My readers continue to share many coupon tips, stories and complaints via email. Here’s a sampling:
Q: While merchants can refuse any coupon, if they refuse one because the product is the “wrong size” when the coupon does not include a size restriction, I say let them make a scene. I love to embarrass merchants and point out their lack of comprehension of the English language in front of as many customers as possible.
A: I have been known to question cashiers when their judgment seems to supersede the wording on a coupon. Once, a cashier questioned my use of a deodorant coupon that stated it was valid on any size. Of course, I wanted the travel-sized deodorant and the $1 coupon would make the deodorant free.
She said, “I don’t think you should get this free.” I gently explained that there was no difference to the store whether I paid $1 for the deodorant or gave them a $1 coupon: The store would still get a dollar and I would get my deodorant. I added that if the manufacturer intended to exclude the trial size, that exclusion would appear on the coupon. The cashier then allowed me to use the coupon.
Q: Have you ever heard of a national pharmacy chain that advertises items as “on sale” in the Sunday paper, but somehow manages not to have many of the most popular sale items in stock during the sale? This chain also refrains from restocking sale items until after the rain check expires. Other than boycotting the business, is there anything shoppers can do?
A: Sold-out sale items at the pharmacy is an unfortunate happenstance most couponers have experienced. Often, the smaller shelves at drugstores mean limited quantities of the products we’re all chasing.
However, most rain checks are good for at least 30 days. One month seems like a long time to have open space on a shelf that could be selling a product and generating revenue.
Have you tried asking your store manager if you can special-order the products? I’ve had good success asking my local stores to order a specific quantity of the item I’m seeking, and having them call me when the item is back in stock. In this case, the store may hold your items so you can simply go in and pick them up, long before your rain check expires.
Jill Cataldo is a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three. Learn more about Super-Couponing at her website, www.jillcataldo.com.