Saving money while living life!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Couponing For Newbies: Shopping Discount Stores

Couponing For Newbies: Day 6

Shopping Discount Stores

I don't shop a lot at big chain discount stores. They don't have the same customer service and I feel that I can spend a few pennies more on certain items in return for not having a huge headache. I will however shop at them for certain things like kids clothes at Target and Walmart for some things that I can't afford to buy other places (like the bike I got for Mother's Day). I definitely don't go there every week.


Coupon Policy
The coupon policy at Target is pretty decent as far as written policies go. The only problem that you will run into is that cashiers are not trained well enough and managers often think that they can make up their own policy. A copy of their store policy can be printed here or you can talk to Guest Relations to get a hard copy sent to you. I would recommend getting a copy of the policy and carrying it with you. All Target employees should be following this policy. If you have a problem at the store then you can whip out the coupon policy and show the employees. This should take care of most issues that you have.

The policy states:

Target Stores Coupon Policy

Coupons are a great way to save even more when shopping with us, and it's easy to use them at our stores.

• Target accepts one manufacturer coupon and one Target coupon for the same item (unless prohibited)
• Super Target coupons can be used in any Target store if the store carries the item
• We gladly accept valid internet coupons

Because of the variety of coupons available to our guests, we do have some guidelines for how coupons can be redeemed at Target.

When accepting coupons, we use the following guidelines:

• We accept two kinds of coupons: Target-issued coupons and manufacturer-issued.
• We'll accept one Target coupon and one manufacturer coupon for the same item, unless either coupon prohibits it.
• Coupon amount may be reduced if it exceeds the value of the item after other discounts or coupons are applied.
• We can't give cash back if the face value of a coupon is greater than the purchase value of the item.
• We can't accept coupons from other retailers, or coupons for products not carried in our stores.
• All valid coupons should be presented to the cashier while you're checking out.

Target Store Coupons

Target has both printable and regular style coupons. All Target Store coupons can be combined with manufacture coupons for more savings.
Printable store coupons at Target can be accessed here. You can normally only print two coupons per computer.
The regular style coupons can either come in the coupon inserts in the Sunday paper or on products in the form of peelies (coupons that are stuck on products).

Coupon Price Adjusting
A coupon can be adjusted down if it is over the amount of the product.

For example:
You buy an item that is $1.00.
You have a $1.50 coupon for it.
They should adjust the coupon down to $1.00 so that you don't get overage.

This is clearly stated in the coupon policy. When doing this it is a good idea to have the policy on hand because employees may not have been trained about this.

Price Matching
Target will price match competetors print ads (you can't use ones printed from the Internet). They will not match an item that require you to use a saving card to get a discount (like at Albertson's or Fred Meyer). Also they will only price match what is exactly in the ad the same size, kind, model ect. I have found that mine won't let me price match anything that is not pictured in the ad (I am not sure if this is a local thing or not).

There have been issues lately with price matching and using a Target coupon. The stores in my area will not do this. I am confused on what the official policy is so your millage may vary on doing it.

Problems At Target
If you run into problems at Target and it can't be worked out with the manager then I like to call their customer service while in the store. Often things can be worked out this way. If you can't call customer service right then I would call them as soon as you can.
I have had so many problems with Target that I used to have their customer service number on speed dial on my phone.
The customer service number for Target is 1-800-440-0680.


Coupon Policy
Go here to view the offical coupon policy on their website.

The policy states:

Walmart Coupon Policy

Walmart accepts the following types of coupons (see guidelines below):

  • Manufacturer coupons (Cents Off)
  • Free merchandise (or manufacturer's Buy-One-Get-One-Free) coupons
  • Store coupons
  • Pharmacy (Advertising and Promotional) coupons
  • Internet coupons
  • Soft drink container caps

The following are guidelines and limits:

  • Walmart only accepts coupons for merchandise we sell and only when presented at the time of purchase.
  • Coupons should have an expiration date and be presented within the valid dates. Walmart will not accept expired coupons.
  • Internet coupons should be legible and say "Manufacturer Coupon." There should be a valid remit address for the manufacturer and a scannable bar code.
  • Only one coupon per item is permitted.
  • Use of 40 or more coupons per transaction will require approval by Customer Service Man

Price Matching

Go here to get the official price matching policy.

There price matching policy states:

Price matching

Our goal is always to be the low price leader in every community where we operate. Our customers trust us to have every day low prices ... there's no need for "special sales."

Our unbeatable promise:

Store managers make the final decision in always taking care of our customers, but we do have guidelines for matching our competition.

  • We do honor "Preferred Shopping Card" advertised prices. Must be like items, be advertised and require a competitor's shopping card, for the discount to apply.
  • We do not honor advertisements that require a purchase in order to receive the advertised price or free product.
  • We do not honor "Buy One / Get One Free" advertisements.
  • We do not honor double or triple coupons or percent off advertisements.
  • We do not honor other retailers' "Misprinted" advertised prices.
  • We do not honor Internet Pricing.
  • We do not honor competitor advertisements from outside of the store's or Club's local trade territory.

My local Walmart will take Albertson's double coupons. I have a very strong opinion on that. Go here to see my post on why not to use them there.

Problems with Walmart:
First I must say that there was a period of time that I boycotted Walmart (about 1 1/2 years). It happened after a bad experience involving some orange soda (it still makes me mad to think about). I shop there now on occasion but it is probably once a month and hardly ever unless it is the only place to get something.

I will say that the Walmart cashiers are often very poorly trained on their coupon policy. Managers are also left to interpret the coupon policy as they see fit. So if you go in the morning and get a deal there is no guarantee that the evening manager is going to give you that deal.
It is really inconsistent.

If you have a bad experience then you can contact customer service here at 1-800-Walmart (1-800-925-6278), but I have never had any luck with calling them (they tend to side with their employees and never apologize).

Also the customer service is really bad normally. I just go there with the expectation that I will have a bad experience and then I am pleasantly surprised when I don't. (I'm not sure that's the best approach for everyone but it works for me.)

For most things I just steer clear of Walmart. I feel that it is too much of a hassle and takes too much time to make it worth it to me.


I don't mean to sound discouraging about shopping at discount stores. You can get good deals there. I have just couponed enough to know that most places that I go I can get a good deal if I do a little bit of work. I have also learned that if something or someplace makes me feel bad when I shop there then it is not worth that to me. I honestly feel that any business should treat it's customers well and that I am not willing to compromise how I want to be treated in order to save a few dollars.
I also know that there are people that really like to shop at those stores. And if they have a good experience shopping there then I am so happy for them. My opinions are only based on my experiences at my local stores.

No comments:

Post a Comment