Monday, August 15, 2011

Decoding Coupon Barcodes - Is It Wrong?



The Story

I was shopping in Harris Teeter yesterday and ran into an interesting situation. Because I am often recognized at the stores, people always ask me questions. I am more than happy to help. However, when I have to tell someone their doing something "Wrong" I feel bad. I had to deal with that yesterday.

First of all, I was asked if there was a way to read the coupon bar code to see if they can use it on other products than what it was intended for. I answered "No, I don't teach that practice". Then I was informed that a customer in the store told them about it and was doing it regularly. I was a little upset about this. Practices like that is the reason stores are tightening up their coupon policies and making it harder for us to get great deals.


What is “BarCode Decoding”?

Simply put, it is deciphering the bar code on a coupon to see if it will work on different (preferably less expensive) items.


Counterfeit Money

Look at coupon barcode decoding this way: It is like using counterfeit money to pay for your purchase! Although the cashier may not notice you are paying with a counterfeit bill, it will eventually reveal itself and the store looses out. A coupon is a form of payment and by not getting what the coupon says it is for is the same as paying with counterfeit money.

So, please read your coupons, get exactly what it says it is for and follow the parameters given by the coupon. Please don't use the barcode to determine what you can get because you know the register won't beep. Just because the register does not beep, does not mean that it is OK.


Be Aware

There are plenty of other websites and blogs that teach this practice and believe that it is OK. Please Be Aware! They believe they are right and have no problem teaching others to do the same.  Taking advantage of a glitch in the bar code to get around the text of the coupon is fraud.


Let's Do The Right Thing!



  1. I commend you for your honesty and for standing up for true and enduring values. I believe the loss of these values has up the country--and the world--in a downward spiral. Thanks again. Pauline

  2. yeah just watch TLC's "Extreme Couponing",and look at all the coupon fraud there!!

  3. Thanks for being Honest! So many people try to scam the stores and it makes the people who are doing what's right look bad! There are some cashiers that are just downright rude to me when I use coupons because they have had people using them improperly! Thanks for speaking out and encouraging people to do what's right!!! :)


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