Archived Extreme Couponers

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Hello fellow team members, just wondering how you guys handle the extreme couponers? I don't mind ringing them up because it makes time go by faster. Actually the first day I cashiered at Target, a couponer saved so much it actually rang up that I owed her like a nickel! (That was in August). Now AP tells us if anyone comes in with a lot of coupons to call for them. I was wondering what your store does when those extreme couponers come in.
 
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Watch out for them! Sometimes, some of their coupons are not legit. At my store, we are supposed to skim each coupon and confirm that the guest is actually buying the correct product; frequently, people will try to use incorrect coupons (usually because they don't bother to read them). I don't think we are allowed to give cash back on coupons at my store. I had a scammer come in once who tried to do that, but because none of his coupons were actually for the items he had (tried to use $5 off Schick electric razor coupons for little cheap razors, stuff like that), he couldn't use any of them.

I really hate the self-entitled, stuck up women who come in with coupons, and when they find out they can't use one or more, they get an attitude with you. Not my fault you can't read, dumba$$!
 
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When I first started i was a cashier and i absolutely hated betting the extreme couponers, at the time Target didnt truly have a policy restricting the use of multiple coupons. So we just went through and made sure the coupons truly matched the items(most people tried using coupons for crest white strips which were $10 off for a $2 toothpaste) and we also checked if they were expired(they tried using expired ones all the time and they would even go so far to cut the expiration date off). THen of course they would walk right over to guest service return it all so they could get the cash back since it didnt subtract the coupon value from the item. Then Target started to limit it to four of the same coupon per household per day which helped deter them. And returning an item that a coupon was used on took of the coupons value. But couponers then tried to return a lot of stuff with no reciept and use a gift reciept or an id which gave them the value before the coupon. So what we did was not let people return HBA items without reciepts if we knew they were couponers. Since these have been enacted at my store though we rarely get any coupeners the main ones left and well maybe get 1 per month.
 

redeye58

Hasta Ba Rista, Baby!
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Also beware of D-coding. Manufacturers will often use a generic UPC on several types of coupons & coupon abusers will try to drown a newb cashier who isn't aware of what they should be looking for. As a result, many coupons will scan for different/non-matching items. The abusers will always say "You have to take it if it scans!" I always reminded them that d-coding is fraud & no, we DON'T have to accept them. Coupons with dates chopped off were rejected right off. I also kept copies of the coupon policy up front in the event of challenges. Guests attempting returns of large amts of HBA/Cleansors, etc were declined. Purchases were limited to no more than four in a transaction. Eventually, the abusers stopped coming & the extremes are limited so everyone can shop.
 
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As someone who used a lot of coupons for a few years, I always get a bit touchy when people whine and complain about couponers because for the most part, both the couponer and the cashier want the same result, but there's just so much misunderstanding and prejudice that it's hard.

I find that couponers tend to take a very defensive attitude right up front because they know if they get a clueless cashier, the cashier might mess up a perfectly legitimate transaction (because coupons ARE tricky and one mistake and suddenly you have lots of problems), so by being very firm upfront, they hope the cashier will just do what they ask and not take forever. That doesn't mean they're doing anything shady or trying to scam, but believe me when I say that one mistake would make the difference between saving or losing money.

I feel like if cashiers educated themselves on coupons beyond just the printed coupon guidelines and figured out why people use certain coupons a certain way, it would eliminate a ton of misunderstanding. When I first started to cashier, I had no idea what ocupons did and was really amazed to see people save money by just turning in a slip of paper. I went online, educated myself on coupons and how to use them properly, and started to use them myself. I don't have time nowadays to clip tons of coupons, but when I did, I saved a TON of money and I used them all properly; nothing shady.

I think the show "Extreme Couponers" has done nothing but perpetuate the misunderstanding and friction between legitimate couponers and retail workers, because just becuase someone uses a lot of coupons, does not mean they are crazy or trying to scam you. Sometimes, but 90% of the time they're not and they're just trying to save some money, and it makes it difficult for them when they are instantly branded "trouble" when they walk in the door.

Remember, Spot LIKES coupons. We make money on every one that is redeemed in our store. As long as all coupons are being redeemed properly, we move product, make a guest happy and we make money. What's not to like?

Sorry to rant; and I realize that you're mostly talking about the people who ARE coupon scammers. I just had to throw my two cents in there.
 
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I think the worst part of coupons, and this back from my GSTL days, are the cashiers who DO NOT WRITE THE DAMN AMOUNT ON THEM!

Some coupons (particularly buy one get one free) require that the cashier write the amount of the product on the coupon. (this is very clear, it is written on the coupon, and there is even a blank to write it in)

Every time a cashier fails to do this, the vendor refuses to reimburse target for the value of the coupon. So, for instance in a buy one get 1 free coupon, the cashier just essentially gave the item away for free when the vendor was supposed to pay us for the "free" item the guest got.

I always felt that it was one of the only true ways to waste payroll. Of course, Target takes the loss and just shrugs it off, but if you think about it company wide... how much money are lazy cashiers tossing in the trash?
 
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You are supposed to write the amount on the coupon? News to me, I will have to pay attention to that.

I get some couponers, but they will mostly have 4 target coupons printed out from cartwheel and then 4 manufacturer coupons and buy things like baby formula or mouthwash. I love the ones that set their coupons on the conveyer belt in the front only to watch them fall into the black abyss under the register. Or the ones that hand me them at the start of the transaction. Computer doesn't let you scan the items if it isn't on there. Or the ones that want to use a giftcard and then use coupons after I just threw their used giftcard into the pile of other giftcards I keep at the bottom of the register for recycling. Learned I can just scan missed coupon at end of transaction though. Most guests just throw away their coupons.

What is the policy on items that have coupons on them already? Like say a shampoo has sticker coupons on it for save 2$ now, but one is missing the sticker. I know all of them are supposed to have it because I have seen them on the aisle. Based on talking to GSA/GSTL at my store I normally just vibe it and double scan the one coupon rather than hold up my line to unbearable amounts to the point where we will need 3~4 backup cashiers for 20 minutes. If someone has only 1 coupon and has like tons of the same item though I will call for GSTL for sure.
 

oath2order

Scary Socialist
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I had a guest try and pass off a bunch of coupons without a picture on them that came up as "how much is this coupon" and their response was $25. I told them I couldn't accept it. They went to another register.

Turns out AP knew them. They were known as major coupon frauders
 
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You are supposed to write the amount on the coupon? News to me, I will have to pay attention to that.

I get some couponers, but they will mostly have 4 target coupons printed out from cartwheel and then 4 manufacturer coupons and buy things like baby formula or mouthwash. I love the ones that set their coupons on the conveyer belt in the front only to watch them fall into the black abyss under the register. Or the ones that hand me them at the start of the transaction. Computer doesn't let you scan the items if it isn't on there. Or the ones that want to use a giftcard and then use coupons after I just threw their used giftcard into the pile of other giftcards I keep at the bottom of the register for recycling. Learned I can just scan missed coupon at end of transaction though. Most guests just throw away their coupons.

What is the policy on items that have coupons on them already? Like say a shampoo has sticker coupons on it for save 2$ now, but one is missing the sticker. I know all of them are supposed to have it because I have seen them on the aisle. Based on talking to GSA/GSTL at my store I normally just vibe it and double scan the one coupon rather than hold up my line to unbearable amounts to the point where we will need 3~4 backup cashiers for 20 minutes. If someone has only 1 coupon and has like tons of the same item though I will call for GSTL for sure.

It depends on the coupon, but yes, absolutely, if the coupon has a blank to write the price it *must* be completed, otherwise the vendor does not compensate us for the sale. This is yet another reason why cashiers are supposed to *always* look at the coupons.

Here is an example of a coupon the cashier would have to write the price on:



Notice the box that says "Retailer" with the blank to write the selling price in up to $5? That is so Dorito's knows how much money to send Target for the coupon. If it is blank, you get nothing. That's why the GSA's/GSTL's collect coupons at the end of the night and the cash office puts them in a plastic bag and sends them out of the store.... the coupons go back to the vendors who then cut Target a check to reimburse us for the loss of selling for less than our regular price.

I'm amazed your store is letting you guys slide on this... you are literally causing the company a loss every time it isn't filled out. At my store, a pattern of not doing this will lead to write ups and termination pretty quickly.
 
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I'm amazed your store is letting you guys slide on this... you are literally causing the company a loss every time it isn't filled out. At my store, a pattern of not doing this will lead to write ups and termination pretty quickly.

Like I said, I will have to check it out when I go back into work (off today). I don't think I have ever seen a coupon where it has space to write stuff like this though. Mostly get the ones we print off from the registers and ones from the add. It is possible the GSTLs handle the coupons later on, not sure. I want to say 90% of our cashiers were hired as seasonal, so there wasn't really any time to train us.
 
B

Barcode

Guest
There are tons of coupons that have the blank space for Item Price. Usually for "Free Item" coupons. Not filling it out can lose the store money.

It will usually say something like "Retailer, enter item value in the space below (not to exceed $x.xx) "
 
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
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As someone who used a lot of coupons for a few years, I always get a bit touchy when people whine and complain about couponers because for the most part, both the couponer and the cashier want the same result, but there's just so much misunderstanding and prejudice that it's hard.

I find that couponers tend to take a very defensive attitude right up front because they know if they get a clueless cashier, the cashier might mess up a perfectly legitimate transaction (because coupons ARE tricky and one mistake and suddenly you have lots of problems), so by being very firm upfront, they hope the cashier will just do what they ask and not take forever. That doesn't mean they're doing anything shady or trying to scam, but believe me when I say that one mistake would make the difference between saving or losing money.

I feel like if cashiers educated themselves on coupons beyond just the printed coupon guidelines and figured out why people use certain coupons a certain way, it would eliminate a ton of misunderstanding. When I first started to cashier, I had no idea what ocupons did and was really amazed to see people save money by just turning in a slip of paper. I went online, educated myself on coupons and how to use them properly, and started to use them myself. I don't have time nowadays to clip tons of coupons, but when I did, I saved a TON of money and I used them all properly; nothing shady.

I think the show "Extreme Couponers" has done nothing but perpetuate the misunderstanding and friction between legitimate couponers and retail workers, because just becuase someone uses a lot of coupons, does not mean they are crazy or trying to scam you. Sometimes, but 90% of the time they're not and they're just trying to save some money, and it makes it difficult for them when they are instantly branded "trouble" when they walk in the door.

Remember, Spot LIKES coupons. We make money on every one that is redeemed in our store. As long as all coupons are being redeemed properly, we move product, make a guest happy and we make money. What's not to like?

Sorry to rant; and I realize that you're mostly talking about the people who ARE coupon scammers. I just had to throw my two cents in there.
I wasn't by anymeans trying to offend anyone. My apologies.
 

HardlinesFour

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Every time a cashier fails to do this, the vendor refuses to reimburse target for the value of the coupon. So, for instance in a buy one get 1 free coupon, the cashier just essentially gave the item away for free when the vendor was supposed to pay us for the "free" item the guest got.

Just take a pen, and write in the "max value amount". That's what we always did...

I had a guest try and pass off a bunch of coupons without a picture on them that came up as "how much is this coupon" and their response was $25. I told them I couldn't accept it. They went to another register.

I would have told a GSTL, or GSA, so they could decline any further attempts...


That's a FAKE coupon, btw. There was an urgent message a few years ago, not to accept that, because Frito Lay was not reimbursing us.
 

Cel

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Yeah, that's something that's never been mentioned at my store during cashier training or otherwise. I'm interviewing for a GSA position tomorrow, we'll see if it gets mentioned during training/whatnot if I get the promotion? Could be whoever does CO writes in the price after the fact.
 

oath2order

Scary Socialist
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I had a guest try and pass off a bunch of coupons without a picture on them that came up as "how much is this coupon" and their response was $25. I told them I couldn't accept it. They went to another register.

I would have told a GSTL, or GSA, so they could decline any further attempts...

Well I was over at guest services after I left the register (I was on backup) and called AP over. They saw AP ad left the store.

Huge cart full of stuff: One of the spider-wrapped cameras that are on an endcap in electronics, a spiderwrapped T-Mobile phone, lots of clothing and crap.
 

Jasette

GSA
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I don't mind these folks when they're obviously just trying to save money. But we get so much coupon fraud at our store that we had to change our policy on refunds when the guests used coupons. We'd get guests who would buy a billion things with coupons and gift cards, then come return the things and get cash for the part they paid with coupons - so now we only give gift cards for the full amount. Which still hurts and is super annoying because there are places where they can turn around and sell that gift card for over 90% of its worth.

It seems like they just make a living off of this and it is so insanely annoying because coupons aren't supposed to have any monetary value... and the guests who do this often don't think they're doing anything wrong and are really snotty about it. I recently had one of these guests complain about not getting cash back for the coupon portion, and when I told him there was a change in policy he started arguing with me... and I'm like... dude... you're still cheating the system here. "Making it right" in this case would be refusing the return altogether IMO. Ugh.
 
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Thanks to this thread I was over the top on this today - I do everything anyway...

The sad thing is, the person that was trying to get me to just write the max amount in while ringing her up ("it says a max $4.89 just write that"... um, no, I know that product isn't that - it was $2.89) was an employee. When she saw that I was writing the correct price in each one... she walked away from her stuff.

I was irked to put it mildly.

I'm not sure if she thought because I rarely cashier I wouldn't catch on or what - she doesn't know I was the equivalent of a GSTL/GSA at Best Buy... and I work in the pharmacy selling sudafed. HA.

Anyway, I talked to the LOD about it, I was still ticked 3 hours later.
 

redeye58

Hasta Ba Rista, Baby!
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As an avid couponer, I've got no problem with extreme users who know the drill: one target coupon paired w/a manf coupon, stack it with a cartwell if ya got it. I DO have a problem with folks who game the system, including TMs.
As NSN & SOT point out, we don't get reimbursed if coupons aren't filled out for the proper amts. The reason WHY you don't write the max amt allowed is that the coupons are sent to a place where they're sorted by manf & listed by product & discount amt. The list is sent to CSA who runs it against the store's transactions for the week's sales. If they can't match it to a purchase, we don't get reimbursed. It may not seem like much if you don't put in the price for that 'free' $1.89 bag of chips until you see how many $$ of coupons are sent in each week & how much is lost cumulatively.
The last time I used to see those reports (5+ yrs ago), they were concerned about the $1800+ loss in misapplied coupons over a quarter.
 

GlobalJ

Electronics TM
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Watch out for guests using multiple buy one get one coupons (I think they're actually legit but could be wrong) Anyways, awhile back my store was getting scammed due to a hole in the system. A guest would buy 10+ items and only pay for half of them. The next day they'd return them and the system did not account for the BOGO coupons and gave the guest the value for all 10+. Needless to say a clueless service desk worker who didn't see the return as suspicious didn't help. But just a heads up.
 

redeye58

Hasta Ba Rista, Baby!
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That's been going on for quite a while. The reason is that Target gets reimbursed for the BOGO amt so we HAVE to reimburse the guest for the 'free' amt. It would be considered 'double dipping' in terms of what retailers are allowed to get paid for.
But because so many guests have been abusing it, Target reimburses the 'free' amt back on a gift card so the guest con only use it at Target.
 
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I used to deal with EDI - which is the format that is/was used for transmitting such things to various people. It makes it very easy to parse the data and find the coupon transactions.

And, i used to have to match my coupons at Best Buy to the report every morning. It isn't something I personally take lightly - and it just really irked me today.

Like you redeye58, I do not have an issue at all with the legit uses, and Target gives you ample opportunity to stack with mobile coupons and cartwheel. I will remain impressed when you do all of that...

Another thing that irked me today was a guest that mentioned forgetting to stop by the pharmacy to fix something. I mentioned I worked there, and asked what they needed. She had gotten some bad information on the rewards program - I was irked. Very irked. In her case it was a whole reward coupon she was missing. I'm guessing it was someone helping out - but they are dedicated Target shoppers ($300 in groceries today in our pfresh store!), and the store doesn't need mess ups with those types of customers. They recognized me from a youth sport the kids were in together a couple of years ago, and I think it all ended up ok in the end. They weren't trying to scam the store with their coupons and such, just saving some $$ on a big trip.

Anyway. It was just funny that I had this happen after reading this thread.
 
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if you read coupon blogs you will find that they do in fact direct you to the young cashiers, especially of the male persuasion :) also be leery of coupons that are printed on a home computer that are printed vertically. usually that is a dead giveaway for a fake.
 
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if you read coupon blogs you will find that they do in fact direct you to the young cashiers, especially of the male persuasion :) also be leery of coupons that are printed on a home computer that are printed vertically. usually that is a dead giveaway for a fake.
HA. I could never be mistaken for young! (and, our only young cashiers are our seasonal keepers). I honestly feel like i probably was picked because I am not up there often. To bad that backfired on her huh? :D

I didn't have any printed ones today (i normally have those - if the stupid app prints....), but i did have a printed cartwheel. I loved that!!! But thanks for the tidbit on the vertical printing.
 

mrknownothing

purveyor of things
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Since I haven't cashiered much lately, I've been wondering: did they ever fix the BOGO glitch with manufacturer's coupons? The one where you scan the coupon, you hit K1 to accept, and it automatically takes off the max value of the coupon instead of the correct price of the item?
 
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