While waiting in line recently at the grocery store, I was reminded once again how important it is for couponers to remain coupon considerate.
Coupon Information Corp. estimates the annual cost of coupon fraud to be nearly a half billion dollars. Here are some best practices to make sure you stay Coupon Considerate:
• Know the policies of your store. Stores list their coupon policies on their websites.
• Read the coupons. Understand size limitations and expiration dates.
• Printable coupons have become very sophisticated. Do not attempt to photocopy printable coupons. This is actually a criminal offense.
• Stealing newspapers is theft. Whether you are grabbing your neighbor’s paper or taking more than one newspaper from the newspaper box, you are stealing. Dumpster or recycling bin diving is also illegal if you are trespassing. If you are attempting to get multiple copies, share what you don’t use with friends and family.
• Be nice. Cashiers are not on commission. In fact, a few are incentivized to provide great customer service. Make the check out as easy as possible. Have coupons all turned the same way and if you see an error, politely ask.
• My No. 1 coupon pet peeve: shelf clearing. This is when shoppers sweep up an item on sale. It’s greedy. Leave a few for others!
• Coupons in the store are to be shared. Peelies (coupons you find stuck on items) should only be used when you are purchasing the item. Do not remove peelies and save them for later.
• If you are planning a big coupon trip, don’t go at 5:30 p.m. on a weekday. Go when staff can properly process your coupons.