Can you use a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon together?
When trying to get into extreme couponing, the phrase “limit one per customer” is one of the most frustrating in the world. However, these types of manufacturer restrictions don’t apply to store-based coupons. Fully understanding why you can use store and manufacturer coupons on a single item is critical to know if you want to become a coupon expert.
Store and Manufacturer Coupons are Different
The differences between store and manufacturer coupons are important to understand if you want to start stacking coupons. Simply put, the manufacturer coupon comes directly from the manufacturer of the product. The manufacturer provides the savings detailed in the coupon and, after the store has accepted the coupon, this company must reimburse the store.
Typically, this reimbursement occurs on a weekly or monthly basis and requires the store to collect all of the scanned coupons, track all their information, and send this info to the manufacturer. After receiving these details, the manufacturer typically sends all of them to a third-party company that breaks down the money owed by the manufacturer to each store that uses their coupons. Then, the manufacturer sends a check directly to each store.
By contrast, store coupons are provided directly by the retailer. As a result, these coupons end up costing the store money instead of the manufacturer. These types of deals typically go into effect on items that aren’t selling well or which are nearing their expiration date. And, since they aren’t affiliated with manufacturer coupons, they can be stacked with them in multiple ways.
Stacking Magic Often Occurs in This Situation
One of the biggest tricks used by extreme couponers is seeking out items affected by both manufacturer and store coupons. For example, a manufacturer may print a $1.00 deal on toilet paper during one month while a specific store offers a coupon for $0.50 on the same product. Typically, the retailer is not being careless here but wants to get rid of the product as quickly as possible.
In this scenario, you can stack these coupons together even if the manufacturer coupon states “limit one per customer.” So you could get a deal of $1.50 on toilet paper by stacking these two coupons together. However, stores that allow double or even triple coupon stacking could result in enormous savings for the customer.
Double or triple couponing allows you to use two or even three of the same coupon on a single item. So, continuing with the toilet paper deal above, double couponing of the store coupon would create a $2.00 to $2.50 sale on toilet paper. Skilled extreme coupon pros know how to spot these kinds of deals and will shift their shopping to fall on such trends.
Stores May Try to Restrict Such Behavior
Although double- and triple-stacking is common in many retail stores, not all companies accept coupons in this way. Often, you see smaller stores allow these types of deals as a way of getting business from larger companies like Wal-Mart, Target, or state- and region-based retailer brands. Larger companies often restrict this kind of behavior because they have a more extensive bottom line to watch.
However, even some smaller stores may limit store and manufacturer coupon stacking. These restrictions often go into place if a store has experienced losses on these deals or if they want to streamline their operation. And such limits are entirely legal and within the bounds of the store’s rights. Remember that coupons are not a right but a privilege to the customer.
The best way to find companies that allow manufacturer and store coupon stacking is to call them up and ask. These companies will openly discuss their coupon policies with customers as a way of attracting more business. Sorting through possible confusions before they happen also helps to avoid conflict when a customer tries to misuse coupons by accident during a sale.
Be Prepared for Refusal
Stacking manufacturer and store coupons may confuse many retail cashiers and may cause them to refuse the coupon. This situation is common because the cashier may read “limit one per customer” on the manufacturer coupon and misunderstand its application. Understanding is necessary for this situation because the differences between store and manufacturer coupons is often poorly explained to many retail workers.
In this situation, call over the manager of the store and let them take a look at the different coupons. In most cases, the manager will understand the differences between the coupons and will allow them to be used in this way. However, some stores may try to restrict this type of behavior, as all stores have different coupon acceptance policies. If their policies curtail this stacking, you’re out of luck. However, few deny stacking options because, ultimately, the retailer will still make money and accepting these deals ensures customer loyalty.