Understanding coupon barcodes

Using a coupon for a completely unrelated item, just because the manufacturers code on the barcode matches. Taking advantage of a glitch in the value code section of the bar code to buy less of a product in order to get the same discount. I know at least a few of you who have read this far are already thinking of your arguments as to why bar code decoding isn't that bad.

Let's tackle a few of those right now:. Yes — and if a frog had wings he wouldn't bump his butt when he jumped…. When you are buying the exact same item described and pictured as on the coupon and the cashier tells you that she can't take it because it beeped thus meaning it was coded incorrectly , you want them to accept it anyway…right? A glitch is a glitch, no matter who it favors! Just because the glitch favors you doesn't make it ok to take advantage of the mistake.

And once again, the bar code is not the offer on the coupon. The text of the coupon is the offer. I've called the company and they said that as long as it went through, they were fine with it! The coupons that my friend recently emailed me WILL scan at many stores, but are fraudulent coupons and they may not upset the manufacturer, but the store that doesn't get reimbursed will likely be a little miffed!

GS1 Databar Coupon Overview - Databar Expanded StackedDATABAR-BARCODE

They don't even carry Gentle Care? We're not reimbursing them! Times are tough! I need to save money however I can! If taking advantage of a small glitch in the system makes me dishonest, it's such a small thing I can live with that! You may have noticed more and more segments on your local news about using coupons and coupon classes. While I applaud the news stations for showing people how to save money, the reporters have been distorting the facts a bit.

After a few months of watching these reports, I finally had to speak up and say something. Thank you for explaining this. OK, this seems like WAY too much work for me to even save a buck. Seriously, why do people feel the need to abuse the system? This could be the reason why the Kmart ladies, at two stores, were very hesitant to even speak to me about using Internet coupons next week.

I cannot believe people would even do something like this. Great article and hopefully it will make one person think next time before doing something like this! Thank you for posting this. I was on a blog and saw someone had posted a comment about some RRs that were printing out that was an obvious mistake on the Cat company in charge of things… The ad stated certain sizes and they were printing out on travel sizes. I am so sorry that this has became a book but I had to get it off my chest too and since this is about honesty well… I think we should ALL learn to be honest!!!

It is me, Retail Manager checking in again. Thank you so much for this post. It is just demoralizing seeing people try and bully their way to a fraudulent discount. I always read a coupon before I use it. I feel very strongly that discounts are not to be abused.


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I saw recent newscasts as well with the coupon decoding. I was surprised they reported it that way.


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This post has really enlightened me. I just starting using coupons at the beginning of the year and did the deals exactly as the coupon blogs explained. Can I go to walgreens and explain it to them and reimburse them myself? The other coupon was for 50 cents off Purex naturals.

Ultimate Coupon Decoding Cheat Sheet

I redeemed that one a few weeks ago at rite-aid for regular Purex detergent. Can I explain that as well and pay them for the coupon I used? I appreciate blogs like yours that are honest and having a blog author that knows her stuff. I enjoy this new discovery of saving money, but like many of you, I want to do it the right way.

coupon barcode reading?

So thank you!! Any feedback on my questions will be greatly appreciated. What a great post! I had never heard of this until I was doing research for my post about coupon ethics, you did a great job of explaining what it is and why it is wrong. I feel like there are enough good deals to be had that this is really unnecessary.

I also came across another blog recently that talked about using the wrong coupon on multiple items but she justified doing so because she was donating it all to charity. To me that is nothing more than thievery, taking the high moral ground of Robin Hood. Stealing from the rich to give to the poor is still stealing. Thank you, again, Mindi, for stepping up on your soapbox and setting the record straight about barcode decoding and how it is ethically and morally wrong.

I realize that more and more people are using coupons and we need to let them know the correct usage. I have recently seen two videos of couponers on thier local new channel admitting that they used a coupon for something other than what was on the coupon and was was so frustrated because I knew that this is wrong. Continue the good work you are doing and continue your posts on the ethical use of coupons. You go ladies!! Thanks for posting this- I saw recent newscasts promoting decoding as well and thought it was wrong but now I KNOW it is wrong.

Great post!!! Great post. I was horrified to see a couple of blogs that I always thought were credible explain the art of barcode decoding. Thanks for this in-depth post. Nicole did an awesome job too! Thanks for this post. Then I realized what I was doing was selling my integrity for. Excellent post!

The GS1 DataBar Coupon Format

This sooo needed to be shared! When I started couponing, I became aware of this and backed away like I never even saw it. I know people who actually teach couponing classes and TEACH how to decipher codes as a part of the class. Is that not sick! How are we supposed to get legit deals when an army of couponers are being taught the fraudulent way to do it??

I even had someone send me an email and try to tell me how I could use one — um, no thanks! Great post! I always try to avoid posting deals I see elsewhere that are using coupons wrong. Thanks for sharing! Great post and very relevant. I have been using coupons for sometime now and have to say it is getting tougher to handle day by day. Because of few people using and blogging about illegitimate use of coupons it has becoming so difficult to deal with most store cashiers.

Most of them look at you as if you are a thief and when sometimes they say they have bad experience with some customers, so now they have to read through each coupon just to make sure.

Coupon Ethics: Coupon BarCode Decoding

These people kill the deal for everyone and make everyone using the coupon look bad. EAN barcodes are also used to label consumer goods worldwide for point-of-sale scanning, primarily in Europe. They look very similar to UPC codes, and the main distinction is their geographical application. Code39 barcodes or Code 3 of 9 are used to label goods across many industries and are often found in the automotive industry and the U. Department of Defense. It enables the use of both digits and characters, and its name originates in the fact that it could only encode 39 characters—though in its most recent version the character set has been increased to Code barcodes are compact, high-density codes used in logistics and transportation industries for ordering and distribution.

Because they support any character of the ASCII character set, Code barcodes can store highly diversified information. ITF or Interleaved 2 of 5 barcodes are used to label packaging materials across the globe. Since they can deal with high printing tolerances, they are ideal for printing on corrugated cardboard. Code 93 barcodes are used in logistics to identify packages in retail inventory, label electronic components, and even provide supplementary delivery information for the Canadian Post. Learn more about Code 93 barcodes on the Scandit Blog.

Codabar barcodes are used by logistics and healthcare professionals, including U. Therefore, users can create many Codabar codes using consecutive numbers without the use of a computer. GS1 DataBar barcodes formerly known as Reduced Space Symbology are used by retail outlets to identify consumer coupons, produce and perishables, as well as small objects in the healthcare industry.

They are more compact than typical consumer-facing barcodes. The GS1 DataBar Coupon Format The new DataBar Coupon format will provide manufacturers more options for purchase requirements and values and make it possible to code more complex offers. It will enable the coupon to be validated at checkout to ensure the manufacturer intended the purchase that was made. Ideally, it may reduce mis-redemption. In addition, retailers would get better scanning accuracy at the POS.

With the new barcode, retailers will be able to code chain-specific promotions, which now is almost impossible to do. They will also be able to leverage offer tracking and provide improved purchase auditing back to the manufacturers. Benefits GS1 Company Prefixes. The existing structure only allows companies with a 6-digit prefix the ability to coupon.