One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about attending BlogHer is getting to meet the people behind the companies I blog about often.
So you can imagine my pure giddiness when I got to chat coupons over breakfast this morning with the Editorial Director of Red Plum. Red Plum was one of the sponsors of a frugal blogger breakfast I was fortunate enough to attend today.
During our conversation, I had the opportunity to pose a burning question on my mind – and many of yours as well:
Is it OK to enter zip codes other than yours to obtain printable coupons?
It’s not a good idea. Manufacturers don’t like it and stores may not get reimbursed.
Not all coupons are national, and some manufacturers may want to test a certain coupon for a certain market. There could be many possible reasons for this, some of which may not be readily apparent to the eager couponer. Kate shared with me that her preference would be bloggers not share what zip codes to use to obtain coupons that are not nationally based. (OK, to be exact, the practice annoys her and she wishes bloggers would stop doing this. Quite frankly, it annoys me too.)
She also shared with me that even if you are able to PRINT a coupon for a zip code you don’t live in, it MAY NOT WORK. In other words, it could beep.
At which point I had to ask this question:
If it beeps, but the cashier pushes the coupon through anyway, will the store get reimbursed?
NOT necessarily. There may not be a clear answer to this question, so please do not make this assumption. And whatever you do, don’t try to convince your cashier otherwise.
Incidentally, I’ve posed the zip code ethics question many, many times via email to different parties and quite honestly, I’ve never been entirely satisfied with the answers I’ve received. I’ve been told it’s OK and I’ve been told it’s downright fraud. Today, I feel like I’ve gotten the resolution I needed on this topic. (So Kate, if you’re reading this…THANK YOU.)
Bottom line: I hold to my original position. You can count on me to NOT share what zip codes to enter to obtain certain coupons. I want you to know I care very much about coupon ethics on this site and it’s my goal to empower you as couponers with information and not just opinion.
Photo credit Sundeip Arora