There have been posts around the blogosphere about people having a tough time pairing manufacturer coupons with Target coupons. Tonight, it was my turn.
I was all set with my Fiber One coupons to take advantage of the Buy 5 Fiber One products, get a $5 gift card. I had manufacturer coupons to cover the 5 Fiber One cereal boxes I was going to buy, then five $1 on General Mills cereal Target coupons. I understood that I would be able to use these manufacturer and store coupons together on my purchase.
I went through my favorite cashier’s line, who happens to be coupon-friendly. She began studying my coupons, which is nothing new, and then started saying that she couldn’t take the Fiber One cereal manufacturer coupons. Wha-? I said. She pointed to the fine print, not on the Target coupon, but on the Manufacturer coupon, and told me that all of the checkers in that particular Target (and probably other stores) had to attend a recent “coupon training.”
The fine print on the Manufacturer coupon states “Consumer: No other coupon may be used with this coupon.” There’s also often a tag line that says one coupon per purchase (can you imagine the pain in the butt that would be?), but that is often ignored. I nodded while she apologized profusely - it’s not her fault. Plus, I dug out my Target coupon policy that I carry around, and it states two coupons can be used together IF one or the other does not prohibit it.
But doesn’t the fine print on the manufacturer mean that no other manufacturer coupon can be used on that product after the first manufacturer coupon is used? Would it matter if the store coupon and the manufacturer coupon are used in tandem? The value of manufacturer coupons are reimbursed to the stores that honor them – corporations give stores the coupon value plus 8 cents. Does Target not want consumers to use their store coupons, since it appears that the store itself is the one who takes the hit?
If that’s the case, then it backfired on my trip. The value of the Target coupon was higher than the value of the manufacturer coupon, so the cashier used the Target coupons instead.
I didn’t get as good a deal as I wanted. AND I feel manipulated and impatient with the consistent, frequent coupon mess that we have to deal with in Target. If they don’t want us to get good deals, wouldn’t a reasonable solution be to stop producing store coupons, and simply get reimbursed for manufacturer coupons that they would then honor without fuss?
This experience is a slow burn, but it doesn’t make me want to give up couponing so much as it makes me A) coupon even MORE and B) not shop at Target anymore. Compared to Walgreen’s, Rite Aid, Albertson’s and even Walmart, it’s not worth it.