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Just 10 Things to help you avoid counterfeit coupons

Posted on September 30, 2013 at 11:55 AM

While I certainly believe in ethical couponing, there are a lot of folks out in the world today who do not. So how can you be sure your coupons are legit and not counterfeit coupons which cost manufacturers thousands of dollars each year and thus in turn result in food prices going up?

1) Get your coupons from reputable Sunday newspapers. That is where I get the bulk of my coupons! These are also the coupons I offer through my clipping services. All my coupons come from the Houston Chronicle and Chronicle printed smaller newspapers in the Houston area.  Anyone with a clipping service should be able to tell you exactly where they got their coupons!

2) Get coupons at your local store. If you walk the aisles routinely, you will find that most stores have great displays with tear pad coupons, hang tag coupons on products and blinkies from Smart Source. While these coupons may not be the greatest deal when you get them, save them up for when the price is lower since often these coupons are put out for consumers when the product price is at it's highest peak of the sales cycle.


3) If you print coupons online at home, make sure your coupons go through a coupon printer application like those associated with Smart Source, Coupons.com, Red Plum or The Coupon Network (aka Catalina Coupon Network).

4) If you can see the actual coupon before you print it, that's a big RED flag. While some smaller companies may issue coupons via pdf prints on their websites, most companies will contract with coupons.com, Red Plum, Smart Source or The Coupon Network to distribute their coupons through their coupon printer delivery methods.


5) If a coupon in pdf or jpg form shows up on a bulletin board type site especially if the poster is anonymous, usually the coupon is counterfeit.

6) If someone sends you a coupon via email and the coupon is in pdf or jpg form and fully visible when you go to print it, usually these are also counterfeit.

7) If a coupon is for an extremely high value, usually this is a red flag. Now I am not talking about coupons for free product like the ones that are released for a new product occassionally.  But if you get a coupon for say $9/1 of a product that normally sells for $4, an educated guess would tell you that the coupon is probably counterfeit.

8 ) If someone tells you to only use the coupon at a self check out. This is a big red flag because if the coupon is legit, why wouldn't you be able to go through full service. At Wal-Mart, a customer service manager must approve cash back from overage. If someone is only using the self check at Wal-Mart where you scan coupons yourself, then they seem to be avoiding the manager from seeing their coupons. That just sounds sketchy to me!

9) Coupon lacks bar codes. While coupons for fast food, restaurants, movie theatres and even local store coupons may not include bar codes, manufacturers coupons for nationwide products always carry a bar code!


10) If your coupons look a bit off to you, then you should check them against the database of known counterfeit coupons at federal Coupon Information Corporation

Categories: Just 10 Things to Help You Save Money

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