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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Couponing For Newbies: Printable Coupons

Couponing For Newbies: Day 4

Printable Coupons

Printable coupons are a quick and easy way to get coupons; especially if you don't have the Sunday paper delivered. They have become mainstream and most stores will take them now.

Main Coupon Printing Sites

There are three main coupon printing sites:

There sites require that you download thier specific coupon printing software in order to print from them. This software enables you to print the coupon only 2 times. (which is the limit for most internet coupons).

Bricks Coupons

Bricks coupons are coupons sponsored by They require the same coupon printing software.

Although I have never had any trouble printing them I have heard that they can be tricky.
Here is a link for troubleshooting for bricks coupons. I don't know how much help it will be but it might be worth looking at.

Bricks coupons also have different coupon links for use with Internet Explorer and with Firefox. So it you are using Internet Explorer and are trying to print a coupon that was made for Firefox then you will get a page that just says "PLEASE WAIT" or something along those lines.
There is a way to change a Internet Explorer coupon into a Firefox and visa versa.

How to Change a Bricks Coupon to work in the browser you have:
Below is a Firefox Link=


Note the wg in the url.

To make the link work in Internet Explorer change the wg to wi or vi (some coupons will work with either change and some require one or the other. It is really just trial and error.)
For example:

To make a link work on a Mac with Safari change the wg , wi or vi to xs.
For example:

To make a link work on a Mac in Firefox change the wg, wi or vi to Xg.
For example:

To make a link work in Firefox (if it is in Internet explorer or for a Mac) change the wi, vi , xs or Xg to wg.
For example:
Once you replace the letter remember to hit the return key before hitting print.

It may seem complicated but once you do it a couple of times it is really not very hard.

Printing From Manufactures Websites

When you print from a manufactures website they often times the coupon will be sponsored by one of the three main coupon websites. Therefore you will need to have their coupon printer installed in order to print. (please be careful when downloading to your computer. only download from reputable sites)

Some manufactures put thier coupons in a PDF file format. These coupons can be printed as many times as you want. There use however depends on what the coupon says.
Often times it will state that you can only use one coupon per transaction or person.

Print Limits
Printable coupons (unless they are in PDF format) can usually only be printed 2 times per computer. You can print more depending on your access to other computers.

Most printable coupons also have a limit to how many can be printed on a national level. That means that if there is a hot coupon out there that a bunch of people want the print limit might be reached very quickly. If you have not printed a coupon and it says that you already have then the problem is most likely that the coupon has reached its national print limit and there are no more or that coupon available to print.

Printing in Black and White or Color?
Most coupons can be printed in black and white or in color. Almost all state that on them. I personally will not print in color because it is cheaper to print in black and white.
Because people have been copying coupons there has been more scruteny of black and white coupons. So don't be surprised if when using a legitimate black and white coupon you get questioned about it. The stores are just trying to be more cautious because of increased amounts of coupons fraud.

Copying Coupons
All printable coupons should not be copied. It is stated right on the coupon that it is void if copied and also constitutes as coupon fraud which is punishable by the law.

Each printable coupon comes with a few features so that a retailer can tell if it has been copied. These include water marks, small bar-codes on the top right and each coupon has its own distinct number to make sure that a coupon can not be redeemed twice.

When coupons are copied then the retailers will not get reinbursed for the value of the coupon. Therefore they lose money. If people repeatedly copy a coupon then the retailer may not allow that coupon to be taken at their store and may not allow printed coupons at all.

This has become a big problem lately. I have noticed that as more people have been copying coupons then more stores will not take them or give you a hard time using them.
This is one of the biggest mistakes that a new couponer may unkowingly do. But it is one of the worst because internet coupon have become an important part of couponing.
If the trend of copying coupons continues then we may lose the right to use printable coupons at all. It affects all of us and should be taken very seriously.

Fake Printable Coupons
As with all good things people try to take advantage of couponing by creating fake printable coupons and posting them on the internet. Since they are not real, retailers will not get reimbursed for the coupon and like copying coupon they may take away our privileged to use printable coupons. Also use of these coupons is considered coupon fraud!

How do you tell if the coupon is a fake?
I would say first if it is too good to be true then it probably is. For example a coupon for a free Wii is probably fake. (Yes this was really a fake coupon and yes people used it).
Second there are websites that will tell you what popular fake ones are out there.
If there is a coupon that I have a question about I try to look it up to see what others are saying about it.

I hope that I don't sound like a Debbie Downer but I believe that using coupons and especially internet printable ones to be a privilege. If we all follow the rules then we can continue to have that privilege and save our families money.

I think that if we all use our common sense and try to be as honest as possible then we will have printable coupons to use for a really long time.

Note: As with anything that you download onto your computer please be sure to that the website is reputable.

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