Stores Ditching Internet Coupons

from the too-much-trouble dept

For years, advertisers have been talking about the power of “internet coupons”, where stores wouldn’t have to go through the trouble of printing up real coupons, but could just put them up on the web for people to print out. Reality hasn’t been so kind. I’ve tried to use internet coupons a few times. A new burrito place around the corner from me has one for a free burrito (purchase a large drink) that’s good through the end of September. I’ve already used it three times. That’s probably not what they want. I also tried to use a coupon at the local Blockbuster for a free movie rental – and I was told it was a fake, and they wouldn’t accept it. That seems to be the biggest problem. Wegmans, a wonderful supermarket(seriously, it’s been years since I’ve lived anywhere near a Wegmans and I still miss it), has announced that they will no longer accept internet coupons of any kind. Apparently, too many of them were fraudulent and Wegmans was left holding the bill. It appears that, in the rush to offer online coupons, not many people thought about the fraud issue, and ways to prevent it. I’m sure, eventually, stores will agree to some sort of standard for presenting internet coupons that get around the issues of fraud and repeat usage. In the meantime, don’t expect every place you shop to except the coupons you find online.

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Comments on “Stores Ditching Internet Coupons”

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Cheapskate Charlie says:

The Art of Coupon Scamming

For years I have been ” gaming ” the grocery store chains for deep discounts. Here are some ” tricks of the trade “.
1. Look for chains that first offer double coupons up to @ least .50 cents.
2. Internet coupons can be printed multiple times. The trick to using multiple coupons is not to use 3 of the same coupon in one purchase.
Try printing one in color and the other in black and white. Even print them @ different sizes if you are handy with Photo Shop. ( Note, for me this is done @ work in-between calls so I’m multi-tasking and its not a waste of my time & I use the backs of paper that management wastes ) Learn to plan your shopping so that you can spread these coupons out over several trips before the expiration dates. If you must use two in the same order, spread them out in the stack of coupons you hand to the cashier.
3. Cut coupons EVEN for items you have NO need for ” IF ” the item comes out free or nearly free when you double the coupon. It helps if your not too brand loyal. The reason for this is you can give these items away to family, friends or the local food banks, which will GLADLY accept any form of assistance. ( It’s my way of helping corporations help to give back to others 🙂
4. In addition to this, use the Triple coupon advertising newspaper inserts when they rarely appear. Most of them will triple a coupon up to 50 cents = $ 1.50. A LOT of items will come up free or nearly free when they are tripled. Our local Giant and Weis chains will only allow you the use of 6 of these triple coupons @ one time. On my first trip into the store I buy the tripled coupon items that are not cold such as the canned items, cleaning supplies, etc. The second or third time in is when I use the coupons with the Triple coupons on perishable items.
5. Turn to the customer behind you and kindly ask if you can use their ” grocery store tracking card ” The reason for this is you are giving your bonus points to someone who can probably use them & the grocery store isn’t able to track and see your pattern of purchasing items that come out free or nearly free a high percentage of the time. If I used the same card each time, this would be a very noticeable piece of data.
6. Learn to watch for ” Discontinued items ” … With the advent of so many new products coming out, I once read somewhere that less than 80% of them stay on the market past 6 months. If your careful and keep your eyes pealed, you can run across many items that are not perishable that you can stock up on @ a greatly reduced price.
7. NEVER get in the grocery line with the old woman working the cash register ! Not only will she go over EVERY coupon you have with a fine tooth comb, but in addition, she is most likely not computer literate and will not understand the concept of an internet coupon thereby making you look suspect. Besides, it usually pisses her off that her social security isn’t enough for her to survive on and she has to scan groceries for you ( the informed consumer )for a supplemental income and it seems to piss them off when they see your grocery bill fall from $85 to less than $ 16. ( True story ) Find the 17 year old cashier you can flirt with while she scans away … its much more fun and less of a hassle because @ minimum wage she doesn’t give a shit.
8. Keep your grocery store coupon clipper box in your car and ONLY stop @ grocery stores as you pass them. This way your not making special trips ( wasting gas ) and your not going in three times in a row to use the triple coupons. ( Remember – limit of 6 ! )
9. ALWAYS pick up the store advertising flyer when you walk in – grab a cart and take 5 or so minutes to see if you can match up any of your coupons to items that might be on sale that week.
Realize that if something you regularly use id 50% off or more, it might be a good idea to stock up a few of that item.
Happy Corporate Screwing !

Chris says:

I live in Australia but I reckon your online coupon works like those tickets we can print on line and bring it to the cinema. As far as I know these pre-printed tickets expire upon presentation so even if you have another duplicate, it will not work. The ticket comes with a barcode consisting of a random number (generated on demand) and its linked to a password like your birthday or ZIP. So I am not sure how it could be scammed unless you crack into the database. See for example.

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