So now that you’ve gotten to the checkout lane, what do you do if your coupon is rejected?
For the most part, I’ve never had much trouble. There have been a few instances like at Walmart or Target with a grouchy cashier. Throughout the course of your coupon shopping, you will come across one of “those” cashiers. It is a given.
I like to scout out my favorite cashier. I will wait longer to have a favorite check me out. I try to scout out a coupon friendly cashier before entering that lane if I don’t see one of my favorites. I have my own methods of trying to decide who will be coupon friendly by appearances if I don’t know. Nothing scientific, just based on past experiences.
So what do you do if they say nope, can’t take this coupon? First, please remain calm. You will get a better result if you speak in a rational tone and in a respectful way. Remember, the cashiers have to answer to their managers, who have to answer to their managers, etc. They all just want to follow store policy and make sure that all coupons are utilized properly so the store is able to be reimbursed for the coupons.
If the cashier refused to scan the coupon, you should ask they try to scan it. If it doesn’t scan, it doesn’t mean the coupon is not valid. It just may be a coding error. Make sure your language matches the coupon. Some cashiers may try to say you have to buy the product pictured on the coupon. That is not always the case. Companies usually show a higher priced item on the coupon but many of the coupons I use state “any abc brand product.”
Decide if it is worth it to speak to the manager. Don’t forget, your time has value. It is probably not worth my time to speak to a manager over (1) $0.25 coupon. I know that most deals come around again and my pantry is stocked, so I don’t sweat the small stuff as much anymore. You have to determine how much your time is worth.
Be assertive, not nasty when speaking with the manager. Usually managers are more informed about the coupon policies than cashiers. It never hurts to ask for a manager.
Having a corporate coupon policy is always helpful. Just remember a store has the right to refuse any coupon or change their policy at any time. You, however, have the right to contact their corporate headquarters.
Don’t be afraid to ask to remove an item off your receipt if they won’t accept your coupon. I’ve done this before for items I may not have bought at the price without the coupon before. If it is an item we need, I will still buy it and move on.
Final note: Don’t be nervous about using your coupons. When I first started out, I got all clammy when I showed up at the cash register with a wad of my coupons. Now it is second nature and doesn’t bother me a bit. It also helps to arm yourself with coupon knowledge. The more you know, the more confident you will be in your couponing abilities.