Across the U.S., there are couponers who post photos of their fabulous purchases on Facebook, Instagram, blogs and other websites to share and brag about their purchases.

Unfortunately, not all purchases adhere to the ethical aspect of saving money, including some local sites in this area. With some sites, there is no guarantee that every deal you see is legitimate. When you see a post that raises questions, do your homework, investigate it and asks lots of questions. If the person avoids your questions or becomes irate, chances are, it may not be a great as you thought. 

A few years ago, Target offered a $20 gift card when a student signed up for a college registry. But it wasn’t just students who signed up. Couponers signed up themselves, their significant others and all the members in their household, bragging that they were not students. If one person, who has no kids, signs up four family members for the registry, that’s $80 that Target gave away. Now expand that to thousands of people each signing up themselves AND four family members! The promotion became quite costly to Target. Dishonesty can kill a promotion real quick!

Not too long ago, there was a fabulous deal on individual packs of Huggies wipes. Due to the popularity of the offer, Target sold out quickly. But some couponers didn’t stop there. They opened bulk boxes with individual packs inside, took them out and bought them as they appeared to be the individual packs that were sold out from the shelves. Target lost money and compromised its inventory across the country, including Harker Heights.

What's hurting stores across the U.S, especially in the Killeen area, are fraudulent coupons. These coupons are usually bought in bulks by IP fairies and coupon fairies. If you see someone using high value coupons or "free item" coupons and they say it came from their fairy, they are usually fake coupons. Valid coupons like these come from the company directly and usually give few at a time. To check out the latest counterfeit coupons, click HERE. Not all counterfeit coupons make the list right away. They will eventually. If you know that someone is using a counterfeit coupon, you can report them on this SITE.

If this kind of behavior continues, what will be next? Deterrent sensors on wipes, locking them up or placing them behind the cash registers like items in the electronics department? Yes, it may be silly to do that for wipes, but I am sure corporate and loss prevention have been discussing a plan to prevent it from happening again.

Most policy changes are made because of bad behaviors, which means the whole couponing community is affected, not just those shady savers.

When you read the fine print or talk with store managers, there’s an important stipulation on coupon policies that says, “Managers reserve the right to accept, refuse and limit coupons and items.” This has become an important leverage for managers to use in stores to control how coupons are redeemed. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. The statement means managers have a trump card over shoppers and corporate policy. In fact, managers can deny certain coupons without a reason why. You can call corporate about your concerns, and even though they may be valid, they only will be noted and passed to that store’s manager. At the same time, if there's a great deal, managers can limit the amount of coupons you can use....Target allows 4 like coupons per day per household. That may be a real pain for the extreme couponers but someone with a busy schedule will get an equal chance to buying some. This helps deter shelf clearers.

Jennise "Savealotmom" Colin-Ventura | 254-501-7515 | | | instagram @jensavealotmom

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