A dear friend once asked me, “How much is your integrity worth?” That was long before I began couponing, but it fits in nicely with today’s theme.
The first step to handling coupon disputes and mistreatment from cashiers, starts before that ugly situation even arises.
It starts with us, the shoppers, the couponers, the bargain hunters…
We need to be shoppers with integrity.
- we will be respected and trusted if we are known to be an honest rule playing customer
- we support couponers everywhere, when we play by the rules
- it really is just the right thing to do
So how do we shop with integrity?
We can be polite and friendly to everyone around us.
- say hello to your cashiers, smile, be sweet, ask them how their day is, be the bright spot in their day
- offer people on line extra coupons if you have them, and sweetly warn them, before they start unpacking their cart, that you have a lot of coupons and will be a while
This will make for a smoother shopping experience in the long run and your cashier will have a harder time giving you a problem with your coupons, if you were actually the first person to smile and ask them how their day was.
We must follow coupon rules and ethics.
This is the crux of shopping with integrity.
Though it would be easier to try and sneak some extra or inappropriate coupons in, is our integrity really worth that $0.50? Our honesty and integrity surely must be worth more than a few coupons.
- only use coupons how they are intended:
—if it is $1 off of 2, then buy 2 products and use 1 coupon;
—if it is $1 off of any Huggies, than use it for any size or style Huggies you buy,
—if it is $1 off of Huggies Little movers, than only use it for Huggies little movers. —Make sure you are buying the correct product and size that the coupon specifies.
—Any other use is FRAUD, and fraud is a CRIME.
- do not use expired coupons–
- do not photocopy coupons-again it is fraud
- learn and follow your store’s coupon policies
- do not gang cut your coupons-that is do not lay a ton of inserts together and cut out the coupons all at once. This is not against the law, but it is not looked upon too favorably. Read more about gang cutting here.
- do not be excessive, do not clear a shelf
Now sometimes, we might make a mistake. When that happens, we can apologize and try and remedy the situation. For example, the other day, my coupon beeped. She was reading the coupon. I asked what was wrong. She said that the coupon said $1 off of 2. I had been in a rush and didn’t read my coupon. I apologized, took the coupon back and asked to take the other item off, that I would get it at another time. It was an honest mistake.
Some of this might be new information for you. I will be honest and say that when I first couponed, I used coupons inappropriately because I did not know the coupon rules. Even the blogs I read, did not inform me! Now that I know what is right, I do the right thing. If you have been doing things the wrong way, now you know the right way and can do better. Don’t beat yourself up, just do the right thing in the future.
So how much is your integrity worth?
Believe me, I know it is tempting to try and sneak an extra coupon in or use a coupon for another product just so we can save a bit more. But really, when we are tempted to do this, we should really just ask ourselves, is our integrity really worth the value of a coupon?
Additionally, if you are caught, the cashier will probably remember you and will scrutinize your coupons even more the next time. You will probably be on their radar from then on.
Benefits of Shopping with Integrity:
- you have a much better chance of being respected and liked by your cashiers
- if you do have a problem (which we will address in the next post) there should at least be several people in the store who can vouch for you that you are legit, kind and a shopper with integrity
- you can feel confident because you are doing the right thing
Now I realize, you might have been expecting something a bit different than this post, but stay tuned, more is coming!
I believe shopping with integrity lays the foundation for a good relationship with your cashiers and store management. Hopefully, shopping with integrity can prevent you from being mistreated, but unfortunately this is a fallen world and nobody is perfect and at some point, somebody will be rude to you because you use coupons.
Stay tuned for what to do when this happens!
Do you have any questions about coupon ethics or coupon rules? Please leave a comment if you do and I would be happy to answer it for you!