Most coupon policy changes are made because of bad AND excessive behaviors, which means the whole couponing community is affected.
Printable coupons: What's hurting stores across the U.S, especially in the Killeen area, are fraudulent printable coupons. These coupons are usually bought in bulks by "IP (Internet Printable) fairies" and "coupon fairies". Nowadays, when you print a coupon, you are limited to two of the same coupons because of this and the fact that people sell bulks of these printable coupons.
If you see someone using high value coupons or "free item" coupons and they say it came from their fairy, they are most likely fake coupons. Valid coupons come from the company directly, not from a coupon fairy!
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.
Coupon/product limits: When you read the fine print or talk with store managers, there’s an important stipulation on the store 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 the power over shoppers and the 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.
If there's a great deal on a certain item, managers can limit the amount of coupons you can use or items you can buy....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, which is a GREAT benefit to having store limits!
Coupon Information Center: CIC is a resourceful website that has up to date lists of counterfeit coupons, information about the latest couponing changes and even discusses ethical couponing! (my favorite topic!)
If you see suspicious activities on FB, click HERE to submit a super simple form and investigation may be initiated.
I look at the CIC as the "FBI of Coupons". The organization itself does not apprehend the suspects but they do work closely with law enforcement to stop shady activities. They do internal investigations so all the verfied information are given to police. CIC is largely responsible for changing the selling rules on eBay on coupons.
CIC investigates not only fake coupons but also shares ethical couponing tips and what dictates bad couponing behaviors.
Click HERE to check out the website. They have a wealth of knowledge and it's a great learning experience for everyone, even the advanced couponers.
Theft of items: Another type of abuse is using a coupon on the wrong item, which may excluded, based on the fine print of the coupon) or a completely different product. Knowingly using a coupon on the wrong item (and hoping the cashier lets you use it) is a form of abuse. It's like using fake money to get items. Even though it's not illegal to use the wrong coupon, it's the INTENT to deceive the store to get products so therefore you can get arrested for theft.
Another website that offers news, tips, the latest news and shares police reports stories about couponers and cashiers getting arrested is Coupons In The News. Go HERE to check them out! It's crazy what people will do to save money (or make money). You can also follow them on Facebook HERE.