Friday, August 7, 2009

Thoughts on Coupon Fraud

I have been thinking on this subject for a while and today it all came together for me.   Its something most of us hear about, but don't really understand.  Coupon fraud is just people making fake coupons, right?  Wrong.  Its more than that, even down to the way we use the coupons we have.  It is our responsibility to make sure we are using them for the right products, correct sizes, that the coupon hasn't expired, etc.  If we don't do our part to be careful couponers, we may end up losing out on a lot.  When companies receive fraudulent coupons sent in from stores that accepted them, most times the stores don't get reimbursed.  Then the stores start cracking down on couponers- even the good ones.  I have heard of several stores (not local to me) that don't accept internet coupons at all now.  Bummer!

Today, I saw a $1/1 Sharpie Highlighter coupon as a PDF (a format that enables you to print as many times as you want) floating around and posted about it since that would make for some very cheap highlighters!  Immediately after posting, I saw this post from Common Sense With Money (please take a minute to read.. good stuff!)  I have to side with her on this one.  I understand that the coupon came from a legit company (I was sure to check that before posting), but they probably didn't have permission from Sharpie or the other companies to post as a PDF.   

I also wanted to let you know that I changed my Food Lion coupons.  I put them up last night as PDF's thinking that would be better since I have heard several people say they have had trouble printing from the Food Lion site.  If you are having trouble, I feel it is probably better for you to contact Food Lion directly instead of offering you a coupon in PDF format that could be printed more than once fraudulently.  Also I am not including coupons I can't find on their site.  Please join their email list and they will send you coupons periodically that are just for customers on their list.  

Ultimately my heart here at Seed to Sow is to be honest in my saving, and I bet most of you out there want the same thing.  I definitely know that my integrity is worth more than the few extra pennies I would have saved using a fraudulent coupon.  I will do my best to always post what I feel are honest coupons and deals.  As a rule of thumb, if a coupon seems too good to be true, it probably is.  You can always check the Coupon Information Corporation or the company the coupon originated from if you aren't sure.

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