Couponing is not a game to some of us

by SuzyQ on July 7, 2013

I’m in a Facebook group that shares couponing tips and deals, and today someone posted a haul of 40 bottles of shampoo and conditioner that at first glance looked really spectacular until I dug a little deeper.

This person used a $5/2 (that’s $5 off 2 for those learning the lingo) Clairol products coupon that came out today in the P&G Brandsaver.  No problem, right?  Except that she used the coupons yesterday.  That’s Problem #1.  The coupons were not released until today.  We all wanted to know how she got them early, so I sent her a message.  Apparently, she bought them from someone on another group.  Here is Problem #2: P&G Brandsaver coupons (and all manufacturer coupons) clearly state that the coupon is “VOID if transferred, sold, auctioned, reproduced, or altered from original.”  Did you catch that?  Void if sold.  She voided the coupon as soon as she paid for it.

Back to the woman who sold these coupons early, or Problem #3.  How did she get these inserts early?  I can only speculate, but my guess is not a charitable one.  Does she work for the newspaper or know someone who does?  Either way, I highly suspect (I cannot claim anything – I am only posting what I THINK could have happened) that these inserts were stolen from the Fresno Bee.

Problem #4 concerns additional terms on the coupon.  It states: “CONSUMER: LIMIT ONE COUPN PER PURCHASE of products and quantities stated.  LIMIT OF 4 LIKE COUPONS PER HOUSEHOLD PER DAY.  Any other use constitutes fraud.”  Limit of 4.  She used 20.  In one transaction.  According to the coupon, this is fraudulent use of the coupon, which leads to Problem #5.  Because she used 20 coupons, rather than the 4 she’s allowed by the coupon, P&G will most likely NOT reimburse the store for the value of those coupons, which amounts to $100 for the face value of the coupon.  When stores lose money because of coupon fraud, they tighten up their coupon policies, which affects us all and our ability to save money.

Finally, Problem #6 is the blatant shelf clearing in this transaction.  I advocate only buying as much of a product as your family needs to get through a normal sale cycle, about 3 months at the most.  Not only that, but it’s just common courtesy to leave some product on the shelf for others who want to take advantage of a deal.  Sure, there are times when you get the last two items – that’s not shelf clearing.  Buying 40 of anything is definitely shelf clearing, even if she did leave two.

All in all, I’m a little disheartened today for our couponing world.

For more information about coupon fraud, visit the Coupon Information Corporation.



{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon Smith July 7, 2013 at 8:59 am

I totally agree with you! This clearly violates the rules and that is NOT a good deal for anybody. :(

My couponing days come and go, but when I do give it a shot, I’m OCD about following the rules. I would feel guilty otherwise. That’s just sad.

My question would be, did anybody call her out on it?


SuzyQ July 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm

I’m with you Shannon. I’m very particular about following the rules. And yes, I called her out on it.


zendi July 8, 2013 at 11:59 pm

I saw this today. And i asked her if she bought alot of newspapers but she said that noo because she works where they make them. But im new at this so i thought it was omay. She took like 40 shampoos. And she still went back after i lwft.


SuzyQ July 11, 2013 at 11:46 pm

No, they can’t take inserts just because they work there. It would be like someone taking office supplies from his or her office!


BACCHUS July 12, 2013 at 11:22 pm

So are you also against coupon clipping sites who also sell coupons? Also, I think that it may be unfair to speculate on where the early coupons came from. A clipping service I have used in the past sometimes had coupons available as of late Friday night. So on this part of your post alone I think we shouldn’t jump the gun and assume some type of fraudulent act was committed. As for limits and shelf clearing I totally agree. Between myself and Our 3 daughters we go through tons of shampoo. It would be nice to show up to a store for a deal and be able to get some of what I’m looking for. 85% of the time I leave with rainchecks.


SuzyQ July 16, 2013 at 12:48 am

Yes, I am against clipping sites, as well. It’s great to get good deals, but it’s totally possible to stock up on the products we like and use consistently without buying coupons from those sites.


SharAnn1 July 13, 2013 at 8:58 am

Did you contact the paper with this knowledge?


SuzyQ July 16, 2013 at 12:39 am

Yes, I did.


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