What Is a manufacturer coupon? First, know that there are two main types of coupons: manufacturer and store. So the question is really asking what is a store coupon and what is a manufacturer coupon, and how do you tell the difference?
To begin with, almost every coupon will specifically state whether it is a store or a manufacturer coupon, but that statement may be hard to find unless you know what you are looking for. If you know the differences between various types of coupons, you can maximize your savings, since certain coupons can be 'stacked.' Stacking uses two or more coupons to get multiple discounts on a single product purchase.
One of the most important lessons to learn is that store coupons can always be stacked with manufacturer coupons to increase your savings. We'll cover this more in a later section.
Where Do You Find Manufacturer Coupons?
Most often, you can find manufacturer coupons in Sunday or weekly coupon inserts in your local newspaper. They are also available from online sources such as eCouponshub.com, or from the producing company's Facebook, or on website pages. They also may arrive in your mailbox or may be in marketing flyers or magazines.
What Is a Manufacturer Coupon?
A manufacturer coupon will often, but not always, say, ‘Manufacturer's coupon' along the top of the coupon. This is the easiest way to determine if your coupon is from the manufacturer. For example, it may have instructions to the redeeming store, saying something like, “We will reimburse you the face value of this coupon plus 8 cents handling if submitted in compliance with our coupon policy. Send coupons to: ______.”
A manufacturer coupon will always include redemption information for retailers. Obviously, if the coupon is not from a manufacturer, there would be no need to include redemption information, since the store would already know how to redeem its own coupon.
What Is a Store Coupon?
A store coupon will have one or more of these traits:
The store logo will be on the coupon. It will contain some reference to the specific store. For example, it may say, “Store coupon,” or “Safeway coupon,” or whatever store issued the coupon.
The coupon may say something like, “Must be redeemed at __________ (the name of the store),” and give the name of the store. There will be no redemption information on a store coupon. There is nothing that tells the store the coupon must be sent to XXX address for redemption, since the store already knows how to redeem the coupon.
Often, the store coupon will have a price listed for an item rather than a discount or savings for that item. For example, rather than saying “$1.25 off product X,” it will say “$1.99 for product X.”
There are times when a store will put out a coupon that looks like a manufacturer coupon. There are differences that the informed consumer can easily see. So when answering the question 'what is a manufacturer coupon,' remember this: manufacturer's coupons can be redeemed anywhere, while store coupons can only be redeemed at that store and no other.
What Type of Coupon Predominates?
Remind yourself of the difference between what is a manufacturer coupon and what is a store coupon. Then know that the majority of coupons come from manufacturers rather than from stores. Manufacturer coupons are published and printed by the manufacturer of the products you are considering purchasing.
How Do You Tell the Difference?
Store coupons are put out by an individual retailer or other grocery or retail stores. Rather than being a true manufacturer's coupon, store coupons are actually a store sale presented in the form of a coupon. It's really a gimmick: a way to give you a sale price that can be available to anyone, couched in the form of a coupon that pretends to give you a discount on an article that is already discounted. These coupons are funded solely by the store and are usually found in the store itself or on the store's website.
Can I Use Both Coupons?
Yes, emphatically! Remember, you can always combine a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon for the same item.
Is My Coupon Valid?
There are many web sites to which you can go to check the validity of coupons. Here are some of the best:
Box Tops for Education
These are coupons that are sponsored by the General Mills Corporation. They are available to get savings from Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, and of course, General Mills.
Snackpicks by Kellog's
These manufacturer coupons have great discounts on popular snacks such as Cheez-its and Rice Krispies Treats. If you have the need to find savings for little peoples' lunch boxes, this is one place to go.
P&G (Procter and Gamble) offer many great offers online or at their eSavers site for participating stores. You need to register with them, and then use your eSavers coupons to save on Charmin, Olay and Pantene products.
Making Life Better With Unilever
You can save on products like Dove and Q-Tips at Unilever's Making Life Better website, where you can print coupons once you've joined.
Right at Home by Johnson
Johnson offers printable coupons for Johnson products such as Raid, Glade, Pledge, Scrubbing Bubbles, and just about everything you need to clean your home and keep it smelling great.
Why Is There Confusion?
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The confusion comes into play most often when a manufacturer's coupon also has a store name on it. If you're not sure which type of coupon it is, you need to investigate further. Check to see if there is a redemption address or if there is a notation that says it is a manufacturer's coupon. Either of these will let you know which kind of coupon you have.
Remember that store coupons do not have to send the coupon to a particular address, so there will not be a redemption address listed. Manufacturer coupons must have a redemption address listed; otherwise, stores can't get reimbursed for the coupons they take in.
Other Ways to Check:
The easiest way to check your coupon, for those who are tech savvy, is to read the bar code on the coupon. All coupons use a bar coding standard known as UPC (Universal Product Code). Every product that's available for sale and that has a bar code uses this all-numerical standard.
All UPC bar codes have the numerical equivalent of the bar code printed below the bar code itself. The reason the numerical codes are there is in case the bar code, for whatever reason, cannot be read by the scanner.
Please note that, as it is always the case when trying to determine what is a manufacturer coupon, all manufacturer coupons start with a ‘5' while all store coupons begin with a ‘4.' So if you see a bar code that starts with ‘5,' you can be certain you have a manufacturer's coupon.
What Are Catalinas?
Do you recall seeing long, narrow receipt-like coupons that get printed after you make a purchase? Those are called ‘Catalinas.' Sometimes they are store coupons, including savings from your purchase of either specific products or general discounts or dollars off. They also may contain discounts to vendors who put advertising on the back of the coupon. Be sure to check out both sides of your Catalina.
Regular coupon rules apply to manufacturer Catalinas. You can only use one per item.
What Other Coupons Don't Stack?
Same type coupons don't stack. So Catalina coupons and newspaper coupons won't stack, for example.
Are There Other Coupon Programs?
Most stores offer loyalty programs. You should join as many as you have stores at which you regularly shop. Drugstores like Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid all have programs you should join if you regularly shop at those stores. So do many chain grocery stores.
Where Else Can I Find Coupons?
One of the best places to find coupons online is www.eCouponshub.com. When you access their website, you can search for coupons for your favorite retailers or scroll through the hundreds of coupons they have available. Let them do the legwork of finding coupons that match up with the stores you frequent most often. Once you find them, you can print coupons and take them to your favorite store.
There are definitely significant savings when you use the coupons available through various sources: stores, manufacturers, and various loyalty programs. The secret to maximizing your savings is to know the difference between the many types of coupons and then stacking them when appropriate to give you the greatest return.
Remember to always look at the source of the coupon, determine the ability to stack coupons, and ensure that you join loyalty programs at stores you regularly shop at. And, if you're looking for a top source for online coupons, don't forget to check out eCouponshub.com if you want to get the best online coupons available!
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