how coupons work

There appears to be some confusion on how to get started with coupons. This post focuses on how coupons work. I’ve posted step by step instructions to get you headed on the right path. I understand it can be confusing so hopefully this step by step series will help. Let’s get started with Step 1.

How Do Coupons Work?

Coupons are a form of advertising for a manufacturer. They want to get their product in the hands of the consumer (you).  Manufacturers pay to have the coupons placed in the Sunday paper or any other type of advertisement to get the coupon in your hand. Coupons can be found in several different places:

  • Sunday Newspaper
  • Printable Coupons
  • Grocery Store
  • Attached to products you purchased or in the products box
  • Receipt Print Out
  • Magazines
  • The Mail
  • Coupon Clipping Services (They cut the coupons and you buy them so you don’t have to pick up a pair of scissors).

After you use a coupon during your shopping trip, the store sends the coupon to a clearinghouse. The coupon clearinghouse is a third party company that verifies the coupon was used correctly and how much the manufacturer owes the store.

Coupon ProcessPhoto Credit: KCL

The manufacturer absorbs the price of the coupon plus an $0.08 handling fee. The store is usually reimbursed unless the clearinghouse finds that the coupon was not used properly. This is where honest couponing comes into play. If you know that your not using a coupon properly and you do it anyway and the cashier doesn’t notice it, your basically ripping off the store.

Many stores have experienced fraudulent couponers and are therefore very strict with coupons they accept. Coupons are never to be photocopied or duplicated in anyway. When you print an online coupon, you can usually print two at the most.

Please leave me a comment on this post if you have any questions or comments.

The next step is to understand the different types of coupons.

This is the 1st post in a series. Click this How to use Manufacturer Coupons link to read more posts in this series.

No Comments


March 20, 2012 @ 17:02

I love that you are teaching how to use coupons. i've been using them but I could really use some expert help like yours to help me further my experience with coupons as I don't know very much about it. Thank you for doing this. Sharon PS I shared your link; hope you didn't mind.

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