Change coming for Coupon “buying”?

June 16, 2011 by
Filed under: Coupons 

If you are like me and buy some of  your newspaper coupon inserts from a service, there is a major development. Today two sites that I know of (and probably more) posted that they are temporarily unable to process new orders but did not go into detail.   One actually sent an email to customers explaining the situation.

As many of you know I am a newspaper manager. We received emails today from our corporate office regarding coupon distribution and disposal. 

Apparently Red Plum, Smart Source and P&G are filing suit against eBay for allowing the buying and selling of coupons. They are also in talks regarding the same with TLC. According to them it`s all considered coupon fraud.

Before, we were allowed to give away the leftover q`s and those returned from papers that did not sell. We must now destroy all leftover inserts immediately. Newspaper employees are allowed to take home ONE insert per family member , per household.

They are going to do everything possible to make it almost impossible to get coupons without buying the actual newspapers. They are also going to shut down all online sites that sell whole coupon inserts.

So, it appears MAJOR change is coming.

Of course, I’ve had lots of crazy theories over the years:  that the insert services had someone who worked at the printer and ran extra copies, someone worked for the newspaper and the bosses let them have all the extra inserts, someone worked for the newspapers and did unauthorized collection of inserts, that they worked at gas stations or places that sold a lot of newspapers, were newspaper delivery people, etc. Or that they simple buy a huge subscription amount that gives them a discount which then allows them to get many copies of inserts.  But again, these are all just my theories, not facts.

I do know for a fact that the Green Bay Press-Gazette does not give away extra inserts because Circulation Manager Dave Sielski told me when I interviewed him a few weeks ago. He said they have strict agreements with the advertisers to destroy extra inserts.

Now, don’t panic. My favorite go-to site for whole inserts is appropriately called Whole Coupon Inserts. They posted the following statement on their Facebook page:

I was contacted by, a representative from, SVP News America Marketing, GM Smart Source iGroup. After looking into sources of our supply, I received an email back stating that “As long as you are buying the newspapers at retail rates or subscriber rates, I don’t believe there is an issue”.

So for those who get their inserts through legitimate sources don’t have anything to worry about. For those that buy them off eBay or some sites where their acquisition of inserts is unknown, the future is questionable.

And you can be sure that this is further backlash from the TV show Extreme Couponing.

But don’t get me started on that one…
—————-
UPDATE: Please read my follow-up story on this hot topic here!

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Comments

84 Comments on Change coming for Coupon “buying”?

  1. Shelly@GBSavers on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 2:33 pm
  2. Alternate title: How Many Ways Can One (Stupid) Reality Show Ruin Deals for Regular Shoppers?

    Grrrr!

  3. The Bargain Sleuth on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 2:35 pm
  4. LOL, sad but true!

  5. maria on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 3:33 pm
  6. I thought sellers got around that legal language by saying “you’re paying for my TIME”.. or “you are buying an ENVELOPE.. (that has coupons in it)”

  7. The Bargain Sleuth on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 3:51 pm
  8. Maria, I think the advertisers have finally found a legal way to challenge the age-old “paying for a service.” OR at least are going to start trying.

    I also have heard in other cities there is a huge problem with people not only stealing inserts from newsstand copies, but actually stealing the inserts off newspaper subscriber’s doorsteps!

  9. Ashley Martin on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 4:36 pm
  10. seems this show has done more damage than good. Caused stores such as target to re quote their coupon policy and now these legal actions. Way to go TLC for messing with alot of peoples savings!

  11. Michelle on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 5:05 pm
  12. It is hard enough to find a paper in a newstand box as it is..people pay for one to open the box and take as many as they can! By 11am there are NO papers in any of the dozens of boxes in our town! We all knew this show was going to be a problem!

  13. Sonja L. Abshire on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 5:15 pm
  14. I am sure this is just the beginning, unfortunately. Hopefully they won’t change things too drastically.

  15. Terra on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 5:21 pm
  16. I hope people aren’t content to just discuss it among themselves. I hope they let TLC and TLC’s advertisers know directly how they feel. Couponers are a large group and could have a influence.

  17. The Bargain Sleuth on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 5:24 pm
  18. That’s one of the most effective ways of getting a TV network to listen–complain to their advertisers. Because a network like TLC enjoys all the free publicity.

  19. laurie on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 5:25 pm
  20. Where the heck do these coupon “sellers” get all their coupons from anyway? I think its good that Smartsource, P&G and Redplum are putting their foots down.

    come on, it costs 99cents for a sunday paper at Walgreens.

  21. Sherri P on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 5:30 pm
  22. I think the show has ruined it for the people who do follow the rules and policies have changed drastically for the ones who were doing couponing correctly. Most of them on the show talk about getting a rush or feeling anxious and showing us their inordinate amount of products, more than they will ever be able to use. You can definitely tell that a lot of them have major OCD issues and I oftened wonder about the one lady on the show who says she gets her inserts from God or something like that, really??? I hope that she gets in trouble as well as TLC. Most of the people on the show have major issues and this just seems to reinforce what they’re doing is okay. Btw, also hate when they get 50 or 60 of an item and leave nothing for those who come in later on to get something.

  23. Leslee on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 5:35 pm
  24. As a matter of fact, my girlfriend/partner works for our local newspaper and they have requested that the Sunday returns from the stores NOT be disposed of in the neighborhood recycling bins. They are actually having to return them at the newspaper dock for future sales of inserts/papers. The show has also caused my partner to pick up papers from stores that are COMPLETELY EMPTIED of the inserts!! What a shame!!

  25. Theresa Higby on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 5:54 pm
  26. I have been telling people that what they see on that show is not real. I believe there are some deals being made with the stores prior to the shoppers, and consequently film crews, arriving.

  27. Lynne on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 5:56 pm
  28. I’m glad to see it happen. I am sick and tired of cashiers looking at me like I’m a crook for using coupons, or going out and buying 2 or 3 newspapers only to get home and find that there are no coupon inserts in them. Screw all the idiots who think they need 1,000 boxes of Yakisoba Noodles or 500 bottles of body wash!

  29. serrina on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 6:44 pm
  30. before i buy my papers now i have to look inside to make sure my inserts are in there i only buy 4 papers every sunday and if there is a deal i buy the coupons online i really hope that they dont take the clipping service away i really like that and also i wont buy my coupons from ebay anymor some of those people are charging way!! to much i didnt get the dial coupon in my paper this last week and went on ebay and there are some going for 13 bucks for 20!! like seriously whats the use if ur gonna spent the same price retail that they are charging you??? really?!?!?! that show is putting normal coupons out and making all of us normal couponers look like crooks

  31. Polly on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 6:44 pm
  32. What about the couponers that know how the show is negatively affecting couponing but still choose to do the show. If they didn’t have couponers for the show, there would be no show!!

  33. clipperdad on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 6:46 pm
  34. Once again, a dying industry trying to grasp at straws (newspaper) to find a way to to keep themselves alive. Red Plumb, P&G and SS will do well to sell their Coupons as a standalone product and to hell with the papers! What waste it is to buy all that paper just to get the coupons.

  35. Janice Mitchell on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 6:54 pm
  36. Sherri P (comment #12) said exactly what I feel and said it very well!

  37. Mercedes on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 7:03 pm
  38. I buy my two papers thru a subscription so I pay for mine. I am not like those on TLC that have 20 coupons for 20 items and get for free. Our stores are NOW only allowing you to use 3 and that is all because of that show. So what good has this show done for anyone. I do not have enough toilet paper to get thru 40 years. The show makes the people look like horders. Then the one gal said she feels like she is stealing from the store. Well if your coupons are not legal than they are commiting a crime. i hope the people that sell the coupons on ebay and such are legal. But for me it doesn’t matter. If its a good weekend I go buy ! additonal paper.

  39. Jane on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 7:13 pm
  40. Not everyone has a Walgreen’s in their city duh. Also papers here cost $2 on Sunday and they are all sold out after 30 minutes of them being put in the store. And we all know there is never a certain time for delivery. Sometimes its 4 am sometimes it’s 8 am.

    It’s cheaper to buy inserts from services. Thus creating more savings. If the services discontinue, then a major percentage of couponers will cease to exist. That includes our family. Without coupons we will be going back to being piss poor. Not exactly a lifestyle anyone wants to become accustomed to.

  41. Jessica on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 7:33 pm
  42. You know, it’s not only the fact that Extreme Couponing has ruined this for us but honestly.. I’m sick and tired of going to the damn store to get just a couple of the item I need and the entire supply is wiped out. I mean come on. Those of us out there that actually use coupons the right way to get what we need and not what we feel we should get just to show off shouldn’t be punished because of those idiot’s on Extreme Couponing.

  43. Grandma Q on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 7:34 pm
  44. I gave Discovery apiece of my mind about this show and how they have caused so many changes in coupon use. You might want to tell them too. Maybe if we all do things will die down and go back to normal

  45. cmsvmom on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 7:42 pm
  46. I always wondered about the source of many of these insert services. It has varied near me whether employees of stores could take the extra inserts. I have also seen an uptick in this area of actual stealing of papers, sometimes right from the distributor before they are loaded into the machines. I dont think it is a bad idea to crack down on ebay, there is so much fraud on there anyway.

    As for me, I have always done well with the following methods:
    1. Buying the paper, sometimes at a discount with subscription.
    2. Checking the recycling center after work every day. Amazing what people throw away.
    3. Friends who “just dont have time for all that junk, ya want it”
    4. WHen I lived in NJ, I used to pick up the freebie circulars that contained the same smart source magazine from the Sunday insert on Saturday from vacant houses, people who did not want them and said they were going to throw them out, or people who left them to sit in the rain and snow for more than two days.

    You do not need to BUY coupons to do well with couponing, and I have long wondered if the supply to people who sell inserts has resulted in a lack of availability to anyone else.

  47. Jenny on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 7:52 pm
  48. I have to say I do watch the show.. but I would never stockpile that much crap in my house.
    I’ll admit I started couponing because of the show. But my FH and I are also in a dire financial state. We’re living off just my income right now because my FH recently lost his job. An it has come down to me actually debating on which bills are going to be paid on time and which are going to be paid late if at all for the month.

    On my second couponing trip I actually saved $83.00 enough to cover what we pay for out dish network bill a month.

    Now about the issue at hand. My house hold consists of me, my FH, and 4 annoying but super well loved cats. I buy 1 copy of each of the three local papers, one of which has different coupons in it because its from a different “region” My parents also save me their inserts, and recently I asked the cashier at the place I work if she could snag the inserts out of the papers that are left over from Sunday before the paper guy comes.. I didn’t see this as a problem because they throw them away or the paperman gives those copies to the cashier herself. Last week was the first I asked for this and it netted me one extra copy of each insert.
    Now with 5 copies of the inserts I find that this is MORE than enough for my house hold not only to save me money but have one or two extra bottles of this or that on hand, which helps me have more money towards paying my utility bills I so desperatly need to pay.
    I don’t understand why someone would need to stockpile over 100 jars of mustard especially when only other person in the house hold doesn’t even eat mustard.. Quite frankly I don’t think we’ve bought a container of mustard for my FH and I in almost 10 months!

  49. laura on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 8:11 pm
  50. First, I contactemy local paper (I live in CO Springs, CO, and I buy Denver Post papers, I buy ten of each a week) i purchased 10 Post papers last weekend and 4 of them didnt have coupons. I called the paper, and people, they dont gauruntee to us little people that any of theinserts are in there. Sale ads, coupons, etc. They go to subscriberts first then the stands. Sometimes they said every other paper gets coupons bc they run out after subscribers. Also, I think it unfir for people to clean the shelves off, and that all this change has to happen b someone is silly. If you watch interviws they do with the people that were on th show, they plan this out weeks in advance, and they have to have permission from the store. I know around here all stores have a limit of three free items, and one store has a limit of three like coupons period. I too tell everonethe show is fake!

  51. Cheryl Sirote on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 8:55 pm
  52. I knew this was bound to happen sooner rather than later. I’ve been using coupons for numerous years not in the way some of these “Extreme” couponing people use them. I don’t buy 20 bottles of shampoo just because they are on sale and I have coupons to match. The ones that have their garages, basements, extra rooms full of over 100 packages of toilet paper, etc. to me are in fact “HORDERS” because they continue to shop when they don’t need those items. I don’t understand you people. You say you are not a horder but you have enough food in your garage and throughout your house to open a grocery store of your own, but you still buy more. Why do it? Can’t Stop, so you are nothing but a Horder and can’t stop.

    Some of these men and women do donate to Charities, but I still don’t understand why continue to buy more. If you can’t stop buying than you have a problem!. To me you continueously buy more. Why do it? You already have over 100 bottles of say barbeque sauce, why do you buy more? You say that you’re stockpiling and already sent out your donations than why buy more? All you are doing is hurting it for us little people who only buy maybe 2-5 of the same items “if we have the coupons”. It just erks me when I see some of these extreme shoppers buying up all the sale items and not leaving any for other shoppers. You’re the ones that are hurting us “the little coupon people” who only buy 2-3 products and having a coupon for those products. I always use coupons when I can but I’ve never had a zero balance. I shop every 2 weeks spending about $250-$350. Depending on what is needed in my home. Not buying things just because its on sale & I have coupons for them. If I don’t use the coupon and it doesn’t expire for a couple of months I’ll use it when I need it the next time. . Out here in Las Vegas, NV they never double coupons, maybe sometimes give you 1-2 coupons that says you can double 1-2 coupons not exceeding $1.

    It just pisses me off to see that these women who buy 50 to over 100 of the same item just because its on sale THEY DON’T EVEN NEED THAT ITEM then they DO HAVE A PROBLEM and CAN’T STOP. Sorry I wrote so much.

  53. Jenny2 on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 8:58 pm
  54. 1. I started to “really” coupon since the show, which I thoroughly enjoy watching and hearing all the different people’s stories. Compared to MTV’s reality shows of glorifying teen pregnancy, or showcasing illiterate bed hopping skanks from Jersey, or ABC’s parading Bachelor/Bachelorette’s that do nothing but diminish romance/marriage–TLC actually puts on a relatively entertaining and inspiring program.
    2. These rants about the show “ruining” other people’s coupon strategies are purely selfish. Were others not allowed to join in the saving club?? In just a few short months, I learned to save a ton of money on my family’s grocery budget and the people showcased on the show have been what has encouraged me to stock up on deals to donate to charity. I have friends who do the same since watching the show. TLC has taught us how to feed the homeless–why again is this such a travesty? Oh, wait, because women who’ve been cornering the market on coupon savings for years don’t want to share.
    3. Please explain to me what the outrage is about people who may be unlawfully profiting from selling of coupons being stopped. If someone is manipulating their position at a newspaper distribution center or other company in order to gain tons of newspapers and then sells the inserts–they are committing fraud and we should ALL applaud the cease and desist so that there is not a cloud of illegitimacy over couponing. Clip and save Legally & ethically–that’s my motto

  55. Wendy on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 9:16 pm
  56. I personally feel the show should be removed from the learning channel, what are they teaching you how to use coupons in a fraudulent way. They edit so much that the viewer doesn’t see and that’s not right. Also the shoppers don’t follow any of the rules that most of have to follow!!

  57. Wendy on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 9:50 pm
  58. This makes me so upset. I prefer to buy the inserts from a clipping service because I don’t need 2 or 4 newspapers every week lying around my house unread and we end up not recycling because our recycling service shows up whenever they feel like it. I feel I rather pay an extra few cents for the convience of having this mailed to my home. Also, my newspaper isn’t 99 cents and doesn’t even carry half of what the other papers across the country carry. We don’t even get Red Plum and I’ve tried to have it mailed to me, and it can’t be sent to my adress I have been told. I’ve tried to purchase a subscription from another newspaper and was told that the inserts would be removed. Sooo, if we are required to buy a paper, isn’t that also buying coupons? I was so excited and couldn’t wait to see this show, but as so many of you have said, it’s caused nothing but trouble and disappointment. I to have purchased newspapers that were missing inserts and I usually do check the papers before I buy them. These people have issues and seriously need help. I have a stockpile of supplies, but nothing nearly as extreme as these people. All my coupons are used correctly and yes, I do buy more than 4 bottles of something, but I do not wipe out entire shelves. I have a friend who works in the store and they will often special order items for me if I ask. But with all these policy changes and other things going on thanks to this show, I’m so digusted and soon will see couponing becoming a thing of the past.

  59. Melissa on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 9:54 pm
  60. I hope that in a couple months TLC will find some other person with a freakish need to do something to make a show about and this will all die down. All the people who rushed out and went crazy with coupons will start to lose interest and realize the time commitment isn’t worth it to them personally. Start watching ebay for used coupon binders! lol

  61. Wendy on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 10:01 pm
  62. @ Jenny2, I have no problem with people learning how to use coupons and for saving. In fact, I’ve attempted to help several friends and family members do this as well. I started doing this a year before the show came on. Yes, I have bought 40 deodorants at one time because I asked my store to order them. I didn’t clear out the shelves there were plenty, in fact the store even ordered extra to be prepared for the sale since they knew about it and were grateful for it. I have a teenage son who is in marching band & a husband who is a mechanic. Believe me, they need the deodorant and if I can get it free I will & those 40 will last them about a year. Our ranting is more about how because of the people who are dishonestly using coupons on this show it has changed the way we can shop with our coupons. Also, people are now stealing inserts from the stores & off people’s front porches. As I said I prefer to buy my coupons from a website because it’s more convenient for me. I was laid off for 18 months & this helped my family of 4 tremendously, especially with a newborn @ the time. In fact so much so I’ve considered quitting my job now so I can go back to shopping with coupons to be home to take care of my family, but with all the changes since this show debuted, that may not be a reality for me anymore. I’ve seen coupons become less valuable and sales aren’t nearly as good. It may just be the economy but, I would bet it’s based on this show. I couldn’t wait for it to start, but now it makes me sick. They are using coupons WRONG on this show and they are committing coupon fraud and that makes all of us who use them correctly look bad. I get harrassed now by cashiers because of my coupon use.

  63. susan on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 10:10 pm
  64. I have recently begun marketing my ‘services’ (locating, collecting,and mailing), and let me tell you it is a lot of hard work, and after paying ebay and paypal costs, there is very little left over, but eventually, if you work hard enough, you can make a little profit, and help people out that need my ‘service’. There is no harm in that. My job pays very little and this is a way to supplement my income a bit.

  65. Casey on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 10:14 pm
  66. How are those people using coupons wrong? When I go to the store, if I over looked a detail on that coupon, the computer will let me know something is wrong. If they were using the coupons wrongly, then how could the computer accept them? I do not agree with buying 100 mustards or 100 boxes of jujubees or whatever but things like deodorant or shampoo I like to have a variety of because I am a woman and I like changing my shampoos and deodorants. So if I can get them for free, heck ya I am going to stock up. I have also taken plastic bags and filled them with goodies for my friends. I too have to check every paper I buy because inserts may not be there, but luckily for me the store clerk watches those papers carefully.

  67. Lisa on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 10:25 pm
  68. I hate to say it guys, but the stealing of papers, or inserts from stores or News paper vending machines is NOT going to stop. If anything, it will only increase theft once the selling of these inserts stops. I personally thought it a good idea to order a bulk supply of inserts and take them into the 12th grade to teach up coming college students and expecting mothers how to coupon the right way. Get what you need with the little money you have. Looks like that is not going to happen unless I provide each student with a subscription and lord knows how many that will be. Its a real shame.. the show has caused this much of an uproar in policy changes and honest coupon obtaining ways.. I shake my head when I see the show, and honestly, will not be watching it again.. I havent for a while now..

    I personally use to order 4 subscriptions. My store only allows 4 of the same coupon per order. However, after chasing my news paper or the inserts every time I was supposed to get them… I got tired of it. Either Im missing a paper, or the inserts arnt there. I not a dog, I should NOT have to chase my paper. I stopped, and actually gave these people another chance, only to go through the same crap. The only good thing is .. the paper is there.. but they forget to put the inserts in. Takes another day before I get them.. Its frustrating.. if they are going to restrict everyone, I personally feel that the quality of our service should get better.. and the price should be discounted for more then 2+ subscriptions. Just my 2 cents.

  69. Wendy on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 10:40 pm
  70. Amanda on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 11:06 pm
  71. I’m sorry but this is crazy! Our newspaper doesn’t even put coupon inserts in the papers anymore! We have to buy a $2 paper from a larger city (most places here charge tax) just to get coupons :( I watched 2 episodes the very first and second ones…I told my hubby this is BAD and I refused to watch the show anymore…… I wish others would’ve done the same.

  72. Kelly T. on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 11:14 pm
  73. I hate TLC and their Extreme Couponing show, ever since the show has aired I have to check the newspaper for coupons before I buy it since more than likly there wont be any coupons in it!!

  74. Mama Rizzo on Thu, 16th Jun 2011 11:20 pm
  75. And it’s only going to get worse, since they’ve renewed the show.

  76. whatever on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 2:16 am
  77. I believe that Kroger’s goal when working with TLC is to destroy paper coupons so Kroger can dominate the coupon industry with their digital coupon program.

  78. lori on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 5:37 am
  79. I have been a couponer for over 40 years (definitely not extreme). Not long ago, the future of coupons was questioned because so few were being used (something like only 5-7%). While the show on TLC did effect how people look at me at the check out, it had to boost the number being used which is what the advertisers were looking for. You can’t have it both ways-it is not a perfect world!!!
    Newspapers have been dying off little by little because of declining sales since the internet news is free and much quicker, why would they limit the number you can buy? I have been around since the $.05 coupon and couponing has always had a lot of drama. I’m sure change is on the way whether it is for the good or not is the question.
    Email the advertisers, but be sure to tell them that you will use their coupons in a respectul manner.

  80. Amy S. on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 9:59 am
  81. What the TLC Extreme Couponing show did was to illustrate to manufacturer’s and retailers the many loopholes that needed to be closed, and roadblocks that needed to be put up, in order to prevent couponing customers from saving to the extent that had been previously possible. It also gave them the perfect scapegoat to finally make changes in store coupon policies, set limits, end savings programs (such as Kroger’s double/triple coupon program in Houston, ending of super doubles in Perrysburg), and to now go after clipping services. The CIC has been after the clippers for years — the show has only expedited these changes. Whether these services are illegal or not (I personally believe paying for coupons, in any form, voids the contract of the coupon) is not the issue of the day. The issue is that our coupons are under attack. TLC is providing the ammunition. The participants of the show, whether they believe it or not, are culpable. So are the participating stores! I belong to a facebook group of over 1400 called Kroger Couponers. Others are free to join. Many of us are boycotting Kroger and TLC in response to these changes.

  82. dealznstealz on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 10:29 am
  83. Kroger, the second largest retailer heavily promoted and appeared in the TLC EC Show. None of the transactions in these shows can be duplicated. IMO Kroger set out to promote this show to RUSH the death of paper coupons and RUSH the onset of KROGER DIGITAL coupons (2010 only 10% utilization). Kroger stands to make a huge profit on the revenue generated from digitals and further customer data-mining with Dunnhumby.

    Kroger ended double-triple coupons in Houston in April, and overnight stores limited 1-3 like coupons that will double. Members of Kroger Couponers have reported Kroger ended Perrysburg super double coupons in June and that Kroger plans to eliminate all double-triple coupons in the near future. We have over 1400 members all over the nation that are boycotting Kroger.

    Customer data is the new currency…Digital-mobile coupons (M-Commerce) is the BIG RACE for retailers and brands to increase revenue and further data-mine customers. This would allow them to collect real-time information about users’ locations, shopping habits, spending patterns, and use this to sell ads, coupons, and loyalty programs. Digital coupons target one third of consumers who don’t use paper coupons, results in 10-40% more in redemption rates, 25-50% increase in sales with a 5-10% increase in total basket sales. Digitals allow tracking and validation of brands return on advertising investment. Please note their TARGET is AFFLUENT customers and coupons offers will soon be very limited based on shopping history and spend.

    Kroger Test Prepares for Mobile Future – Supermarket News “But mobile phones will offer some powerful advantages. Bonner said, highlighting digital coupons, which will + eliminate paper coupons+, control fraud and validate coupons to the GTIN level. Steven Boal, chief executive officer of Coupons.com. “We’ve got significant client pressure to drive more and more of their promotions in digital, and out of the Sunday newspaper.”

    TLC spokesman Dustin Smith countered that the show was never intended to be a couponing tutorial. “This is a docu-series of behaviors; it’s not a how-to program,” he said. – FMI.org Point Loma Meeting – Protect Your Bottom Line from Counterfeit Coupons and Extreme Couponing: CIC and Target.

    Couponing as we know it is changing and not for the good. I only hope the industry is not making a cohesive decision as part of their industry collaborative associations to end affordable groceries. This will impact many families trying to make ends meet with both gas and food prices skyrocketing.

    More information is available at KROGER COUPONERS group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/krogercouponers and
    https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_150822764981356&view=permalink&id=165671003496532

  84. Deboah Byan on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 1:13 pm
  85. I think that this may backfire on the manufacturers. They produce coupons to advertise and entice people to purchase their products. They make it so difficut to use coupons that people stop and don’t try or buy their products. We all got along just fine with bar soap. Probably could again. My point prices are extremely high now. Having a coupon to use may mean the difference betweenmy purchasing a store brand or a name brand. The manufacturers may actually wind up biting the hand that feeds them and they may find sales and profit fall.

  86. Pat on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 1:27 pm
  87. I barely use coupons these days … I may get one coupon out of an entire insert for something I might use. And when it’s for 35 cent off an item that costs 8.00 it’s simply NOT worth the clipping – especially now that they do not have Double Coupons at ANY of my stores. Coupons these days aren’t worth the paper they are printed on, sorry to say. I tried loading coupons to my stores shopping cards-but it required that I add “cookies” to my already over-worked computer (and since having a hard drive wiped out due to a virus that I got from a so-called reputable company) I am leery of doing that. The economy would suggest that coupon clipping would be a good thing, but clipping coupons, and buying items that you don;t need, or wouldn’t use, would be a waste, both of energy and money.

  88. AJ on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 2:10 pm
  89. To the person who said “come on, a sunday paper is 99cents” that isn’t true everywhere. Our Sunday papers are THREE DOLLARS each. Try spending $3 per paper only to discover the coupons are missing. It’s a bummer.

  90. Vickey Jones on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 2:39 pm
  91. Check you local dollar store… most carry the Sunday paper and you can get them for $1.00 a piece! I check my papers before I leave the store to ensure they have coupons… I normally purchase 5 to 10 papers depending on the coupons that week. I do NOT stockpile large amounts of items.. & It seems like lately the shelves are bare of items on sale that have a coupon to match! But, for those of you who do buy extra papers – a good way to dispose of the ones you dont read is to drop them off at a nursing home/hospital or places where people cant really afford the extra expense of a Sunday paper…. that way someone is getting use out of them.

  92. Rebecca on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 3:06 pm
  93. So why don’t extreme couponers just not sign up for the show anymore?? No people no show…no show no more exploting the coupon world….Well look at “little people big world” they started off with humble beginning…and ended up with “new home” cars, opportunities they may of not had because of all the publicity TLC offers….I don’t know that the show will go away anytime soon because Extreme Couponers not only like to save money but making money on the side too isn’t a bad deal either!! Its not the show that changes things its people who change things and without them we would still live in a segregated world!

  94. susan on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 3:06 pm
  95. great way to make use of the extra sunday papers Vickey!
    I just found out last Sunday, that Dollar Tree sells Sunday
    papers for $1 and you can buy multiples, yay! last week I
    bought 10

  96. TMJ on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 3:06 pm
  97. this is why some places charge you for using coupons from 0.01-0.20 cents per coupon. We need to stop this. I love using coupons but if we are being charged what are we really saving? I print and trade coupons and i also buy the paper every Sunday.

  98. Ashley on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 3:21 pm
  99. Seriously, Im glad they are doing it. I pay for my papaer on Sundays and its a little aggrevating to me that some just sit back and collect. People want to complain about having to pay $2 for the sunday paer. Well tough. I pay $3.50 for mine. And make that back plus more with the coupons. Come on!!!!!!!! Get over yourselves. By the paper and use your coupons. And oh well if you stop couponing. More for the rest of us.

  100. jessica on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 3:38 pm
  101. @laurie thanks i didn’t know that walgreens papers were .99 i have been paying $1.50 each every sunday LOL :)

  102. jessica on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 3:40 pm
  103. I only get my coupons from buying papers myself or my sister saves up a stack of her inserts for me that’s it. I just never have wanted to fool with the other ways of getting them …..glad about that now.

  104. Stephani on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 4:06 pm
  105. All you people that say “I think buying coupons voids the coupon blah blah blah”, please get over yourselves! You’re still buying a newspaper specifically for the inserts that are in the newspaper! Why would I waste $3.00 on 1 newspaper (Yes our papers are $3.00 here!) when I can spend $5.00 and get 5 inserts through a coupon service?? If the manufacturers really close these sites down then they are definitely in a world of hurt, especially P&G! Their products are way overpriced without coupons!!

  106. Libby Watkins on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 4:25 pm
  107. I truly am so tired of that show! Not only is it ruining shopping but it is also ruining trying to buy a paper where I live. The Dollar Store started selling the Sunday paper which was great for the first few weeks. About 3 weeks ago I stopped on the way to church to pick up my 4 papers. The store normally opens at 10:00 am. They opened at 9:50 because there were so many people outside. By the time I got there I was the 16th person in line and there were only 8 papers left. People were buying them by the bundle! There are 15 papers in a bundle. A few people had 2 to 3 bundles. I coupon to save my family money and get the best deals I can. I don’t have a 5 year stockpile and I don’t get $1000 worth of groceries for free. Hopefully Dollar Tree will start putting a limit on the number you can buy. It was like Best Buy at 4:00am the day after Thanksgiving. I can’t do that every week. I’ll gladly pay $2 a paper at Walmart!

  108. Cece on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 5:41 pm
  109. It is frustrating when you go to the store to get something but it is all gone. Remember the Clean and Clear sale not long ago. My DIL tried to get some at Walgreens, but someone cleaned out the shelves. So she went to Walmart, again the shelves were cleared out. A few days later she is out going to garage sales and happens upon one where they are selling unopened bottles of Clean and Clear. Just not right.

  110. v on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 6:25 pm
  111. I recently discovered from our local newspaper that the weekly ads we receive in our driveway containing circulars should almost always contain coupons. But we have NEVER in the ten years in our home received coupon inserts more then once or twice a year. In the past year we started receiving double circulars. Apparently the people employed to deliver the circulars are under investigation for selling stacks of coupon inserts on e bay. The other suspicion is that they are only delivering half their rout but as I said that is NOT a fact only speculation. Like many, we are struggling to survive as a result of circumstances beyond our control. I hope and pray those who are fraudulent are brought to justice and things calm down so coupons are not banned entirely or the coupon policies are so strict we will once again stand in line at the local food pantry and not making donations. Btw we are pretty humble couponers, our “stock pile” is in the early stages and we have less then 6-8 of any item on hand at a time it terrifies me to even think of having more then 12 things at a time. I want to live in a home not a supermarket ;)

  112. v on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 6:30 pm
  113. um another thought i noticed i could buy up to 10 free coupons for Seattle’s best for 50 cents a piece on a site but if i wanted a less popular item i could get a coupon for 10 cents. so much for people who buy on the clippers site paying for the “time” to have a coupon clipped. just sayin…

  114. Sarah on Fri, 17th Jun 2011 8:17 pm
  115. Well, technically what they were doing was illegal. It’ll stink for a lot of people, but I’m honestly surprised this didn’t happen sooner.

  116. Kathy on Sat, 18th Jun 2011 9:48 am
  117. I hate that they even did the show. If there was going to be a show it should have been a mini series about how you can save money with coupons but leave out the Extreme part. Someone basically said poo-poo buy the paper for 99 cents at wags? My only source for newspapers is the local gas station and they charge $2.15 EACH paper. That includes taxes. The machines either do not get filled or people are clearing them out before 9 am when SANE people are up on sundays. My local paper does not do a sunday only delivery and I refuse to get Friday and Saturdsays just to get ONE sunday paper. I think its stupid that we are being denied the opportunity to acquire the coupons we need in a manner that allows us to use them. I mean why print so many and waste so much paper if you do not want the coupons to be used???

  118. Jane on Sat, 18th Jun 2011 10:12 am
  119. Buying a newspaper IS paying for the coupon inserts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Duh HELLO?! So what’s the difference?

  120. foundthis on Sat, 18th Jun 2011 10:48 am
  121. I found this today regarding inserts:
    —————————————————————————————————————
    ShelfClearers procuring large quantities of coupon inserts,
    for free, is where the shelf clearing starts. Stand up and do something!!!!!!

    Illegal acquisition of coupon inserts must be stopped.
    Please call and report these issues to :
    News America Marketing (distributes Smart Source)
    1-800-462-0852

    Valassis (distributes Red Plum) 800.437.0479

    CIC Coupon Information Corporation (703) 684-5307

    Don’t forget to contact P&G , local newspaper offices,
    store managers and district managers.
    Write the board of directors! The shelf clearers do!

    We have to report newspaper carriers who are selling inserts
    and the inside staff. Those coupons are supposed to be under lock and key. Very
    few have access to them.
    It’s not that hard to track.

    1,000 perfect inserts don’t show up in a dumpster each week
    per shelf clearer.
    Just look on any city CraigsList and see all the sob stories from begging shelf clearers. They never mention that they sell them or use them to clear and then resell that free merchandise at flea markets. Some offer cash and trades of sports tickets to the carriers? Cash and sports tickets, the gas to go around chasing free coupons, but they are poor hmmmmmmmmmmm???

    Please do your homework and report.

    People steel peelies and then other couponers run and buy the stolen
    items from the thief ON EBAY.
Hey which spelling is correct anyways?
    Peeliesteelers or peeliestealers

    Same thing with tear pad thieves. The take whole tearpads, sell
    them on Ebay and people go PAY for this stolen item.

    Newspaper carriers, newspaper staff, and others steal coupons
    then sell them through clipping services. This is illegal and starts the fraud
    ball rolling.

    It always amazes me that people complain about not getting their
    coupons in their paper but then are the first to say go to the crook
    wholesalers to get them guaranteed.
Nothing like a crook with a guarantee I
    guess?!

    Where do you think coupon sellers, coupon clippers, ebay coupon
    sellers get their coupons????
Hmmmmmmmmmmm

    I also learned that people with no children join mommy groups to beg for formula checks to sell. They also steal magazine coupons to sell and leave the magazine on the shelf!

  122. SophieMae on Sat, 18th Jun 2011 11:20 am
  123. Re just buying the newspaper for 99¢… that’s fine if you live in an area that gets the decent coupons. 99% of the time, we don’t, so my only source is ebay or a coupon clipper. I only order 10 or 20, depending on what gets me the best deal. And I almost always share those with several other people. Also, I absolutely will pay more to avoid buying from a seller who is obviously getting their coupons the wrong way. No, I can’t always be 100% sure, but I do as much digging as possible to ferret out the scum-suckers and refuse to do business with them. If my only sources dry up, it’s going to seriously hurt us financially. But as long as TLC is still raking in the dough by pandering to the low-life masses… >:\

  124. Stephanie on Sat, 18th Jun 2011 1:10 pm
  125. Since the show started, I started using coupons. However, as a single mom, it is hard for me to even begin a stock pile that will at least last me 3 months. However, what pisses me off the most is that I only purchase maybe 3 or 4 newspaper, if I am lucky there are coupons and then I spend all my time to figure out the good deals and then go to the store and the shelf is empty. I have done this on several occasions and it still the same. It isn’t like I am going out to spend 100 dollars worth of grocery and save what? Oh, I am usually saving maybe 20% because the shelves are freaking clear and this throw me for a loop because my list is based off of what I can afford. I don’t go out and buy 10 to whatever of each product. I am lucky if I can at least get 2 of a product. I also think the show is all BS because they are leaving so much out and on top of that, these people who are hording items or selling them to make their money is a lie. Because you see, they are all thinking of themselves, yeah, some will donate, but since the show, it is all about themselves. Hell with everyone else out there. This show should be correct by showing the viewers how to use the coupons in the right way and not commit fraud. However, no matter what, there are always going to be people out there saying “Hell with everyone else. It is all about me!” This is why I hate freaking shopping. Nothing has every changed.
    “I did keep it clean for everyone, granted I want to express my true opinion on this.”

  126. Dana on Sat, 18th Jun 2011 1:10 pm
  127. If we allow TLC to continue with this stupid show, things will get worse. In the fall they are planning to “tackle” rebates and other ways consumers may save a buck. There will be those who will abuse the system, and the result will be a major blow on the industry and no opportunities for the rest of us normal couponers. We are already feeling the heat.

    So here is what we can do to avoid this: this show must come down and some hoarders/OCD patients, like the ones they have on the show, should be prosecuted. Here are some ways we can help:

    1) Boycott TLC and Discovery! Teachers have already been threatening to discontinue using Discovery in class. Don’t watch the show.

    2) Advertisers should stop supporting TLC/Discovery.

    3) City officials, state revenue, and the IRS should start arresting all those people holding garage sales selling their stockpiles. It’s VERY easy to do. Fine some of them, and you’ll see a difference immediately.

    4) Those who steal inserts can be easily arrested for shoplifting. Same thing for those who steal newspapers from driveways.

    5) Investigate some of the morons on the show.

    I am very sure things will vastly improve.

  128. Riverswamp on Sat, 18th Jun 2011 10:49 pm
  129. This has been in the works for a while. Selling the coupons, in any way, shape, or form is fraud, except when bought in a paper or directly from the manufacturer.
    TLCs supporters are manufacturers and grocery stores.

  130. lori on Sun, 19th Jun 2011 4:28 pm
  131. Here’s a great idea for TLC’s next reality show. The CEO’s of major grocery stores, Smartsource, Valassis and P&G have feed a family of four for 2 weeks without coupons being doubled or stacked (or no coupons)with only $100 to spend for the entire week. This would include breakfast lunch and dinner along with family snacks and laundry supplies/paper products. Just think-there would be anxiety and frustration at the check out and kids/hubbies complaining about having to eat what they don’t like, thus showing the “behaviors” that TLC is supposedly trying to show their viewers!

  132. MindOfMyOwn on Mon, 20th Jun 2011 12:08 am
  133. If stores are worried about the coupons looking gang-clipped, they could have the person(s) who processes them trim the coupons that look “suspicious” before they are sent to the manufacturer. Surely that would be cheaper for the stores than to send them as-is and risk not getting paid for them.

  134. Jamie on Mon, 20th Jun 2011 4:49 am
  135. I just started couponing. I meant to start about 5 years ago. I ordered a subscription to our local paper for Sunday papers only. I always noticed we didn’t get our Sunday paper…and when we did, there were hardly any coupons in it. At the time, I didn’t realize what was going on. I just thought the local paper wasn’t doing their job or that Sunday papers really didn’t put that many coupons in the paper which made it pointless for me to order it.

    A couple of months before “Extreme Couponing” started, I ordered the Sunday paper again b/c I wanted to get into it. My husband and I sleep in on the weekends until about 10 or so. When I would wake up, I noticed my papers weren’t there AGAIN. Not until the show started did I realize what was happening. Now days, I make sure I am up when the paper comes and get it immediately.

    It is really unfortunate that they are doing away with the sales of coupon inserts. I mean, who really wants to buy extra papers JUST for the coupon inserts? It kills trees and causes clutter.

    Why don’t these coupon places sell subscriptions to their coupons? I would gladly buy them.

  136. Jamie on Mon, 20th Jun 2011 5:04 am
  137. @#72: I actually had to look up what gang-clipping was. All anyone has to do, is take their own scissors and cut some un-evenly so it doesn’t look gang-clipped. And anyway, it seems really ridiculous to me that they penalize stores for multiple coupons looking identical. There are some people (like me) who have medical conditions like arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other medical issues which may limit the use of their hands.

    Man, I thought couponing was going to be simple…cut out some coupons, go to the store and save some money. I dunno…but I just feel that some people (extreme couponers, stores, manufacturers) are making this couponing thing a bigger deal than what it should be. I mean…it’s just a coupon.

  138. Stacey on Mon, 20th Jun 2011 7:39 am
  139. I have the Sunday paper delivered, and it is a lot cheaper to order the subscription that it is to buy one and pay the full price at the stores.

  140. Larry on Mon, 20th Jun 2011 1:00 pm
  141. For those of you complaining about hording. It is called being prepared is all. Sure we only buy what we will use. It is stupid to get things that you would not use because they are free. However we want to make it so that say I loose my job we can live a few months without worry. The more cheaply I can do it the better.

  142. Amy on Mon, 20th Jun 2011 5:55 pm
  143. If you would like to clear a shelf where I live please do. I will not judge you as everyone on here will. I realize there are many reasons to do this. While I have only ever cleared maybe 3 shelves in the 6 years of couponing, I never once got upset because someone (maybe 10 people) beat me to a deal. I celebrate that someone else did so well. Another deal will come and if I want it that badly I will get up at 5:30 am and go to the 24 hour store so the hubby can watch the kids before he goes to work.

    Life is not fair. Everyone is not going to get every deal. If you all keep complaining to all the companies and advertisers, we won’t see anymore deals.

  144. Rose on Mon, 20th Jun 2011 6:01 pm
  145. @65

    3) City officials, state revenue, and the IRS should start arresting all those people holding garage sales selling their stockpiles. It’s VERY easy to do. Fine some of them, and you’ll see a difference immediately

    I have those sales maybe 1 to 2 times a year to clear out stuff I don’t want and donate the rest afterward. I might make a few hundred which covers the newspapers and coupons.

    I would like to point out 2 things:
    1) it is not illegal to have a sale
    2) in my state I pay tax on everything and therefore according to my accountant I do not have to pay income tax. It is like I am selling anything else at my yard sale (old clothes, curtains, dishes, or any other crap)

    I have been an advocate of putting papers behind the counter……..

  146. Janetta Edwards on Tue, 21st Jun 2011 12:13 pm
  147. I am getting the extra papers from a local gas station and sending the coupons to troops over seas..does this mean I will no longer be able to get them unless I buy all the left over papers??? I don’t get much but every little bit helps.

  148. Donna McCoy on Thu, 23rd Jun 2011 9:55 am
  149. No wonder I get the look at local stores when I try to use coupons. They act like I’m doing something wrong or stealing out of their pockets!

  150. Lynne on Thu, 23rd Jun 2011 11:04 am
  151. @Janetta you can get all the papers you want..just so you pay for them like the rest of us do…and regarding the ‘troops’ they can use coupons for up to 6 mths past the expiration date in overseas base exchanges, so don’t worry you can just send them your expired coupons =)

  152. Sonya Schroeder on Thu, 23rd Jun 2011 2:39 pm
  153. The things with Ebay is that they make way more then what their time invested was. Because you have the option to BID the vaule goes up especially if the coupons is a “Hot” coupon. I think that one pays WAY to much on ebay for any coupons excluded that there are some that their coupons are not over priced… I would like to see that coupons NOT be sold on Ebay….. Cant wait to hear what happens with this…

  154. Annie Brooks on Thu, 7th Jul 2011 6:47 am
  155. Out of all the Extreme coupon shows that TLC has shown there has only been one episode that I am extremely impressed with and falls along with a plan of savings I would like to closely achieve. It’s the episode with the DJ from New York. He only used 4 coupons at a time for everything. He did have a small stock pile for his family but it wasn’t “Extreme”. Honestly, I am happy when I go shopping and save 50 percent off of my bill. I don’t dumpster dive, I get 2 – 3 papers and search online for legal coupons. For just starting out a month ago I just get tickled when I look at the bottom of my reciept and it tells me what my tiny savings was.

  156. shell on Wed, 13th Jul 2011 12:27 pm
  157. What really bits is the stores get paid back from the manufactors plus .08 cents to boot — so why the limits? Just don’t make sense.

  158. Regina on Sat, 16th Jul 2011 6:59 pm
  159. that show has done more harm that good. Now we have to work harder for coupons and deals.

  160. Melissa on Tue, 19th Jul 2011 12:41 am
  161. Honestly, I enjoyed the show. I’m a single mother of a 2 year old boy. Barely getting by on bills, let alone new clothes / personal needs for the both of us. Since the show, in less than a month I taught myself how to coupon & save BIG and for the first time I am feeling relieved and not worried about supplying my son with what he needs.

    I buy three papers each week. That’s all I can afford. The rest I get from my family members who purchase them for me. They are $2.00 each here. The rest I purchase online from clipping services when I want to stock up on an item I need to use. Yes, I stock up. I have purchased 20 kids toothpastes & 10 shampoos.

    For all of you complaining about the show giving backlash, I’m sure there is an equal amount of people praising the show for saving their families!

    I believe stores should come to a happy medium on limits. So it doesn’t allow people to buy out entire shelves of one item. BUT they are still allowed to purchase enough to slowly build a stock pile over the course of a year. Remember, most of us are couponing so we can share what we earn with our families, friends etc. Don’t be mad because TLC shared this century old hobby to the world!

  162. Lynne on Tue, 19th Jul 2011 9:00 am
  163. @Melissa, you state that you can ‘barely get by’ but by your own admission you are spending $24 a month on newspapers plus what ever you pay to clipping services. That’s why I hate that show…people on tight budgets are spending money they don’t have to stockpile things like toothpaste which, are almost always available for free or for a few cents with coupons. Put that money in the bank in case your car breaks down! I’ve been couponing for several decades, I don’t buy extra papers, I don’t buy coupons on ebay but I consistently save 70-80% on personal and household items and 40-50% on groceries and I RARELY buy more than 3 or 4 of the same items at a time

  164. Allison on Mon, 1st Aug 2011 10:12 pm
  165. I think the letter is talking about whole inserts not the clip ones….. So I think if your buying the already clip ones your okay…… as long as your not buying a whole ones. besides buying the clip ones is a lot cheaper than buying the whole ones……

    […] to  using my journalism background to research which grocery store is the cheapest in town or why you might not find coupon inserts in the newsstand copies of your local paper on Sunday.  That’s stuff you can’t find on the big-name national money-saving blogs.  I also […]

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