Stores may face the consequences of accepting coupons for products they didn't actually sell. If the store undergoes an audit and can't prove that it sold the specific coupon items, you may not be reimbursed for the coupons you wrongly accepted. Coupon fraud and abuse end up affecting all shoppers because of the ways in which retailers increase prices to mitigate losses that stem from fraud. So, ultimately, buyers pay for coupon fraud.
How does the manufacturer know if a coupon has been sold? There is no single, definitive way to know. Therefore, coupon redemption houses and clearing houses use a variety of indicators to identify if a voucher may have ever been sold. If the manufacturer believes that a coupon has been sold, the coupon is void and you don't have to refund it to the store. One method of identifying the coupons that can be sold is through the status of the coupon.
The term “group cutting” refers to the practice of stacking multiple pages, such as inserting pages one on top of the other, and then cutting the entire stack at the same time, either with scissors or with a paper cutter. This is the method most used by resellers to cut individual coupons. Coupons cut in groups are also often in perfect condition, meaning they haven't been held or tampered with enough to indicate that consumers cut them by hand. I use coupons all the time and work for a company associated with coupons, so I know there's no way the store would have given you credit for any product unless it was covered in that coupon.
Whether you're regularly cutting back coupons from the Sunday newspaper or looking for promotional codes while shopping online, coupons can be a great way to offer consumers a discount on various grocery items, clothing, and personal care items. For example, the image of the coupon could be of frozen flakes, but the text of the coupon could say that you can buy frozen flakes, raisin bran, etc. An ATM at my local Giant Eagle said they had recently arrested someone for using copies of printable coupons. But it was clear that they were working with some very liberal coupon policies that aren't available to me.
I often shopped at pharmacies like CVS, Rite-Aid and Walgreens, which are the top retail stores for extreme coupon shoppers. We mainly buy fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables and fresh meat and I guess I'm not lucky enough to find coupons for them. I imagined that stores were looking the other way when it came to their coupon policies, and I wondered if people were stealing coupons, but I had no idea how far I was going. While I've never participated in these practices, I realized how tempting it would be to do so, especially when I'm stuck in the coupon craze.
In any case, this program isn't encouraging more people to use coupons, but it's going to stop stores accepting them, let alone double them. Hey, if the store allows you to buy an item that isn't intended for that coupon, it's in the store, not the customer. When ads for the new program began airing, many members of well-read message boards among the coupon community recognized Jaime for his YouTube videos and expressed concern about whether he would use coupons in a fraudulent manner on TLC's Extreme Couponing. This situation also affects anyone who is not an “extreme coupon shopper”, but who simply wants to use coupons during a shopping trip.
Coupon fraud is almost always a violation of federal, state, or local laws, and those who participate in it face the possibility of criminal punishment. I only asked once the first store I went to (for example, I shop at 4 Walmarts but only asked the first one where I tried the coupon). .