LJWorld.com weblogs Shop Talk with Jenn and Julie
When it Comes to Sales and Coupons, Know Before You Go
You would think after two years of rather intense couponing that I would learn to follow my own advice: Call ahead to make sure a sale is being offered at your location, read the fine print to make sure you know what you are doing, understand the stores' coupon policies.
I have copies of all the coupon policies available to me in my binder. I understand how the stores work - sometimes I can even help the new cashiers figure out what they are doing! So why would I try to work deals at a store without completely understanding changes to their policy? Yeah, I asked myself the same question.
Last week I posted about the deal on Juicy Juice at Target. It was a great deal! I went to great lengths to get myself, my kids, all of my coupons AND my Dillons sale flier to Target before Tuesday when the Dillons sale ended. This was all so I could price match. I bought my juice and headed over to customer service to have the price matched. I was rather proud of myself because the venture appeared to be going off seamlessly. What happened next was NOT amusing: They wouldn't match my price. It seems rather silly when you think about it ... there was only a 31-cent difference in price; but I had purchased eight, and then it starts to add up. The problem was in the fine print; both Dillons' and Target's. The "sale price" on the juice at Dillons read "With Card" ... meaning when you use your Dillons card. The fine print in the Target price matching policy, which I failed to read, states that sales using membership loyalty cards are excluded.
I could have saved myself so much trouble, waited an extra day and gotten the same deal. Why am I publicly outing myself for this coupon faux pas? To make the point that it really is important to prepare yourself before you shop. Read the coupon policies, pay attention to when changes are made and don't assume you know how something works.
I teach people to keep copies of the coupon policies for the stores they shop readily available. This is mainly for reference if you run into a cashier who doesn't understand and you need to back yourself up. It also serves to remind us that we need to know what we are doing.
And though it should go without saying, if there is a misunderstanding when you are working with coupons, whether on your part or the part of the store, remember that we are all human and mistakes are made. Be polite, be kind and work with the people around you. Everyone will have a better shopping experience in the end.