Are printable online coupons worth it? Several sites offer coupons that you can print at home for discounts. Though touted as a time saving measure, scrolling though pages and pages of online coupons will not necessarily save you time. It is easier to flip through the coupons that come in the newspaper and clip what you want. Even when you print the online coupons for store use, there is a lot of paper that is wasted from your printer.
Online coupons that you use for online purchases do not require any waste of time or paper. I have stopped searching online coupon sites that allow users to print coupons because rarely are there coupons available that I use. Instead, I look at the coupons that come in the Sunday paper and pair them up with items that are on sale that week. Or, I will go directly to a product website to see if there are any coupons offered there.
Finding online coupons that are usable is difficult and there has also been the problem of people forging coupons and passing them off in stores. Coupon fraud is on the rise. On several occasions I have seen fraudulent coupons posted near the register at Target and grocery stores showing the coupons that the stores no longer accept. Some stores have even stopped accepting printable coupons, from their own websites, since too many were altered or used without limit. This trend has forced several companies send you a coupon in the mail rather than allowing consumers to print a coupon and go to the store. The official coupons have a security seal on them with a silver rainbow hologram so that the coupons are more difficult to forge. When a manufacturer sends you a coupon that you have registered for, you are often limited to receiving just one in a certain period of time.
Even coupons that are printed legitimately may be overused or altered. Then everyone else suffers.
Two years ago this wasn’t a problem, because people didn’t care about coupons. Then when the economy took a nosedive, many people turned to coupons. Online coupon codes may be passed around but when a retailer decides to stop honoring the coupon or if too many people have responded to a sale, then a retailer can change the code. With a paper coupon it is not as easy to stop people from using a coupon.
The trend shows no signs of stopping. “It’s going to get worse for a while as the economy continues its downward trend,” says Bud Miller, executive director for CIC.