Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Couponing Conundrum Part 3: How do I use my coupons? (i.e. Store Policies)

Every chain of stores has differing policies on what types and how many coupons they will allow you to use. Even various stores of the same name can have different rules so the best way to know for sure what your store's couponing policy is to ASK THEM, prefferably a manager. :0) This will save you from embarrasment when you have a cart (or buggy, if you are Southern) full of groceries thinking you can use certain coupons and come to find that you cannot. It also pays to know the policy because some store employees don't even know so they will just tell you that you cannot use certain coupons because they are lazy.

Before we get too much further into this you should know that there are 3 basic types of coupons: manufacturer coupons (MQ), store coupons, and competitor coupons (a store coupon for use at a store OTHER THAN the store you are shopping at).

As I stated earlier, the best way to find out about policy is to ask but here is a little compilation of information to give you an idea (all information was found on each store's website). I would also love for anyone else reading this who has more or added information on certain store policies (especially those in Utah) to leave it in the comments here and I will update the post with everyone's input.

“Wal-Mart Stores can accept coupons that are available on the Internet for customers to print from their home computers. The following are guidelines for the stores for accepting Internet coupons:

- The coupon should be legible and say “Manufacturer Coupon”. There should be a valid remit address for the manufacturer, to ensure the coupon can be processed for payment.
- The coupon should have a scan-able bar code.
- The coupon should have an expiration date.
- The coupon cannot be a photocopy.
- The limit is one coupon per item, per Customer.
- A Salaried Manager can refuse to accept a coupon if it does not meet any or all of these guidelines.”

“Coupons are a great way to save even more when shopping at Target, and we make it easy to use them at our stores. But because of the variety of coupons available to our guests, we do have some guidelines for how coupons can be redeemed at Target:

-We accept two kinds of coupons: Target-issued coupons and manufacturer-issued coupons.
-We’ll accept one Target coupon and one manufacturer coupon for the same item, unless either coupon prohibits it.
-We can’t give cash back if the face value of a coupon is greater than the purchase value of the item; in that case, we’ll adjust the value of the coupon to equal the price of the item.
-We can’t accept coupons from other retailers, or coupons for products not carried in our stores.
-All valid coupons should be presented to the cashier at the time of sale.”

**Target will now price-match any competitor on the same items sold at their store. In order to do that you need to take the FULL competitor ad (not just one page) with you. It is sometimes best to check out at Customer Service when price matching.**

Publix allows the use of one manufacturer coupon AND one store coupon per item purchased. This applies to BOGO items as well.

Publix accepts competitor coupons. Check with your store to confirm who they consider their competitor.

Publix doubles coupons up to and including $0.50. There are no limits to the number of coupons that will double. Only manufacturer coupons will double. Store and competitor coupons will not double. This policy does not apply to Florida—coupons do not double in Florida

Publix does not accept expired coupons.

The Publix Promise guarantees that if during checkout, the scanned price of an item (excluding alcohol and tobacco products) exceeds the shelf price or advertised price, they will give the customer one of that item free. The remaining items will be charged at the lower price.

Publix accepts internet printables (IP’s). Many Publix will not accept IP’s for free items or IP’s over $5 in value.

Publix does not limit the number of coupons that can be used per transaction—BUT …after a $50 coupon threshold has been reached, a manager override will be necessary for any additional coupons to be accepted.

Publix registers also require that the number of coupons and items purchased be equivalent. If you have more coupons than items, a manger override will be required.

During a BOGO sale, you do not have to purchase two items to receive the discount. BOGO items each ring ½ of the regular price. This is not true in Florida—you must purchase both items as the 1st item rings at full price and the 2nd item rings at zero ($0)

Publix will gladly give a rain check for any sale item that is not in stock. Some stores will only write RC’s for items in the weekly sales flyer not the Advantage Buy Flyers

The penny item coupon is valid for use on Wednesday or Thursday (varies by store). The actual coupon can be found in the ad located in the paper (location may vary). Florida does not participate in the penny item promotion.

Harris Teeter Coupon Acceptance Policy

•We accept coupons that have not passed their expiration date for use; we can not accept any expired coupons.

•We accept only one manufacturer coupon per purchased item.

•We do not accept coupons on items not purchased.

•Coupons must be presented at time of purchase; we can not return money for coupons not used.

•Coupons presented and items purchased must match exactly; size, variety, flavor, etc.

•We uphold any purchase stipulations set forth by product manufacturer.

•We accept only one coupon for Buy One Get One Free items.

•We accept coupons for items only of equal or more value; we do not give cash back.

•Sales tax is paid by customer at full retail.

•We accept 20 double coupons per day per customer/household with VIC card; all others redeemed at face value. No orders may be separated that would allow the 20 coupon limit to be exceeded.

•We double manufacturer’s coupons up to face value of $0.99; with total amount not to exceed $1.98 or entire retail of item; whichever is less.

•We double up to three identical items with manufacturer coupon; additional coupons for like item will be honored at face value.

•No competitor coupons will be doubled or tripled.

•In the event of triple coupons, up to 20 coupons will be tripled per day per customer/household with VIC card; all others redeemed at face value. No orders may be separated that would allow the 20 coupon limit to be exceeded.

Internet Coupons
•We gladly accept internet manufacturer’s coupons for product; however no “free” product internet coupons are accepted.

•With the purchase of two like manufacturer’s products, we accept two internet coupons, per store, per day.

•We do not accept internet coupons that do not appear to be originals or that won’t scan.

Competitor’s Coupons
•We gladly accept local competitors’ circular or direct-mail coupons for MONEY OFF THE TOTAL ORDER; we do not take competitor’s coupons for money off specific items.

•We do not accept any internet coupons from other retailers.

•Rainchecks never expire and are accepted at any Harris Teeter store.

•We do not issue rainchecks for coupon items that may be out of stock or for “while supplies last” items.

•We reserve the right to limit raincheck quantities based on product availability and advertised limits.

•Rainchecks can be written for a limit of three unless otherwise stated in the ad.

Scan Guarantee
•Our scan guarantee states "If an item scans higher than the shelf tag or sign, you will receive one like item free, excluding alcohol and tobacco."

Harris Teeter reserves the right to limit quantities in coupon usage, as well as products and to amend our policies as we deem appropriate.

If you missed the previous couponing posts click HERE for Part 1: Supermarket Savings and HERE for Part 2: Where do I get coupons?

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