If you have a question about couponing at Publix, this is the place to find the answer! Each week my buddy Christy and I have a little coupon question and answer session here on Ask I Heart Publix. Keep sending in those questions – we love to answer them! Just remember if we didn’t get to your question this week…we will do our best to cover it another week!!
Remember–there is a tab at the top of the site under “About” titled “Ask I Heart Publix” where you can find the questions and answers from past weeks!
Here are this week’s questions:
- Why do some companies post PDF coupons?
- Can I use a manufacturer’s coupon with a Publix coupon that makes the item free?
- Where can I find the pet booklet that is out right now?
- How do you link your Publix purchases to your Upromise account?
- Why do you list all the coupons under a sale item? Why not just the best one?
And here are the answers!
1. Diva wants to know: Why do companies post PDF coupons? I usually print two per computer or two per person to present at the store, because that is how other coupons work, but I know the coupon will let you print as many copies as you want. Why do stores accept these if the bar code is still the same on each one? I thought coupons are registered in a system for number of barcodes redeemed and that determines if a company sees it as a success or not. Is a PDF coupon the exception to this?
Christy: It seems like a few of the smaller companies are the ones that generally put out PDF coupons rather than on another site like Coupons.com or SmartSource. In general, a company might choose to release a PDF coupon because it is much more inexpensive to do so.
As far as why stores will accept PDF coupons…my stores have always accepted this kind of coupon and never mentioned any issue with accepting them. Commenters, what has your experience been with using PDF coupons at Publix?
Michelle: Individual like coupons will have the same barcode. So if you cut a coupon from a Sunday coupon insert, each like coupon will be identical to the next. The bar code stores all the info that the registers need to “read” the coupon.
So a pdf having the same barcode is not really any different than your insert coupon, blinkie, etc… Now many printable coupons will have a sort of tracking info on the coupon that identifies each coupon as being unique. This technology is used to help the coupon sponsor limit and keep track of where and how coupons are used. Those coupon ID numbers are different that the bar code.
I could probably write a book about how coupons work and why companies put them out but in an attempt to be brief…pdf’s are easier and cheaper for companies to use. They don’t have to pay a secondary service to host and/or control the coupon. Unfortunately these companies may not realize that a pdf can be easily abused and cost them more than they expected.
Some companies have learned the hard way and others continue to release those pdf coupons. Obviously those that continue to use them don’t mind giving out those discounts. Maybe they are just happy to see folks buying the products?
Now as for how many a person should print and use…that will be a personal decision. The store may help you decide by limiting the number of like coupons you can use. Beyond that you’ll have to decide what you feel is an appropriate amount that you will use.