When we dont play nice we all are hurt :)

 

When I shopped Logli this morning I was saddened to see that someone ( Im not saying it was one of you all :) ) had taken ALL of the peelies off of the International Coffees on the shelves. Peelies are those coupons that are stuck to products in stores.

That was very very frustrating to me :( I do NOT mind ( ok I do but Im not upset) when I get to a store and the store is out of a particular product that has peelies. Ok they sold out. BUT when it is CLEAR that someone took the peelies off ( ie; I saw many either with that plastic still on the package where the peelie had been OR I saw where the peelies were torn completely off and it even took off the label) then Im sad :( ( and honestly upset!).

I looked even through the stock ( and no I didnt mess up the product :) ) and nope all torn off. This is an example of negative coupon etiquette. There just isnt any reason for it ( and I will tell you there were a TON of products with peelies torn off, not just a few)!

Now I dont need more of this product that bad. I didnt stand in the aisle and stomp my feet because I wouldnt get this coffee for $1. But it is irrelevant if it was during triple coupons or if it is a non promotional time , taking peelies off of products that you do not intend to buy is just plain wrong!  All that says is the person is taking those coupons for use another time.

I estimate that I saw a minimum of 20 coffees this morning that clearly had peelies torn off of the product. That means ( based on a limit of 3 like coupons per transaction) that 6 other people were not able to take advantage of a great deal!

The CIC (Coupon Information Center) has published a Considerate Couponing article. The CIC (Coupon Information Center) is a not for profit organization of consumer product manufacturers dedicated to fighting coupon misrepresentation and fraud. They help keep an eye on fraudulent coupons that  are out there as well as except considerate couponing by consumers. They are a well respected group and quite honestly a huge player and watch dog in the world of coupon fraud.

The article talks about what is strictly prohibited ( such as photocopying, decoding, buying coupons, reselling a stock pile etc ) BUT they also talk about questionable practices such as dumpster diving, shelf clearing, and coupons in store. You can see the details here

Bottom line is if couponers do things like intentionally break coupon rules, take peelies etc it will foce stores to change policies. Remember stores do NOT HAVE TO put out coupons for customers ( why do you think many hot coupons are kept at the register and why Woodmans specifically has a sign on their door telling people NOT to take coupons they will not use that day). Coupons in store are a luxury for us couponers. If we abuse things both stores and manufacturers will just plain stop putting them out. And we DONT want that!

So play nice, play by the rules, follow coupon rules and YOU WILL SAVE BIG!

 


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There are coupon “rules?”

  • What do you mean I shouldn’t take those coupons off of products? I will use them later!
  • What do you mean a stores doesnt HAVE to take my coupon?
  •  Why cant I photocopy a coupon? But I need more of that item! Ok I will just buy them online!
  • I have so many of an item in my stockpile. Im going to sell them at my garage sale.

These are just a few of the questions I get from people on a routine basis. Many people are not aware that there is some coupon etiquette out there. I like to think that most people follow these “rules” but with coupon fraud and other issues on the rise, considerate couponing may be a new norm.

The CIC (Coupon Information Center) is a not for profit organization of consumer product manufacturers dedicated to fighting coupon misrepresentation and fraud. They help keep an eye on fraudulent coupons that  are out there as well as except considerate couponing by consumers.

I came across the CICs new publication “Considerate Couponing” and I thought I would share this information with you. The following are “strictly prohibited” practices and the penalties, criminal or civil, can be severe

  1. Photocopies. Do not photocopy coupons. This is counterfeiting and is a criminal offense.
  2. Coupon Decoding. Each coupon is a contract and should be used only for the item described in writing on the coupon itself. Using a coupon for any product other than the one intended is a type of fraud similar to shoplifting.
  3. Buying coupons. When a person buys coupons, they may be inadvertently purchasing stolen property or counterfeit coupons. Even if there is not a direct criminal penalty involved, both coupon buyers and sellers open the door to potential litigation when they buy or sell coupons because they are in violation of the “nontransferability” clause printed on all coupons distributed within the United States. The transfer makes a coupon void. Coupon sellers often include legal disclaimers stating that they are selling their time, a service, or even envelopes that just happen to contain coupons instead of the coupons themselves. Such statements are invalid and do not offer any legal protection. Rather, such statements suggest that the sellers know that their coupon sales are inappropriate and wrong.
  4. Stealing newspapers. This is theft, whether it is for personal use, resale, to supply an organized criminal enterprise, or any other reason, and can result in felony charges. In addition to the criminal penalties, the theft of newspapers often causes harm to hard working, small entrepreneurs who operate on very thin profit margins—usually a few pennies per newspaper. The theft of even a small number of papers may have a strong impact on their financial picture as consumers, no longer confident that they will receive the contents of their newspapers, will cancel their subscriptions or avoid certain newspaper boxes.
  5. Buying “extra” coupons from your newspaper carrier or some other newspaper employee is probably a violation of the carrier’s employment agreement and/or contractual agreements with his/her supplier and can result in termination.
  6. Reselling Stockpiles. Coupons are intended to give individual consumers a good deal, not provide a method for people to set up unauthorized grocery stores or flea markets in their garages, basements or backyards. Such sales usually violate the terms and conditions of the coupons themselves and may be in violation of local health codes. As a consumer, do you really want to buy a product that has been stored in a stranger’s basement for weeks, months or even years?

They also have other activities listed that are questionable practices such as dumpster diving for coupons. They also suggest coupon etiquette:

  1. Cashiers. Please be polite to your cashier and to other store employees. Imagine yourself in their shoes before getting overly critical. Yes, sometimes mistakes will happen. When they do, politely point out the error and help resolve the problem for yourself and for the shoppers who will follow you.
  2. Shelf-Clearing.Coupons are intended to provide a large number of consumers with a discount. They are not intended to provide a few individuals with the opportunity to strip the shelves of more product than they will ever reasonably need. The number of stores placing limits on the number of coupons an individual can use in a shopping trip is increasing because of a small number of individuals who will clear a store of all their stock. You shouldn’t try to exceed these limitations.Please be considerate when shopping at stores that don’t currently have any coupon related limitations. Buy what you need for your personal use, including enough for future use, but please leave product for other shoppers to buy.
  3. Coupons in the store. Please do not take every on-pack, peelie, blinky, or tear pad coupon you find. Just take what is appropriate for your personal needs and leave the rest for other shoppers. Taking an entire tear pad is inconsiderate to other couponers. Do not take a peelie off a product unless you intend to purchase that product. (Note: Woodmans has a sign CLEARLY telling customers that you cannot take coupons from the store that you are not going to use THAT DAY! )

You can read their full guide here

They also have a great FAQ section that responds to many of the common questions out there. It also speaks to practices of which some people may partake but dont realize what they are doing is wrong in the coupon world. Check out their FAQ here

Thank you CIC for publishing these things and educating people on the do’s and dont’s of couponing!

 


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