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Being a Polite Couponer

Best Practices for Couponers

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The following guidelines can help prevent problems that arise when using coupons at grocery stores and drugstores.

Pull and Check Coupons

Polite couponers separate coupons that are going to be redeemed before they go to check out, which helps avoid long delays. They also check that the coupons are not expired and that other criteria which validates the coupons are met. Doing this before checking out is considerate to the store employees and to fellow customers.

Don't Hoard the Deals

Companies distribute coupons to help entice many consumers to try their products. Polite couponers who use multiple coupons for the same product will buy only the amount that they can reasonably use and avoid wiping out a store's entire inventory.

By following this practice couponers can build stockpiles of usable goods at a great price, without giving stores and manufacturers reasons to set coupon limits to offset coupon abuse.

Blinkies, Tear Pads, In-Store Coupon Abuse

There are many coupons that be found inside the stores, but there are only so many available per store. Polite couponers will take the appropriate amount of in-store coupons for products that they know they will buy, leaving the rest for other shoppers.

Removing an entire tear pad of coupons in the hope of later trading the coupons will have a negative impact on the future of coupons.

Coupon Limits

Experienced couponers know there are ways around coupon limitations. For example, breaking down entire shopping carts loaded with the same product into multiple purchases so multiple coupons can be applied, is one way to bend the rules.

This practice is often viewed as an example of extreme couponing, but generally it is considered inappropriate and rude, because it goes beyond what most stores can handle at the registers within a reasonable amount of time.

When a couponer knows that they will be making a big coupon shopping trip, they will often call the store in advance to let them know that they are coming. This helps the store prepare for the extra handling that it takes to process these types of transactions.

Off-Peak Hours

Couponers who use a lot of coupons at one time often shop when store traffic is slow to avoid bogging down the checkout aisles. Avoiding the weekends, mid-day and drive-time hours allows both the couponer and the store employees the extra time needed to process sales with a lot coupons.

Be Polite to Cashiers

One of the biggest complaints that you hear from couponers centers on bad experiences with cashiers.

Common complaints include:

  • Cashiers that fail to honor the corporate coupon acceptance policies.

  • Cashiers that take too much time scrutinizing every coupon.

  • Cashiers that do not understand the difference between store coupons and manufacturers coupons.

  • Cashiers that seem to resent customers using coupons because it slows them down.
Any of these reasons can be frustrating for couponers to deal with and sometimes can cause heated words to be exchanged. Polite couponers will simply refuse to engage in arguing with cashiers and ask to see a store manager.

There may also be times when the store management does not understand the corporate coupon policies. Couponers carry a copy of the policies with them when they shop just for times such as these. This sometimes can help solve misunderstandings.

Bottom-Line

For most couponers, using coupons is like being involved in a fun hobby that helps them save money.
  • They follow the existing coupon industry rules so more rules won't be necessary.

  • They organize and plan their shopping trips to avoid problems.

  • They try to avoid confrontation with store employees or other shoppers.

  • They know that by following good couponing standards that many problems can be avoided.

  • They know not to let rude behavior from others ruin an otherwise great trip to the store.
Most importantly, they know that if they didn't get the deal they wanted today, there will be many more incredible deals to snatch up tomorrow.

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