Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Life of a Coupon

I found another deal for hair products at Walgreen's this week.

This weeks Walgreen's ad states that if you buy 8 Sunsilk products (particular products) that you will receive $10 in Register Rewards (AKA: Walgreen's money). To make this deal sweeter, many stores have clearanced some of the Sunsilk brand hair products, and last weekend's paper had a coupon for $2 off of two Sunsilk products, and I had picked up 6 copies of the paper- so I had 6 copies of the coupon! YAY!

So I headed to my favorite Walgreen's (where Bo and I are known by name!!!) and checked out their clearance section. I found 16 Sunsilk products on clearance so I decided to split them into two transactions. (ONLY one Register Reward will print per transaction and I wanted two Register Rewards!)

I headed to the register and handed my first set of eight products ($1.09 each) to that cashier, followed by three of my coupons(-$6). My total for the first transaction was $3.35 (actually it was FREE because I paid with a gift card that I had earned) and I received $10 in Register Rewards.

Again, I set eight Sunsilk products($1.19 each) on the counter along with my three coupons and my total was $4.09. I paid with my gift card again, but no $10 Register Reward printed out.

I didn't understand why it didn't print out, but I didn't want/need any haircare products that I would actually have to pay for. (I'm pretty stocked up from the Garnier deal.)

So I went to the photo department and met a manager to do a return.

We read the ad more closely and discovered that you were eligible to receive Register Rewards only if you purchased certain products - but not the spray gels that I had bought in my second transaction. So I proceeded with my return.

Since I had made my purchase with a gift card, the purchase price of $10.09 ($4.09 + $6 in coupons) was reapplied to my gift card.

Coupon Lady Snippet: Walgreen's is not allowed to remove coupons from their register after they have been scanned. It throws their sales numbers off for the day. Walgreen's policy is to instead give their customer money (either GC, Cash or Credit) back in return for keeping the coupons.

So I ended up coming out much further ahead than I had anticipated. I bought 8 products to donate, made $10 in Walgreen's money, and received $6 back on my gift card because of my mistaken purchase.

I often feel bad when this happens, but that is the life of a coupon...

The Life of a coupon is as follows:
Coupons are offered by the manufacturer.
Coupons are obtained by the shopper.
Coupons are clipped, sorted, pulled for use,
brought to the store and spent by the shopper.
Stores are paid ($.08/coupon)
by the manufacturer to accept the coupon.
The manufacturer knowingly takes a hit
on the purchase price of their product.

So with my second transaction above:

In the purchase: the manufacturer sold some of their product (although it never left the store) and they made their money, the store made their money in the sale of the product, and I saved my money in my purchase (the coupons).

In the return: the manufacturer received their product back, the store has their shelf restocked and I was paid for my time and effort.

Interesting huh?