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Extreme Couponing Tip: Know the Ins and Outs of PDF Coupons

Some coupons are in PDF (Portable Document Format), enabling the customer to print out multiple copies. However, their validity may be questioned at the register. Read below for FAQs and the answers!

"Are these legitimate?" Some PDF coupons are indeed authentic. Always make sure that you are printing them from a reliable source, i.e. the manufacturer's own website. This way you’ll know the manufacturer has authorized this format for their customers. Companies that have provided PDF coupons in the past include Sunbelt, Wholly Guacamole, and 3m/Scotch.

"Will my store accept them?”  Many store scanners don't like reading PDF barcodes and will make an angry beep. At this point, the cashier will either push it through or will not accept the coupon, citing store policy that they cannot accept coupons that don't scan. You may even be accused of coupon fraud. So it really depends on the store. Before you print off a PDF coupon, make sure it's from the product's own website, and just print off 1 or 2 to try at your store. Sometimes the angry-beep-hassle is just not worth it. You might want to try temporarily switching to color printing and off of the fast/quick print setting for a higher quality print and a better chance of your coupon being accepted.

“Will the store get reimbursed?" If a manufacturer puts out a PDF coupon, they should be reimbursing the stores for all of them, since it was offered at their discretion. Do make sure to read the coupon’s fine print and follow it, as some specifically state “one per customer per transaction/shopping trip.” When in doubt, you can always contact the company with your questions via email, phone, or their Facebook page.

"How many can I print off?" You can print off as many coupons as you like. But, as mentioned earlier, it might be best to only print off 1 or 2 to try at your store. Remember, it is ILLEGAL to copy any coupon.