Couponers ask about limitations
Q Sometimes I go online and see a link to a printable coupon I want. When I click the link, I get a message, "Sorry, this coupon is out of print." But I didn't print it. Why would it be out of print?
A: Print-at-home coupons seem simple. Select the coupons you want and print them out. On a major coupon website (such as coupons.com, smartsource.com, redplum.com or couponnetwork.com), you usually select a coupon and print without a problem.
But printable coupons can come with a catch. Occasionally, after selecting a coupon and clicking "print," a screen message alerts you that this coupon has reached its print limit, or that the coupon's print campaign is over.
How can a coupon reach its print limit if you didn't print it? While most printable coupons are limited to two prints per computer, there's another print limitation: global print limits.
When a manufacturer posts a printable coupon online, it can set a specified number of total prints per coupon. Once this limit is reached, the coupon's campaign is out of print. Anyone else trying to print it will receive an onscreen message that there are no more prints available.
If you try to print a coupon and receive the message, "This coupon's print campaign is over," something similar has happened.
The coupon may not have hit its global limit for number of prints, but the coupon's campaign time has passed. A manufacturer may decide to end a coupon promotion on a specific date. So print coupons you want as soon as you see them. I go to my favorite coupon sites early in the week to see what's new. By midweek, the best offers may be gone.
Q: Some sites I visit let me load e-coupons to my shopper's card. But sometimes I see a coupon I want to add to the card, and a message says it's sold out. Why?
A: Many supermarkets and drugstores offer e-coupons on their websites, and some national coupon websites allow shoppers to load e-coupons to a store's loyalty card. When a card is scanned in the checkout, e-coupons are deducted automatically.
But just like their print counterparts, e-coupons have limits. If a store or manufacturer releases a great offer and the desired number of shoppers load it onto their cards, the offer is sold out.
It's worth visiting your favorite electronic coupon sites regularly.
Jill Cataldo has a website at www.jillcataldo.com.