Welcome to Day 3 of the new monthly series: Learn How to Coupon!
For this month, I will be sharing all kinds of information to help you along your way as a Coupon Newbie, or as a refresher for all of you seasoned couponers!
If you missed any other day, you can find them here:
Day 1: Anatomy of a Coupon
Day 2: Anatomy of a Barcode
Today’s topic is: Types of Coupons
So now that you have gotten a chance to see what is actually on a coupon, I wanted to share a little about the types of coupons that are out there.
Manufacturer and Store Coupons
Manufacturer and store coupons are the two main types of coupons that are out there. It’s important to know the difference between the two. Later in this series we will get into the actual use of these coupons, and how at some stores, you can use a store AND a manufacturer coupon together to get extra savings! More on that later…
When we talked about the Anatomy of a Coupon, you saw the example of what a manufacturer’s coupon looks like. Manufacturer coupons are coupons that are put out by the companies of the products that you buy. They will typically state “manufacturer coupon” at the top of the coupon.
The standard UPC codes for a manufacturer coupon usually begins with the number “5” or “9”. If you had any other number at the beginning, then you might have yourself a “store” coupon.
Now that the coupon barcodes are changing into what’s known as the GS1 Databar, you will no longer be able to tell if the coupon you have is a “manufacturer” or “store” coupon, just by looking at the numbers.
So always go by the wording on the coupon, and not the image or the numbers itself.
These coupons can be found everywhere! Later we will get into specifics of where you can find coupons, but the main source for manufacturer coupons is going to be found in coupon inserts inside your Sunday Newspapers.
Here are some examples of manufacturer coupons (in regular AND printable form):
(Here’s an example from our Anatomy of a Coupon post)
(Here’s one that was in the Sunday Newspaper):
(Here’s some examples of printable manufacturer coupons):
How else can I tell it’s a Manufacturer Coupon?
Has a Remit-to or Send-to Address:
Take a look at the wording on the coupon. I wanted to show you a few different examples so that you can see what different manufacturer coupons look like. On the milk coupon, you can see that they have instructions for Retailer. This is instructions for whatever store you are redeeming the coupon at.
It states the address to turn in the coupons to. If you ever see wording like that on a coupon, you most likely have a manufacturer coupon, because it needs to be sent to a clearinghouse, then back to the manufacturer so that they can reimburse the store for the coupon.
Store coupons are coupons that are put out by the stores or retailers that you shop at for products. These coupons have a unique barcode of their own, and do not have any “remit-to” or “send-to” address.
The numbering on the barcode itself will also be unique to the store, so instead of the number “5” or “9” (which indicates a manufacturer coupon), you will notice that it begins with any other number.
*Keep in mind as the new GS1 Databar codes replace the old UPC codes on manufacturer coupons, you will no longer be able to tell the difference in “store” or “manufacturer” coupons based solely on the numbers.
Store coupons will typically say the name of the store or retailer that the coupon is from at the top. It may also say “store” coupon.
These can mainly be found in the stores, or on the store’s websites (as printable store coupons). You can also find store coupons in the newspaper. They are usually located in the sales ad of the store.
Here are some examples of what a store coupon may look like:
CVS (these coupons are from the coupon machine in the store):
Target (this came from the Free Beauty Bag that Target had, it was filled with store coupons):
Walgreens Store coupon (comes from sales ad):
Rite-Aid Store coupon (comes from sales ad):
If you look at the example of the Walgreens coupons, you can see that they say “coupon good at Walgreens”. This is typical of a store coupon, because you can only use it in that store.
Coupons that have Manufacturer AND Store Name/Logo on them:
Where people can get confused is when you see the wording “manufacturer coupon” and then you may also see “store coupon”, the name of the store, or “redeem only at” followed by a store name.
Many stores will advertise on specific manufacturer coupons in the hopes that you will buy the product at that store. They may put their logo or name, but no where on it does it say “Redeem Only At.”
If you have a coupon like this, then technically if your store accepts manufacturer coupons, they should accept it. Just know that your mileage may vary on this one, and you may be turned down. The only other thing you can do is call the manufacturer themselves and ask them specifically what they wording means.
If you do run across a coupon that says “manufacturer” and then has the store name or “redeem only at” also on the coupon, then you have a store coupon.
What happens here is the store just used the wording “manufacturer” because of the item, but they are the ones giving the discount. Here’s a good example of one at Walgreens. You can see in the wording that it says: Manufacturer coupon. But is also says good only at Walgreens.
If you have a store around you that accepts “competitor’s coupons”, then you may be able to use your “Store” coupons in another store.
This helps the competitor win your business, so some will accept them! They usually have it in their coupon policies if they accept competitor’s coupons.
So now that you know the differences in what a manufacturer and a store coupon look like, you are well on your way!
Even though these are some examples of coupons, they can come in many forms (printable, tearpads, peelies, hangtag, electronic). So we will get more into that later in the series.
Stay tuned tomorrow for Day 4!