Ethical Couponing

There are ethical practices in couponing that we follow as a group and a website.

We try to adhere to a strict policy of only posting deals and information we know is honest, ethical, and accurate.

We hope that most of our members who follow our deals and information will use the tips, and deals we provide in an honest and ethical manner.

There will always be some people who think that they are smarter than the system in place for couponing and try and push the limits by doing things they don’t feel are unethical but will eventually cause stores to rethink their policies and practices toward couponers, and companies to rethink what coupons they publish.

There are a lot of couponers in Canada and in order to continue doing this for a long time, we should adhere to the rules as they are in place to guide us and help us save money. Couponing is meant to help you save money to be able to provide more for your family, for less.

There have been so many changes in the rules of couponing since I started. Stores have put limits on how many items you can buy, or changed their price matching geographical areas. Cashiers are now a little more picky about what they will accept, knowing that they are responsible for what they accept through their checkout. It’s up to us to make sure we do the right thing when couponing.

A few good rules to guide you in couponing….

  1. Taking full tear pads is a no-no. Always leave coupons for others.
  2. Photocopying coupons can result in criminal action. Coupons are not meant to be photocopied and companies have every right to charge you with fraud if you are caught. There is a notice on many coupons that you can be fined and/or charged for using coupons fraudulently.
  3. Do not clear shelves. Take only what you need and leave some for others. No one likes to get to the store only to see that the item they planned to buy is completely cleared out. Be considerate of other shoppers.
  4. Selling product you get free or cheap with coupons is also unethical. Why buy more than you need? Why clear shelves with the intention of selling and leaving nothing for anyone else? There are a couple of reasons this is unethical. You need a business license to sell products like a store does. Also, no one knows how you’ve stored the products you’re selling or for how long you’ve had them. There is a reason stores have licenses to sell groceries and are regulated by consumer protection acts, and the Food and Drug Administration.
  5. Don’t take coupons out of the inside of boxes or cut up product in the store to get coupons before you pay for it. You’re technically damaging a product to get a coupon, and if you haven’t bought it yet, then you have no right to do so.
  6. SCOP is not meant to be a ‘free for all shopping excursion’ but is meant to hold stores accountable when you get to checkout and the price scans incorrectly. Too often there are those who spend hours shopping for SCOP items which is an abuse of the system and will absolutely result in stores withdrawing from the program. While it’s a voluntary opt-in for stores to participate in SCOP, some stores have already ‘banned’ some customers for abusing the SCOP system.

Always be guided by what you feel is the right thing to do. If you’re not sure, ask. We have plenty of good information so you won’t know what you’re doing.

Looking for some information on couponing, check out some of these articles on our website:

Coupons – Reading the Fine Print 

Price Matching Correctly 

Security Features on Coupons 

SCOP

Please take the time to understand the rules of couponing. Try to adhere to some form of right and wrong when couponing so that we can continue to do this for a long time and help our families and others.

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