One of the most important things to do as a couponer is Avoiding Coupon Fraud. Ethics in couponing is a very big deal, and very controversial. Since we promote only ethical couponing, we want to make sure that you too understand what coupon fraud is and how you can avoid it. Following the rules is important for all us to do to make sure we continue getting the privilege of using coupons in our local stores.
Avoiding Coupon Fraud
Never photocopy any coupon. Printing coupons online is a great way to save money and get extra coupons for your shopping trips. However, you must abide by the rules of where you print them from. Most online coupon printing companies allow you to have 2-3 copies printed of each coupon. This is not photocopying a coupon, but choosing print 2-3 individual times on a specific coupon. Any time you print a coupon, it does have coded information that the manufacturer will log once that coupon is mailed back in for redemption. Each coupon has a unique code that will be logged at redemption. Once it has been logged, it cannot be used again. If you photocopy a coupon and use it at multiple locations, you will be using fraudulent coupons that are not redeemable by the retailer. Not only is it not a good practice, it is illegal and can be considered theft by many brands, retailers and even local police departments. Don’t take chances – never photocopy a coupon.
Don’t buy or sell coupons. This is a controversial subject for many since getting extra copies of coupons is in such high demand. Rules are rules, and every coupon will have something that states it is not to be sold. Buying or selling coupons is fraudulent and has been cracked down upon by law enforcement in the last few years. Don’t take chances. Never buy or sell coupons.
Follow the rules on the coupon. Every coupon has set of individual rules to follow. These rules include what products the coupon applies to, and how many coupons each person can use each day. Proctor and Gamble coupons usually have a limit of 4 like coupons per person. As inconvenient as it may be, follow the rules on the coupon so you don’t unknowingly commit fraud.
Don’t apply coupons to products they are not meant for. There have been many issues with this in years past, but coupons have become harder and harder to “crack” and use incorrectly. Trying to use a coupon a product it is not indicated for is illegal, fraudulent and can ruin couponing for everyone. Only use coupons on the products they are indicated for.
Avoiding coupon fraud in your couponing practices is important not only for yourself, but for everyone who coupons. One bad apple does not ruin the bunch, but it can make the whole bunch look yucky to outsiders. Follow the rules and practice ethical couponing not only for yourself, but for all other couponers out there.
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