Couponing Basics: Can You Photocopy a Coupon?

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I have spent several weeks discussing where to get coupons and a lot of focus has been put on where to get printable coupons.  One important fact that must be mentioned before we can go any further is…

You may NEVER photocopy a coupon

Coupons have a unique serial number that is specific to that coupon.  Each time you print a coupon, it is given a different serial number (most sites allow 2 prints per computer – the barcode is the same but the serial number is different).  The store will not be reimbursed for duplicate serial numbers.

So, what happens if you DO photocopy a coupon?  The coupon will likely scan in-store and you will save money on the product.  The coupon will be shipped to the clearinghouse (where they process the coupons), and only 1 coupon will be valid while the others will show as duplicate serial numbers.  The store will not get reimbursed for the duplicate coupon value and the store will lose money.  In all likelihood, the store manager and cashier will get reprimanded for accepting the coupon and will be more stringent with other coupon users in the future.

To sum up – Copying coupons is illegal.  Don’t do it!

Next Up: The Anatomy of a coupon and how you’re identified on all coupons you print.

See all Coupon Basics Posts


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