Are You a Trustworthy Couponer?

by Beth Montgomery on March 13, 2012 · 4 comments

in Tips & Basics

Recently I hit upon a hot topic, Zip Code Couponing, and broke down the arguments for with the matching arguments against this saving tactic.  I got some interesting comments and emails that made me start thinking about something else – trust.

I’ve heard so many argue, “Well, the store took the coupon, so it’s okay.”  But, is that how it really works?

If I stick a pack of gum in my pocket and walk out of the store, is it okay? Is it okay to steal, if the store doesn’t stop me?  Is that on my shoulders or theirs?  For me, the answer is simple – mine.

Being an ethical couponer  isn’t just about following a law.  It’s takes so much more than that.  It’s a mixture of doing good research, understanding coupons, common sense, trust, and remembering The Golden Rule.

And, yes, I strongly believe we should think of others when using coupons – other customers, the cashiers, the manufacturers, and the store manager.  And, we should treat them the way we’d want to be treated.  Because couponing is really a team effort.

Trust in Couponing

Trust has to play a big part in couponing and when trust breakdowns stores tighten policies, manufacturers add more fine print, and everyone throws up red tape.  The result is that couponers are treated like criminals, instead of customers.

While it is important for stores and manufactures to make sure they understand how coupons work, know their own policies, and stay current on popular tends, it’s not their job to baby sit us.  And they shouldn’t have to!

Stores and manufactures have to trust us to obtain and use coupons as intended.

Can the stores and manufacturers trust you?

If you can answer no for any reason, it might be time to start making some changes.  Remember, there are enough deals in the world, there’s no need to trick the system, no matter how tiny or harmless the trick may seem.

If couponers could get together and start becoming a trustworthy group, stores and manufactures may lighten up once again and offer us even more deals.  But, unfortunately, a small few can ruin it for the rest.

Can other couponers trust you?

Other couponers should be able to trust you too.  Because, no matter what you’re doing, being respectful to others is important.  And, when saving money, being respectful will get you a lot farther than only being in it for yourself.

  • You take only the coupons and products you need.
  • You only take coupons and products you’ll use in a reasonable amount of time.
  • You share in the bounty and make sure others get great deals too.
  • You teach those around you ethical coupon use.
  • You use coupons and shop exactly as you’d want others to do.
  • You feel only pride in your savings and no guilt for how you’ve saved.
  • You’re respectful of other customers and those around you.

So, I have one very important question to ask you…

Are you a trustworthy couponer?

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1 Lori Carter March 13, 2012 at 7:37 PM

So true. Thanks so much for this post. It is so important for all couponers to think through all these issues.

2 Beth March 14, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Thank you! I’m starting to get concerned about how many people are suddenly in it for themselves and completely forget to think about others. I think that’s sad and really want people to remember, we should always try hard to think of others.

3 Jen B March 14, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Thank you for posting this! Well said. Let’s use the system, not abuse it. Hopefully stores will continue to offer great deals, double (or triple) our coupons, and accept those we print online. I’d love to hear from someone who works the accounting side of coupons as to how many end up being unpaid by the manufacturer because they were misused……anyone?

4 Beth March 14, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Jen, I often wonder about this too. In my mind, I think it’s less than we are led to believe, since I bet it’s hard to prove it was misused in many circumstances. There are, of course, receipts, but that isn’t always helpful in every situation. So, I’d be curious if anyone has an answer.

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