Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why Couponers Cheat

 I've been seriously disturbed lately at what I perceive to be an increase of deal seekers using coupons to rip off grocers and retailers.  It makes me sick to see shoppers purposely profiling checkers they think will not "look too closely" at the bad coupon match ups or won't haggle with a shopper at what they know to be unethical coupon use.  I have heard of shoppers driving to stores 25 minutes out of their way (from Orem to Payson) just for these reasons.

So why do couponers cheat?  Why, in essence, steal from a store for personal gain?  I have a couple guesses:

#1.  They don't know any better.  Though I think this is the least likely of all unethical coupon use instances, I'm sure there are shoppers out there who have been told that reading bar codes or lying about ad matching prices is ok to do.  Um, it's not.  You may have seen a television show recently or even read a blog detailing how to read bar codes for the purpose of cheating a store.  Some teach these practices and claim it's to help shoppers know what products they can use their coupons on.  Baloney!  It is my personal belief that there is no legitimate need for any person to understand how to read a bar code other that to cheat and ultimately steal potential revenue from a store.  All a shopper has to do is read the wording on a coupon to know what products they can apply it to - period!  If a coupon says "Save $3.00 on Huggies 60 ct diapers"  you buy 60 ct diapers, not a smaller pack, not wipes, not any other baby product.  To use that coupon in any other manner is unethical and fraudulent!

#2.  They feel entitled.  We live in a day and age when people feel entitled.  They deserve to be given whatever they've set their minds to.  I've heard of shoppers who felt like they were overcharged at a store on a previous shopping trip so the deserve the extra (and unethical) savings on their current shopping trip.  If you were over charged it's your responsibility alone to correct the situation once you've noticed the error.  Don't pad your next bill with savings to compensate.

#3.  They think it doesn't hurt anyone.  Wrong!  Cheating stores by using incorrect coupons or lying about pricing is theft - plain and simple.  Ask your local grocery manager, the next time you shop, how many coupons they had rejected last month and what the total dollar value was and you'll be amazed at their coupon losses.  Couponers say all the time, well they get an extra $0.08 every time I give them a coupon so they're making money on the deal.  Not necessarily true.  That extra $0.08 goes towards redemption costs, mailing cost etc...  The coupons aren't redeemed for free.  Stores have to hire companies to manage the redemption process for them and guess what - they have to pay for those services.

#4.  Addiction.  I'm the 1st one to admit that shopping with coupons and saving the kind of money that couponing provides is addicting.  It's like a drug free coupon high!  You walk in to a store and walk out saving 60%-90% on your bill and you're grinning ear to ear at what you've accomplished.  Bravo!!  But that rush can sometimes be akin to gambling fever, when you'll do anything to save that much money again. (Seriously, I'm likely never going to use those Shout Wipes that are Free after double coupons but I did indeed buy them simply because they were free.  FYI - I'm not buying any more even if we get more coupons!)

#5.  Their Family is more important that any one person or retailer.  Hey, I love my family as well, but I also try to keep in mind that I should only buy what we really need.  In Utah County, Walmart doubles coupons every Tuesday.  But just go into the store on Monday at 5pm and you'll see lines of shoppers willing to wait 7+ hours to empty their overflowing 5 carts onto the conveyor belt.  Why clear shelves of products you won't use?  I think it's a combination of some of the reasons above, but I also think we try so hard to give our family the best that we forget everyone else in the picture.  They have to be first, and fast, so that if they beat someone else to the store and can get all the goods, they've won some sort of prize.  Not a great prize to win, IMO.  Using coupons unethically to obtain these savings shouldn't make anyone's family proud.

#6.  They're just thieves with no moral code.  No explanation required.

Why be so harsh about coupon cheaters?  Why not just let them be?  First, I hate that shoppers are using my name and website to provide justification for their unethical tactics.  I have heard from multiple cashiers claiming that shoppers will say, "Amy/SavvyShopperDeals.com, said we could.  I went to her class."  Fortunately most cashiers know me or the site and know that's a lie and one you will called to the mat for!  Cashiers have told countless shoppers to email me if they think they're right.  I've yet to receive one of those emails.  Why? Because they know they've lied.

I feel like I have now been assigned to be the Utah coupon police, a job I don't want!  But it seems that now, along with my weekly email to Walmart stores of the hot double coupon items that they need to stock up on for Tuesday double coupons, I'm going to start sending them out a cheater list as well.  Ie... coupons which shoppers will try to use on incorrect ounce sizes etc.  FYI - I've already been asked to take in Sunday Ads asap to try and prevent all the cheating with Rite Aid and Walgreens Up or Register Reward price match attempts.  I'd like to just go shopping and not have to worry about all the cheaters out there, but I guess that's not going to happen.  And, FYI I'm already hearing rumors about double coupons ending due to theft and cheating.  Keep it up and we'll all suffer.

Bring on the comments.....
Leelou Blogs, 2011. All Rights Reserved. Blog Design by Leelou Blogs