Extreme Couponing Tip: Be Aware Gang Cutting

The practice of “gang cutting” can cause unnecessary worry to new couponers when they hear about it. But don’t fret! Read below to find out what you need to know.

Gang Cutting: This is a tactic started many years ago, usually by small stores and retailers in an attempt to illegally earn money from manufacturers. In essence, the stores would stack enormous amounts of inserts together, cut them with a large machine, and send them into the clearinghouse for redemption without any purchases actually being made. Through modern technology and increased coupon awareness, businesses now show proof of their inventory and the coupons’ corresponding purchases to the manufacturer in order to be reimbursed, thus cutting down considerably on this form of coupon fraud.

Misinformed couponers have mistakenly drawn a parallel with the above practice and a consumer clipping more than one coupon at a time, such as stacking a few inserts/coupon pages together and cutting them. Gang cutting is about the retailer/owner, not the customer using a coupon for a product they bought.

However some stores may be wary of accepting multiples of a coupon that look like they might be “gang cut,” such as 25 coupons all cut out the exact same way. If you cut multiples at a time at home (either with scissors or a paper cutter) and you’re worried about store acceptance, you may want to use the coupons over time instead of all at once at one store, or neatly trim the coupons individually once they’ve been cut out to avoid the mass cut look.