This question came from a reader and I thought I would post it in case any of you are running into this same dilemma.

Thank you so much for all of your help! I’ve been couponing for a few months and have saved hundreds of dollars already! I have shared your site with some girlfriends and I need your advice. One friend loves it, but continuously photo copies coupons. They “go through” so she’s excited about beating the system of “2 limit prints”. I try to tell her that she’s stealing and what she is doing is highly fraudulent. I feel guilty for sharing this information with her. What would you do? I hate to see my local “coupon friendly” stores become suspicious because of what she’s doing and ruin all the good, ethical couponing for the rest of us:) Any advice?

This is a hard situation, and I am sure a lot of us know people who have photocopied coupons.  This is a very common “newbie”  mistake. There are couponers who just don’t realize this is a huge no-no and they do it a few times before someone tells them this is not okay & then they stop.   Then there are couponers who will knowingly break the rules all in the name of a good deal. Having friends who break the coupon rules makes us especially concerned because likely their actions will directly affect us when the store stops accepting printable coupons because of fraud.  Here are a few things you can tell your friend.

1. Each coupon has a unique barcode which is used when the store is getting reimbursed for the coupons. Coupons that are photocopied will scan at the store register, but when it gets scanned at the clearinghouse (the third party that processes the coupons for the store- in order to get reimbursed), the unique code gets entered into the system. Once that unique code gets entered, if the same “unique” barcode gets scanned the store will not get reimbursed from the manufacturer.  This means that they store is eating the cost for your coupon- which means you are stealing from the store.

2. As Krazy Coupon Ladies we know that coupons are our form of payment. We would never consider using fake cash or a photocopied check, then why coupons. It’s the same thing.

3.  If this is happening at a store that you frequent often, consider letting the manager know that you have a concern with other shoppers photocopying coupons.  Give the manager and checker an education on spotting printed coupons.  Show them the unique barcode in the top right corner of the coupon & let them know if that code is the same on two coupons than one of them is a photocopy.  This may seem a little extreme, but if you have tried talking to your friend and she isn’t listening- this may be the only way to prevent the store from stop accepting printable coupons all together.

I find that being lighthearted about the conversation always helps! Just nicely tell her that she is going to ruin couponing at your stores for good if she doesn’t stop. When a coupon that the store won’t get reimbursed for is stealing from the store. Plain and Simple. I am sure once she realizes this, she will stop.

Anyone else have any advice for this situation?
Do you think my advice is too hardcore?

Leave a Reply

83 thoughts on “Reader Email: Help! My friend is Photocopying Printable Coupons!”

  1. Joann says:

    If it wasn’t for this site, I don’t think a lot of people would understand this rule. I print out more then one when it’s allowed (sunbelt is a good one) I didn’t even know there was 2 different bar codes on the printed coupons, so I will def. be checking those from now on.

    Thanks.

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  4. Michelle says:

    I just started back using coupons and also just learned (and notice it now with every one I print) that when you print online coupons, the border AROUND the coupon has the TIME AND DATE of when you printed it. I wanted 2 of them, so after printing one, I went back to the website page to reprint another one. I then remembered about the border . . . I looked at both and yes, they had the date printed throughout the border AND the time (which was 1 minutes apart). IF you photocopy, the time with be the same on all of them – impossible when you have to print one at a time from the websites. SHOW YOUR STORE THIS ALSO to help prevent others from using them incorrectly.

  5. Melanie says:

    I’m a Target cashier and have to turn down some coupons that I can tell were photo copied. I also educated some of my fellow employees on how to spot a copy. Why? Because I use printed coupons myself and don’t want somebody to ruin it for me. Some stores in my area have stopped accepting printed coupons just for this reason. If you’re not sure what the difference is, try making a copy of one just to see the difference in clarity. Just make sure you destroy the copy after!!!

  6. ruth says:

    uh oh! i made the mistake of photocopying some coupons when a couple of times. i am a beginner and i had no idea it was illegal. i only made about 4 copies of different coupons but i am afraid i might get caught. is this something i should be concerned about? i haven’t done it since then, because i have learned it is stealing and illegal!!

  7. Rollin says:

    A coupon shoppers name and address is on thier club card. When a couponer uses a photo copied coupon and it doesn’t scan at the clearinghouse, then the clearinghouse can trace it back to the club card. Thus, the fraudulent couponer is caught. In most states this crime is a felony as it falls in the catagory with the printing of money and checks.

  8. tamika says:

    there should be a better way to prevent copying. i would not mind putting an account number on the prints. maybe with a personal account number, plus a number stating which print (1 or 2) it might help? if you put an account number and it goes to the clearinghouse, they can spot the fraudulent coupons and trace it back to whomever is copying? just a thought.

  9. Monica S says:

    WOW I HAD NO IDEA THAT THIS WAS SUCH A BIG TOPIC…I am just learning to use coupons. My neighboor used to come to my house to print coupons because for some reason her “coupons.com” didn’t allow her to do so and she was wondering if it could be due to the copies that she used to make… Now that I want to learn to use coupons and get all those wonderful deals that I am reading; but my computer is having the same issue, my husband has been trying to do everything to get installed the coupons program (it used to work for my neighboor in my computer..)but is has been impossible….could it be that they locked my computer??? is that possible? any idea how to contact and have them activate my computer again? Please any help it will be greatly appreciated.

  10. Jaclyn says:

    If she wants more than the 2 print limit, she can! Buy a 2nd computer! It will pay off with all the savings before you know it! Especially the cheap laptops on black Friday! That’s the legal way of getting more than 2! =)

  11. Baltha says:

    Hi all, I am a newbie and I found coupons online (coupons.com) and printed them out from my printer. Since I dint want to use up my color cartridges, I printed them black-and-white. The first store that I visited was CVS and at the time of check-out, they turned down all my coupons, saying I photocopied them. I felt embarrassed, and I tried explaining, but my husband dint want to take it further and paid retail. First time gone wrong :(

  12. kellygault@mac.com says:

    Hi All~ I went to Walmart today, where I have NEVER had problems using any kind of Q’s and they told me they will no longer accept computer printed coupons. This makes me very sad! Because a lot of us will be affected by other peoples greetiness(cheating the system). :(

  13. Ashley says:

    This is from a post I read on TheCouponProject.com:

    A Pennsylvania man was charged with felony theft this week for counterfeiting coupons. According to this article, Thomas Campbell would obtain a coupon and then make copies of it. He did this to more than 100 coupons! All told, his actions defrauded area stores by as much as $4,000.

    He later told police he didn’t think he’d be caught. Think again!

    Coupon fraud is serious business, folks. He had a warrant out for his arrest, but turned himself into police. He was released on $5,000 bail.

    While I don’t think any of my awesome readers would dare doing this, I thought it was a good reminder of how seriously law enforcement takes this.

    If you’re interested to learn more about coupon fraud, what it is, and what you can do to make sure you’re handling coupons in an ethical way, I encourage you to check out The Coupon Information Corporation. The CIC is a coupon watchdog organization committed to fighting coupon fraud.

  14. This is awful! A Walgreens I shop at stopped accepting printables for this very reason. They won’t take printed coupons unless it has a watermark on the back, meaning it came from the manufacturer through the mail. Excellent point made about coupons being “cash” and copying them is akin to using counterfeit money — too true! As a couple people have said on here, I am happy with my two prints. We can all save a good bit of money with them. There is no need to get greedy and ruin the whole concept of coupons for everyone. I know using multiple computers isn’t illegal per se, but I personally would not do it, just like I would not clear out a shelf in a store. We are all entitled to our “fair share,” nothing more. There are laws regarding coupons and there is etiquette. I think both are important!

  15. mary says:

    This is cheating plain and clear..the person who downloads the coupon it is attached to their isp or is it ips..which is trackable, when they say one coupon or two to download the companies mean just that..why not buy newspapers for their coupon glossies they are legitimate..but printing from a glossy is a big no no no..why be a cheat, it is unethical to do this, the grocery stores get the shaft so does, target, etc..they cannot get their money from printed coupons, some grocery stores will not take printed coupons and free printed coupons because of this unethical pratice..be honest buy a newspaper or several or just print the maximum allowed to do otherwise is just plain cheating. It will make companines limit even more their coupon policies thus punishing honest people who by newspapers for the glossies and download the maximum allowed. Be honest it always pays in the karmic world of life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Susan says:

    Maybe, if people are going to print coupons, then, maybe, there should be a place on the coupon, where people need to sign and put their address. I do not have a problem with people printing. Copying is going to ruin it for the rest of us. If people do not mind using their paper and ink, then print away. I print, and I would not have a problem with signing and leaving my address.

  17. Kira G says:

    I was surfing and found some diaper coupons for Target and printed them, excited to find store coupons to use. I am fairly new at SERIOUSLY couponing. I read this article and I am going to tear up the coupons, someone had printed an internet offer then copied it 3 times and scanned them back on and listed as a link. I never thought about the “NO COPIES” part of it, but I cannot be dishonest because what would I be teaching my 6 year old and 5 month old. I know that sounds silly but I am not going to cheat anyone, because I myself don’t want to be cheated! Everyone should play fair at the coupon game, no one likes a cheater!
    Kira

  18. BellinghamWA Mom says:

    I don’t think the advice is too hardcore. It is stealing from the store but actually more slimy than just taking an item off the shelf and walking out of the store without paying. You actually walk up to an employee and keep a straight face while stealing. The stores have to pay the clearinghouses to deal with that coupon that ends up being fraudulent too, so I am sure they lose out on more than just the value of coupon.

    I feel so fortunate to be getting the items I get for so cheap. I get so many cheap or free things the legal way that I can’t even imagine why anyone would need to copy, other than greed. If there is a stellar deal on something that my family uses a lot, I will ask a friend or family member to print a coupon for me or I might fire up my super slow old computer to print a couple more coupons.

    I actually try not to have to print coupons because it is expensive, (seriously, the $.40/2 coupons you have to print…..?) and instead try to rely on the newspapers.

    I think it is great that P&G has made it their policy to not offer printables. It is harder to commit fraud with them. If I were a retailer, I would be thrilled to carry their products.

    This friend needs to get a couple more newspaper subscriptions.

  19. Susan says:

    It depends on how “good” a friend she is, I would probably speak to the manager about it. I would not allow some Witch spoil it for everyone.

  20. Alice says:

    I work in a small town grocery store in Montana. Our accountant keeps giving us lists of coupons we are not allowed to take anymore because of people cheating the coupon system. People are creating their own coupons. She’s about ready to quit accepting any printed coupons period because the store is loosing out. I’m sure we’re not the only store facing this situation. It just takes longer for the bigger chains to feel the effect of illegal couponing.

    • Stormy says:

      Exactly. Just a couple clicks of a mouse in Photoshop and you’ve got a “coupon” for anything. People are doing it in my neighborhood for free cartons of cigarettes at my local Rite Aid. Now ever cashier there is so afraid of losing their job that now each cashier has their own set of “coupon rules” that they’re making up as they go because they don’t want to get in trouble!

      I’ve written to corporate, and just stopped shopping there for now out of total frustration. It’s hard enough getting a coupon through at several places, we really don’t need it getting even more difficult because people are scamming.

  21. Annette says:

    Donaca- I’m in Oregon too and they changed this at my stores as well. You’re also not allowed more than 2 IP coupons for each type of item. They changed it just after their “buy 5, save $5″ promo. I was able to score some great deals by having 5 coupons for the items, but that won’t happen anymore.

  22. Donaca says:

    I went into Safeway this last week (oregon) and found out that they no longer accept doublers on IP coupons…Makes sense, they are loosing too much money with people printing too many.

  23. Annette says:

    I also wish that stores would educate their employees more on how to spot real/fake coupons. I had smartsource.com coupons refused at Walmart because they said they should have the smaller barcode in the upper right (like bricks or coupons.com coupons). I wrote a letter to the manager, but never heard from him. I later found a document on smartsource.com’s site that’s a letter to retailers explaining what their coupons look like and what to look for in a legit coupon. I recommend carrying this in your coupon binder/purse (I do now in case I have the same problem again).

  24. Jester says:

    photocopying is also deliberately breaking the rules of recited on the coupon itself. Most of the coupons EXPLICITLY says (on itself) that it should be voided if “photocopied.” Ding ding! That should ring a bell.
    I’ve also seen others on this forum who use coupons to get items that are not for the items. Recently, people were using target’s coupon and manufacturer’s coupon (i.e., stacking) to get connect 4, where the target coupon explicitly stated that the target coupon was for connect 4X4. connect 4X4 is an entirely different game and more expensive. But so many continue to use it because “it went through” (common language used by them). Just because “it went through,” that doesn’t make it legal… If you steal and you didn’t get caught, does that make it right????
    If the store did not sell that particular product, then the store will not be reimbursed for that coupon. What’s the difference between this and photocopying?

    • anonymous says:

      MANY of them also state EXPLICITLY that they are “one per customer,” (not transaction or purchase because that is different, but many state “per customer” yet people print and use many. Many also state EXPLICITLY that they are not to be purchased, yet people still purchase them from “clipping services” What is the difference? Breaking the rules is breaking the rules and I think it is funny that so many people will judge this woman but will openly break the rules I mentioned above. Where is the line for honesty?

      Cheating the manufacturer by purchasing coupons, bu entering in false demographic info, and misusing coupons (buying the wrong item but pushing the coupon through anyway) is just as ethically wrong as copying coupons, in my opinion.

  25. shanna says:

    I have a friend that does it as well. I am going to tell her the next time she mentions it that it is fraud. If she does not stop she is going to ruin it for everyone else.

    I have just gotten into using coupons within the last 2 weeks. And I would never photocopy. I think the hunt is half the fun!

  26. dawn says:

    Copying coupons is SO WRONG. That is the kind of thing that ruins it for all couponers. Stores are picky enough now and things like this make it even harder. I get enough flack from stores about my internet coupons I don’t want stores to stop allowing internet coupons all together. Let’s play fair with the stores and keep it honest.

  27. Jeanette says:

    So I have a question then. What about the $5 off $25 coupons that Rite Aid releases as a PDF. Are you only supposed to use 1? Because I think the barcode is the same on all of them.

    • anonymous says:

      I think technically those PDF coupons aren’t supposed to be transferred over the internet, and are intended only for the original recipient but I could be wrong about that.

      I called Rite Aid about this once (speaking of the ones on coupons.com) and asked them and they said “only one per customer” which it states on the coupon. I said, “does that mean per transaction? Per purchase?” She said “1 per customer” And I reiterated that I was only supposed to use 1 of them and she said yes. I even verified that coupons.com would allow 2 prints. She still stated that it was only 1 per customer.

      I did this because I had misgivings about all the lists that use multiple transactions and use like 5 of them in a row when it states “1 per customer” not per transaction or per purchase, but per customer. Anyway, I’ll use 2–one for me and one for my husband, but that’s it.

  28. Carol says:

    Copying coupons isn’t just bad because it can ruin couponing for others – people have gotten arrested for doing this.

    The Coupon Project described a case in which a man was arrested and charged with felony because he had photocopied and used so many coupons! Serious business. Here’s the link:
    http://www.thecouponproject.com/the_coupon_project/2010/03/coupon-fraudster-charged-of-felony.html

  29. Karen says:

    I don’t use internet printed coupons anymore. They are not worth the headaches…don’t mind missing out on a couple deals.

  30. Heather says:

    I have a friend that was doing that exactly, but had no idea that it was wrong. I posted the link to this site and the post on photocopying coupons and she realized the problem and hasn’t done it since. She just didn’t know. She wasn’t doing it fragulently, so maybe giving her the link to this site would help.

  31. Lou says:

    the Boise store I went to today was Overland/Orchard. .She sd the decision was just made by the district manager that they are not allowed to accept them unless they are in color.. not sure when exactly but it is in effect today..

  32. amanda says:

    Wow Angela that is really a scary thought: the stores copying the coupons. Although the other day I was using my Toy Story coupons and the cashier saw what a great deal they were and said that she was going to copy the coupons and do the same deal. I told her that she couldn’t b/c they each have their own code and that it was fraudulent. All she said was “Oh yea your right.” So I gave her info. on how she could print her own. Hopefully she didn’t copy them and then turn around and use them at the place she worked. I guess I will never know.

  33. Angela says:

    Ok, here’s my story. I am always thrilled when I am able to print a coupon twice. I have NEVER copied a coupon IN MY LIFE!! BUT, apparently, a store I used a coupon at DID just that!! Smartsource has now restricted my use because it this. Their email stated it is unfortunately a common thing retailers have done “to get around the system and earn themselves extra monies.” BE CAREFUL where you use your printed coupons!! I am STILL trying to get my Smartsource priviledges back, even though I’ve done nothing wrong!!

  34. Beth says:

    Wow, this is shocking and infuriates me. I would definitely speak to my store management. I would never let a friend walk out with a stolen item in their purse or money straight from the cash register, but basically that is what the friend is doing. I would put a stop to it in whatever way possible.

    My Kroger recently put in to effect a policy that you can not use more than two printed coupons for same items in one visit, probably because of the fear of photocopies. I did try to explain about the unique barcodes, but the manager was adamant. I had planned to speak with another manager on my next visit, but I think I might just comply now, even if that means two visits to get all of my items. I now understand where the stores are coming from with their policies, and I want to remain an honest, trust worthy couponer.

  35. Alicia says:

    in response to the bricks coupons…check when you print 2 again..I have thought they were the same, but there is a number I think on the left side/middle..and it is different that the other one. I had to make sure once, cause the rest of all the coded numbers are the same…..

    • lu says:

      actually the # r different r the ones on ur upper right hand side right below the expiration date. the other barcodes # r the same.

  36. Jessica says:

    My Albertsons has been very leary of IPQ’s lately. It really stinks that some people don’t care they are ruining it for all the honest ones out there! They must be the same ones in grade school that made everyone else miss out on the fun field trips :(

  37. Nadir says:

    Also, the advice about teaching the manager/employees how to spot fraudulent coupons.

    I’d maybe talk about putting together a handout. One obvious thing is that the watermark would be obvious and the tiny type around the border would be blurred. (At least on Bricks – I don’t have any SS printed, and I’ve never been able to print off RP.) I also would attach an actual printable and a copy of it (with the barcodes cut out or something). Just something with bullet points and easy tips that could be put in the breakroom or at the registers.

    I don’t get why people do this. You’re just gonna end up shooting yourself in the foot.

    On some forums, you oughta see the teeth-gnashing and lamentation when stores start cracking down on policy (or just stop letting them get away with YMMV stuff) so now they have to stay on the straight and narrow (or figure out new angles). The level of entitlement is sort of amusingly enfuriating.

    • Nadir says:

      And by “the advice about teaching the manager/employees how to spot fraudulent coupons” I meant “the advice about teaching the manager/employees how to spot fraudulent coupons was a good idea.”

      Cerebral flatulence. Excuse me.

    • Rachel says:

      Nadir: First off, hilarious comment about manning up and committing a “real” crime. I laughed out loud. Second, I think the hand-out idea is great. I’ve had a couple of Albertson’s cashiers double-check the numbers on my IP coupons, but I think most don’t know what to check. Having a reference guide at their fingertips would make it easier to crack down on those who abuse the system, and make it easier for us honest ones to keep on couponing.

  38. christine says:

    Wow, I had no idea this actually goes on. I feel very lucky when I find a coupon on the computer……….and If I can print two I’m thrilled. Most sites will cut you off at 2 and even if you go back to that site days later it will tell you “Your limit has been reached” So, the sites are set up to semi monitor printing. Unfortunately, if people keep doing this fraud we will all lose this fun part of couponing.

  39. Anonymous says:

    I actually have a friend who is doing the same thing and has now involved her daughter and daughter in law-I am beyond upset and am letting the store know about this and who to watch for plain and simple this is ridiculous behavior and then they procede to ask me why I post about fraudulent coupons and such on my site. Well Duh because of people like you and you don’t get the picture your ruin it for the legit people.

  40. Alicia says:

    Well….from what I “think I know”…can’t she be arrested for coupon fraud? I think telling her that would maybe put the fear in her to STOP doing it? I would hate to see everyone else in your area be the product of someone doing this, then the store not accept anymore IP’s. Sad for everyone!

  41. rattriffic says:

    I am soooo glad this was brought up I just got in a fight with a shopper at albertdons like 4 days ago. This guy is in front of me and was talking to the checker about some great deal he was getting and when she was like yeah sometimes I wish I gcould get more then 6 coupons with my three computers he starts bragging about he gets as many as he wants just copies them!!! the checker nicely tells the guy that he is actually breaking the law by openly commiting fraud and that things like that are going to stop stores from taking printable coupons and hes like I dont care as long as I get a better deal….so after hearing this whole thing go down I had to pipe in with my two cents…..so I try telling him its the same as stealing and you wouldnt use photocopied money and he was so arrogant and felt he was doing nothing wrong he says “then why does it still scan if its fraud” I tried to tell him its not caught until the manufacture gets them back and has to pay the store and hes like then its the stores problem, now mind your own business!! I was soooooo ticked off I think you used the best example, you would not use fake money or a fake check right. I love a good deal but when companies loose money they make cuts somewhere usually from the hours of employees or in the amount of employees, I m sure no one wants to see their favorite checker not there on tuesday nights cuz their hour are cut by jerks who make copies!!

    • Nadir says:

      That guy sounds like a real winner.

      I would have told him to man up and commit a real crime. “You’ll be a real hit in prison. ‘What’re you in for?’ ‘Armed robbery.’ ‘Murder.’ ‘Coupon fraud.’ And they don’t accept coupons at the commissary.”

      Not only is he an unapologetic thief and a loser, he’s an idiot. Who tells anyone -let alone THE CASHIER – that they commit coupon fraud? Not only that, but doesn’t Albertson’s require a loyalty card – like nearly every grocery chain in America? They have his information, along with at least two witnesses who could verify that he stated he commits coupon fraud. I imagine the store could prosecute him pretty easily.

      • Sara says:

        Wow, what a real jerk! I’m thinking the cashier should have called the cops, or at least a manager.

  42. LOU says:

    Our Walgreens in Boise ID will no longer take internet coupons unless they are in color for this exact reason.. It is so frustrating.. the district Manager made the decision..

    • Kara says:

      In my experience in the Boise market it has depended on the location. It has been a week or so since I have tried B&W coupons though. When did the District Manager make the decision? What store gave you the info? I hope that’s not the case at all the Boise stores because that really stinks!!

      • misa says:

        I was told no B&W coupons at the Overland and 5Mile store. Sounds like someone had been copying and then visting that store.

  43. Lori Lee says:

    I live in Portland and the news last nite had a report of a woman arrested for coupon fraud. Assuming it was the person in Salem mentioned above. They showed pictures of Kohl’s coupons and others that were being photocopied. The stores are hard enough already on printed coupons, doublers, etc. and its getting tougher to do multiple transactions all the time. Being dishonest with the coupons hurts everyone and makes the stores suspicious even when you have clipped coupons. I think your advice is sound. Thanks.

    • mary says:

      I saw the news report of that woman they finally caught, she used so many coupons she made a good living over $60,000 a year and sold lots of stuff to crooks who bought her stuff for a $1.00 on the mark..what crook, they showed her laser printer & coupons which looked real on the tv. I thought it funny they kept the story at ll:00 pm so as not to let other thieves know how to work a crooked system, I hope she gets a long time in the pokey, she certainly deserves it..what a crook!!!!!!!

  44. Isabeau says:

    Coupon fraud is deplorable. I’m a business student, and for one of my last classes I did a big report on the grocery industry. Most people don’t know that many grocery stores have a profit margin of 1.5%. This means, for every $100 you spend at the grocery store, they make $1.50. Cheating them out of money by using fake coupons directly cuts into that profit margin. With that in mind, I don’t particularly blame some stores for not accepting printed coupons if they’ve had a lot of problems with fraud.

    Wendy: Legitimate coupons have an expiration date on them, so those are most likely fake coupons.

    • Rachel says:

      I agree that most legitimate coupons have an expiration date, but I did get several coupons from writting to a company and they did not have any expiration date on them, so it is possible.

  45. Annette says:

    I’m wondering about bricks coupons. When you print two from the same computer they both have the same barcode/numbers on them. When I print from different computers, they’re different. Does the manufacturer know that you’re allowed two of each coupon and reimburse for two of the unique codes?

    • Anikka says:

      I was wondering the same thing…when i hit “back” and it allows me to print 2 are the stores able to receive money for both?

      • Sara says:

        I was wondering about this as well, but when I checked two coupons I’d printed using the “back browser” method, the barcode in the upper-right hand corner (not the two barcodes on the lower-left) was indeed different on both of them! Such good information to know! Thanks, Heather!

    • Penny says:

      I have 2 coupons that I printed this afternoon with the brick coupon and they have different numbers on them.

      • Annette says:

        Thanks, I didn’t notice that the smaller barcode in the upper right had different numbers, I was just looking at the bottom barcode numbers. I always like to understand how they work so I can explain to a cashier that doesn’t understand.

  46. Wendy says:

    I bought some Silk soy milk coupons with no experation from e-bay and I have been using them at my Walmart. Only once did a checker not let me use them because of no experation date. After reading this post about photocopying coupons I am wondering if the Silk coupons I purchased on e-bay are photocopys. The bar code is on the bottom next to the UPC and all the coupons have the same number. Any advise?

  47. Courtney J says:

    I would just tell the friend that most good deals come around about every 6 weeks. It’s the typical grocery/drug store sale cycle. So if she plays by the rules, the deals will come around again and she can get in on the great deals all over again. However, if the stores catch on to people being fraudulent, they may take the sales/coupons/deals away all together, which means neither she nor anyone else will benefit. I hope she isn’t one of the ones that clears shelves on good deals. If she is, sounds like she has some karma coming around soon ;)

  48. Michelle P says:

    Your advice is fantastic. I had no idea about the “unique barcode” and had an issue at a Target I don’t normally go to accepting 2 of the same coupons for 2 of the same items and I am assuming it was because of coupon fraud. This is wonderful information! I looked at it on 2 of my identical coupons and, sure enough, they were different. I am like the other readers, I hoard my 2 coupons and I am totally happy with them, lol. Although I wish my “print limit reached” coupons on coupons.com would reset, haha. This was very helpful and informational, thanks!!

  49. lauren says:

    not too hardcore.if the store stops accepting printable coupons than that friend is ultimately costing the concerned friend more money.

  50. Celeste says:

    What are the rules about printing from different computers? Is that illegal?

    • Brittaney says:

      yes, you can print from different computers. Thats what she means that each will have a different barcode. When i know of a good deal i have my neighbors, friends and family print me extra copies and i use them all.

    • lauralou says:

      I don’t think so. If you have multiple computers, that’s to you advantage. I print from my desktop for my mom and I print from my laptop for me. If it has the unique code, then everything is groovy.

  51. Leticia says:

    I would tell her each coupon has its own barcode and the coupon sites especifically give each computer their own bar codes and if they see the same one copied over and over again that can actually get her in legal trouble.

  52. rbaca says:

    That’s terrible! I hoard my 2 copies and feel confident that I am doing the right thing.

  53. Becca Filley says:

    I live in Oregon and we actually had a woman at the Salem Winco get arrested for doing this exact thing and now they will no longer take printed coupons. She copied 100.00′s of dollars worth and ruined it for us all!! And went to jail for fraud and theft…I will look up the newspaper article and post a link.

  54. Lauralou says:

    It really isn’t. There are print limits for a reason.

    Good deals are always circling around. If you don’t catch it right now, there will always be another chance in the near future. Why would you want to mess with your coupon karma?

    Come on, is it really necessary to steal? My neighborhood target gives me enough garbage for bringing legitimate coupons.

    You’re not “fighting the machine” by stealing from the corporations. You’re being a thief. Is it really worth it to compromise your integrity for a couple of dollars?

  55. Teri says:

    And what about those coupons that show up in PDF format….I read on another couponing blog:
    “this prints in PDF format….just sayin’….”

    Also, another blogger has directed us to change the number of copies from one to whatever you want. I feel badly because I now know this is not appropriate and is a form of fraud.

    • Lauralou says:

      Well, on RiteAid’s Adperks, you can print as many copies as you’d like.

      It’s not always fraud to print multiple copies. I did it for the diaper deal and was stoked to help out my sister in law with her twins!

      • Teri says:

        Thank you, Laralou. I wondered about the Rite Aid coupons, particularly.

      • Brittaney says:

        how are you able to print multiple adperks qs? i’ve always only been able to print one. If i change the print limit it says it has to be at 1 in order to print.

        • lauralou says:

          When I print, it asks how many copies of the coupon I’d like, and at the most, I print 5 pages. Depending on how good the deal is. It might depend on what OS (operating system) you have. I’m running Windows 7, and it pops up for me.

          • anonymous says:

            This is actually NOT true. Rite Aid adperks are only supposed to be printed and used ONE time per coupon! Yes, you can finagle and get them to go through, but it is clear on the website and from their corporate office that each coupon is only meant to be printed and used ONE time. I called their office to verify this onece after seeing so many people using multiple copies.

            I know everyone has their own moral standards, but if you’re cheating, you’re cheating. And printing 5 sheets of the Rite-Aid coupons is the EXACT same thing as copying printed coupons. It just happens electronically.

    • Julie says:

      I’ve given coupons to neighbors and frineds after priting and always wondered if it was a problem. I recently got this email from Smartsource, ending my printing privledges for the moment. REALLY INTERESTING!

      Thank you for contacting us.
      The most likely reason you are receiving this message is someone copied one or more coupons printed from this computer. That is a violation of the expressed legal terms printed on all coupons.
      It may not have been you or someone in your household. Coupons are handled by many people as they are processed. Unfortunately sometimes “malredemption” occurs. A quick Internet search will provide numerous articles on retailers being caught attempting to “work the system”.
      In order to protect the brand we have placed a temporary hold on printing from this computer.

      • Juls says:

        Makes you think twice about printing coupons for friends, family, or even to leave them laying by the product for someone else to use. This subject really has me fired up!