedPlum in the paper, RedPlum decided to direct-mail the inserts to households – one insert per house. Coupon bloggers in these market areas tried to band together, creating a site called, but they were unsuccessful.

While Valassis, the publisher of the RedPlum insert did not disclose exactly why they chose to direct-mail versus putting the insert in every paper, there are many possible reasons. Was it cheaper to send the inserts via postal mail than have them distributed with the newspaper? Or did they want to guarantee each household only received one insert… and only one?

It’s true that in some delivery areas, the insert distribution has been scaled back. Locally, we’ve seen this with the Chicago Tribune’s inserts too — outlying areas toward Rockford, and areas both north and south of the city can still get the paper, but their insert distribution is hit or miss. This isn’t due to the Tribune “deciding to take inserts away” from those areas, but instead due to the insert distributors themselves pulling back insert distribution from those areas.

Over the past few months, I’ve noticed that the number of emails I receive from readers of my newspaper column regarding missing inserts has increased too. Here’s an email I received this week:

“I have only been couponing for a few months now and I was doing pretty good until the Lakeland Ledger stopped putting all the inserts in the papers. For a month now I drive all over Polk City and Auburndale looking for more than just SS inserts… I don’t think this is fair I think if I’m paying for my paper I should get what I pay for. I get 10 Sunday papers and I feel cheated. I’m not getting the same kind of saving without the other inserts.. Please help me understand. I don’t want a subscription and pay $60 a month for 10 papers a week when sometimes they don’t have any coupons. I don’t even read the paper I just want the coupons.”

Another element: Dumpster diving

Newspaper circulation and delivery statistics give the manufacturer an idea of just how many of their coupons are “out there.” When dumpster diving comes into the equation, it is possible to have a situation where more coupons were redeemed than were actually delivered in a newspaper in a certain market. In April 2010, Valassis sent letters to Albertson’s and other major supermarkets demanding that newspapers stop selling the Sunday paper after the “specified publication day.” Again, it goes back to numbers — once the Sunday sales statistics are reported, they didn’t want “extra” coupons out there being made available to inflate those redemption numbers over what potentially was sold on that particular Sunday.

With dumpster diving being glorified on TLC’s Extreme Couponing as an acceptable method to get more coupons, look for the coupon distributors like Valassis, SmartSource, P&G and others to further clamp down on what happens to the coupon inserts from unsold newspapers. Many newspapers now have contracts in place that the extra inserts must be “destroyed,” not merely recycled.

The Extreme Couponing show doesn’t share that information with viewers though — instead, shoppers are shown happily climbing in dumpsters for inserts. This is spawning copycat behavior, and recycling centers are having to enforce the rules that the inserts become the property of the recycler once they’re placed in the dumpster. This week, an Oklahoma news network reported “Oklahoma Parents Using Children To Dumpster Dive For Coupons.”

Conclusion… for now

So where does this leave us? Again, as what I’d consider to be a normal, non-extreme coupon shopper, I’m not likely to be affected by these changes. People who depend on large numbers of like coupons or inserts to fuel large-scale shopping trips will feel the heat though if enforcements continue. And again, manufacturers also don’t want to redeem any coupons that they feel were sold at any point from the time of distribution to the time they reach a shopper’s hands. Whether its by denying gang-cut coupons (again, identical coupons that were stacked and cut together) or by outright discouraging “sold” coupon use, the manufacturers have made their stance very clear.

At the ACP conference, the CIC’s session urged all retailers to deny coupons that had any indicators of being sold as well. The print materials provided to retailers (and all attendees) at the conference even read, “If a couponer states that they have purchased coupons from Ebay or any other source, refuse to accept them.” While actually getting stores to enforce that is another issue entirely, stores do take notice when the coupons they submit for redemption are denied because the manufacturer suspects that they were obtained through fraudulent means. I spoke with a representative from a supermarket chain in the southern US who told me that they had over $15,000 worth of coupons from one single, cereal manufacturer denied by the clearinghouse in May — even though they had the product on hand and sold the cereal. Anyone who feels that things aren’t going to change has to ask themselves this question: Do you honestly feel that retailers aren’t going to react to a $15,000 loss from a single manufacturer in a single month? They are.

I have always said that coupon usage is a privilege, not a right. The manufacturers hold all of the cards, and they’re also free to change the game at any time if they don’t feel people are playing by their rules.

In April, I attended the Association of Coupon Professionals 2011 Industry Coupon Conference in Atlanta.
This is the third in a series of articles written to share my observations from the conference on topics related to consumer coupon usage.
Previous articles: ““Gang-Cut” Coupons Hurt Stores, Manufacturers and Consumers” | “The Future of Couponing: Digital vs. Paper


  1. pandorarocks says

    Thanks as always for your rational insight to irrational behavior, Jill. I have a quick question about the “Limit 4 per transaction” clause on some of these coupons. There are times I want to buy more than 4 of a product with these coupons; let’s say I want to buy 6 tubes of Crest Toothpaste. Of course, I could just separate this into 2 transactions, but what if the coupons are from 2 different inserts (i.e. 3 coupons are from the P&G insert from this month, 3 coupons are from the P&G insert from last month). Both sets of coupons state they are for “50 cents off Crest” and could therefore be considered ‘like’, but is that technically considered 6 ‘like coupons’?

  2. Aithyne says

    Something I’ve wondered: is coupon trading allowed? Example: I have a coupon for juice and you have one for toilet paper. Can we swap? Or is that like selling?

  3. matt1527 says

    I’ve just begun reading your blog after getting pretty disgusted at what I’ve seen posted on a few other coupon matchup blogs. It’s fraud, pure and simple. I’m so glad that an ethical blogger like yourself will “call a spade a spade.” Just because folks can get away with buying coupons online doesn’t make it right. It’s kind of like speeding — just because the cop doesn’t catch you or maybe he chooses not to chase you down doesn’t mean it’s legal for you to go 15 miles over the limit. I hope the industry is successful at shutting down these “clipping” services and ebay sellers.

  4. Lpmousse says

    I find your blog to be very informative to us super couponers. Your explanation of Jill’s Jazzberry Juice was very helpful in understanding where the manufacturers are coming from. I have noticed much shorted expiration dates lately, and was wondering why that was happening.
    Thanks so much for educating us!

  5. dolrskolr says

    Their prices are not competitive as compared to product purchased at Jewel with sales/coupons/catalinas, etc. However, take away the options or severely limit the usefulness of coupons and namebrand products and stores like Jewel will ultimately suffer, I believe. There will be no, or very limited, motivation for me to cross their threshhold or purchase the product.

    The adage ‘couponing is a right, not a privilege’ is understood. However, saving money, stretching my dollars, keeping food on the table and a roof over our heads is a NECESSITY, and I will exercise whatever options I can to keep doing it. Stores making money or having a healthy bottom is also not a right, but a privilege. Customers within their stores is a privilege. Customers purchasing manufacturers’ products is a privilege.

    Mess with my meager rights and you lose the privilege of my business. I’m sick to death of the few ruining it for the many. By the same token, I’m sick to death of stores and mfrs acting like the tax collector – take, take, take with less and less benefit. Before all this major couponing, THEY HAD NO PROBLEM with coupons not being used. Before this recession, of which they are also ‘enjoying’, they had no problem charging inflated prices to the suckers {cough} customers. Now, shoe’s on the other foot and, ruh roh, Astro, time to squash the peasants and get them back in line. The peasants have figured out a way to succeed. And, if they don’t start behaving like proper consumers, we’ll just take away the inserts, the sales, the coupons. That’ll teach ’em!!

    I am totally disgusted … all the way around …

  6. Curious says

    I get the Sunday Trib though I don’t live in Chicago or the burbs. I am an hour plus south and also get out local daily paper. That paper no longer prints a Sunday paper so we now get a “weekend” paper on Saturday mornings. I have noticed that even though, like this week, there both had the RP and SS inserts, the Trib’s were much thicker by far!

    I think if the coupon market cuts back any more than it has they will find people buying more generics and going back to Sam’s and CostCo. Why do we have to pay for the idiots on that TLC show? Charge them with fraud and let the rest of us attempt to stretch our food dollars wisely!

  7. mandmrose says

    Ok so I’m wondering if manufacturers don’t like the idea of others selling the coupon inserts why don’t they just let us buy direct form them? I buy 2 or 3 papers a week in my small area it is the same paper. Now everyone knows I do not need to read 2 or 3 of the same paper but I spend 4 to 6 dollars (and I know there are ppl that spend much more) on Sunday papers to get the inserts. I would much rather save the trees and the hassle and just buy the inserts. So if the distributors offered them to us direct couldn’t the distributors then offer to give a certain percentage back to the manufacturers to help offset those that are using huge amounts of coupons? I would never want to store those huge stockpiles but to each their own.
    I buy a subscription to all you magazine not because I think the articles are so fabulous (not that they are bad it’s just usually info I can find on the net) but because I want the coupons. I don’t see how having a subscription to the inserts would be all that different. Of course I would not be willing (nor do I think many would)to spend more for inserts then I am all ready spending on the Sunday paper.
    Then maybe they could extend the expiration dates on the coupons and perhaps even go to printing once a month there by saving on printing. Like instead of the weekly ones we get now they could print a page of “crest” coupons with 4 coupons on it for the month.
    These are just random thoughts running around my head. I also think that probably someone else has all ready thought of this and just decided it would be to much trouble or not efficient enough. But I think that we need a different way to do things without punishing everyone for a select few. It seems like we spend way to much time these days punishing everyone because 2% of the population broke the rules.
    I think internet and cell coupons are also a good start. But not everyone has internet or cell (I don’t have a cell nor do I want one not even for coupons lol)and many don’t want them. Sorry this is so stinking long. I’m not sure of the answers but I do know this, it will take a much bigger brain then mine to figure it out lol.

  8. jenni4c1 says

    In the Money & Real Estate section of today’s Chicago Tribune the Frugalista, Carrie Kirby wrote about wrong, questionable and right ways to acquire coupons. She cited clipping services as questionable and quoted Bud Miller of the CIC stating that it was considered fraudulent of the coupon’s terms. In my opinion that would move the practice to wrong not questionable. She also lists dumpster diving as questionable. Even though the title of the article says “to be a cut above.” Thanks Jill for your commitment to ethical coupon use. Here is the link:,0,3173299.story

  9. MaryPotterKenyon says

    I expected this when I saw the first episode of Extreme Couponing. For 32 years I have been the woman with the coupon box. Never before in those 32 years did I see another woman with either a coupon box or a coupon binder. Not one. Coupon wallets and envelopes of coupons, yes, but never anything bigger. Raising 8 children on one income, I mostly stockpiled for my own family, though I cleaned my cupboards once a year for a garage sale which did include extra stockpile. I also fill Christmas baskets full of health and beauty items for my adult children. Now, in the last three months I have seen coupon binders everywhere~ and less friendly cashiers. In the book I am working on I discuss coupon fraud and the history of coupon use. Unfortunately, I see coupons going down the same road as trading stamps, once a very popular promotion of stores. How many trading stamps do you see being used today?

  10. Tirza says

    Before today I’ve never heard the term ‘gang-cut’ & it cracks me up. I have never purchased coupons online (never needed to, I’m happy with my 1-2 Sunday papers or extras from my mom etc) but I do use my scrapbooking paper-trimmer to cut most of my coupons (esp internet ones). Anyways, love the articles and the site.

  11. AndroAsc says

    This is getting from bad to worse, and it’s all TLC fault from screwing up couponing for everyone!!!
    What’s wrong with clipping services? Do you think everyone has the time to collect cut and clip coupons? This is totally ridiculous, I hope clipping sites do not bow to this kind of ridiculous pressure!!!

  12. cmsvmom says

    I am a dumpster digger, it is a major resource of coupons for me. However, far from finding that convenience stores destroy coupons in the dumpster, most of my finds are new, uncut inserts from people who conscientiously recycle but “dont have time” to coupon.

    The county is starting a home pickup of recycling in partnership with Waste Management, so that will cut down on the trips people make to the county center. However we are a tourist economy, so I expect that the dumpsters near the vacation housing will still yield some interesting stuff.

    If I have multiples of a coupon, it is usually no more than 10 or 12. And I get a lot of stares in the process. Always did.

    Diving is not a good idea, digging is much safer, with a net or a grabber stick. When my children were younger, we used to go to a cement shed where papers were stockpiled and they had fun with that = but a far cry from lifting a child into an actual dumpster, which is dangerous. Our dumpsters here in FL can also contain bugs, rodents, and snakes, so it is always best to proceed with caution.

    Walgreens now holds the extra sunday newspapers and will sell them at full price through the week for couponers, which I think is a fine idea. I have never bought inserts or approved of the practice, because someone is exploiting their access and possibly depriving others of the access. We have had some paper stealing from machines here, and it really is out of whack. Lets hope that more stores do what the local Walgreens is doing and have the papers, and inserts, for legitimate sale during the week which may well cut down on the panic buying and theft.

  13. mommacarlie says

    I whole heartily believe that if a company is not prepared to take the loss for the coupon they should not send out as many coupons, or for that much, or not at all. you should expect to take loss for the number of coupons you print. It is a bad gamble and just plain stupid to not expect that, even if only 4% use the coupons. If you cant walk the walk, dont talk the talk.

  14. marieSire says

    What is the suggestion for someone like myself, who lives in an area with a smaller and poorer population, to get better/more coupons? It’s not a matter of I want 50 of XYZ coupon, I just would like to have a Red Plum with more than 7 coupons total in it or Smart Source with more than 11 coupons in it.

    What is the right way for me to obtain coupons? Write A LOT of manufacturers repeatedly and hope for the best or just quit couponing altogether?

  15. CollegeCouponer says

    The coupon clipping services definitely find a loophole of making money because of the way they use their “handling fees.” It doesn’t take more effort to clip a $5 off coupon than it does a 50 cents off coupon, so it’s pretty ridiculous that you should pay a “handling fee” of $1 for the higher vs. a fee of 15 cents for the lower. Personally, when I see that happen, I believe they’re totally in it for the money, and something should be done about it. It’s handy to have coupon clipping services, but when their business comes to these terms, they’re doing nothing different than selling coupons, which we know is illegal when stated on coupons.

  16. Dealznstealz says

    Kroger, the second largest retailer heavily promoted and appeared in the TLC EC Show. None of the transactions in these shows can be duplicated. IMO Kroger set out to promote this show to RUSH the death of paper coupons and RUSH the onset of KROGER DIGITAL coupons (2010 only 10% utilization). Kroger stands to make a huge profit on the revenue generated from digitals and further customer data-mining with Dunnhumby.

    Kroger ended double-triple coupons in Houston in April, and overnight stores limited 1-3 like coupons that will double. Members of Kroger Couponers have reported Kroger ended Perrysburg super double coupons in June and that Kroger plans to eliminate all double-triple coupons in the near future. We have over 1400 members all over the nation that are boycotting Kroger. Even if you do not shop Kroger this will impact you due to Kroger does set standards for the industry.

    Customer data is the new currency…Digital-mobile coupons (M-Commerce) is the BIG RACE for retailers and brands to increase revenue and further data-mine customers. This would allow them to collect real-time information about users’ locations, shopping habits, spending patterns, and use this to sell ads, coupons, and loyalty programs. Digital coupons target one third of consumers who don’t use paper coupons, results in 10-40% more in redemption rates, 25-50% increase in sales with a 5-10% increase in total basket sales. Digitals allow tracking and validation of brands return on advertising investment. Please note their TARGET is AFFLUENT customers and coupons offers will soon be very limited based on shopping history and spend.

    Kroger Test Prepares for Mobile Future – Supermarket News “But mobile phones will offer some powerful advantages. Bonner said, highlighting digital coupons, which will + eliminate paper coupons+, control fraud and validate coupons to the GTIN level. Steven Boal, chief executive officer of “We’ve got significant client pressure to drive more and more of their promotions in digital, and out of the Sunday newspaper.”

    TLC spokesman Dustin Smith countered that the show was never intended to be a couponing tutorial. “This is a docu-series of behaviors; it’s not a how-to program,” he said. – Point Loma Meeting – Protect Your Bottom Line from Counterfeit Coupons and Extreme Couponing: CIC and Target.

    Couponing as we know it is changing and not for the good. I only hope the industry is not making a cohesive decision as part of their industry collaborative associations to end affordable groceries. This will impact many families trying to make ends meet with both gas and food prices skyrocketing. More information is available at KROGER COUPONERS group:

  17. mariposa502 says

    I can’t believe ppl are complaining about COUPONS! I use coupons AND I buy them. So does anyone who buys the Sunday paper. Why do they think the Sunday paper costs more? COUPONS! In this economy we should ALL be using coupons. With using coupons I can stay at home with my newborn now and my husband doesn’t have to work 2 jobs just to support us. Also, @ 75% of the stuff we buy goes to charity. Many ppl would never be able to afford soaps, razors, toothbrushes,food, ect. without donations and alot of the donations come from couponers. I don’t mind paying someone “Shipping/handling” fee’s IF I can help other ppl along the way. Some companies DO take advantage of the couponer and charges an arm and a leg….don’t use them. There are other legit ppl just trying to get the product out there. Have you ever cut that many coupons? Its a full time job! Either way, there isn’t much they are going to be able to do about this. My advice to the Redplum, SS, ect. companies….if you can’t beat them….join them. Make the coupons accessible through YOUR websites. We could just pay them shipping instead of a clipping service.

  18. moreforless says

    The problem with the coupons in the paper is that the manufacturer’s want to control how and where the coupons are redeemed. They would be better off using to limit how many people can print. At least with that once the print limit is reached the promotion is over. I have never see a coupon for sale on eBay.

  19. Jaskowiak65 says

    Admittedly, I was excited at first to view TLC’s Extreme Couponing show. I have asked my husband to stop DVR-ing it for me, though, since I know that it is not helping, but hurting couponing. I live in Rockford and have one Chicago Trib delivered to my home. Fortunately the inserts are the same as nearer to the city (for now) but I don’t get all the ads. (I get more papers delivered to my mom’s house in the burbs). I get just enough papers to cover my family’s needs and my mom’s needs.

    Rockford grocery stores are changing policies, though. Hilander (Kroger) limits doubling to two (2) like qs (up to 55cents). Logli (a Schnuck’s store) has for quite some time limited the number of doubled qs to three (3) like qs. BUT NOW, there is a limit of three identical qs regardless of value. AND, they will not allow you to split transactions! The cashier said, “if you split the transaction, we know what you are doing.” What am I doing? Buying the number of items that I need. Buying the items that my mom needs. I still coupon, but this is very frustrating!!

  20. Curious says

    What a day. My Chicago Tribune comes with no ads or inserts and calling them does no good as you talk to a call center in India who says the inserts will be there in an hour and of course they are not.

    Then I went to Ultra Foods in Kankakee for the last time in my life! My cashier questioned all my coupons and also made me pull all my items from the conveyor belt to prove I bought them. NONE of the coupons had been scanned yet so what was she doing? Then she called a manager over questioning 5 of my coupons and would not let me stack a store and a manufacturer coupon together. I got really peeved then. I spoke loud enough for people around to hear me tell both the cashier and the front end manager that they neither of them knew corporates rules on coupons. I used the buy 4 coke 12 packs for $8.88 coupon and then stacked that with a manufacturers coupon for a free 8 pack of the 8 ounce diet cokes ($3.99 value). She tried to tell me I couldn’t use both coupons! I finally spotted a woman who is another FE manager and told her what was going on and that I was no longer shopping with them due to being humiliated. I told her I was calling corporate in the morning and reminded her that Walmart price matches so I will just take their flyer and shop there saving a few miles in gas! I don’t care if they have had some coupon fraud! I had to exchange some PB I bought the other day. I had grabbed two low fat and hubby won’t eat that so I brought it back to be exchanged. The girl tried giving me back 95 cents on each jar plus tax and I told her I bought them 2 for $4 and just wanted the even exchange. She kept insisting that as they were no longer on sale that they owed me money and I refused it! Now would I scam them on coupons?

  21. SASAver says

    I called Oscar Meyer to see what their stance was on “Transferred”. They said that they cannot be given, traded or in any way redeemed by anyone but me. That means all giving, trading of coupons is illegal and we all need to be put in jail for coupon fraud. So indeed, it has nothing to do with reproduction and everything to do with never giving it away.


  22. lola_violets_2010 says

    I think that is a bit ridiculous, I mean whats the difference of buying a paper? Your still paying for the coupons, isnt the Company/Paper doing the same thing as coupon clipping services? Honestly I never buy a paper for the news, I buy them for the coupons..