March 17, 2012

Beginner Guide: Couponing Etiquette

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March 17, 2012

Being a couponer isn’t just about scoring great deals and saving loads of money, but also representing an entire community of people. If you coupon, you are part of an exclusive club and as such it is of the utmost importance to not make your community look bad.

It makes life easier on everyone if you are kind and considerate of everyone from fellow couponers and shoppers, to cashiers, blog owners, store employees and companies. To ensure you are always a considerate couponer, follow these easy etiquette rules.

Couponing Do’s


Give away excess of products or coupons you have accumulated
If you have coupons you won’t use or products that are going to expire before you can get to them, donate them to some one who will! It is the SaveaLoonian Way to share your savings with others.

Be courtesy of other shoppers and couponers
Remember, just because you know that something is a huge deal doesn’t mean you have to over do it. There are others in the store who may be in a hurry, so be mindful of those around you. If the guy behind you only has one or 2 things, let them go first.

Be polite to cashiers
This is a must – even if they are giving you a hard time! It’s not going to get you anywhere to be rude and callous with your cashier, in fact it will likely have the complete opposite effect. You will look like the bad guy and no deal is worth sacrificing your dignity!

Say Thank You
Another must! Show your appreciation to the companies that supply you with all of the coupons and samples by saying Thanks! It is also important to thank the bloggers that may notify you of these posts. They work hard so you don’t have to, so show them you appreciate it.

Like and Share
This wonderful feature of social media allows so many people easy access to all deals. By liking and sharing Facebook posts you let others on your friends list know about an offer. They can in turn get in on it and share it with their friends! See how it works 🙂 Liking, sharing and commenting is another way to show appreciation to Pages for the work they do.

Phone ahead if you are planning a large coupon shopping trip
If you are planning the mother of all shopping trips, it is wise to phone ahead and let your store know. This way they can prepare for your arrival and likely time consuming checkout. It is also more likely they will assign you a cashier that is proficient in entering coupons. This makes your check out less stressful and time consuming. Bonus for everyone

Know your policy & stick to it
Before embarking on your couponing journey be sure to review your store’s coupon policy. Know the rules and abide by them while you shop.

Be ready before you get to the checkout
To avoid hassle, be organized long before you get to checkout. In theory, you should have your checkout planned before you get in the store! Have your items and coupons sorted and ready to go. Same applies to any discount or rewards cards and method of payment.

Couponing Don’ts


Don’t take coupon inserts from a newspaper you didn’t receive or pay for
It’s theft and it’s just plain not nice! Just because nobody has taken that paper yet doesn’t mean they aren’t going to and they may need those coupons more than you. Everyone should have an equal and fair opportunity to save with coupons.

Don’t take peelie or hanging coupons from products you aren’t buying
Again, not nice! Coupons that are attached to the product in any form are meant to be used by the person purchasing that product.

Don’t take more tear pad coupons than you will use
These all fall under the same type of thing. Tear pad coupons are there for everyone to access. Don’t ever take more than you will use from a tear pad but that doesn’t mean its okay to take 20 either. As a fair rule of thumb, never take more than 5 coupons from a tear pad at once. And NEVER take an entire tear pad, that’s beyond reproach.

Don’t take coupons for the sole purpose of selling them
Continuing right along the same path. Coupons are not meant to be sold, do not take coupons from any where for the sole purpose of selling them. It is frowned upon by most and is completely unfair to others.

Don’t photocopy or alter coupons
It’s fraud. It’s a crime. Don’t do it.

Don’t clear shelves
Another thing very much frowned upon by couponers. Please do not clear an entire store shelf of an item just because you are getting it for free. There are others who are likely after the same deal and all those that follow in your crazy couponing path will miss out. This of course does not apply if there are only 1 or 2 of a product left, then by all means, grab what you can.

Don’t shop during peek hours
This goes along with Do be courtesy of fellow shoppers. Try shopping early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the crowds. Fellow shoppers will not likely be impressed with your savings when they have to spend 30 minutes in line behind you.

Don’t leave negative messages on Facebook walls
If an offer gets posted and it isn’t working quite right or you miss out, do not leave a less-than-friendly message on the companys’ Facebook wall. It can come across as greedy, disrespectful and unappreciative. Remember – these companies do not have to give us anything. The same applies to blog owners – they all put time and effort into their websites & Facebook pages to help save you money. As the old saying goes, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!”

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