There are several reasons why a coupon might not scan at the register. Learn the solutions to make checkout a breeze.

Problem: Low ink. If you’re low on printer ink, chances are the barcode will not print clearly and therefore is harder to be picked up at the register. This may cause an angry beep.

Solution: Make sure your ink levels are always adequate before printing.

Problem: PDF coupons (Portable Document Format). Many store scanners don't like reading PDF barcodes because they do not have unique numbers. After the refusal beep, the cashier will either push it through or will not accept it, citing that they cannot accept coupons that don't scan. Worse case, they may even accuse you of coupon fraud.

Solution: Always make sure the PDF coupon comes from a reliable source, such as the manufacturer’s website. Only print one or two and try them at the store. Be up front and honest with the cashier. Tell them where you found it and that sometimes these types of coupons are tricky. If it doesn’t work, realize the cashier is just following policy.

Problem: GS1 Databar Barcode. Most 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. The checkout process should be faster and more thorough. Most national stores should now have updated their systems to scan these. As long as your product matches the coupon’s fine print, things should go smoothly.

Solution: If for some reason your coupon won’t scan, politely ask to speak with the manager. Be unafraid to introduce yourself, explain your coupon experience, and ask for clarification. Be kind and patient. Most of the time the manager will help you out!