Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Coupon Buzz... Retailers Fight Back Against Extreme Couponing Trend




Here's an article a reader sent me from DailyFinance.com (Posted 03/03/12)


Retailers Fight Back Against Extreme Couponing Trend
By Barbara Thau

Memo to extreme couponers: Some retailers, particularly supermarkets and drugstore chains, are mad as hell and they're not going to take it anymore. To save their bottom lines, they're setting limits on just how much all your cleverness can save you.

It's no secret that the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression has given rise to a new breed of shoppers who artfully and unabashedly combine store, manufacturer and digital coupons to shave serious money off their shopping bills, sometimes buying in bulk and wiping retailers' shelves clean, while squeezing the life out of profit margins.

The extreme couponing trend reflects "consumers looking for ways to save money any way they can, very much the way their grandparents did during the Great Depression," says Brian Hoyt head of communications for WhaleShark Media, the parent company of RetailMeNot.com, which bills itself as the biggest issuer of coupon codes in the U.S.

The techniques are most often deployed at supermarkets and drugstore chains because they offer the biggest variety of coupons -- from manufacturer and store coupons to point-driven loyalty programs, Hoyt tells DailyFinance. These stores are also natural targets for heavy coupon use because they stock staples like food and toilet paper -- non-negotiable purchases even in a down economy.

But some retailers are saying enough is enough, and are fighting back by adjusting their coupon policies.

"A growing number of retailers are creating new policies or are enforcing their existing coupon policies more stringently," Matthew Tilley, director of marketing for coupon processing firm Inmar, tells DailyFinance.

Read Entire Article, Click Here!


Here are just a few things to take from this article... These are not rules but more of my personal belief and "Coupon Etiquette."

  • First, I do not support the "Extreme Coupon" show. I personally believe they give shoppers an un-realistic expectation on how much you can actually save. Do have a realistic expectations about your savings. I say, shoot for half off, not 90 percent!!
  • Do follow the rules of each store by knowing your store's coupon policy. If you have to, bring a copy with you while you shop.
  • Don't photocopy coupons off Internet coupon sites such as Coupons.com. They deliberately set limits on the number of copies you can print from each computer for a reason...respect that.
  • Don't be a "shelf clearer"... No individual needs 1,000 tubes of toothpaste!! If you do have that many, do something nice and donate them. If a shelf is cleared of a SALE Item, ask for a rain check on the item and many stores will let you buy them later at the sale price.
  • Do organize your coupons and have them ready. That way you don't hold up the checkout line. If you plan on multiple transactions (check your store's policy to see if it's allowed), shop during off hours when the store is not going to be busy. If the store is busy then consider letting other people go in front of you. When it boils down to it, it's really just the nice thing to do!
  • And, the most important "rule of thumb" and wrapping all this into one is, just be a "Responsible Couponer!!" ... Don't take the saying, "The customer is always right" to the extreme. Be courteous of other shoppers and to the store employees. You will more than likely have a better shopping experience when everyone is respectful and nice... I know, what a concept!!

If you feel a store isn’t "couponer friendly" then don’t support them! Only shop at stores you like and that are friendly and fair to couponers. In the end we are all just trying to save a little money in this economy.



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