There are a few telltale signs that you can use to tell if a coupon has been photocopied. This is good for any of the cashiers, for people who trade coupons, for anyone who thinks photocopying coupons is okay to do, and also for anyone who wants to know how to tell the difference between a printed coupon and a photocopy.
There are 4 pictures below.
1) A picture of a coupon showing an item and the amount of the coupon. Also, note that the outside line is not cut out. There is a $ watermark on the coupon which also does not show up on photocopies.
2) A picture of the area around the coupon. This is NOT a cutting line. This is a security feature that should be cut around. Included in this line is a date and time stamp and security information. A photocopied coupon would show the exact same date and time on each coupon.
3) The bar code and UPC or PIN. While the bar code remains the same on each coupon. The UPC or PIN will be different on each coupon printed.
4) This Offer ID is the same on a coupon but the PIN is a unique identification number which is different on each coupon.
Some coupons have several security checks to identify printed coupons and distinguish them from photocopies.
Note that around the outside of the printed coupon there is a notice stating that it is illegal to copy coupons, and anyone doing so could be subjected to a hefty fine of up to $1,000,000. Photocopying coupons is illegal. There at plenty of ways to get extra printed coupons without doing anything illegal.
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This tip is brought to you by Pat Hollett