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Jan 19

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Why Do Coupons Beep?

There are few things I hate as much as my coupons causing the register to beep. Even if I know everything is in order and legit, it’s a hiccup I don’t like to deal with! BUT we will all be there at one point or another so it’s best just to be prepared and know what to do!

PDF Coupons: Sometimes the register will beep when you hand over a PDF coupon because it doesn’t have a unique barcode and that  confuses the machine. You should make sure you can always trust your source when using PDF coupons. {You can learn more about coupon fraud here.} Even though you have a legitimate coupon, the store still may refuse it. It will be up to the cashier to accept or refuse the coupon. They may also need to involve a manager to help make the decision or to give approval to accept the coupon. You may want to try printing only a couple PDF coupons and try them at your store before planning an entire trip around 100 PDF coupons you printed!

Low Ink/Poor Print Quality: If you have your printer set on black ink only or grayscale, it may cause scanning problems. You may also experience problems if you are running out of ink. If this is a routine problem for you, you might want to print your coupons in color to avoid this issue. You should also make sure to change your cartridge when you notice the print is becoming faint.

Product Price/Value Check: Sometimes the register will beep to remind the cashier to manually double check the coupon value {especially if it’s a high value coupon} or to manually adjust the price. Some stores do not allow the coupon value to be higher than the product price. You may find you run into this at Target and Walgreens a lot.. those are my top offenders! 🙂

GS1 Bar Code: To help crack down on coupon fraud and include more information in the databar, the barcodes appearing on coupons have started to change. Unfortunately, not all stores have updated their technology to match this! You can point this out to the cashier if you feel this is the case. If it’s a regular problem at your store, you might want to seek help from the store or district manager to help get a permanent resolution. I found this article about GS1 and the barcodes to be super informative and actually printed it out! 🙂

Many store policies state that they have the right to refuse any printed coupon that will not scan. In most cases, the cashier or manager was able to identify the problem and work out a solution for me. In a couple of cases, they handed me back my coupon. I hope these tips help shed light on the “mysterious beeping” for you and prevent you from experiencing any unnecessary hassles! Happy Shopping!

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1 comment

  1. MaryAlice

    I’m a cashier, I deal with coupons all the time. The main thing that will make the register beep is buying get one free because the cashier has to manually put in the amount. The thing that helps use the most is telling us that is a buy one get one free and hand us the coupon as we scan it so we can write the amount on the coupon and not have to go looking for it later. Many coupon have more then 1 bar code on them and if the register picks on the wrong one it will peep item not found. Most of the time if the cashier puts her hand over the wrong bar code the right one will scan, but be prepared to show the item or items.

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