Missing Red Plum?

by Beth Montgomery on February 20, 2009 · 7 comments

in Announcements

In a shocking move (to me at least), as of February 1, 2009, Valassis decided to pull their Red Plum insert from many major city newspapers in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Utah, Virginia, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, Maryland, and Texas. While the Indianapolis Star is still lucky enough to be providing the Red Plum insert to it’s customers, many cities all around have already seen it disappear completely.

Frugal shoppers and coupon users nationwide are up in arms about this decision with very good reason! When Red Plum has a great insert, we head to the store to pick up extra copies of the paper, but for many that won’t be an option any longer. Since newspaper inserts are the number one source of savings for many frugal shoppers, I’m personally stunned Valassis would decided to upset it’s target audience by making it’s insert more complicated and sometimes impossible to obtain for consumers.

First, newspaper inserts are not only valuable to consumers, but for many they are a necessity. Now large families who may need more coupons to purchase enough food to provide meals no longer have the opportunity to purchase additional newspapers to access the needed extra savings. Also, many frugal shoppers donate the additional inexpensive or free items they receive with coupon to charities and those in need. Unfortunately, the lack of coupon is going to hurt those who need them the most the worst, but effects all of us as shoppers.

Valassis says that they are now using a more direct marking campaign in which their coupons will be available online, but since many stores have difficult Internet coupon policies or completely do not accept them, this really doesn’t seem like an equal exchange at all. Plus, what about those who don’t have Internet access? As well as all the coupon fraud issues presented with Internet coupons? It looks to me as if the Internet coupon has a long way to go before it’s ready to completely replace paper coupons.

In addition, Valassis will now be mailing their coupon insert directly to targeted areas only upon request, but each household gets one and only one. (CORRECTION: Some areas are automatically getting their insert via mail without requesting it online.) It will take 6-8 weeks to receive one insert after requested. (Note: If you are without a Red Plum insert and live in a target area, you can sign up to get one via mail HERE.)

BringBackTheCoupons.com is providing a platform for coupon users and frugal shoppers nationwide to express their concern over this decision. How can you get involved? Visit HERE to get a list of ways to help bring back the coupon insert to our newspapers.

Red Plum is heading in a new direction that will change coupon use forever. If they aren’t met with resistance, many other coupon providers will follow suit. Now is the time we have to stand up and make our voices heard, so we can continue to save on every day items. If coupon inserts continue to disappear from the newspapers, will this be the end of us frugal shoppers eagerly awaiting our Sunday papers? What does this mean for the coupon industries?

Read More:
Coupon Shuffle in Cleveland Area Sunday Papers
Coupons Catch Up With the Digital Age
Valassis Angers Mom Bloggers

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1 Anonymous February 21, 2009 at 11:50 AM

I’m not sure that your article is completely accurate. I now get the same Red Plum coupons in my mailbox each week instead of the newspaper. Granted, I only get one as opposed to being able to buy a whole bunch of newspapers to get extra copies, but I never did that anyway. But, I don’t think it is accurate to say that you now have to go online to get the coupons or that you need to subscribe to get them in the mail. As far as I can see, they are now automatically coming in the mail every week… and I didn’t have to do anything special to get them – - including paying for a newspaper.

2 IN Good "Cents" February 21, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Thank you for that information. I didn’t realize some areas were getting them automatically. I do know that some areas have to sign up online to get them mailed to them and the way I am understanding it is that they have to request one every week to keep them coming. I may be wrong about that part, because that seems a big much to me, but I do know not everyone is lucky enough to automatically get it via mail.

3 Anonymous February 21, 2009 at 12:44 PM

It’s the suburban areas that are having the biggest problem. When the big city loses their insert, the smaller areas around that may have their own tiny newspaper have the issue. I can’t go get the larger newspaper like I used to do to get the better coupons, because they aren’t there, and I did not automatically get them in my mail. I went online to sign up to get one. I don’t know yet if I have to do that weekly or just once, but it’s been 3 weeks so far and I haven’t seen one in my mail yet. A lot of the stores near my don’t take Internet coupons, because of all the fraud issues, so this is really hurting my budget and family.

4 Anonymous February 21, 2009 at 4:57 PM

It’s accurate for me! I live outside of Cleveland. Maybe people in Cleveland get them in the mail, but I haven’t seen hide nor hair of the Red Plum insert since it disappeared. I went online to sign up for one and I didn’t get a confirmation or any acknowledgement that I even sent them anything! I have no idea if I’ll get it in 4-6 weeks or never see one again.

Stores around me only accept internet coupons if they scan and maybe it’s my printer but mine rarely scan! I don’t even bother to print them any more they are so worthless, so this is like replacing apples with limes to me!

I just lost my job and my family of 5 needs coupons to survive on one income right now or we are going to end up eating junk food every day. I’m going to write every single one of these companies and beg them to consider Smart Source instead!

5 Raligard June 28, 2009 at 9:14 PM

I honestly dislike Red Plum's online coupon site. I find it terribly intrusive on my computer. Why should they care if I want to print 1 coupon or 1 dozen coupons? I am very annoyed by their printing application which I found to be buggy at best in Firefox and completely useless in Microsoft Internet Explorer. They utilize cookies and even worse other forms of registry to document what has been printed from my computer. I find this to be a gross invasion of my privacy and a practice I hope to see stopped somehow. I honestly hate it and hope it fails horribly.

6 DD February 16, 2010 at 12:05 PM

I disagree with what anonymous (the previous post) wrote. first of all, i should have the choice to buy the newspaper as many as 2 or 10 of them, with the same coupons that other regions are getting. I usually buy 2 newspapers, or at the most 4 and that’s every sunday. With the redplum not being inserted in the newspaper, i didn’t buy any this past sunday. So who really lost out on the deal, me or them??? The answer is both, i lost on coupons i could have used to buy products, and they lost out because i won’t pay full retail price for that item. And the newspaper lost out on making some money, some where some body is making calculations on how many newspapers are bought with and with out coupons. I guarantee the numbers are way different. And i feel cheated because now i only get a couple of pages of coupons, while everyone else who can still go buy them are getting way more pages with lots of various coupons. Not to mention that the redplum online has only 20 coupons at the most, and with a max of 2 prints per isp address. Its not the way to go, not to mention replacing the ink cartridges cost quite a bit. I’d rather just buy the newspaper with them already inserted.

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