Saturday, April 17, 2010

Coupon Etiquette

Everyone loves to save money and using coupons is an easy way to make that happen. (Read my first post in the Couponing 101 series here.) Some people, however, do not appreciate our desire to get the most for our money.

  • Be polite. Obviously, you do not want to make enemies or cause a scene but you do need to inform anyone who comes in line behind you that you have coupons which will make your transaction a little longer than normal. Give them the option to choose a new checkout line. Also, if they only have a few items, offer to let them go ahead of you.
  • Organize your coupons for the cashier. I asked a few cashiers at Publix what I could to help them and across the board, they appreciate if we sort the coupons before handing them the pile.
    • Any items you will be getting for free (coupons that specify a buy one, get one item or a free product coupon) should be put on the conveyor last and those coupons handed over first so the cashier can find the price quickly on their screen. 
    • Store coupons and competitor coupons should be separate even if you are stacking them (using a store coupon with a competitor coupon on the same item.)
  •  If your coupon is denied, stay calm and be nice. You will catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. If you know you are following the store's coupon policy, politely ask for a manager. 9 times out of 10, the cashier is uninformed and the manger will let you use the coupon. If the manager says no, ask for a copy of the coupon policy and tell them you do not want that item at this time. Make sure you get your coupon back, too. When you get home, email corporate and ask them to clarify the coupon policy. Explain why you think your coupon should have be accepted. Most of the time, they will call you or the store and fix the issue promptly. 
Have you ever had a particularity great or poor experience using coupons?