Store Acceptance of Online Coupons

Online coupons have become highly popular, partly due to the ease of finding and printing them, and partly due to the minimal costs of printing them.  A serious coupon clipper can become giddy with excitement at the selection and availability of all sorts of deals, facilitated through the use of online printable coupons. However, getting your favorite stores to accept these printed coupons can be a different story.  As you embark on your own couponing lifestyle, there are some basic things you need to know, and some simple strategies you can put to work, in order to make the most of IP’s, or “internet printables”.

Most importantly, you cannot force a store to accept any coupon.  Rather than get into a heated argument with a manager, insisting that you will have their job if they don’t take that coupon, take a moment to understand the impetus behind coupon rejection. There are many ethical couponers, who print the quantity of coupons permitted, who use the coupons as directed in the fine print, and who don’t try to cheat. Then, there are those who are unethical. They may use a scanner, in order to copy high value coupons.  They may try to use coupons on the wrong product, or size. They may try to use an expired coupon. There are many rules they will try to get around, saving money at someone’s expense.  Your number one priority in using IP’s is to make sure that you comply with the details given.

When you desire to use a printable coupon, essentially, it is no different than handling any clippable coupon, simply allowing your sub-total to be tallied, turning over your coupons, and allowing the cashier to make the appropriate deductions.  Controversies generally happen at this point, if they are going to happen at all.  Most times, that won’t be the case, but every now and then, there is a glitch.

One such glitch is that, in spite of your meeting the requirements of a coupon, it will cause the system to beep, or otherwise reject its use. The cashier may have a number of options. The first will generally be to verify that you have the correct products in your purchase. The next will often be to verify the expiration date. If these two issues have been verified, a manager may need to override the use, and permit it, or, in some cases, the cashier may have the authority to do so.  Patience on your part will facilitate a better response than rudeness, and so your key couponing strategy is to maintain a friendly attitude. If the coupon is still rejected, in spite of your complying with all given details, ask for a reason.  If it doesn’t seem logical, ask a manager for an explanation. 

As a couponer, you need to be aware that each store has its own coupon policy.  Generally, there is little objection to casual coupon use.  Scrutiny usually comes when individuals seem to use multiple coupons, or to make frequent trips. There are steps you can take to facilitate a positive relationship, as a customer, which may well work in your favor, down the road. First, take time to learn about a company’s coupon policy. At some stores, this may be posted.  More likely, it is not, and you will need to do some research. Online, you may find these details at a company website. You may also contact a consumer affairs department for the company, whether by email, or telephone. If you maintain a coupon file, include this information in a reference section, so that you can access it in the midst of a conflict. 

Recognize stressful, busy shopping times, when you use coupons. If you are using many coupons during a hectic time, patience of both cashiers and customers will be such that your coupon issues may not receive the most positive outcome. If you don’t have a choice in shopping times, try to organize your coupons well, and inform the cashier at the start of the order that you have coupons. If you have a choice in shopping times, however, aim for a less busy time, so that any problems can be addressed. 

Try to maintain a friendly relationship with your stores’ staff and management.  This is easier if you do your couponing at the same stores consistently. If you have coupon questions, take time to ask a manager before you do your shopping. Acknowledge good customer service when you aren’t using coupons.  Develop a good rapport with workers, who will then be more genial when your coupons aren’t working for some reason. In some cases, this may be the difference in your coupons, printable, or otherwise, being accepted. In other cases, acceptance is dependent upon company policy, and the cashiers and managers are not permitted to make exceptions. As a customer, you must appreciate this, and take your questions to a corporate level, which you can do via phone or email.  Still, you are at the mercy of the company, when it comes to their acceptance of printable coupons, or any coupons.

Internet printables have become widely available, and are an integral part of many people’s grocery budget. As they have become more accessible, they have become more widely accepted.  Still, it is important to ethically use these coupons, in order to facilitate their continued acceptance in widespread use.  Further, it is important to understand store coupon policies, in order to best plan your shopping and couponing strategies. If a store is not coupon friendly, and you consistently run into problems, sometimes the best strategy is to take your business elsewhere.