Checking out of a store can be one of the most nerve wracking experiences for a Coupon Newbie. You walk up to the cashier with your full cart and stack of coupons. As the cashier starts to scan your coupons, you hear the dreaded "Beep" (the register beeps because it doesn't recognize the coupon correctly).
The "Beep" occurs for a variety of reasons many of which have nothing to do with improper use of the coupon. But as a Newbie it can be intimidating when your coupon doesn't go through the first time. Here are some tips on dealing with that situation.
1. Make sure you are using the correct coupon for the correct product. The Krazy Coupon Lady did a great post about this recently. I always double check my coupons before I head for the checkout to make sure I have the right size, quantity, etc.
Example: On my recent trip to Target, I had 6 Olay products in my basket. As I scanned my coupons before check-out, I realized my $2/1 Olay coupon said "Limit 4 like coupons per shopping trip". So I put back 2 of my items to make sure I was using the coupons properly.
2. If your coupon doesn't scan correctly, don't panic. As I said, this occurs a lot of the time for reasons other than improperly using the coupon. I can't explain why it happens or when it happens, but if you are sure you bought the right item, point out the item to the cashier and any inclusions that may be printed on the coupon.
Example: On the same trip to Target, my $1/1 manufacturers coupon for men's Degree deodorant beeped. I politely pointed out the product to the cashier and he cleared the system to accept the coupon. To be clear, the coupon was for the product I bought. I have no idea why the system beeped, but I knew I was using the coupon appropriately.
3. Don't be afraid to walk away from a deal. Sometimes you have the right coupon and the right product, but the coupon just won't work. Sometimes it's worth asking to speak with the manager, but sometimes it may not be worth your time or frustration. Decide what is best for you. Don't be afraid to ask that the product be removed from your order. Don't overpay out of embarrassment or frustration.
Example: On a trip to Albertson's, I wanted to use a $2/1 Millstone coffee coupon. The coupon was good on any prepackage coffee and did not include any size restrictions. I picked up an individual prepacked bag that cost about $1.60 intending to use my coupon to get this item for free. The cashier scanned the coupon but it beeped. The cashier said I couldn't use the coupon because it exceeded the price of the item. I knew that the Albertson's coupon policy stated that the when the amount of the coupon exceeds the price of the item, the coupon will be adjusted down. But the cashier said she couldn't do that. I didn't have the coupon policy on me and it wasn't worth my time to debate about a $1.60 package of coffee. So I asked her to remove it from my order. Pick your battles.