How to Spot a Fake Coupon.
Here’s How I Spot a Fake Coupon:
- Know where it came from. There are lots of coupons circulating these days – you print them off of blogs, get them from a manufacturer, from the paper and some people even trade or buy them. A lot of bloggers don’t double-check if the coupon is legitimate. Some folks may make copies and then try to sell you those copies. Make sure you trust the source you received your coupon from. I always check the validity of the coupons I post, I only buy from legitimate and recommended coupon clipping services that have a great track record, and I don’t trade my coupons online with people I don’t know. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If it’s a PDF, I am especially suspicious since they are so easy to alter.
- Look at the expiration date. A high value coupon usually has a shorter good through date. If your coupon doesn’t expire for six months or has no expiration date at all, it’s probably not real. The only exception to this rule would be if you were mailed the coupon directly from the manufacturer. I have received coupons directly from the manufacturers that were good for a whole year! I haven’t ever printed one online or from the paper that was good for that long though!
- Look at the UPC code. Make sure your coupon has a UPC code – if it doesn’t there is no way it’s real! You can also read more about the new coupon barcode system here and you can check out Hip2Save’s barcode information here.
- Call the company directly. A few weeks ago, I was sent a PDF of a coupon that was $8 off a single package of Huggies. Of course I was highly suspicious: it didn’t expire until April 2012, it was a VERY high value, and it was a PDF with SIX copies of the coupon a single page. I called Kimberly Clark, the Huggies brand manufacturer and confirmed with them that they don’t release such high value coupons and they then passed the information on to their fraud department.