What is coupon coding?
Most all UPC Coupon Codes are made up of five sections and a total of 12 numbers. Each section is used to help match coupons to products and determine the value of the coupon.
1) All coupons should begin with the number 5, which is called the NSC or Number System Character.
2) Next comes a five digit (12345 above) manufacturer number. This number should match the manufacturer number on the product.
3) The next set of three numbers (678) is called the family code. This code is used to verify that the shopper has purchased the product which applies to the coupon.
4) The two numbers which follow the family code is called the value code. This determines the value of the coupon.
5) The final number is called a check digit. All UPC numbers contain a check digit which is automatically calculated based on the previous numbers on the UPC symbol.
Most all manufacturer grocery coupons use the coding shown above.
There are times when you may receive a grocery coupon which does not have any coupon code. Grocery store coupon game pieces, coupons found inside products, such as dog food, and coupons on packaging like bottle caps and can lids are the most common coupons found without the UPC codes.
What is coupon coding and fraud
Coupon coding is when people try to get discounts on other products that were not actually meant to be included on the coupon they are using. Say they have a coupon for $2.00 off a specific item like L’Oreal Mascara, but they use it on L’Oreal Hair Spray or Face Products by the same company just because it will scan or the cashier will take it. This is called coupon coding.
You have to use the coupon for the same product that is on the coupon. And it’s not the picture on the coupon it’s the rules that the manufacturer has put on the coupon. The picture has nothing to do with the product so you don’t have to really look at that. The picture is basically to give you an idea of what to look for. You do have to read what the coupon is to be used on which product.
If you get caught coupon coding, you can actually go to jail for theft by Deception (it’s basically stealing). Here is a link to a site that will show you proof that coupon coding/fraud is a VERY serious matter. www.couponinformationcenter.com
Coupon fraud is when you misuse a coupon. Using more than one “manufacture” coupon on 1 product. (You can use a manufacturer coupon and in store coupon if your store allows it, and most of them do.) Using a coupon that says $1.00/2 and you only buy one product is coupon fraud. You should always read each coupon carefully, even the fine print. Most coupons will tell you what products, size, how many, ounces, color, brand, etc..
Using a coupon beyond the expiration is fraud as well, unless your store allows it. Most overseas Military Families are allowed to use expired coupons up to 6 months past expiration. (if you live near a military post/base, you can take your expired coupons to their ACS to be sent to overseas families.)
When you misuse a coupon you are not only committing coupon fraud, but you are ruining it for everyone else. I’ve been see manufacturers put more restrictions on coupons and eventually they could even just stop sending coupons out all together.
Be sure to read about coupon fraud here: www.couponinformationcenter.com
Don’t go to any classes that promote coupon coding, or you could find yourself in prison with a very high fine. While prison sentences of 3 to 5 years are not uncommon and penalized. A person could go to prison for as long as 17 years and or although the penalty fee may vary, but coupon fraud could pay $200k or $5million in penalties for coupon fraud.
Bottom line, read the terms of the coupon and follow those terms.