Maintaining a Good Reputation as a Couponer

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

Coupons are a great way to save money on things we buy every day. They are a valuable perk enjoyed by the dedicated shoppers who clip in order to save. Dedicated couponers know the coupon policies of our favorite stores and many of us build a shopping strategy based upon those policies. The savviest shoppers know which stores accept expired coupons and which double — or even triple — the face value of coupons. It’s all part of being an effective couponer. Stores, however, are under no obligation to offer these special incentives — it’s their way of enticing us to shop at their store rather than going elsewhere. For the stores, it’s all part of being an effective competitor.

We couponers appreciate when stores show their appreciation for our business by offering generous coupon policies. That’s why it is so very important that we show our appreciation in turn by respecting the basic rules of couponing. There is no guarantee that generous couponing policies will always exist. It seems every day we hear about another instance of a store cracking down on coupon acceptance due to misuse and abuse of the system. We don’t want to be part of the problem so it’s up to us responsible couponers to maintain a good reputation. Otherwise, we will all incur the consequences — and the added expense.

So, to avoid being looked upon as the pariahs of the marketplace, it is up to us to make a special effort to follow the rules and be courteous when using coupons. Here are four things we as couponers can do to keep a good reputation:

  • Don’t try to pass off expired coupons. If it is a store’s policy to accept expired coupons, then it is ok to use them. If it is not their policy, however, and you are counting on a unobservant cashier letting it slide, then it is considered coupon fraud.
  • Don’t try to pass off photocopied coupons. With the advent of Internet coupons printed on plain paper, it is all too easy for unscrupulous coupon users to use more coupons than they are legitimately allowed. Most coupon websites allow the printing of only one or two of any particular coupon.
  • Have your coupons ready at the check stand so you don’t keep other customers waiting. There is little so annoying as a delay at the checkout. Don’t be the annoying one holding up the line while you rummage through your purse in search of your coupons. The time to gather and collect your coupons is while you are shopping. By the time you are checking out, you should be able to hand over your stack of coupons to the cashier.
  • Tip wait staff on the full value of meal purchased with a coupon. Remember that a restaurant coupon entitles you to a discount on the cost of a meal — not on service. Don’t make your waitperson suffer by tipping on the discounted cost of the meal — they provided you full-price service.

These are just some of the things you can do to keep a good reputation as a couponer. We don’t want to be known as “the folks who take advantage of merchants.” We want to be known as “the folks who save responsibly.” If we don’t take that responsibility seriously, we may lose the saving opportunities couponing provides.

Bonus Tip:

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