Extreme Couponing Tip: Coupons That Won’t Scan

Sometimes coupons do not scan at registers. Below are several possibilities as to why, and what you can do to prevent it:

Low ink: If you’re low on printer ink, chances are that barcodes will not print clearly and therefore are harder to be picked up at the register. Make sure your ink levels are always adequate before printing.

PDF coupons (Portable Document Format): Enables the customer to print out multiple copies. However, many store scanners don’t like reading PDF barcodes because they do not have unique numbers and will make an angry beep. Read more about why this happens and what actions you can take here.

GS1 Databar Barcode: Some new coupons no longer feature 2 barcodes. They have forgone the standard UPC barcode in favor of the more detailed GS1 Databar, which reduces coupon fraud. For more on how coupons are switching over to the GS1 and how to inform confused cashiers/managers, check out this post.

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16 thoughts on “Extreme Couponing Tip: Coupons That Won’t Scan”

  1. Jujubilant says:

    Anyone else noticed the BOGO coupons beeping? I’ve had trouble at Kroger and Walmart. Kroger will refuse them if they beep. Walmart will call over a Manager, look at my purchases, confirm I’ve purchased both items, and input the free amount. But it is still a hassle. These are normal, SS or RP or P&G newspaper clipped coupons. Both barcodes are on these coupons.

    Anyone know why? (Yes, I’m usually using a dollar off coupon for the item I am purchasing.)

  2. Anonymous says:

    I just p a i d $21.87 for an i P a d 2-64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasonîc Lumîx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from, http://bit.ly/nhyU7K

  3. Judy says:

    I have only been working your system for a little over a month, but have done pretty well.

    WELL…..that was until this weekend. First WalMart couldn’t scan two of my large internet coupons, then the cashier overcharged me $4.87 but I didn’t catch it as I had my aughter and grandsons (10 yr & 18 months) with me and the little one was very tried and fussy.

    Before WalMart I went to a new Walgreen’s near WalMart. They informed me that they only allow 2 transactions for each visit per customer. I was very upset because I had 4 and if I didn’t do them in that order, I would loose my RR. My daughter was with me, so I did 2 and she did 2, but I am going to my own Walgreen’s. On top of that the cashier was arguing that she could use a Walgreens coupon or a mgf, but not both. Had to pull out my printed policy to straighten that out!

    Today I went to an independent store in our suburb because I heard they double coupons. There is no printed policy anywhere, so I went to customer service first and asked them what I needed to know. They told me they doubled all coupons up to a $1. Did not double BOGO, and could not use two coupons on that type of transaction. I then said is there anything else I need to know? They said nope, those are the rules.

    When I got to the check out the cashier informed me that they DO NOT TAKE INTERNET COUPONS OF ANY KIND and that they only double the first coupon of an item, then regular coupon price on any of the like kind. Of course I was grateful for what got doubled, but I had a fairly large total and needless to say, I lost out on about 60% of the savings I had planned on. SO….I will not be going there again.

    It was a tough weekend, but I learned a lot, most of which is what NOT to do. LOL

    • Minion4bargains says:

      I ran into the same problem at a Walgreens that I don’t usually go to. I solved that problem by putting my 1st purchase that gave me register rewards in my car and going back in the store to make a second purchase. The manager told me that I was still the same person but I informed them that there was no guidelines that defined what a single purchase was and by my finishing the first transaction, this new transaction should be considered a separate transaction. She stubbernly stated that it is up to her to limit the amount purchased. Needless to say, I will be calling Walgreens corporate office monday!

      • Honey Clipper of Queens says:

        Hi
        I wrote to their corporate office twice in one week. One for false advertising and two for being poorly treated and lied to by one of their managers over using their coupons! I did get a phone call from the manager who offered me a $5 shopping credit. Despite this offer, I decided to ban this particular Walgreens. I have been shopping at another Walgreens and I am so much happier! Hope everything works out for you.

    • Honey Clipper of Queens says:

      Hi Judy
      I definitely had one of those days when my couponing trips don’t work out. I simply stop going to stores that give me a hard time with my coupons, it is not worth the hassle. I rather drive a little further for better service. Whatever you do….don’t stop couponing. All the best!

    • Honey Clipper of Queens says:

      Hi Judy
      I definitely had one of those days when my couponing trips don’t work out. I simply stop going to stores that give me a hard time with my coupons, it is not worth the hassle. I rather drive a little further for better service. Whatever you do….don’t stop couponing. All the best!

  4. Crystal says:

    I have 4 Tide Laundry Detergent coupons I got from the Sunday paper, and yet WalMart wouldnt accept them. They wouldnt scan, at first I thought they were expired but they dont expire until 8/31. I bought the Tide trial packs anyways then went to customer service, the associate stated their computers wont take them but did not explain why??

  5. zc says:

    I have solved an issue of why my barcode will not scan. It was not because my ink was running low (mind you, it was brand new), but before, everytime I print, the barcodes would be quite messy.
    it was a matter of fixing the resolution, or the dpi (dots per inch) in the preferences of the printer. I used to print on 600 dpi, but that made my barcodes unscannable. as of right now, 1200 dpi does it for me,

    • kayb says:

      I have the same problem! My coupons didn’t scan yesterday, so I just tell the cahier it’s ok. I purchased the items anyway since I didn’t want to hold up the line. The barcode was messy too. I could’ve saved over $10 dollars! I will change the dpi on my printer. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Cvtsiakop says:

    Just another way for them to reject our legit coupons…..Thanks again TLC’s Extreme Couponing….pft!!!
    Crissy

  7. Carmen Lopez says:

    lmao at that ladies face, that is the exact face I make when a coupon doesn’t scan

  8. SNSAVE says:

    Speaking of barcodes, I got my coupon yesterday for a free box of hair color from the HerbaShine Giveaway. It didn’t have a upc barcode on it, just a blank space on where it should be! No one will take it without one!