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?
- You know, understand, and adhere to the store’s coupon policy.
- You’ve read your coupon and make sure you’re using it on a product that fits the description.
- You don’t use expired coupons, unless the store states they allow that.
- You don’t copy, edit, or alter coupons.
- You research how coupons work to make sure you’re doing it right.
- When something feels wrong, you stop and double check that it’s not wrong.
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…