There is always the stage of learning to coupon that involves understanding the mumbo jumbo on a coupon and what it all means. I hope I can shed some light and teach you all how to become pros at reading so you can inform cashiers and friends with the correct information.
To learn more about “COUPON LINGO“, I strongly encourage you to read this + PLUS there is a print out for you to keep close to the computer for understanding your new coupon language
Coupons have various components:
1) Company who distributed coupons mail back address: Canadian coupons that are redeemable in Canada have a CANADIAN ADDRESS written clearly in the RETAILER information section. This is the address where the coupons will be sent back for reimbursement from the store where you used the coupons. If the address stated for redemption is for Del Rio Texas or any other U.S. State, the retailer will NOT get their money back and you are not permitted to use these coupons in Canada as stated on the coupon.
2) One per person/customer/transaction versus One per purchase/item. This seems to always cause the largest degree of grief with couponers and cashiers.
One per person/customer/transaction means you can only use one coupon on the one product and that is all you can use for your entire bill or order. Typically this statement is on coupons for medications or really awesome printable offers that come out on Facebook (ex. $1 off Lean Cuisine, $4 off Aveeno – see picture below). If you have someone who is shopping with you, they can get you another item and use their own coupon. Some stores allow you to take your items out to your car and return in for a second transaction so you can get another, ask what your stores permit before trying.
One per purchase/item means you can use one coupon on one item and you can get as many items as you have coupons. For example, if I wanted 5 tubes of toothpaste and I had 5 coupons, and my coupon said one per purchase, I can have 1 coupon on top of each tube of toothpaste and put all these items in the same order without having to separate the transactions. One per purchase can be loosely defined to a cashier as “yes, one coupon …… per item, so I have 5 coupons, on 5 items, one coupon sitting on each purchase/item”. Using the example of the difference between one per transaction and one per purchase following this example helps too to help them see there is two different ways coupons are printed
3) Expiry Date self explanatory, all coupons will have an expiry on it, varying from 1 week from date received to as far as into the next years. Most coupons mailed out from companies as “thank you’s” for sending them positive feedback send great coupons that do not expire right away, mailed out coupons from Websaver, Save, GoCoupons, etc. vary in expiry. If there is NO expiry on the coupon, the coupon must say “NO EXPIRY” somewhere on the coupon.
4) UPC or BarCode Although coupons in Canada are not yet scanned in, but manually keyed into the computers, the bar codes does have some unique information for both the store level and redemption department
5) Picture vs. Description An important feature about coupons is that companies will typically put a picture on the coupon for the most expensive item in their product line BUT what is the most important is the fine print that states what items are included, this takes precedent over the picture. If you get into a discussion that the product picture does not match what you are getting, you can point out the details and wording of the inclusion criteria for the coupon.
….. stay tuned to how to read FPCs (Free Product Coupons) in my next blog post