March 17, 2012

Beginner Guide: Coupon Details – The Fine Print

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March 17, 2012

When you are getting started with using coupons it is important to understand the fine print found on each of your coupons. These details will help you understand what you may or may not use the coupon on, how many you may use and if the coupon is valid to use in Canada.

Here are the most important things to look for on a coupon and what it all means!

Product Specifications

Some coupons have restrictions printed on them. Things to look for would be specific sizes (709ml, 260g), flavours (grape, chocolate), scents (Tropical, Fresh Linen) or exclusions (not trial/travel sizes). Your coupon is only redeemable on the correct products listed.

If you coupon states valid on ANY product belonging to that product line / brand than it may be redeemed on the item of your choice.


Redemption Address

Once a coupon is redeemed it is sent to a clearing house. Only coupons that have a Canadian redemption address on them are valid to be used. You will normally find the redemption address in the To The Dealer / Retailer section of the coupon. Coupons may also say valid in Canada only. This just re-iterates its validity. If your coupon does not have a redemption address it will likely not be accepted.

The exception to this is in the case of store coupons. A company may release a coupon to be used at their stores only. In these circumstances there may or may not be a redemption address.


Expiry Date

Coupons are only valid as long as they have not exceed their expiry date. The expiry date listed on the coupon is valid until the close of business that day. Most stores require that a coupon have an expiry date to be considered valid.

In some circumstances you may encounter a coupon that states No Expiry. This is usually sufficient for stores and will generally be accepted.


The Picture

Not all coupons have a picture. Some times the picture can be a hindrance and sometimes it’s a help. The picture on the coupon does not always signify the product that the coupon is applicable on. If there are coupons specifics related to size, scent or flavour the image usually will depict the appropriate product. However, if the coupon states any product the image is mainly there to promote a single item. You do NOT have to purchase the pictured image with a coupon that states any product.

Limit One Coupon Per Purchase

This is one of the most common stipulations you will find on a coupon. This wording simply means that you can use one coupon for one item purchased. This wording is meant to prohibit the use of 2 identical coupons on a single item.  For example, if you are purchasing 5 of the same items and have 5 of the same coupons, you can use 1 coupon per item all within the same transaction.


Limit One Coupon Per Person / Customer / Household

A person/customer refers to each individual present that is responsible for a transaction. If you are shopping with some one else, you may use one in your transaction and the other person may use one in a separate transaction. If your coupon states one per household, that means only one coupon may be used only once for all members of your household.


Limit One Coupon Per Transaction

You may also come across this wording on a coupon. The use of this coupon is a little more restricted. You may only redeem one of these coupons in a transaction. Your store may or may not allow you to divide your purchases up into multiple transactions in order to use multiples of the same coupon. For example, if you have 3 coupons for dish soap that say this and you wish to use them on the same day each of these items and coupons must appear on individual cash register receipts.


Limit One Coupon Per Purchase, Per Customer

Similar to the above wording you may only use one coupon per individual present that is responsible for a transaction.


Not Valid With Any Other Offer

This DOES NOT mean that the coupon can’t be used with a sale or price match. This means that the coupon cannot be used in conjunction with another manufacturer coupon.


Facsimiles Prohibited

This means that the coupon will not be accepted if it has been altered or photocopied. You will see this on almost every coupon. It is considered fraud to photocopy and redeem a coupon.

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