What is a Coupon?

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What is a Coupon?

According to about.com, a coupon is promotional tool in the form of a document that can be redeemed for a discount when purchasing goods or services. Coupons are generally issued by manufacturers or retailers to the consumer and may be distributed through direct mail or other marketing means. A coupon will feature a specific savings amount or other special offer to persuade consumers to purchase specific goods or services or to purchase from specific retailers.

While you cannot make out all of the specifics on the image to the left, I am sure you get the idea.  There are several components to every coupon that everyone should now.  While the following list is not “all-inclusive”, it does give you the basis necessary to know whether or not you are using a coupon appropriately.  As you will find from spending time on our site, we only advocate the highest level of ethics and honesty when living the “couponing lifestyle” .


Things to know about every coupon inculde:

  • Value of the coupon
  • Expiration Date of the coupon
  • Source of the coupons (mfg vs. store)
  • A specific description of the product(s) to which the coupon applies
  • Quantities needed to trigger coupon i.e. ($1/1 vs $1/2, etc).
  • Specific limitations for number of like coupons per transaction

Other things to note:

  • Handling fee for the coupon.  The example contained here shows a .08 handling fee on a $2.50 coupon.  That is only 3.2% of the face value of the coupon, opposed to the 8% to face value used in our other example.
  • Specific Handling instructions for the retailer and the consumer
  • The bar code.  This is especially important for internet coupons where there are problems with counterfeiting.  More to come on that topic in a separate post.

Types of Coupons



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