A PDF coupon has a barcode.
A regular printable coupon has a barcode and a unique PIN number.
Some also have an offer ID.
On a regular printed coupon, the bar code and offer ID will be the same on every coupon but the PIN numbers change to show it’s unique.
A PDF will print out identically every time. A PDF will allow you to go back in and print multiple times and it won’t have a PIN number on the coupon. Usually there’s only one number with a barcode, and it’s a Bar Code UPC number.
Below is an example of a coupon with unique PIN numbers.
Notice there is a printed line around the coupon is not cut off. This is not a cut line and also has the pertinent information to be verified by cashiers.
That line around the coupon also contains important security information, allowing a cashier to check to ensure the coupon wasn’t photocopied. The information in that line around the coupon contains the pin #, the date and time it was printed, and the amount of the coupon. This helps the cashier to ensure the coupon is not counterfeit.
DO NOT USE THAT AS A CUTTING LINE. IT WILL BE YOUR PROOF THAT THE COUPON IS LEGITIMATE AND NOT A PHOTOCOPY.
IF A CASHIER QUESTIONS IT, YOU CAN EXPLAIN HOW THAT’S A SECURITY LINE TO PROVE IT’S NOT COUNTERFEIT.
Printing a coupon that comes out with the same PIN number multiple times with the same pin is the same as photocopying and is illegal. The easiest way to know your coupon is unique is to go into the site and try to reprint the original way. Never select a specific number of copies even if the coupon printing allows it. These will be photocopies and are illegal.