Wilson County News
Tips from the Coupon Queen blog header
Wilson County News • 1012 C St • Floresville • TX • 78114 • Ph: 830-216-4519 • Fax: 830-393-3219 • Email:
Friday, Apr 18, 2014
Login
Not a subscriber? Click here.
Are you a WCN subscriber?
Set up your password.

 
E-Mail
Password
  Remember me
 
  Forgot password?
La Vernia News
Google
Google

Preview the Paper
Preview this week's Paper

Tips from the Coupon Queen

Ins and outs of free products




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story

Disclaimer:
Jill Cataldo is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.

CTW Features
November 30, 2011 | 1199 views | 1 comment

It seems any time I pull out coupons for free products at the supermarket, people wonder how I got them. Whether it’s the cashier or other shoppers in line, it’s inevitable that someone will ask, “Where did you get that coupon for a free pizza?” “How did you get a coupon for free toilet paper?”

Coupons for free products are not terribly difficult to come by. While manufacturers sometimes run coupons for free items in newspaper inserts, they tend to use other means to distribute them.

One method that’s exploded in popularity is online distribution. I’m not referring to printable coupons -- we’ll get to those in a second. Many manufacturers offer free coupons via online promotions to their shoppers. I’ve recently received coupons for free yogurt, free coffee creamer and free cheese from offers that I responded to on the Internet.

Companies post free coupon offers in different ways. With the free yogurt, I happened to see a TV commercial inviting viewers to go to the yogurt’s website and request a free coupon. The manufacturer of the coffee creamer used its Facebook page for a one-day offer of free coupons. I received the coupon for free cheese when I visited the manufacturer’s website one day to look for a printable coupon and instead saw the offer to request a free coupon. All three coupons arrived via postal mail shortly after I requested them online.

Another great way to get free coupons for products you like and use? Take a moment to e-mail or write to the manufacturer. Whether it’s a compliment or suggestion, many companies will send coupons, either high-value or for a free product, in return.

Manufacturers rarely off print-at-home coupons for their free offers. Printable coupons for free products are extremely rare and the majority of manufacturers do not offer them. Due to fraud, it’s too easy for people to make photocopies and use far more coupons than the manufacturer intended for the promotion. Free printable coupons also make up the majority of counterfeit coupons. If someone’s going to “make” a fake coupon, they typically won’t stop at a $1 offer. When a shopper uses a fake coupon the store takes a loss, because the manufacturer won’t reimburse the store for the discount. Because of fraud, most stores have a policy against accepting any printable coupons for free items.

This brings us to a recent e-mail from a reader.

Question: “My husband and I enjoy your columns. We read every one published by our newspaper. Recently, I sent an e-mail suggestion to the manufacturer of our favorite brand of vitamins. The manufacturer in turn sent us a coupon for a free bottle of vitamins! But when we tried to redeem the coupon at checkout, the store informed us that they wouldn’t honor the coupon because it was for a free product. The clerk said that the store honored Buy one, get one free coupons, but that they couldn’t just give a product away for free. This puzzled us. The manufacturer would actually be paying for it and the store wouldn’t lose money, correct? We persisted nicely and the cordial clerk asked the manager. The manager agreed to honor the coupon as an exception, but won’t do it again. What’s going on here?”

I think your store may have been trying to avoid the risk it would not be reimbursed by the vitamin manufacturer. Perhaps they feared your coupon for a free bottle of vitamins was not a legitimate offer. I checked the coupon policy for your store, and there is nothing in it that states that the store will not accept a free coupon. I believe it was a misunderstanding. You may want to request a copy of the coupon policy via your store’s website to carry with you in the future.

Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about couponing at her website, www.jillcataldo.com. Email your own couponing victories and questions to jill@ctwfeatures.com.

© CTW Features
 
« Previous Blog Entry (November 23, 2011)
 


Your Opinions and Comments
 
Dawn Dailey  
Floresville, TX  
November 30, 2011 11:24am
 
 
See these coupons
in today’s paper:

• Sonic Deal of the Day, 8B
• $10 off, Lifechek, 1B
• 10% OFF at Air Pro, 4D
• 10% OFF at Tractor City, p. 5B
• 10% OFF at Angell ... Read More Read More
 

Share your comment or opinion on this story!


You must be logged in to post comments:



Other Tips from the Coupon Queen


Tips from the Coupon Queen bio header
WCN Coupons tips from the coupon queen
 
^Top
  Copyright © 2014 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.
^Top